‘I’m sure she was looking down on me today’: 16-year-old jockey pays tribute to his mother after scoring his first victory

  • Point-to-point highlights from the three meetings that took place over the weekend (16 January).

    A young jockey gets off the mark, while another breaks her duck on her first-ever ride.

    Modbury Harriers, Buckfastleigh, Devon

    Freddie Gingell got off the mark on just his second ride when winning the veteran conditions 9yo&up aboard Molineaux (pictured above). The jockey, who only turned 16 on 21 December, won by 20 lengths for owner-trainer and Freddie’s grandfather Colin Tizzard.

    “It’s amazing for me to be sat on a horse like him – he helped me at every fence and he had loads of running left in him on the run-in,” explained Freddie, who has enjoyed plenty of success in pony racing.

    It was an emotional victory after Freddie’s mother Kim, the daughter of Colin, passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. There were great cheers of support for Freddie after his victory.

    “Mum always wanted me to do my best and I’m sure she was looking down on me today,” he said.

    The mixed open went the way of Chameron, who won under Ben Sutton for trainer Sam Loxton and owner Nick Sutton.

    “Ben lost his stirrup at the last fence but once he got it back, Chameron went away again – he’s a class horse but his jumping can let him down,” said Sam. “But he’s a great horse for Ben to learn on.”

    Will Biddick enjoyed a double on the day. The first of his winners came in the 16-runner maiden 7yo&up aboard Jeremy Central for owner-trainer Tom Malone.

    “He’s a lovely old-fashioned staying chaser,” explained Tom. “There are no frills about him but gets the job done and jumps and gallops.”

    Will’s second winner came on the Christopher Barber-trained Famous Clermont in the intermediate, and who defied a five-pound penalty in the process.

    “It was a bit of a burden for him to carry that weight on this ground and it was a competitive race but we didn’t need to be worried – he’s a fantastic horse and I love him to bits,” Christopher said of the seven-year-old owned by The Famous Partnership.

    His Own Star won the opening maiden 4,5&6yo under Darren Andrews for trainer Stuart Sampson and owner Ron Alford, while Darren Edwards was the sole finisher in the restricted aboard Stevan Steel who is co-owned by John Spall and Janet Ackner, who also trains the 11-year-old grey.

    Pont Aven secures ‘easy’ 40-length win

    Pont Aven - Alex Chadwick winners of the Mens Open race at the East Anglian Retired Jockeys' Club Point to Point steeplechases at Higham racecouurse on Sunday 16th January 2022

    Pont Aven and Alex Chadwick

    East Anglian Retired Jockeys Club, Higham, Suffolk

    Alex Chadwick enjoyed a very successful day when scoring a treble. His first victory came in the men’s open where he came home a whopping 40 lengths clear of his nearest rival aboard Pont Aven, owned by Tim Gredley.

    “There are very high expectations for this horse as he has been bought to run in the Cheltenham Foxhunters,” explained Alex of the James Owen-trained nine-year-old, who had an official rating of 139 over fences when he left Willie Mullins’ in the second half of 2021. “He’s a bit gassy at home and his jumping could improve a bit, but all in all he’s won it easily.”

    Alex’s second victory came aboard the Alan Hill-trained Bon Calvados in the restricted. Owned by The Cross Channel Racing Club, the eight-year-old scored the second victory of his career.

    “He jumped well and didn’t have a hard race,” said Alex. “It was great to get the ride from Alan too.”

    The final part of Alex’s treble came aboard Oval Street in division two of the maiden.

    “He’s a really nice horse and won it very easily,” said Alex of the six-year-old trained by Nicholas Wright and owned by Nicholas and Lucinda Wright. “It was a nice spare to have as his usual jockey, Archie Wright was isolating with Covid.”

    Bradley Gibbs scored a double on two horses he trains himself, with the first, the seven-year-old Fier Jaguen, heading the intermediate for owner Julian Sherriff.

    His second victory came in division one of the maiden when piloting Whotheman to victory, again for owner Julian Sherriff.

    Heidi Palin scored her first victory between the flags, riding Azzuri to a comfortable victory in the PPORA Club members’ conditions (level two) novice riders for trainer Nick Pearce, who co-owns the 10-year-old with his wife Ella.

    Azzuri, who formerly enjoyed a successful career under Rules for Dan Skelton, for whom Heidi works for, clocked the fastest time of the day and came home 25 lengths clear of his nearest rival.

    General Arrow, who is trained by Tom Ellis, got his 2021/22 season off to a winning start for The Odd Socks Partnership when winning the ladies’ open under Gina Andrews.

    Quick-fire double for Morgan

    Feuille de Lune and Alice Stevens

    Feuille de Lune and Alice Stevens

    Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club, Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire

    Trainer Kelly Morgan made her trip north worthwhile when scoring a double. The first came with the seven-year-old mare Feuill De Lune, who came in 25 lengths ahead of her nearest rival in division one of the conditions (level two) 5yo&up under Alice Stevens.

    “She’s a mare I’ve always thought a lot of and the plan is to go hunter chasing with her,” said Kelly of Feuill De Lune, who is owned by The Snail Partnership and who also clocked the fastest time of the day. “She jumped off quite keen early on but warmed to the race and her jumping got better and better.”

    The second of Kelly’s quick-fire double came in division two in the conditions (level two) 5yo&up in the form of Smoke Man. The nine-year-old gelding, owned by John Chatfeild-Roberts, defied carrying a three-pound penalty to come home six lengths clear under Tom Chatfeild-Roberts.

    “It’s lovely to get a winner for the Chatfeild-Roberts family – they’ve been really supportive of me this season,” said Kelly. “Smoke Man loves it at this course and Tom gave him a fantastic ride.”

    Lily Frank had a dream start to her pointing career when winning the restricted on Vent D’Automne in what was her first-ever ride between the flags (see below).

    Meanwhile, The Dellercheckout came home in front in the ladies’ open under Immy Robinson for The Delboy Partnership and trainer Caroline Robinson.

    Monbeg Chit Chat just managed to come out on top in what was a very close finish in the men’s open. The 11-year-old, owned by Mrs J W Furness, trained by Gill Walford and ridden by Christy Furness won by a short head over the super-consistent Game As A Pheasant.

    Champion Chase took top honours in the maiden conditions under James King for trainer Francesca Poste, who co-owns the 10-year-old with her husband Charlie, while the five-year-old Pedley Wood won the Goffs UK maiden 4,5&6yo nicely under Zac Baker for Tom Ellis, who co-owns the son of Westerner with Chris Jones.

    First win: Plucking up the courage

    Vent d’Automne and Lily Frank

    Vent d’Automne and Lily Frank

    Lily Frank confesses, “I wouldn’t be the bravest jockey”, but with her grandma, father and brother Archie all having ridden in point-to-points while she helped train their horses at home, she plucked up the courage to have a go, and with great success as she scored her first win on her first ride aboard Vent D’Automne.

    “I knew I wanted to have a go, but I just had to get the courage,” explains 24-year-old Lily, who is a riding instructor and who also runs a livery yard. “I’ve got the bug now and loved it – the other jockeys were really helpful.”

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