Frosty Run, a horse who was bought by mistake for just £1,050, caused the biggest shock of the East Anglian point-to-point season so far when defying odds of 20-1 to run out the easy winner of the Ladies’ Open at the Puckeridge meeting at Horseheath on Saturday.
Ridden by 22-year-old Emma Bell, who was enjoying her second success in the saddle almost six years after the first, Frosty Run broke clear of a decent field with five fences to jump and was unchallenged thereafter, coming home ten lengths clear of Madge Carroll.
Trainer Mike Burman, from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, admitted afterwards that he went to Doncaster Sales last May to buy the horse that was following Frosty Run into the ring. But when his erroneous opening bid on the Commanche Run gelding proved successful, he was too embarrassed to admit his blunder.
The following Men’s Open went to Rydal Park, who must now be considered one of the top pointers in the whole of East Anglia following just four career starts over fences.
His only defeat during that period came in a hotly-contested Hunter Chase at Leicester and this two length defeat of The Hookie Bookie, who has won four races already this season, came despite Rydal Park running green and hanging in the home straight.
In truth, he might not have won but for outjumping his closest rival at each of the last five fences. Winning trainer-rider David Kemp, from Kilverstone, near Thetford, had two other second places during the afternoon to clinch the award for top jockey at Horseheath during 2008.
Another local trainer-rider, Alex Embiricos, from Bradfield St Clare near Bury St Edmunds, reached the notable landmark of 50 winners between the flags when guiding Jilted Lover to a second course success in the Intermediate Race.
Brought with what is becoming a trademark late burst, Jilted Lover came through to deny Kemp, aboard Halcyon Times, by ten lengths.
Briar’s Mist, who won on his first start of this campaign at Marks Tey only last Monday, is making up for lost time as he completed a quickfire double by taking the Hunt Club Members under Georgina Andrews, 16-year-old daughter of winning trainer Simon Andrews, from Lilley, near Luton.
The giant Mountain Of Dreams gave his Surrey-based handler, Steven Cargill, a moment to remember when getting the better of the Kemp-partnered Jerry ‘n See More by half a length in a thrilling finish to the Maiden Race. Cargill is a racecourse photographer, numbering Newmarket among the venues he works for, but this was his first winner as a trainer.
Finally, the Horseheath season drew to a close when Sweet Citizen, who was making his first start for almost two years, ran out the comfy winner of the Restricted Race for West Midlands trainer Diana Williams and her rider-daughter, Jane.