Fleur’s charges bloom on a blistering day of racing at Fakenham
Trainer Fleur Hawes, from Bressingham, took the plaudits at a sun-drenched West Norfolk point-to-point at Fakenham with an Open race double.
First she saddled Star Double to make every yard of the running and hold off the late thrust of Rare Gold in the Mens Open. Then, 30 minutes later, she was able to watch Scotland Yard atone for his dismal effort when finishing last at Brafield two weeks earlier by recording a three length success in the Ladies' equivalent.
Star Double was a spare ride for Sharrington's Ben Rivett, who took his chance with aplomb, getting Star Double into a good rhythm in front but keeping enough up his sleeve to repel Rare Gold by a length.
Star Double is owned by Fraser Duffin, from Diss, who also has a share in Scotland Yard. A 16th winner of a superb season for Gina Andrews, Scotland Yard took up the running early on the final circuit and never allowed the chasing favourite, Assassino, to get on terms.
'The ground beat him at Brafield last time,' said Andrews. 'It was much too soft for him. He couldn't get his feet out of it, it was sticky and horrible.'
Jo Turner, who trains Assassino at Ampton, near Bury, was on the mark earlier when Bavard Court, ridden by Louise Allan, survived some alarming jumping errors to lift the Restricted Race by five lengths.
Allan, who was equalling her beat ever seasonal tally of eight, said: 'Bavard Court is small and cheeky and is only a five-year-old. Some days he doesn't want to know but he still has plenty of time to mature.'
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Trainer Nigel Bloom, from Wymondham, was responsible for the third-placed beaten favourite in the Men's Open, Caveman, who as expected found Fakenham's tight turns not to his liking.
However, Bloom, together withCaveman's owner, Countess Cathcart, and her jockey son, George Greenock, had enjoyed better luck previously when Rockfield showed a hitherto hidden determination to land the Members Race.
Rockfield, who was described by Bloom as 'usually the politest horse in racing – he lets others go first', made much of the running but his hopes looked forlorn when Toe To Hand swept into a five-length lead.
But Toe To Hand's stamina ran out in the closing stages allowing Rockfield to get back up and score by three-quarters of a length to give Greenock a particularly sweet victory given that he has just recovered from a particularly painful attack of kidney stones.
George Cooperwas once a high class jockey and has been training pointers for some years. He has now discovered another string to his bow as a breeder – the Maiden winner, Midnight Ruler, was the third progeny of Cooper's mare, Springlark, to win in East Anglia in the last two seasons.
Partnered by Rupert Stearn, from Wymondham, Midnight Ruler got her head in front for the first time following a pair of second places with a four length defeat of Bloom's Omme Antique.
Finally, jockey Dale Peters teamed up with his father, Michael, to land the PPORA Club Members race with Carapuce.