Chris Lawson and Martin Ward, two trainers in red hot form, continued their recent winning sprees with triumphs at the West Norfolk Point-To-Point at Fakenham on Sunday.
Lawson, from Ashdon, near Linton, saddled Hatsnall, who took Newmarket-based Nick Pearce to the head of the East Anglian riders’ standings on the 10-winner mark by landing the Restricted Race.
Hatsnall has given his owners, a trio of schoolboy friends from Wickford in Essex, a great deal of fun since Lawson bought him for just £3,000 at the Ascot Sales last July. And he got his head in front for the second time this season when holding off the Lincolnshire raider, Dix Huit Cyborg, by three lengths.
Lawson went on to take the runner-up’s spot with Bel Ombre in the following race meaning that he has notched seven winners and two seconds from his last nine runners.
This record is almost matched by Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, who lifted the Open Maiden with the tearaway, Kaboobi. Ward’s last five runners have brought four wins and a second place – and that reverse was by a mere head.
Given a brilliant front-running ride by another Newmarker pilot, the fearless Harry Fowler, Kaboobi survived several scary moments, most notably when almost knuckling over on landing at the final fence, to beat Cadtauri by eight lengths.Ward, who bought Kaboobithrough and advert on the website ‘www.jumpingforfun.co.uk’, backed his charge at odds of 10-1 and admitted to having won enough to ‘keep the horse in polos for a day or two.’
Bel Ombre’s victory bid in the Men’s Open was denied by Power Glory, a first training winner in over nine years for Hertfordshire handler Bruce Dowling and an initial riding success of the season for Matt Smith.
Smith, who works as assistant trainer to Julia Fielden at Exning, near Newmarket, but lives at East Harling, dislocated his shoulder very badly in a fall at Baden-Baden in Germany last October and is indebted to surgeon Peter Hallam, of the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, for getting him back in the saddle.
A high quality Ladies’ Open race went to Va Vavoom, trained, owned and ridden by Fleur Hawes, from Bressingham, near Diss. Clearly none the worse for his tumble at the Canal Turn in the Foxhunters’ at Aintree two and a half weeks ago, Va Vavoom proved too strong for Resplendent Star and Tartar Sabre and may now head for a Hunter Chase at Stratford on May 26.
The other two races were won by a pair of veteran horses, Homme de Fer and Demasta, who have proved superb schoolmasters to their novice riders, George Greenock and Peter Johnson.
Homme de Fer will this morning be out in the paddock of Greenock’s mother, Countess Cathcart, at Gateley, just four miles from Fakenham, after carrying her son to a pillar-to-post score in the Hunt Race.
And Demasta, who at 16 is a year Homme de Fer’s senior, denied Greenock a double when beating Ain Tecbalet by three lengths under Johnson, from Hopton, near Diss, in the Confined Race.
Finally, a big vote of thanks is due to William Wales, who has been watering the course for ten days, 12 hours a day, to produce a superb racing surface.
Race One (WNNN Members Race):
1 Countess Cathcart’s Homme De Fer (West Norfolk) (G Greenock),
2 Mr and Mrs N Rivett’s Ardmayle (West Norfolk) (B Rivett),
3 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Wonder Weasel (West Norfolk) (S Vaughan-Jones).
Also: Thurning Lad (4), Here Comes Choosey (5), Ideal De L’ile (f). A distance, three lengths. 6.21. SP 4-5 fav.
Race Two (Confined Hunts Condition Race):
1 P Johnson’s Demasta (Cambridge University) (owner),
2 Countess Cathcart’s Ain Tecbalet (West Norfolk) (G Greenock),
3 Mr and Mrs J Ridge’s Bard of Drumcoo (Suffolk) (D Kemp).
Also: Kicasso (4), Classic Lash (pu), Punta Cana (pu), Who Cares Wins (f).
Three lengths, 15 lengths. 6.23. SP 4-1 (Who Cares Wins 4-5 fav).
Race Three (Restricted Race):
1 The Jigsaw Racing Partnership’s Hatsnall (Essex) (N Pearce),
2 R Lee’s Dix Huit Cyborg (Rockwood Harriers) (S Charlton),
3 Countess Cathcart’s Down The River (Dunston Harriers) (R Stearn).
Also: Ballynonty (4), Treble Trouble (5), Ballykilthy (6), Ballyowen (bd), Bosco’s Tune (pu), Found Drowned (pu), Lanicene (pu), Something’s Up (pu). Three lengths, 15 lengths. 6.17. SP 3-1 (Dix Huit Cyborg 9-4 fav).
Race Four (Men’s Open Race): 1 B Dowling’s Power Glory (Cambs University) (M Smith), 2 W Poulton’s Bel Ombre (Essex) (N Pearce), 3 Countess Cathcart’s Caveman (West Norfolk) (G Greenock). Also: Another Dude (4), Dunmanus Bay (5), Anatar (pu), Manoram (ro), Noblefir (pu), Nokimover (f), Sorkatcheguy (pu).
Five lengths, half a length. 6.16. SP 14-1 (Caveman 2-1 fav).
Race Five (Ladies Open Race): 1 Mrs F Hawes’ Va Vavoom (Dunston Harriers) (owner),
2 R Fryer’s Resplendent Star (Dunston Harriers) (Mrs J Gordon),
3 The Sporting Endeavour Partner’s Tartar Sabre (Waveney Harriers) (Miss M Graholska).
Also: Persian King (4), Sure Future (5), Make Haste Slowly (6), Full Irish (ro), Madmidge (pu), Rockley Beach (pu), Royal Action (pu), Village Copper (pu). Ten lengths, half a length. 6.17. SP 5-4 fav.
Race Six (Open Maiden Race):
1 Mr and Mrs R Coole and M Ward’s Kaboobi (Llangeinor) (RH Fowler),
2 R Abrey and S Webb’s Cadtauri (Suffolk) (R Stearn),
3 Executors of the late Mrs Edward Cantillon’s Kaddasan (Suffolk) (J Owen).
Also: Dromin (4), Essennbee (pu), Eva’s Edge (pu), Green Collar (pu), Mon Avis (ro), Run Doctor Run (pu), Unfair Dismissal (pu). Eight lengths, 10 lengths. 6.27. SP 8-1 (Kaddasan 1-2 fav).
Pony Race (Children’s Flat Race Division One 138cm and under):
1 Mr and Mrs D Mountford’s Barkway Songbird (Suffolk) (Polly Mountford),
2 A Dixon’s Knapaton Windrush (East Essex) (Edward Twinn),
3 Mrs J Andrews’ Artic Annie (Cambs with Enfield Chace).
Also: Gold Dawn Chorus (4), Windy, Rory, Firfield Starlight Lady.