Gallery & report: Point-to-point racing at Ampton
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Dickie Collinson, Andrew Pennock and James Owen dominated the Suffolk Point-To-Point at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, yesterday (Sunday).
Jockey Collinson, from Sutton, near Ely, enjoyed his first ever treble in conjunction with Pennock, who trains within sight of Ampton Racecourse at Timworth.
And Owen, the many-times East Anglian Champion Jockey who retired from the saddle some 18 months ago and now has a yard at Exning, near Newmarket, notched his inaugural training double.
The Collinson/Pennock trio begun when Play The Ace made it three straight wins with a very easy success in the Club Members Race.
Play The Ace is the first horse owned by Susie Stevenson, from Little Henny near Sudbury and Julie Turner, from nearby Wickham St Pauls. And at the trophy presentation the pair admitted to being very nervous watchers – they spent most of the race hiding under each other’s coats.
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The triumphant trainer/jockey combination was the same in a very slowly-run Bonhams Men’s Open Race as Collinson brought the speedy King High with a perfectly-timed challenge down the outside up the final hill to prevail by a length and a half.
And the Collinson/Pennock treble was completed when the recent Irish import, Black Glen Boy, justified strong support in the betting market to get off the mark in the Open Maiden while carrying the colours of Robert Boyce, from Kentford, near Newmarket.
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At one stage on the final circuit of the Intermediate Race it looked like the Collinson/Pennock team might snaffle a fourth winner as their representative, Uber Alles, pulled clear of the rest of the field alongside the favourite, the Owen-trained Remarkable Man.
But, while Remarkable Man eventually got the better of their prolonged duel, he tired markedly in the closing stages and only had five lengths to spare from the fast-finishing Desertmore Valley at the line with an exhausted Uber Alles only third.
Remarkable Man is a remarkably tough and versatile horse as, just a week earlier, he had won on very soft ground at Horseheath whereas here the underfoot conditions were fast.
Owen’s other winner was Autumn Haze, who returned from a near two-year injury lay-off to give Wymondham-based jockey Rupert Stearn his first victory of the season in the Subaru Restricted Race.
The only scorer on the seven-race card to be trained outside East Anglia was Sharp Suit, trained in Oxfordshire by Alan Hill, who proved a length too strong for Volcan Surprise in the Ladies Open despite the runner-up producing a stupendous round of jumping.
Finally, the Turner family, upon whose land the racecourse is situated, celebrated their first win of the season when Frankie Anson, trained and ridden by Ed Turner, lifted the Hunt Race for the second consecutive year.