James Owen and Kelly Smith can see Ampton point to point course from their Dalmer Lodge Stables at Timworth and they had a day to remember there at the Suffolk Hunt meeting on Sunday. James rode a treble and Kelly had a double to get off the mark for the season.
Kelly was in tears after the Members when Tregastel, who she owns in partnership with her mother, recorded her first win of the season. James Owen gave him an enterprising ride to make all, which probably discouraged the odds on favourite Cosmic Sky, who was beaten fifteen lengths, in the fastest time of the day. Kelly had bought him at Ascot Sales with money left to her in the will by her Grandmother, Peggy Maskell, and he raced in colours that Peggy had chosen but never used herself.
James’ other two winners were both for Joe Turner, on whose land the meeting was held. Winapenny, who had run so well at Horseheath previously, got the Turners off the mark for the season in the confined with James taking it up two out from the front running Baron Bernard.
The Turners had bought their other winner, Thoutmosis, from Lenny Lungo after a successful career over hurdles, and he only made the one mistake when clocking Owen’s treble in the Men’s Open. First time cheek pieces may have helped but with McBarker taking a nasty fall at the third he only had to beat Quality First, which he did by a distance.
Amy Stennett was beaming after her win in the Ladies Open on Find Me Another. This was Amy’s first winner as a trainer and this horse was prepared at John Sharpe’s yard in Dullingham. Amy, who trains him for her mother Carolyn, grandmother Evelyn King and old family friend Cindy Aldridge, said that he appreciated the genuinely good ground and the first time cheek pieces were also an assistance. Amy’s own positive ride, where she got the better of Zoe Turner riding the odds on Full Irish, probably was the main reason.
There was a disappointing turn out for the Restricted. Only two went to post but it was close for a long way before Perfect Prefect, trained by Martin Ward, near Ely, pulled away after jumping quickly three out under Harry Fowler to win by fifteen lengths. Harry had been thrown off Perfect Prefect in the paddock beforehand and Martin commented afterwards that he always appears ready to do this when feeling really well. His daughter, Becky, could get the mount on him next time in a novice riders race.
Eight went to post for the Open Maiden and this was the most competitive race of the day. The well backed Onyx D’Ace gave Kelly Smith her double in the hands of Tim Lane who was mightly relieved to win and was given a celebratory sip of beer by the winning syndicate – The Can’t Take It With You Partnership - before dismounting. Kelly said afterwards that Onyx d’Ace had been bought at the same Ascot sale as Tregastel and he’ll now run in a restricted race over Easter.
Two pony races had preceeded the point to point with the under 128cm race going to Bureside Snickers William, ridden by eleven year old Kia O’Hara from near Ware and the under 138cm race going to Buster, ridden by thirteen year old Rohan Plumb from Wacton in Norfolk.