ED TURNER, on his grandfather Joe Turner’s Bavard Court, notched up his first win of the season in the Members’ race on his home course at Ampton, where the Suffolk Hunt held their meeting on Sunday.
It was a closely-contested affair as it had been last year, with close friends, Rupert Stearn and Ed Turner battling it out to the line.
This time, Turner prevailed by a head from Stearn on Sorry Al, trained by father Simon Stearn, who is also clerk of the course at Ampton.
In the following race, the Confined, Stearn notched up the first of his double, on George Cooper’s home bred mare, Midnight Ruler.
They made their move on the final circuit after Toe To Hand and Furze Hill had made most of the running to go up the hill and pass the post a three lengths winner.
Midnight Ruler has won her last three races, and is one of the most promising prospects for the rest of the season.
In the Men’s Open, Stearn was eight lengths in the lead in a thrilling front running display of jumping and was never headed on Robert Abrey’s lovely grey, Coat of Honour, and finished five lengths in front of the favourite, Sigma Digital.
Abrey, who trains at Wretham, near Thetford, said the horse had a renewed zest for life after having hunted this season, the last time on Thursday of this week.
The horse’s last success was in the Queen’s Cup Hunter Chase, held at Fakenham in April 2009.
Another jockey to notch up a double was Bridget Andrews, her first in the Ladies’ Open on trainer and joint owner, Nigel Padfield’s Emergency Cover. The other joint owner being retired scrap dealer Stephen Church from Abridge in Essex.
This was another close finish between Emergency Cover and King Du Berlais, whose jockey Louise Allan had ridden to win on the second circuit, without which she might have got up to win, as the horse courageously battled at the post, to be beaten by just a head.
Andrews’ double was achieved in the Restricted on another handsome grey, Argentato, who had been second to Midnight Ruler at Marks Tey two weeks ago.
This was another brave front running performance, Argentato finishing two lengths ahead of Dale Peters on Ted Gunther.
The finale was a deserved win, at last, for the long standing maiden, Salsero, giving Newmarket based rider, Georgie Thorogood, her first career success.
Salsero has been consistently placed this year and last and was only challenged on the last circuit by Holmeleigh Sir, who is trained close to the course by Andrew Pennock.
Tomorrow’s meeting is the Granta Harriers, to be held at Cottenham. First race 1.30pm.
Race One. Members: 1 Native Bob Ed Turner 1/2f; 2 Sorry Al Rupert Stearn; 6-45 hd, 4 ran. Race Two. Confined: 1 Midnight Ruler Rupert Stearn 1/3f; 2 Furze Hill Jack Day; 3 The Camerengo Dale Peters; 6-29 3, ½ 6 ran. Race Three. Ladies’ Open: 1 Emergency Cover Bridget Andrews 4/5f; 2 King Du Berlais Louise Allan; 6-23 hd 5 ran. Race Four. Men’s Open: 1 Coat Of Honour Rupert Stearn 6/1; 2 Sigma Digital David Kemp 1/3f; 6-20 :5 4 ran. Race Five. Restricted: 1 Argentato Bridget Andrews 5/4f; 2 Ted Gunther Dale Peters; 3 Shanina Ben Rivett; 6-23 2,9 6 ran. Race Six. Open Maiden: 1 Salsero Georgie Thorogood 5/4f; 2 Holmleigh Sir Ben Rivett; 6-33 hd 6 ran.