Ruth Hayter hit form with two winners, a second and a third from her four runners at a hectic North Norfolk Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham yesterday (Sunday). Hayter, who has been one of East Anglia’s outstanding trainers over recent years, had suffered a disappointing start to the season, her Glemsford yard failing to produce a winner at the first five meetings.
But after Marmalade Mountain had broken her duck for the year with a determined victory over Lord Kinsale in the last of three Maidens on a marathon nine-race card, Gatchou Mansswiftly followed up in the first of two Novice Riders’ Races.
Marmalade Mountain is owned and bred by Bruce Andrews, from Semer near Hadleigh. Well ridden by Christian Ward-Thomas, he survived a blunder at the second last to overhaul Lord Kinsale approaching the final fence and stayed on stoutly to score by three lengths. A big horse, Marmalade Mountain will be seen to even better affect when he tackles a stiffer course.
Gatchou Mans has been ridden this term by Hayter’s daughter, Tori. But she weighs less than ten stone and was worried about the amount of dead weight she would have to carry to tip the scales at 12 stone here. So she passed on the ride to Andrew Braithwaite, who deputised admirably, forcing the pace throughout and, in a superb finish, holding on by a head from Seabrook Lad with Novatara just half a length adrift in third and Pongo Waring close behind in fourth.
Andrew Ayers, from Halstead, was quick to overcome the disappointment of his narrow reverse aboard Novatara, taking the second division of the same race on the Irish import, Native Status.
Returned at a generous 16-1 despite boasting some useful form in the Emerald Isle, Native Status was booted clear by Ayers with three-quarters of a mile to run and held the late thrust of the Hayter/Braithwaite representative, Village Copper, by two lengths.
Trained at Great Yeldham by Robert Gardiner, Native Status now has a hunter chase at Sandown Park on March 8 in his sights.
Hayter’s final runner, Cinnamon Club, performed creditably in the Men’s Open but had to settle for a distant third behind the Bedfordshire raider, Aintgottime. Ridden by Dickie Barratt, Aintgottime, held the strong finish of Dynamic Lord by three lengths.
This foiled a double for Dynamic Lord’s connections – owner-trainer Joe Turner, from Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, and jockey Andrew Sansome – as they had earlier been responsible for the easy Maiden winner, Pampered Gale. Joe Turner also supplied the runner-up in the Ladies’ Open in the form of Spring Gale. Ridden by his granddaughter, Zoe, he found the classy Noyan 20 lengths too quick for him.
Noyan was an odds-on favourite but his Guildford trainer, Chrissie Elliott, and Yorkshire-based jockey, Jo Foster, completed a brace with a much more unlikely victor in the closing Restricted Race in the shape of She’s A Corker. Another 16-1 shot, She’s A Corker surprised even her trainer by holding Daydreamer by two lengths.
Andrew Hickman, Daydreamer’s pilot, had earlier been seen at his strongest to get Ballinure Boy, trained in Sussex by his wife, Sara, home by three-quarters of a length in the Intermediate Race.
The day had begun in familiar fashion with success for Surprisedly Gifted from the powerful Northamptonshire yard of Caroline Bailey. Surprisedly Gifted, so named because he was an unexpected Christmas present to owner Colin Bogie, lost his maiden tag in effortless style under Rowan Cope.
Race One (Maiden Race, Division One):
1 C Bogie’s Suprisedly Gifted (Pytchley) (R Cope),
2 The Marriage Family’s Baie Des Singes (Essex) (N King),
3 C Jarvis’ Out Of Actons (Suffolk) (owner).
Also: Second Thoughts (4), Lucrative Perk (5), Blackmark (f), Brown Buzzard (ur), Duke of Buckingham (ur), Lord Drakkar (pu), Midnight Royal (f), Tartan Shot (ur), Timothy George (pu), Tynemine (ro), Warriors Spirit (pu). A distance, three lengths. 6m 19s. W £5. DF £21. SP 5-1 (Duke of Buckingham 4-5 fav).
Race Two (Maiden Race, Division Two, part one):
1 J M Turner’s Pampered Gale (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
2 North Norfolk’s Group’s Sydney Hobart (North Norfolk) (R Cope),
3 D Wales’ Camden Loch (West Norfolk) (W Wales).
Also: Kings Mandate (4), Andrew’s (pu), Black Beatle (f), Grey Fusilier (pu), Marbank Lad (pu). Five lengths, 10 lengths. 6m 19s. W £2.50. DF £2.20. SP 5-4 fav.
