Thirlby team spring an upset at Ampton point-to-point with Arkose
- Credit: Archant
A shock 20-1 upset in the feature event, the £1,000 Timico Mixed Open, was the highlight of yesterday’s Dunston Harriers point-to-point at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, which survived a 10am inspection, frost, rain and mist to reward a crowd of hardy enthusiasts with some excellent racing, as 65 runners contested its seven steeplechases.
The Mixed Open surprise was down to the father and son partnership of trainer Tim Thirlby and his son William, from Grendon, in Warwickshire, and their doughty 13-year-old gelding, Arkose.
Given a fine ride by William, who is only four years older than his mount and was notching just the second triumph of his career, Arkose came home four lengths clear of Trafficker to lift this valuable prize.
Another young Warwickshire-based rider to shine through the Suffolk gloom was 18-year-old Alice Stevens, winner of the closing Novice Riders Race.
She took her lifetime tally to four when guiding another veteran, the course specialist Citizens Arrest, to a three length defeat of Bincombe.
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And a third win for horses hailing from that Midlands county came when Samarnni, trained near Rugby by Tom Ellis, registered a fourth consecutive victory in the Intermediate Race.
Strength in the saddle was a key here as Samarrni is a very hard puller.
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He had to be restrained at the rear of the field on the first circuit by Ellis’s wife, the two-time National Lady Riders Champion, Gina Andrews, before proving three lengths too strong for the persistent challenge of Danners in the closing stages.
The only East Anglian victories on a day of highly competitive sport were achieved by Andrew Pennock, who trains within view of Ampton Racecourse at Timworth.
Pennock started the day in a blaze of glory by landing each of the first two races in partnership with his new stable jockey, the Welshman, Evan David.
Firstly, Abbey Lane justified some chunky bets which saw him returned the odds-on favourite, when defeating Niki Royal by a length and a half in the Club Members Conditions Race.
Slightly more unexpectedly, Tailspin then left behind the form of his moderate Cottenham debut for Pennock when storming home 20 lengths ahead of his nearest pursuer in the first division of the Maiden.
Tailspin is owned by Julie Turner, from Wickham St Paul, near Sudbury, and her near-neighbour, Sue Stevenson, from Little Henny, and was recently purchased to replace their six-time winner, Play The Ace, as he is by the same sire, Scorpion.
Allie Beag shaped like a mare with a decent future when landing the other Maiden for a second father-son trainer-jockey combination, Alan and Joe Hill, from Oxfordshire, while the longest-distance winner of the day was Forrardon Xmoor, who held off the Hill representative, Pride Of Parrish, by just a neck to land the Subaru Restricted Race.