The re-arranged Suffolk Hunt Point-to-Point was run on perfect good going at Ampton on Sunday where a large crowd turned out in sunny but windy conditions to watch an excellent day’s racing at the fixture that was initially lost to the snow in mid-March.
The 2010/2011 National Ladies Champion Jockey Gina Andrews is trying to wrestle back her crown and despite Jacqui Coward building up a large lead in this year’s championship, a superb treble from Gina at Ampton moved her up into second place in the standings.
All three of Gina’s winners required her to be at her most powerful, including Ladies Open winner Logans Run. The long journey from Ettington near Stratford-On-Avon proved worthwhile for owner/trainer Susan Busby as, despite racing lazily, Logans Run responded to Gina’s urgings to hold off the strong-finishing Kells Castle to register a first success in point-to-points. Gina had never sat on Logans Run before but was booked by Susan Busby since Logans Run responds well to a strong jockey.
Runner-up Kells Castle is trained by John Ibbott from Chediston in Suffolk who may have been defeated by Gina in the Ladies Open, but then teamed up with her to win the final two races on the card. Filibuster won the Maiden at the Dunston Harriers fixture at Ampton in January and made it a perfect two out of two at the course this year with a battling success in the Restricted Race under a power-packed ride from Gina. The concluding Open Maiden was won rather more readily by Clonshire who, like Filibuster, was winning having performed with credit at High Easter last Saturday.
The feature Bonhams Mens Open was a qualifier for the Bonhams Mens Open Championship Final at Cheltenham on May 1st and attracted a top class field of nine. However they were all firmly put in their place by Oxfordshire raider Ravethebrave who ran out a facile winner for Aston Rowant owner/trainer Alan Hill and his son Joe Hill who continues to impress as one of the up-and-coming stars of the jockeys room. Ravethebrave has been competing in hunter chases this season and enjoyed the return to pointing company. This former Alan King trained nine year-old will now head to the series final at Cheltenham.
The day began with two very apt winners. First, Bavard Court was a very comfortable winner of the Hunt Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race for the Turner family at their home point-to-point under James Owen. While the second race saw a shock result as Corporate Account bounced back to form in the East Anglian Area Club Members Race for owner/trainer Simon Stearn who is also Clerk Of The Course at Ampton. Revitalised by blinkers, Corporate Account has failed to complete in any of his six point-to-point starts to date but travelled with relish under Rupert Stearn to provide just reward to Simon Stearn who had put so much work into providing perfect ground for this re-arranged fixture.
1st Bavard Court – James Owen 4/5f
2nd Law Court – Gina Andrews 7/2
3rd Native Bob – Ed Turner
Time 6mins 39 secs Dists: 15L,7L 5 ran
East Anglian Area Club Members
1st Corporate Account – Rupert Stearn 25/1
2nd Art Trend – James Owen 6/1
3rd Dancing Dawn – Alexander Ferguson Evs f
Time 6-34 Dists: 10L, 3/4L 6 ran
1st Logans Run Gina Andrews 4/5f
2nd Kells Castle Annie Bowles 6/1
3rd Renewed Challenge Clare Hobson 12/1
Time 6-38 Dists: 1L, 5L 6 ran
1st Ravethebrave Joe Hill 8/11f
2nd Court Red Handed Max Kendrick 7/2
3rd Sheriff Hutton Archie Wright 6/1
Time 6-34 Dists: 15L, 1/2L 9 ran
1st Filibuster Gina Andrews 6/4f
2nd Waluigi Ben Rivett 7/4
3rd Lady Ann Lewis Edward Twinn 8/1
Time 6-47 Dists: 1/2L, 4L 6 ran
1st Clonshire Gina Andrews 2/1
2nd Floreat James Owen 5/2
3rd American Eagle Ben Rivett 6/4f
Time 6-54 Dists: 8L, 1L 6 ran