Race Three (Maiden Race, Division Two, part two):
1 B Andrews’ Marmalade Mountain (Essex and Suffolk), (C Ward-Thomas),
2 Mr and Mrs D Feek’s Lord Kinsale (Granta Harriers) (T Lane),
3 Miss N Hurn’s Harkness Warrior (Fitzwilliam) (P Briley).
Also: Call The Tune (4), Aphroditethemighty (5), Great Survivor (6), Paper Prince (pu), Union Square (pu). Three lengths, eight lengths. 6m 20s. W £4.70. DF £11.20 (winner with any other horse). DF 6-1 (Union Square 7-4 fav).
Race Four (PPORA Club Race, Novice Riders, Division One):
1 Mr and Mrs A Howland-Jackson’s Gatchou Mans (Suffolk) (A Braithwaite),
2 Seabrook Partners’ Seabrook Lad (Bicester with Whaddon Chase),
3 A Ayers’ Novatara (East Essex) (owner).
Also: Pongo Waring (4), Imperial Mist (5), Adamatic (6), Doctor Dunklin (7), Society Lad (8), Hostetler (ur), Mill O’ The Rags (pu), Remilan (pu), Topical Tip (ur). Head, half a length. 6m 13s. £2.90. DF 13.40. SP 2-1 fav.
Race Five (PPORA Club Race, Novice Riders, Division Two):
1 A Ayers’ Native Status (East Essex) (owner),
2 Mr and Mrs A Howland-Jackson’s Village Copper (Suffolk) (A Braithwaite),
3 J M Turner’s Corston Joker (Suffolk) (Miss R Barrow).
Also: Wise Advice (4), Sorcerer’s Drum (5), Claywalls (6), Ballyea Boy (7), Changing Fashion (pu), Leapfrog (pu), Verulam (pu). Two lengths, 20 lengths. 6m 09s. W £22.20. DF £54. SP 14-1 (Sorcerer’s Drum 11-10 fav).
Race Six (Men’s Open Race):
1 Mrs F Kehoe’s Aintgottime (Bicester with Whaddon Chase) (R Barrett),
2 J M Turner’s Dynamic Lord (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
3 Mrs C Villar and T Batterbee’s Cinnamon Club (Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas).
Also: Pangeran (4), Eden’s Close (5), Buachaill Dana (6), Glaisnock Lad (bd), High Island (pu), Labula Bay (pu), Spanish Fortune (f). Three lengths, 20 lengths. 6m 12s. W £4.50. DF £47. SP 3-1 (Labula Bay 6-4 fav).
Race Seven (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 R Cook’s Noyan (SC and RMAS Drag) (Miss J Foster),
2 J M Turner’s Spring Gale (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
3 D Claydon and Mrs P Twinn’s May Point (East Essex) (Mrs C Feek).
Also: Thurles Pickpocket (4), Haydance (pu), Shirley’s Time pu). Twenty lengths, a distance. 6m 08s. W £2.10. DF £1.80. SP 4-6 fav.
Race Eight (Intermediate Race):
1 Mrs E Turtle’s Ballinure Boy (East Sussex and Romney Marsh) (A Hickman),
2 Mr and Mrs P Hobb’s Fiddlers Knap (Croome and West Warks) (J Hobbs),
3 W Tolhurst’s Manna Brave (Essex and Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas).
Also: Lovelock (4), Tohunga (5), Rafter (6), Dancing Ranger (pu), Gawngadinn (pu), Running Mute (pu). Three quarters of a length, 20 lengths. 6m12s. W £6.50. DF £8 (winner with any other horse). SP 3-1 (Running Mute 2-1 fav).
Race Nine (Restricted Race):
1 R Cook’s She’s A Corker (Surrey Union) (Miss J Foster),
2 A Hickman’s Daydreamer (East Sussex and Romney Marsh) (owner),
3 J M Turner’s Millenium Way (Suffolk) (A Sansome).
Also: Balla D’Aire (4), Hollyhock (5), Nowornever (6), Harry Tartar (pu), Pharangel (pu), Wise Point (pu). Two lengths, three lengths. 6m 19s. W £17.20. DF £49. SP 16-1 (Daydreamer 6-4 fav).