with Enfield Chace
Jilted Lover gave Alex Embiricos her first victory in the saddle for almost three years when coming from a seemingly impossible position to snatch a remarkable victory in the Restricted Race at the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Point-To-Point at Horseheath on Saturday.
Although backed into 6-1 from double those odds, Jilted Lover was labouring at the rear of a large field as the race entered its closing stages. But he suddenly started to make up ground and, passing four rivals with a stupendous leap at the final fence, held off the renewed challenge of Marble Leader to score by two lengths in one of the most exciting finishes for many a year.
Embiricos, who trains the 10-year-old at Bradfield St Clare near Bury St Edmunds, beamed afterwards: “I was going to pull him up when he made a mistake at the ditch (six fences from the finish). But then he started to run on and he just kept going - I couldn’t believe it!”
Two more locally-trained horses were able to enjoy the sweet taste of success after surviving heart-stopping moments at the penultimate obstace.
Scare Lotte made a triumphant return from injury in the Novice Riders’ Race, but only after she had rider Clare Hobson wrapped around her neck in order to survive a monumental blunder.
Hobson, from Reed near Royston, clung on for dear life and, regaining her proper posture before the last, the pairing went on to register a five length success over Free. It was so nearly an unlucky 13 th career ride for the 20-year-old, who taking her tally of winners to four.
The victory was also much thanks to the inspired stewardship of Clare’s parents, Harry and Rosemary, who have nursed Scare Lotte back to health after she fractured her pelvis on the gallops in Newmarket last April.
Bob Ar Aghaidh, winner of the Hunts Club Members Race, was another to plough through the second last, although her never looked like getting rid of his pilot, Andrew Braithwaite. Trainer Michelle Harvey, from Bishop’s Stortford, who put the mistake down to a loss of concentration, had been put through the wringer a little earlier when the late arrival of a farrier delayed the start by 15 minutes.
“He lost one of his front shoes on arrival at the course and we were ten seconds away from having to withdraw him,” explained Alex Harvey, Michelle’s husband.
The colours of Tina Hayward, from Heydon, near Norwich and her neighbour, Clare Buxton, were carried to victory aboard The Piper’s Son in tight finish to the young horse Maiden Race that saw him inch home by a head from Where’s My Baby.
The result was laced with irony as Hayward only acquired The Piper’s Son after Malcolm Kemp, who was standing next to her in the Doncaster Sales ring, egged her on to bid. Malcolm is the father of Where’s My Baby’s trainer-rider, David Kemp!
The East Anglian contingent did not, however, managed to keep the ‘foreign’ visitors at bay in the two Open races - Northamptonshire raider The Hookie Bookie proving a length too strong for Ballylusky in the Men’s version then Unmistakably, who was ridden by Ballylusky’s joint-owner, Herefordshire-based Angela Rucker, taking out the Ladies’ equivalent.
A superb afternoon of sport, in which 83 horses contested the seven races on a course in its usual pristine condition, came to a close when Master Brew, trained in Sussex by Alison Hickman, came out on top from 14 runners in the older horse Maiden.