GALLERY & REPORT: John Ferguson team claims double at High Easter point to point

High Easter point to point. Pictured is Caulkin ridden by D Kemp.

High Easter point to point. Pictured is Caulkin ridden by D Kemp. - Credit: Gregg Brown

High Easter racecourse played host to the one-off Horseheath Hunts Club fixture that was staged on Saturday to replace the unfortunately cancelled meetings at Horseheath this season.

The Thurlow, Puckeridge and Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunts combined forces to stage an exciting seven-race card dominated by local yards.

Trainer John Ferguson, from Cowlinge near Newmarket, may have been in Dubai attending to the day job of bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed, but his team were in fantastic form, registering two victories and a close second from three runners on the card.

They kicked off proceedings in the Hunts Club Members Race with a winner thanks to a canny front-running ride from John’s eldest son James on stable stalwart The Rodeo Clown.

Despite racing lazily in front, the nine year-old battled on well to narrowly hold off the late lunge of Johnstown Castle and Fourth In Line, both trained by Newmarket trainer Lauren Braithwaite.

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The Ferguson double came courtesy of a first career success for Irish-born jockey Billy Gleeson aboard the mare Dancing Dawn in the Novice Riders contest.

A family friend of the Fergusons from days spent hunting with the Scarteen Hunt in Ireland, Gleeson hails from Limerick and is in the UK working at the Ferguson yard.

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A treble for the Ferguson team with Now Then Charlie was denied by a head in the Mens Open due largely to a finely judged front-running ride by Richard Spencer, assistant to Newmarket trainer Michael Bell, aboard Irish Rebel.

Trained by Clare Hobson, near Royston in Hertfordshire, who also often rides most of her own runners, Irish Rebel excels on these galloping tracks, having won twice at Horseheath in the past.

Hobson chose not to ride Irish Rebel in the Ladies Open because of the presence of Sussex raider Little Legend, one of the stars of UK Point-to-Pointing.

The plucky ten year-old is well named as he is not very big but has a heart as big as a lion.

He adopted his usual front-running tactics under regular pilot and trainer Cynthia Haydon to repel his two opponents with relative ease recording his eleventh victory in Point-to-Points to add to his three wins in Hunter Chases.

Trainer-jockey David Kemp, from Thetford in Norfolk, was another to show off his judge of pace from the front as his Moroman ran out the most impressive winner of the day in the Intermediate Race.

Just four runners headed to post for the Restricted Race and the contest was further weakened when favourite Cool Klan was pulled up at halfway.

This left the path clear for American Eagle to win readily for the prolific duo of Timworth near Bury St Edmunds trainer Andrew Pennock and his regular jockey Ben Rivett.

This was Andrew Pennock’s tenth winner of the season and the eighth for Ben Rivett.

Another local winner rounded off the card as Banksandditches repelled his opponents in a bunch finish for the Open Maiden.

Several interesting new recruits from Ireland to local yards made their UK debuts in this race, but Sutton near Ely trainer Martin Ward and his regular jockey Dicky Collinson teamed up with the winner, who was breaking his maiden at the ninth attempt.

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