Emsee-H was the toast of Horseheath on Saturday as the veteran pointer, running for the 87th time in his jumping career, took his tally of wins to 15 (to match his age) with success in the Greig Middleton Ladies’ Open Race.
Expertly ridden by Zoe Turner, who also trains the son of Paddy’s Stream with the help of her family at Ampton Hall, near Bury St Edmunds, Emsee-H went clear early on the final circuit and held on well to beat Newtown Rosie by two and a half lengths.
It was an up and down day for the Turners, although the pleasure they derived from this win clearly outweighed their other disappointments. They brought five horses to the course, including their stable star, Spring Gale, whom they decided not to run in fear of giving him a second hard race on soft ground in successive weeks.
Apart from Emsee-H, the remaining trio all performed poorly, although one of them, Cill Churnain, may have unwittingly contributed to his success. Having caused one false start, Cill Churnain refused to jump off as the race finally got under way, prompting a very ragged start in which one of Emsee-H’s main rivals, Uron V, who eventually finished strongly to take fourth, was one of the worst sufferers.
Emsee-H was fortunate in another respect, as the odds-on favourite, Cache Fleur, pulled up lame, but noone could begrudge the old boy his victory.
The Men’s Open race attracted only four runners, but made up for in quality what it lacked in quantity, as Hatcham Boy survived a calamitous blunder at the second last fence to beat Teeton Builds and the hot favourite, Ruperts Choice.
Trained at Glemsford, near Sudbury, by Ruth Hayter for owners Anthony and Sue Howland Jackson, and ridden by Christian Ward Thomas, Hatcham Boy’s jumping was, the one error apart, very sure-footed. He has clearly benefited from a week-long course with the Lambourn-based jumping guru, Yogi Breisner.
The following race, the Restricted, was much better populated, with 19 runners, and produced a thrilling finish.
The Surrey rider, Lillooet, looked reluctant throughout. But she was cajoled into action by a never-say-die ride from Chris Gordon and eventually failed by just a head to peg back Royal Banker.
Royal Banker is trained at Eye in Suffolk by Andrew and Jean Merriam and was ridden by Wymondham’s Nigel Bloom. Mrs Merriam was quick to deflect praise onto both her equine physiotherapist, Jackie Harrison, and her pony, Flash, who helped keep Royal Banker calm on the way to the course after he had got stewed up on his previous visit to the races.
Caroline Bailey, the champion point-to-point trainer from Northamptonshire, had suffered the disappointment of seeing her best horse, Castle Mane, beaten at Newbury the previous day. But, as always, she kept smiling and was rewarded with three winners and a second place.
The Bailey bonanza began with the debutant Claret And Blue in the first division of the Maiden, and this is clearly one for the future as he was very green and will surely improve out of all recognition.
Next came Noughtosixty, who still just held the call in front of the error- prone favourite, Fair Exchange, when his rival crashed out at the second last, leaving him to coast home in the Intermediate race.
Finally, Tom de Savoie, who is owned by William Barber, from Sedgeford, near Hunstanton, scored a bloodless success under William Wales in the Confined Race.
The second Maiden also went to a visitor from outside East Anglia as Kent Police Constable Paul Blagg partnered Kenny Davis to an easy victory in front of the Bailey-trained Nelsun.
Race One (Maiden Race, Division One):
1 G Bailey’s Claret and Blue (Pytchley) (B Pollock),
2 P Bull’s Just The Business (Ashford Valley) (owner),
3 P Rackham’s Ginger Pudding (West Norfolk) (W Wales).
Also: About Time (4), Cardinal Bud (ur), Chadwick Bank (f), County Derby (pu), Fortune Hunter (ur), Life Of A Star (pu), Minino (f), Sayonara (ur), The Last Shout (pu). Five lengths, three lengths. 6m 56s. W œ3.50. DF œ58.40. SP 4-1 (Chadwick Bank 7-2fav).
Race Two (Maiden Race Division Two):
1 Miss M Askew’s Kenny Davis (Stevenstone) (P Blagg),
2 Mrs F McFarlane’s Nelsun (Pytchley) (B Pollock),
3 P Millington’s Mandalay Man (Fernie) (R Armson).
Also: Hagon Beck (4), David Bruce (5), Ali’s Lark (pu), Always Trying (pu), Cicero’s Law (pu), Colemore Green (pu), Josh’s Choice (pu), Mighty Monarch (pu), Rag Bolt (pu). A distance, half a length. 6m 55s. W œ9. DF œ11. SP 3-1 (Nelsun 2-1fav).
Race Three (Intermediate Race):
1 Mrs M Reynolds’ Noughtosixty (Pytchley) (B Pollock),
2 Ms C Cunningham’s Nibble (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (G Cooper),
3 J Braithwaite’s Borrow Mine (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite).
Also: Bakmalad (4), Fair Exchange (ur), Generous Deal (pu), Moon Rising (pu), Regency Cottage (pu). 15 lengths, 20 lengths. 6m 51s. W œ3.30. DF 5-2 (Fair Exchange 4-9fav).
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 J Turner’s Emsee-H (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
2 Mrs M Prince’s Newtown Rosie (East Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Mrs S Hickman),
3 Mrs D Grissell’s Andrelot (East Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Miss C Grissell).
Also: Uron V (4), Let’s Twist Again (5), Black Book (6), Dance On Sixpence (7), Ballyedward (8), Cache Fleur (pu), Cill Churnain (ref to start). 2« lengths, 3 lengths. 6m 51s W œ10.40. DF œ130.20. SP 14-1 (Cache Fleur 2-5fav).
Race Five (Men’s Open Race):
1 A Howland Jackson’s Hatcham Boy (Essex and
Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas),
2 Mrs J Tice’s Teeton Builds (Pytchley) (A Sansome),
3 H Hill’s Rupert’s Choice (Puckeridge) (S Sporborg).
Also: Veryvel (pu). 15 lengths, 10 lengths. 6m 47s. W 3.60. DF œ12.30. SP 5-2. (Rupert’s Choice 1-2fav).
Race Six (Restricted Race):
1 A Merriam’s Royal Banker (Easton Harriers) (N Bloom),
2 R Fielder’s Lillooet (Chiddingfold) (C Gordon),
3 D Page’s Ishma (Ashford Valley) (owner).
Also: Holiday Time (4), White Smoke (5), Beau Joueur (pu), Calipo Bello (pu), Coolest By Phar (pu), Coptic Dancer (pu), Full Bore (pu), Granite’s Surprise (pu), Here Comes Trouble (pu), Joyful Hero (pu), Mackoy (pu), Skinsey Finnegan (pu), Therewerearethen (pu), Wise Point (pu), Top Of The Range (ur), Warner For Sport (pu). Head, 10 lengths. 6m 56s. W œ2.30. DF œ30.80. SP 2-1fav.
Race Seven (Confined Hunt’s Race):
1 W Barber’s Tom De Savoie (West Norfolk) (W Wales),
2 D Barnard’s Peanuts Pet (Essex) (Miss H Barnard).
Also: Chris’ Lad (pu), Damier Blanc (r/o), Dynamite Dan (pu), Mister Main Man (ur), Prince Of Saints (pu). A distance. 6m 58s. W œ1.40. DF œ5.40.1-2fav.