Five-time women’s champion rider Gina Andrews could break one of British point-to-pointing’s stand-out records this weekend.
Andrews needs three winners to equal the score of 40, the most recorded by a woman in one season, and set by Polly Curling 24 years ago. Warwickshire-based Andrews heads to Bitterley in Shropshire for three rides tomorrow (Saturday), and she expects to partner another five horses at Edgcote in Northamptonshire on Sunday – four of her mounts at the last-named fixture are trained by her husband, Tom Ellis.
Andrews, 27, says: "It has long been a bit of an ambition of mine to beat the record, but in my best season to date I rode 29 winners, a long way short of the record – it didn't feel like a realistic goal.
"This season started so well, and I had 15 winners on the board in early February, well ahead of my normal schedule – we have a lot of nice horses at home and I've been lucky to ride some winners for other big stables, such as Alan Hill's. I missed a couple of weekends through injury and other hold-ups, but I've had two or three winners every weekend since."
Six winners last weekend, including a five-timer, have propelled Andrews towards the magic 40, although she is quick to acknowledge Curling's achievement. Andrews says: "What she did in riding 40 winners was far more impressive than if I do it. The season was shorter then with fewer opportunities, and women were not given the rides they enjoy today. Still, it's been nice to have something to aim at, and I have enjoyed great support from people."
With the season's end in mid-June there is plenty of time for Andrews to push the bar much higher, although she says she has no chance of beating the men's record of 68 winners, set by Will Biddick in 2014/15.