Win for Shimpling’s Clover

GOING CLEAR: Action from the Novice Riders' Race at High Easter. Picture: Richard Weller-Pooley
GOING CLEAR: Action from the Novice Riders' Race at High Easter. Picture: Richard Weller-Pooley

Charlie Clover enjoyed one fine afternoon at the rearranged High Easter Racing Club Point-To-Point at High Easter, near Chelmsford, on Saturday when notching his first success between the flags aboard One Fine Morning.

Clover, from Shimpling, is better known in equestrian circles for his eventing prowess.

Indeed, just 24 hours earlier he enjoyed another victory when landing a novice class at the Great Witchingham Horse Trials.

This time it was a real family affair as One Fine Morning, who took advantage of a penultimate fence blunder by the favourite, Bivouac, to lift the Novice Riders’ Race by four lengths, is trained in Newmarket by Clove’s older brother, Tom.

Another inexperienced pilot to make her mark on Saturday was Kate Gowing, from Mulbarton.

She broke her duck for the season and took her career tally to six, when making much of the running en route to a three-and-a-half length success aboard Midnight Bliss in the Maiden Race.

The rest of the High Easter card was dominated by the Andrews family, from Lilley in Hertfordshire, in particular the Restricted Race where Gina Andrews, riding Willflywontsink, just got the better of her younger brother, Jack, on Shamat, by the minimum margin of a short head.

This race served up a fantastic finish after Willflywontsink, the odds-on favourite, rallied determinedly after her chance looked to have disappeared following some clumsy jumping on the final circuit.

The result was a popular one as Willflywontsink is owned by Stephen Howlett, from Attleborough, who devotes so much time to the sport.

Jack Andrews did not have to wait long to gain compensation as he caught his two main rivals napping with a positive front-running ride aboard Follow The Paint in the Mens Open Race.

Trained in Northamptonshire by Laura Horsfall, Follow The Paint built up a 15-length lead shortly after the halfway stage and never looked like being caught, even though her advantage was cut back to five lengths.

Gina then extended her lead in the National Lady Riders Championship when grabbing her 11th victory of the campaign by guiding Excitable Island, trained by Nigel Padfield, to a comfortable success in the Conditions Race for Veteran Horses.

The two-and-a-half mile Ladies Open Race looked set for a tight finish only for the pace-setting Weather Warning to make his one and only jumping error at the final fence, effectively handing victory to Great Link, who is trained in Oxfordshire by Alan Hill.