Andrew Sansome tightened his grip on the In The Pink-sponsored East Anglian Point-To-Point Jockeys’ Title with a brilliant hat-trick at Horseheath on Saturday.
A huge Easter crowd for the Puckeridge fixture saw Sansome complete the treble in an exciting finale as Teeton Priceless came out on top in a tight four-horse finish to the second division of the Maiden Race. Sealing victory with a fine leap at the last, Teeton Priceless got home by two lengths from Tell Monty with Dream Weaver half a length back in third.
Sansome’s earlier successes had come courtesy of horses owned and trained at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, by Joe Turner and his family. He had an armchair ride aboard Pampered Gale, who continued his relentless improvement with a ten-length defeat of Imperial Mist in the Intermediate Race.
Pampered Gale now boasts a fine record of three wins and three seconds from six starts this term and he may be allowed to take his chance in Hunter Chase company before the season is out.
The other Sansome-Turner winner was Bruan, who prevailed in an incident-packed Restricted Race. Holy Moses, an unconsidered 20-1 chance, survived an earth-stopping blunder at the third last to hold a two-length lead landing over the final obstacle.
But he then hung violently left towards the horse boxes and, despite the best efforts of pilot Rachael Barrow, was collared on the line by Bruan, who responded well to Sansome’s urgings to score by a head.
The Turners were completing a treble of their own, as Joe’s granddaughter, Zoe, had earlier guided Prince Of Saints to a three-length victory over Ruth’s Boy in the Ladies’ Open.
The equine highlight of the day was the performance of Fair Exchange, who notched his seventh course victory with a commanding display of front-running in the Men’s Open. Jumping with cat-like agility under Paul Taiano, he beat Wrekengale by six lengths in by far the fastest time of the day.
Fair Exchange will now be aimed at the Land Rover Hunter Chase Final at Towcester on May 13 and another course specialist with grand plans of Hunter Chase glory is Alpha Man, who remained unbeaten in three Horseheath starts when taking the opening Members’ Race by five lengths from Thunderbird. A Maiden Hunter Chase at Cheltenham on May 1 is next on his agenda.
The first Maiden went to Stick Or Bust, owned by a partnership headed by Soham postman Roy Green, and ridden by Harry Fowler. Trainer Julie Read, from Chevington, near Bury St Edmunds, was quick to pass on the credit to Sandra Read (no relation) who rides Stick Or Bustevery morning.
Race One (Hunt Race):
1 Sir Chips Keswick and C Sporborg’s Alpha Man (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite),
2 H Hobson’s Thunderbird (Puckeridge) (S Salmon),
3 Only two finished. Also Ballad (ur) Mackoy (ur).
Distance: five lengths. 6m 39s. W £1.30. DF £1.70. SP 2-5 fav.
Race Two (Intermediate Race):
1 J M Turner’s Pampered Gale (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
2 Ms C Cunningham’s Imperial Mist (Essex Farmers and Union) (R Stearn),
3 W Tolhurst’s Manna Brave (Essex and Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas).
Also Holmby Copse (4), Rafter (5), Nelligsagin (6), Mind Your Step (pu), New Ross (ur), Society Lad (ro). Distances: 10 lengths, three-quarters of a length. 6m 29s. W £1.40. DF £24.90. SP 1-2fav.
Race Three (Ladies Open Race):
1 J M Turner’s Prince of Saints (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
2 P Johnson’s Ruth Boy (Cambs University Draghounds) (Miss A Embiricos),
3 N Fyfe’s Borrow Mine (Cambs University Draghounds) (Miss L Marriott).
Also Mister Audi (4), Senso (5), Ballyea Boy (6), Chris’s Lad (f), Foodbroker Star (pu). Distances: three lengths, neck. 6m 24s. W £5.70. DF £37.80. SP 6-1 (Mister Audi 2-1 fav).
Race Four (Men’s Open Race):
1 Mrs M G Sheppard’s Fair Exchange (Cambridgeshire) (P Taiano),
2 Messrs Harrison, Burrows and King’s Wrekengale (Thurlow) (N King),
3 J Hatfield’s Still In Business (East Sussex) (A Ayers).
Also Royal Action (4), Weaver Choice (5), Glatsnock Lad (6). Distances: six lengths, three lengths. 6m 16s. W £1.80. DF £6.90. SP 2-5 fav.
Race Five (Restricted Open Race):
1 J M Turner’s Bruan (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
2 E Cantillon’s Holy Moses (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (Miss R Barrow),
3 M Kemp, Mr and Mrs J Ridge and Mrs P Hamilton’s Nowornever (D Kemp).
Also Glencoy (4), Josh’s Choice (5), Bakmalad (6), Marmalade Mountain (pu), Mossy Buck (ur), Uncle Buck (pu). Distances: head, five lengths. 6m 29s. W £7.20. DF £130.90. SP 4-1 (Josh’s Choice 5-2 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race, division one):
1 R Green’s Stick Or Bus (Suffolk) (R H Fowler),
2 Mrs J Tice’s Teeton Fizz (A Sansome),
3 Only two finished. Also Mista Ringa (pu). Distance: six lengths. 6m 45s. W £1.70. DF £2.00. SP 2-5 fav.
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race, division two):
1 Mrs J Tice’s Teeton Priceless (Pytchley) (A Sansome),
2 Mrs J Lewin’s Tell Monty (Aldenham Harriers) (N Bloom),
3 Lady Green and T Buxton’s Dream Weaver (Mid Surrey Draghounds) (G Cooper).
Also Pharout (4), Fair Storm (pu), Life of a Star (pu), Wicklow Chase (pu). Distances: two lengths, half a length. 6m 34s. W £2.50. DF £1.90. SP Evens fav.