Sandygate a popular winner on final day of point-to-point season
PUBLISHED: 11:59 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 07 May 2019
© Graham Bishop 2019
The East Anglian point-to-point season ended perfectly at Northaw on Bank Holiday Monday, in more ways than one, writes Mike Ashby.
The course could not have been in better condition, courtesy of the valiant, watering efforts of course officials. Declarations for each race appeared to pitch several horses with winning chances and the resultant action never disappointed.
The concluding Open Maiden typified what the sport is all about as the Marriage family, stalwarts of East Anglian pointing, hadn't had a winner for nine years and Northaw was the only East Anglian course where they hadn't seen their colours carried to victory.
Here their horse, Sandygate, was still a maiden in his fifth season but this was his day to the utmost joy of Simon Marriage, meeting steward and High Easter legend.
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Ridden by Alex Chadwick and trained by Lauren Braithwaite the nine-year-old took closer order with one circuit to go but challenges appeared from all quarters as the four runners rounded the final bend but the determination of Sandygate and Chadwick clinched the honours by a neck. Earlier Chadwick had ridden Net D'Ecosse to victory in the novice riders' race and Alex's total for the season is now seven.
Net D'Ecosse's trainer, James Owen, also completed a double when Broadwater and Rupert Stearn justified favouritism, despite some early novicey jumping.
The Ladies Open was an absolute thriller with the ultra-consistent, veteran Sa Kaldoun and Rosie Turner leading everywhere except the last 100 yards.
The exciting five-year-old, Streets Of London, now a winner of seven races out of nine starts this season, snatched victory, under a confident ride by Rilly Goschen.
The opening two races were won by jockey Phil York on Cheltenham Mati and Legal OK. The former, stoked along someway out settled the Conditions race on the run-in whilst Legal OK, fully wound-up on the way to the start, never relinquished the lead over his six rivals in the Intermediate contest.
A really enjoyable day, full of good racing and well deserved rewards for many as the 2018/19 East Anglian season concluded. December can't come quick enough for a resumption of action.