Catch up on the latest Racing Post Point to Point Focus here, which was first published on Friday, April 2.
Point-to-pointing in Britain resumed earlier this week, and it was business as usual for Gina Andrews with three winners on Monday at Charing, writes Carl Evans.
A further success at Maisemore on Tuesday took the British champion’s tally of point-to-point winners to 284, just 19 behind the record set by Polly Gundry before she retired in 2011 after 20 seasons of race riding. Andrews, 29, is in her 13th season, and while Sunday racing was at the fledgling stage in Gundry’s early years, and the season starts earlier than when she was riding, her record is about to fall.
Heading for her eighth senior riders’ title to equal a record held by Gundry and David Turner, Andrews says: “I just love winning, and while I love winning I’ll keep going. My goal is to beat Polly’s record of winners, and ten titles would be nice. And a couple more winners under Rules would mean I lose my claim against professionals, so that’s another aim.
“Winners mean more now because I’ve been through a few ups and downs. We have some lovely horses at home [trained by husband Tom Ellis] and now I tend to ride just those horses, which makes it so much easier than riding for a number of different yards and trying to keep everyone happy.”
Of Monday’s restart, she says: “It felt like we had never been away. We’ve been going through the motions with the horses at home, so it was like the build-up to a new season.”
Currently missing from her CV is a win in Aintree’s Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase, but in Latenightpass she appears to have a winning chance. She says: “I’ve had three rides there and completed the course, but never been in the money.”
Ambition pays off
A novel venture yielded a winner at Maisemore Park on Tuesday when four-year-old Flaming Ambition won a maiden race.
When British pointing was given a resumption date the sport in Ireland remained on hold, and Dorset trainer Chris Barber was asked to take in nine young horses from across the Irish Sea. Seven came from the stable of Harley Dunne and two from Sean Doyle. Amateur rider Tiernan Roche was asked by Dunne to go with the horses to assist Barber and ride them in races, and he partnered Flaming Ambition to an impressive victory against some useful rivals.
It is likely the gelding’s value has now risen into six-figure territory, while the sport in Britain has benefited from the hunters’ certificates that were bought to register the nine to race. Barber expects them to remain in his care for now, even though Irish pointing could resume next week in limited capacity.