Extensive watering during the week provided safe ground for the Puckeridge Hunt Point-to-Point at Horseheath on Saturday where local trainer Nick Wright recorded a second double of the season and young jockey Max Kendrick enjoyed a first winner in the saddle.
Another local trainer in form is Andrew Pennock from Timworth near Bury St Edmunds who has enjoyed a double on each of the preceding two weekends and his Castleconner Lad continued the purple patch as he fought back tenaciously on the run-in to pass the idling Saddlers Melody in the opening three runner Club Members Race. This success brings Pennock’s tally to seven winners for the season, all of which have been ridden by Ben Rivett.
On the day that Godolphin saddled the first two home in the Dubai World Cup, one of their Newmarket-based farriers Rob Keyes was at Horseheath to watch his horse Thehookybooky win the six runner Open Maiden. Left clear three out when favourite Flo The Machineunseated Clare Hobson, Keyes capped Thehookybooky’s victory by proposing to his girlfriend Hetty Stearn, daughter of winning trainer Simon Stearn and brother to winning jockey Rupert Stearn, in the horsebox park afterwards!
The latest qualifier in the Aga Ladies Open series attracted a closely-matched four horse field and less than two lengths covered the first three home at the finish. It was Maranach, owned by David Gibbon from Great Bentley, who followed up his success at Marks Tey six days earlier under a well-judged ride from Bridget Andrews. Maranach was transferred to the Wymondham yard of Caroline Fryer last summer and maintained his 100 per cent record this season by just half a length from the two Joe Turner runners Bavard Court and Leatherback.
The Turner representative in the following Mens Open was also narrowly denied as their Frankie Anson could never quite peg back the trailblazing New Alco who jumped and travelled with tremendous zest under his 16 year-old rider Max Kendrick. A graduate from the pony racing ranks, Kendrick was understandably thrilled to register his first success as a jockey in the colours of his mother Carolyn Kendrick who had acquired New Alco from trainer Ferdy Murphy halfway through this season. Murphy’s former assistant trainer Tory Hayter now trains New Alco at Kendrick’s yard in Assington near Sudbury.
The two concluding contests went the way of Badlingham-based Nick Wright with two up-and-coming horses recruited from Ireland with exciting futures ahead of them. It Was Me powered clear of his two rivals in the Intermediate Race to effortlessly score at Horseheath for the second time in succession and will now head to a Novice Hunter Chase. While Bach To The Wall proved himself none the worse for unseating his rider at Marks Tey last weekend and despite some novicey jumps again, he showed too much class for his two opponents in the final stages of the Restricted Race.
1st Castleconner Lad (B.Rivett) 11/10fav
2nd Saddlers Melody 5/4
3rd Where’s My Baby 4/1
3 Ran Dist: Neck, Dist Time: 6:15
1st Thehookybooky (R.Stearn) 4/1
2nd Free From Magee 25/1
3rd Mr Bed Bugs 2/1
(Flo The Machine 6/4fav – UR) 6 Ran Dist: 8L, 1L Time: 6:24
1st Maranach (B.Andrews) 5/4joint-fav
2nd Bavard Court 5/4joint-fav
4 Ran Dist: 1/2L, 1L Time: 6:27
1st New Alco (M.Kendrick) 5/4
2nd Frankie Anson 11/10fav
3rd Sorry Al 4/1
4 Ran Dist: 2L, Dist Time 6:10
1st It Was Me 1/4fav
2nd Broken Beau
3 Ran Dist: Dist Time: 6.18
1st Bach To The Wall 4/6fav
2nd Sud Nivernais
3rd Chapmans Peak
3 Ran Dist: 4L, Dist Time: 6.34
128cm & under
1st Linksbury Lemonade (Benoit De La Sayette)
2nd Bureside Autumn Gold
3rd Glebedale Stopwatch
6 Ran Dist: Head, Neck
148cm & under
1st Doppio Moviemento (Jack Andrews)
2nd Little Pea
9 Ran Dist: 6L, 11/2L