Bury St Edmunds trainer Andrew Pennock and Ely-based jockey Dickie Collinson enjoyed a fantastic West Norfolk Point-To-Point at Fakenham on Sunday April 17th despite their most prolific horse of 2016, Galros Lady, suffering a first defeat in six starts.
Undaunted, Pennock and Collinson teamed up to register a treble, remarkably all with horses that had been beaten at High Easter just eight days earlier.
Yet for many the highlight of the day came in a race where the Pennock/Collinson combination was not involved – the opening PPORA Veteran And Novice Riders Race.
Susquehanna River pops over the last to get Patrick Bullard off the mark
This witnessed a first ever riding success for 20-year-old Patrick Bullard who, on only his fourth ride, made every yard of the running aboard Susquehanna River to beat the hot favourite, Done A Runner, by six lengths. The winner is trained near Newmarket by Nick Wright.
Bullard, from Higham, near Bury St Edmunds, now needs another 39 victories if he is to match the tally of his father, Sam, who also broke his duck at Fakenham back in the late 1970s.
The Pennock-Collinson bandwagon got rolling in the Club Members Race where The Admiral Benbow, who had recovered rapidly from a back problem that caused him to run a little flat the previous weekend, was five lengths too strong for Love Manhattan.
His back restored to full health, The Admiral Benbow sails over the final obstacle
They then doubled up when Counting Stars handled the soft ground with aplomb to dispose of Royal Benifet and Hill Of Gold in the Subaru-sponsored Restricted Race.
Counting Stars (centre, sheepskin noseband) in the thick of the action
And the trio was completed when Mister Serious finally got off the mark in the closing Open Maiden Race. Mister Serious was not winning out of turn – he had found just one too good in four of his previous five starts, including in this very race 12 months ago.
Mister Serious (sheepskin noseband) finally comes good
Hopes of a further victory for the partnership in the Mens Open were soon fading as Galros Lady was struggling from an early stage and eventually only just managed to hold on for second place, a distance behind Master Workman.
Master Workman is already in front and is about to pull clear
But that was no disgrace as Master Workman, yet another of the High Easter vanquished to put the record straight here, is a real Fakenham specialist. Trained near Thetford by David Kemp, his last six visits to the Norfolk venue –including in hunter chase company – have now gleaned three wins and two second places.
Unusually, the Ladies Open resulted in the slowest time of the day despite the three competitors carrying a stone less in weight than in any of the other races. Triumphant here was the Midlands raider, Bay To Go, ironically a former member of the Pennock string who was giving trainer Laura Horsfall the second success of her career.
The three Ladies Open runners land as one – Bay To Go is in the centre of shot
1st Race – PPORA Club Members Novice & Veteran
1st – Susquehanna River (P Bullard)
2nd – Done A Runner (J. Andrews)
3rd – Kilbeg Opera (B, James)
Distances: 2½L, 15L, Time: 6m 31s, 10 ran
2nd Race – PPORA Club Members Conditions
1st – The Admiral Benbow (R. Collinson)
2nd – Love Manhattan (T. Chatfield-Roberts)
3rd – Kriss William (E. Turner)
Distances: 5L, 10L, Time: 6m 24s, 8 ran
3rd Race – Restricted
1st – Counting Stars (R. Collinson)
2nd – Royal Benefit (D. Peters)
3rd – Hill of Gold (S. Davies-Thomas)
Distances: 5L, 5L, Time: 6m 26s, 8 ran
4th Race – Mens Open
1st – Master Workman (S. Davies-Thomas)
2nd – Galros Lady (R. Collinson)
3rd – Barney’s Honour (E. Lineham)
Distances: Dist., ½L, Time: 6m 31s, 5 ran
5th Race – Ladies Open
1st – Bay to Go (L. Wheeler)
2nd – Volcan Surprise (C. Williamson)
3rd – Caulkin (H. Whyte)
Distances: 7L, 3½L, Time: 6m 42s, 3 ran
6th Race – Open Maiden
1st – Mister Serious (R. Collinson)
2nd – Cresta One (T. Donworth)
3rd – Max O (D. Peters)
Distances: 6L, 8L, Time: 6m 41s, 8 ran