Downham Market butcher Jeff Sargeant celebrated his first ever victory as an owner whenBallyowen, trained at Runcton Holme by Fred Farrow and brilliantly ridden by Alex Vaughan-Jones, from Wells-next-the-Sea, took the Restricted Race at the Thurlow Point-To-Point at Horseheath on Saturday.
After pinching a three length lead at the start, Ballyowen jumped with great zest and accuracy in front and, having briefly been threatened by the favourite, Alliance Main, at the third last, pulled clear to score by five lengths.
The nine-year-old has been prone to bursting blood vessels in the past but Farrow appears to have cured that problem by getting him to live outdoors and, with the fast ground he loves likely to become more prevalent in the coming weeks, he could be a horse to follow for the rest of the season.
Ballyowen was returned at the juicy odds of 8-1 but provided the only respite for the bookies as all the other six races went to the market leaders.
Mid Div And Creep gave another owner, this time Tony and Karen Exall, from Hatfield Heath, the thrill of a first win when comfortably justifying odds-on favouritism in the Mares Maiden. Trained at North Weald by Perry Harding-Jones, Mid Div And Creep was well handled by national champion jockey James Tudor.
Both Ballyowen and Mid Div And Creep were set to be partnered by the unfortunate Matthew Mackley, who is yet to recover from a shoulder injury sustained at Cottenham on February 10 and who also missed a winner at Marks Tey the previous weekend.
Trainer-rider David Kemp, from Kilverstone, near Thetford, has hit a rich vein of form of late and he made it five wins from the last five East Anglian meetings when Where’s My Baby saw off the challenge of Suir Castle to land the Maiden.
Second on both his previous 2008 starts, this was a deserved triumph for Where’s My Baby,who is owned by John Ridge, from Little Chishill, near Royston.
Bob Ar Aghaidh won the Club Members Race at the previous Horseheath fixture three weeks earlier and, despite the welter burden of 12 stone 10 pounds, repeated the dose for Bishop’s Stortford trainer Michelle Harvey and rider Andrew Braithwaite.Stuart Morris, one of the nation’s top amateur jockeys, showed off all his skills when completing a double on Northall Lad and Teeton Dazzler.
Northall Lad sat last of the four for much of the journey in the Men’s Open and, delivered to lead approaching the last, barely broke sweat in beating Tanager by two lengths.
Teeton Dazzler had to work a bit harder to score by the same margin in the Intermediate Race, but Morris stressed afterwards that his mount was still ‘as green as grass and won with any amount in hand.’Winapenny, trained at Ampton near Bury St Edmunds by Joe Turner, showed improved form to chase Teeton Dazzler home and Turner had to settle for second again in the Ladies’ Open when Full Irish, ridden by his granddaughter, Zoe, found one too good in the shape of the Leicestershire raider, Free.
Race One (Club Members’ Race):
1 A Harvey’s Bob Ar Aghaidh (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite),
2 J Morrey’s Mr Naborro (Thurlow) (Owner),
3 C Sporborg’s Lighningconductor (Puckeridge), (R Stearn).
Also: Kicasso (4), Good Vintage (5), Hawaiian Son (pu). Ten lengths, head. 6.14. SP 1-2 fav.
Race Two (Maiden Mares Race):
1 Mrs K Exall’s Mid Div and Creep (Puckeridge) (J Tudor),
2 Mrs L Redman’s and Mrs R Herrington’s Solana (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (T Ellis),
3 P Millington’s Who Let The Fox Out (Fernie) (Owner).
Also: Bredon Hill (pu), Craughwell Suas (pu), Sealed Orders (pu), The Washerwoman (f). Ten lengths, 20 lengths. 6.20. SP 4-5 fav.
Race Three (Intermediate Race):
1 Mrs J Tice’s Teeton Dazzler (Pytchley) (S Morris),
2 J M Turner’s Winnapenny (Suffolk), (J Owen),
3 Mr and Mrs A Keir’s Wood Colony (Farmers Bloodhounds) (T Ellis).
Also: Cyrium (4). Two lengths, distance. 6.30. SP 1-3 fav.
Race Four (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 Mrs S Hutchinson’s Free (Fernie) (Miss G Hutchinson),
J M Turner’s Full Irish (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
3 Mrs K Smith-Maxwell’s High Tec Man (Worcs) (Miss A Smith-Maxwell).
Also: Teeton Priceless (4), Wincy Spider (5), Thyne Man (6), Celtic Season (pu), Lord Euro (ur), Scotmail Too (ur). Two lengths, five lengths. 6.13. SP 7-4 fav.
Race Five (Men’s Open Race):
1 G and J Cook, J Johnston and J Harrison’s Northall Lad (Grafton) (S Morris),
2 P Fullagar, J Nash, R Owens and P Yacomin’s Tanager (Berks and Bucks Draghounds) (P York),
3 Mrs P King’s Dunmanus Bay (Suffolk) (J Bailey).
Also Cosmic Sky (4). Two lengths, two lengths. 6.18. SP evens fav.
Race Six (Restricted Race):
1 J Sargeant’s Ballyowen (West Norfolk Foxhounds) (A Vaughan-Jones),
2 Mrs S Wilson’s Artic Summer (Meynell And South Staffs) (M Harris),
3 J Johnston, J Harrison, S Miles and D Kinloch’s Alliance Man (Grafton) (J Tudor).
Also: Perfect Prefect (4), Esplendidos (5), Henry Henbut (pu), Lord Prunus (pu), Young Rocky (pu). Five lengths, two lengths. 6.17. SP 8-1 (Alliance Man 4-6 fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race):
1 Mr and Mrs J Ridge’s Where’s My Baby (Puckeridge) (D Kemp),
2 G Hartigan and G Tawell’s Suir Castle (Oakley) (D Keirnan),
3 Mrs L Gibbon’s Artic Sun (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (P York).
Also: Electric Times (4), Lord David (5), Frosty’s Cousin (pu), Like To Go (pu), Running Attraction (pu), Thurning Lad (ur). Two lengths, distance. 6.19. SP 4-7 fav.