The darling of Horseheath, Mid Div And Creep, was back in the winners’ enclosure at the Thurlow Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday as she recorded an emotional eighth career victory at the Suffolk track. Despite becoming outpaced when market rival Double Mead bounded to the lead going out on to the final circuit, the thirteen year-old mare fought back tenaciously under a powerful drive from Gina Andrews to collar Double Mead up the final hill.
Despite breaking her wrist at the previous Horsheath meeting just a month ago, Gina Andrews was back race-riding on Saturday and she commented that this Ladies Open success was exactly the tonic she needed. Mid Div And Creep will return to Horseheath for the Puckeridge meeting on March 23rd, then head to Cheltenham for the May Hunter Chase fixture prior to being retired to the paddocks as a broodmare.
The in-form Nick Wright yard struck in the Mens Open with the tough and progressive seven year-old Bach To The Wall. The Badlingham based trainer paid tribute to the skilled ride from Dicky Collinson who manoeuvred his mount wide of the field on the second circuit which facilitated his jumping improving markedly compared to the first lap. Bach To The Wall continues his rise through the grades and was scoring in Open company for the first time on ground he very much enjoys.
Nick Wright’s close friend, fellow local trainer John Ferguson, registered his sixth pointing winner of the season in the opening Club Members Race with another exciting seven year old. Dreamy George followed up his two facile wins at Cottenham thus far this season with an effortless victory and looks likely to make up into an exciting stayer chaser under rules in time for the Cowlinge team. Hunter chasing is on the agenda first.
Orient Legend boasted fair less inspiring form figures in the PPORA Members Race having been pulled up in soft ground on both his starts this season, but transformed by the drying surface, he showed admirable battling qualities to make all under an aggressive Tom Ellis ride. His trainer Jenny Pidgeon from Towcester in Northamptonshire hailed her winner a “miracle horse” as she told the tale of how Orient Legend cheated death on several occasions after suffering a terrible bout of lymphangitis last year which required veterinary care for five months.
Fellow Towcester trainer Heather Kemp enjoyed a quick return on her husband Tony’s investment in Bay To Go who ran out a ready winner of the Restricted Race. Tony had purchased Bay To Go for Heather as a birthday present just ten days previously at the Brightwells Ascot Sales following the seven year old’s win in a Maiden at Ampton back in January for Timworth trainer Andrew Pennock. The third placed finisher Empire Builder was disqualified after his jockey Johnny Bailey forgot to weigh in.
Countess Cathcart, owner of the disqualified Empire Builder, did however gain immediate compensation in the following Open Maiden. A finely judged ride from Sam Davies-Thomas aboard the Countess’s Mr Madeit reaped rewards as the Gerald Bailey trained runner made it three winners for Northamptonshire trainers on the card. Mr Madeit was still at the rear of the field just five fences from home, but scythed through the pack to win in good style.
Proceedings came to a close with fast-run Novice Riders’ Race. Despite being part of the leading pack throughout, New Alco stayed on powerfully up the final hill for an impressive victory under Max Kendrick for Assington near Sudbury trainer Tory Hayter. New Alco relishes good ground and will likely prove a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.
Official Going : Good , Good to Firm in the finishing straight.
Horseheath Hunts Club Members
1 DREAMY GEORGE James Owen 1/8f
2 Oppera Richard Collinson
3 Ya I Know Edward Twinn
Time 6 mins 46 secs Dists: 3L, 1/2L 3 ran
1 ORIENT LEGEND Tom Ellis 14/1
2 – Milled Ben Rivett
3 – Fourth In Line Andrew Braithwaite
Time 6-17 Dists: Neck , 3L 12 ran Robin De Sherwood 5/2f ( 8th )
1 MID DIV AND CREEP Gina Andrews 11/8
2 – Double Mead Alex Dunn 6/4f
3 – Ide No Idea Bridget Andrews
Time 6-10 Dists: 6L, 3L 6 ran
1 BACH TO THE WALL Richard Collinson 4/1
2 Pocket Park Andrew Barlow
3 – Maranach Ben Rivett
Time 6-16 Dists: 1L, 4L 10 ran Macklin 5/4f ( RO )
1 BAY TO GO Claire Hart 9/4
2 – Master Workman David Kemp
3 – Rock Alliance Jack Bloom ( Finished 4th promoted )
No Time Dists: 8L, 2L 7 ran Empire Builder 2/1f ( Finished 3rd . Jockey failed to
weigh in. Disqualified )
1 MR MADEIT Sam Davies-Thomas 4/1
2 – Duffryrover David Kemp
3 Academy General Jamie Goss
Time 6-20 Dists: 2L, 1L 15 ran Patrick Potts 3/1f ( 7th )
PPORA NOVICE RIDERS
1 NEW ALCO Max Kendrick 11/10f
2 – Bai Zhu Alexander Ferguson
3 – Casson John Morrey
Time 6-15 Dists: 10L, 1 ½ L 9 ran