Andrew Pennock, from Timworth near Bury St Edmunds, followed up his Ampton double of a fortnight earlier with a treble, teaming up with three different jockeys, at the Waveney Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham on Sunday.
But the day was not all plain sailing for Pennock, as one of his charges, Black Glen Boy, was favourite for the PPORA Club Members Race only to crash out at the penultimate fence, while another member of his yard, Scorpion Star, was strongly fancied for a Restricted Race in which he took a heavy fall at the final obstacle, leaving the way clear for his stablemate, Torran Na Dtonn, to land the prize.
Indeed, Torran Na Dtonn may have contributed to Scorpion Star’s tumble, as the pair were neck-and-neck when the winner conjured an incredible final leap, possibly distracting his rival.
Ruth Pennock, Andrew’s wife, said afterwards: “Torran Na Dtonn is my baby at home, I ride him all the time despite him being 17 hands tall, so I was really rooting for him, but I’m relieved to know that Scorpion Star is alright after his fall.”
“I was not in favour of running them against each other, but since they have different owners and are both Restricted horses suited by today’s conditions Andrew convinced me that it was the right thing to do.”
The closest finish of the afternoon saw Mahlers Spirit, ridden for the Pennocks by the Welshman, Evan David, edge home a length in front of the hot favourite, Le Fou Royal, in the Maiden Race.
And the treble was sparked by Abbey Lane, who had clearly recovered quickly from a hard fought win at Ampton and proved much too strong for his six opponents in the opening Veteran & Novice Riders Waveney Hunt Race.
Abbey Lane was a second career triumph between the flags for 22-year-old Ben James, pupil assistant to the Derby-winning flat trainer, Michael Bell. James was resigned to the drudgery of spending the day cleaning his newly-purchased house in Newmarket when he received a phone call from Pennock at 8a.m yesterday morning offering him the ride.
Torran Na Dtonn was expertly ridden by Shane Roche and was the second leg of a double after he had given Mr Raj a perfectly-judged waiting ride to land the PPORA Race.
Trainer Tom Gallagher, from Boreham Wood in Hertfordshire, was concerned about Mr Raj’s fitness beforehand, so instructed Roche to ease his mount gently into the race – instructions that were carried out to the letter as Black Glen Boy and Mr Bricolage set a cutthroat pace.
Organisers did well to get the course fit for racing following unforecast low overnight temperatures. Two fences on each circuit could not be jumped because of frost, while the firm ground meant just six runners turned out for the two Open races.
The first of these, the Mens Open, saw the Warwickshire raider, Green Bank, land a bloodless success over the only other finisher, Good Order.
And the Ladies equivalent found a most deserving winner in the 13-year-old, Start Royal, who was notching a remarkable 25th career victory, all gained under the skilled tutelage of the Oxfordshire trainer, Alan Hill.
GOING: FIRM ( GOOD to FIRM in places )
(In all races four fences omitted, in total, due to frost)
Hunt Members’ (Veteran & Novice riders )
1- ABBEY LANEBen James 1/3 fav
2- Drumshambo Hector Barr 10/1
3- Carlanstown Phil York 6/1
Caulkin finished 2nd but was disqualified
for losing weight cloth.
Time 5 mins 44 secs Dists: 10L : ½L 7 ran
PPORA Club Members
1- Mr RAJ Shane Roche 6/4
2- Mister Brocolage Archie Wright 5/1
3- Coral Point Carey Williamson 6/1
Black Glen Boy 5/4fav (fell)
Time5-51 Dists: 1 ½L, 15L 6 ran
1- GREEN BANK Hugh Nugent 4/7 fav
2- Good Order Ed Turner 6/1
Only two finished.
Time 5-54 Dists: Distance 3 ran
1- START ROYAL Izzie Marshall 1/4 fav
2- Quinsman Louise Allan 3/1
3- Flash Tommie Ruby Knights 8/1
Time 5-39 Dists: Distance, Distance 3 ran
1- MAHLERS SPIRIT Evan David 3/1
2- Le Fou Royal Archie Wright 5/4 fav
3- Intercooler Turbo Phil York 10/1
Time 5-48 Dists: 1L, 20L 9 ran
1- TORRAN NA DTONNShane Roche 7/4
2- Mere Detail Charlie Marshall4/1
3- Katnapping Hugh Nugent 40/1
Scorpion Star 11/10fav (fell)
Time 5-46 Dists: 8L, 15L 7 ran