Ide No Idea avenged his recent Essex Grand National defeat by The Rodeo Clown to win arguably the race of the season at the Essex Point-To-Point in front of a huge High Easter crowd on Saturday.
Trained at Wymondham by Caroline Fryer and brilliantly ridden by another resident of that Norfolk town, Rupert Stearn, Ide No Idea made most of the running in the Countryside Alliance Club Members Race over a marathon three and three-quarter miles.
But he looked beaten approaching the penultimate fence as Bally Wall had gone by him and built up a one length lead while the patiently-ridden The Rodeo Clown was just behind, closing remorselessly.
However, a blunder by Bally Wall coupled with a superb leap from Ide No Idea saw the complexion of the race change in an instant. And, with The Rodeo Clown possibly just feeling the effects of competing for the fifth consecutive weekend, Ide No Idea got the better of an epic duel with Bally Wall by half a length with his old adversary a further neck adrift in third.
“You need to jump in this game, and by god, does this horse jump,” an elated Fryer said afterwards while Stearn added: “Ide No Idea kept on pulling out a bit extra for me – he would stay six miles, let alone three and three quarters.”
Nick and Archie Wright, from Badlingham, near Newmarket, the father and son trainer-rider combination responsible for Bally Wall, gained compensation later in the afternoon when The Booshy Man landed the Intermediate Race.
But Archie was contrite afterwards as his premature standing-up-in-his-irons victory salute almost cost victory as Fourth In Line finished fast to get within a head of The Booshy Man passing the winning post.
“The Booshy Man is a brute of a horse and I ran him in this Connolly’s Red Mills Qualifier rather than the Restricted Race because I would like to have a go at the hunter chase Final at Cheltenham [on April 30th],” Nick Wright revealed.
Gina Andrews leapfrogged her younger sister, Bridget, to move to the head of the National Lady Riders Championship standings on nine winners with a double in the first two races on the card.
First recent Irish import Thetalkinsover gave Abridge owner-trained Nigel Padfield a fourth successive win in the Hunt Race, then Cooleys Flyer made every yard of the running and held off Wila by a neck in the Restricted Race.
Cooleys Flyer is trained, like the third-placed Knockmanagh, by Gina’s father, Simon, and the victorious pilot exclaimed afterwards: “That is a complete shock. We expected Knockmanagh to win but my fellow likes this faster ground and going out in front suits him as he doesn’t like being crowded.”
Jacqueline Coward, the reigning National Lady Riders Champion, made the long journey down from her Yorkshire base for two rides. And she vividly demonstrated her talent in delivering On Holiday with a perfectly-timed challenge to lift the feature race, the Baileys Warwick Vase Ladies Open.
Finally, Max Kendrick, a former pupil of nearby Felsted School who now works for the Oxfordshire trainer, Sarah Case, guided Freddy Fox to a one length defeat of Longitude in the Maiden Race.
GOING: GOOD / GOOD to FIRM in places
Essex with Easton Harriers & E.A. Bloodhounds Hunts Members
1st THETALKINSOVER ( GINA ANDREWS ) 10/11 Jt Fav
2nd Captain Marshall (Nicky Cook)
Only two finished
Time: 6 mins 38 secs Distances: Distance 3 ran (Definite Dawn 10/11 JtFav PU)
1st COOLEYS FLYER ( GINA ANDREWS ) 4/1
2nd Wila ( Ben Rivett )
3rd Knockmanagh ( Bridget Andrews ))
Time: 6-20 Dists: Neck, 5L 10 ran (Banksandditches 11/4 Fav, 4th )
Countryside Alliance Club Members ( 3m 6F )
1st IDE NO IDEA ( RUPERT STEARN ) 5/1
2nd Bally Wall ( Archie Wright )
3rd The Rodeo Clown ( James Ferguson ) 2/1 Fav
Time: 7-30 Dists: Half, Neck 8 ran
Ladies Open ( Warwick Vase )
1st ON HOLIDAY ( JACQUELINE COWARD ) 7/4
2nd Volcan Surprise ( Bridget Andrews ) 5/4 Fav
3rd King Du Berlais ( Charlotte Ingleton )
Time: 6-23 Dists:1L, 7L 7 ran
1st THE BOOSHY MAN ( Archie Wright ) 5/1
2nd Fourth In Line ( Bridget Andrews )
3rd DesertmoreValley ( Rupert Stearn )
Time: 6-26 Dists: Head, Head 10 ran (Mizen Mix 7/4 Fav PU )
1st FREDDY FOX ( MAX KENDRICK ) EVENS FAV
2nd Longitude ( Ed Kendall )
3rd Floreat ( Rupert Stearn )
Time: 6-24 Dists: 1L, 10L 10 ran