Kate Gowing enjoyed a never-to-be-forgotten moment at a gloriously sunny Suffolk Point-To-Point at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds yesterday (Sunday), notching her first ever riding victory aboard In The Gate in a division of the Maiden Race.
The 18-year-old Norwich High School For Girls student’s triumph was made even more memorable as she got the better of a tight finish with the National Champion Lady Rider, Gina Andrews, by a neck.
“Gina is my idol, I’ve learned so much from her,” a delighted Gowing, from Mulbarton, said afterwards. “It seemed like her and I were having a screaming competition all the way up the home straight in an attempt to make our mounts go faster!”
In The Gate (Kate Gowing) jumps in front of On The Tangle (Charlie Buckle)
In The Gate was also a first winner of the season for her owner-trainer, Caroline Fryer, from Wymondham.
Alex Ferguson, at 19 just a year Gowing’s senior, was another young jockey to make his mark with a first ever double aboard a pair of horses, Tommy O’Dwyer and Honourable Henry, trained at Badlingham, near Newmarket, by Nick Wright.
Tommy O’Dwyer did not win outright, dead-heating for the Subaru Restricted Race with The Admiral Benbow, who is trained within half a mile of Ampton Racecourse by Andrew Pennock.
Dead-heaters Tommy O’Dwyer (left) and The Admiral Benbow
That result was much thanks to the fitness of Ferguson, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket, as Tommy O’Dwyer needed pushing along from an early stage. And Honourable Henry was even harder work – off the bridle almost from the start, he only overhauled Mister Serious approaching the final fence and needed to be driven right out to score by half a length.
Honourable Henry half a length in front of Cresta One
Pennock had earlier sparked a training double when saddling Galros Lady to an easy victory – her fourth in succession – in the opening Club Members Race, under a stylish ride by Dickie Collinson, from Sutton, near Ely.
Galros Lady (right) and Ballyboker Boy
Berties Dream, trained in Newmarket by Lauren Braithwaite, maintained his unbeaten Ampton record with a two length defeat of The Rodeo Clown in the Ladies Open.
Berties Dream remains invincible at Ampton
And the Men’s equivalent went to Empire Builder, who responded to a vigorous ride from George Greenock, from Gateley, near Fakenham, to overcome some shoddy fencing and beat Carlanstown by a length and a half.
Empire Builder (left) alongside West Of The Road
The fastest time of a highly competitive afternoon’s racing was clocked by the only winner to hail from outside East Anglia, Rocky Island, in the Intermediate Race. Trained in the Midlands by Tom Messenger, he rewarded punters who backed him in from 6-1 to 2-1 with a narrow success.
Rocky Island jumps fluently ahead of Curraghbower
The meeting finished on a popular note as the course owner, Ben Turner, landed his first win of the season as Kriss William held off Floreat by three-quarters of a length in the Hunt Race.
Kriss William and Rupert Stearn
EA Area Club Members
1st Galros Lady Dicky Collinson 11/8f 2nd Ballyboker Boy Will Degnan 4/1 3rd The Master Remover Charlie Buckle 5/1 Time 6 mins 41 secs Dists: 2L, 1 1/2L 9 ran
1st Rocky Island Joe Wright 2/1 2nd Black Glen Boy Dicky Collinson 8/1 3rd Kilbeg Opera Ben James 20/1 Time 6 mins 29 secs Dists: 1L, 15L 7 ran Sea Current Ev’s f(PU) Original 2nd Kristian Gray was disqualified after the rider failed to draw the correct weight
1st Berties Dream Gina Andrews 4/9f 2nd The Rodeo Clown Camilla Cotton 5/1 3rd Sharp Suit Kelly Morgan 2/1 Time 6 mins 30 secs Dists: 2L, 4L 6 ran
1st Empire Builder George Greenock 4/9f 2nd Carlanstown Tim Donworth 8/1 3rd Volcan Surprise Archie Wright 3/1 Time 6 mins 37 secs Dists: 1 1/2L, 3L 8 ran
1st= Tommy O Dwyer Alex Ferguson 3/1 1st= The Admiral Benbow Jack Day 14/1 3rd Sin Bin Kate Gowing 16/1 Time 6 mins 32 secs Dists: Dd ht, 12L 9 ran Counting Stars 7/4f finished 4th but was disqualified, rider failed to weigh in
Open Maiden Div One
1st In The Gate Kate Gowing 4/1 2nd Multimedia Gina Andrews 2/1 3rd On The Tangle Charlie Buckle 5/1 Time 6 mins 41 secs Dists: Nk 10L 8 ran Kilcullenatmidnite 6/4f (PU)
Open Maiden Div Two
1st Honourable Henry Alex Ferguson 3/1 2nd Mister Serious Dicky Collinson 3/1 3rd Allforthelove Tim Donworth 14/1 Time 6 mins 40 secs Dists: 1/2L, 4L 8 ran Eliades Run 5/2f (PU)
1st Kriss William Rupert Stearn 4/9f 2nd Floreat Tim Donworth 6/4 Time 6 mins 40 secs Dists: 3/4L 4 ran, 2 finished