The sun shone brightly on a large crowd of Point-To-Point fans that assembled for the Suffolk meeting at Ampton on Sunday, most brightly of all on the Ingleton family following the Ladies Open Race victory of King du Berlais.
This was a thrilling triumph as King du Berlais was still some distance behind the two leaders, See You Jack and Citizens Arrest, turning into the home straight but finished with a flourish to edge that pair out by a neck and half a length.
More pointedly, it was a first success in the saddle for 16-year-old Lottie Ingleton and came on a horse owned and trained by her parents, Topsy and Nigel, who hail from Harkstead, near Ipswich.
The proud parents reacted differently, Topsy screaming her daughter home – “I’ve nearly lost my voice and I am still hyperventilating,” she admitted afterwards – while her husband kept completely silent. “I was so excited I simply couldn’t speak,” he revealed.
The victory was particularly pleasing for Lottie as it came at a venue which is just a couple of miles away from her school, Culford, with lots of her friends watching on.
King du Berlais knows his way around Ampton extremely well as he used to be trained there by the Turner family. The course’s landlords, who were among the first to congratulate the Ingletons, had their own moment of glory an hour earlier when Frankie Anson landed the Members Race to give Ed Turner his first win of the season.
The Mens Open victory of King’s Legacy was the fourth of the weekend for Oxfordshire trainer Alan Hill, who is looking forward to saddling one of the favourites, Harbour Court, in Friday’s CGA Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham.
Another yard to receive a pre-Cheltenham boost was that of Lauren Braithwaite, who trains in Newmarket and is responsible for another Foxhunter hopeful, Bertie’s Dream.
She was on a racecourse for the first time since giving birth to triplet boys five weeks earlier to welcome Free Run into the winner’s enclosure following a hard-fought one length defeat of the Hill-trained Done A Runner in the Restricted Race.
Wymondham’s Caroline Fryer was in a state of shock after Teeiygee, who is trained by her mother, Sandra, and had shown next to nothing in three previous Pointing starts, beat off the persistent challenge of Bubbles Classic in the Open Maiden.
“I really was giving up on him, this was going to be his last chance,” Fryer said. “The application of a visor and this faster ground seem to have made a big difference.”
Teeiygee was led up by 16-year-old Kate Gowing, from Mulbarton, near Norwich, and the plan now is for her to race ride on the horse, who is owned by her grandmother, Margaret Gourley, and is named after the initials of her late grandfather.
The Club Members Race saw a second victory of the season for Gateley, near Fakenham, rider George Greenock, as Empire Builder battled back gamely when momentarily headed by Filibuster and eventually prevailed by five lengths.
GOING: GOOD (GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES)
Suffolk Hunt Race
1st Frankie Anson (Ed Turner) 2/5f
2nd Corporate Account (Rupert Stearn)
3rd Midnight Gamble (Richard Collinson)
Time 6 mins 50 secs Dists: 10L, 15L 3 ran
EA Area Conditions Race
1st Empire Builder (George Greenock) 3/1
2nd Filibuster (Gina Andrews)
3rd Dancing Dawn (Hugo Thompson-Brown)
Time 6-26 Dists: 5L, 8L 9 ran Marescou 6/4f (4th)
Ladies Open Race
1st King du Berlais (Lottie Ingleton) 14/1
2nd See You Jack (Gina Andrews)
3rd Citizens Arrest (Bridget Andrews)
Time 6-27 Dists: Nk, 1/2L 8 ran Quinsman 4/5f (UR)
Mens Open Race
1st Kings Legacy (Joe Hill ) 1/2f
2nd Milled (Ben Rivett)
3rd The Rodeo Clown (James Ferguson)
Time 6-29 Dists: 12L, 8L 6 ran
1st Free Run (Dale Peters) 9/1
2nd Done A Runner (Joe Hill)
3rd Clonshire (Gina Andrews)
Time 6-31 Dists:1L, Dist 6 ran Mizen Mix 1/2f (UR)
Open Maiden Race
1st Teeiygee (Tom Kindleyside) 10/1
2nd Bubbles Classic (Gina Andrews) 7/4f
3rd Tetralogy (Bridget Andrews)
Time 6-29* Dists: 1 1/2L, 15L 8 ran
*5 jumps omitted, 3 for low sun, 2 for an injured horse.