Young rider stakes claim in latest point-to-point contest
West Wratting’s William Humphrey placed at Sunday’s Cambridgeshire Harriers Hunt Club Point-to-Point meet, to foreshadow a good season for the 16-year-old.
He rode Local Show, for mother Sarah Humphrey, who both owns and trains the gelding, having won together at Barbury Castle earlier in December.
They had hoped to follow this up with success at Cottenham but had to contend with third-place in a tight finish.
The yard also ran the rather inconsistent Legend To Be in the opening Club Members’ Conditions race, again with William in the saddle, but the partnership finished well down the field.
However, the youngster has ridden well so far this winter and could be poised to achieve some great results.
Newmarket trainer James Owen, based at his Hamilton Road stables, also proved his point-to-point runners are in top condition at the start of the season, with victory in the Men’s Open.
He had three placed horses at the opening meeting at Cottenham a month ago and was able to improve on that with a top spot at the second meeting, at the same racecourse, on Sunday.
Just Cause went off with strong claims in the Men’s Open, saddled by Jack Andrews, as the partnership went into the race as reigning champions.
Andrews produced a well-judged ride aboard the horse when the partnership arrived late on, in a driving finish, to collar the long-time leader Mr Mix.
Just Cause, who won this fixture last year, deserved the victory having run so well in defeat at the first Cottenham fixture.
There was, however, an unfortunate incident in the race as Brave Encounter fell on the landing side of the first fence and an awkward landing for jockey Luke Scott resulted in the Magpas air ambulance being requested.
Scott received immediate attention from the course medical team and was able to walk into a vehicle ambulance. A spontaneous blanket collection raised £500 for Magpas.
Linkenholt, a chestnut gelding also owned and trained by the Newmarket trainer, finished third in the same race.
Jockey Alex Chadwick had ridden the horse to a third-placed finish at the opening meeting and they occupied the same berth in the two and a half mile Maiden race.
Having started the race slowly, Chadwick spurred the horse to make up lost ground as the race proceeded but was unable to catch the leaders and was still three lengths behind the first two home, at the finish.
Zeroshadesofgrey romped home in the Novice Riders race to complete an excellent day’s racing with a large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance.
The next East Anglian fixture, hosted by the Dunston Harriers at Ampton, will be on Sunday, January 13.