’You’d put her on anything’: top lady rider beats 24-year record

Five-time ladies’ point-to-point champion Gina Andrews broke a 24-year record between the flags on Sunday (14 April) at Edgcote, before receiving a celebratory soaking by her weighing room colleagues.

The leading lady jockey rode her 41st winner of the season on King Of The Clothe in the final race of the day. The victory meant she had achieved the highest score by a woman rider in a point-to-point season — beating the record set by Polly Curling in 1995.

Gina rode four winners over the weekend — scoring a double at Bitterley on Saturday before heading to Edgcote, where she equalled Polly’s score on the Hannah Mahon-trained An Scairp in the restricted.

“She’s the best and the number of winners she rides proves it,” said Hannah. “She got this horse to settle beautifully and into a nice rhythm. You’d put her up on anything.”

The record was set in the intermediate aboard King Of The Clothe, who is trained by Gina’s husband Tom Ellis at their Warwickshire yard.

“I’m so pleased to have set the record on a horse from our yard. Now the dream is for Tom to win the trainers’ championship,” Gina said.

The trainer added: “I’m just overwhelmed by what Gina has done today. It’s a massive relief — you know what this job is like and how things can go wrong. It’s a team effort — it has to be when you have a yard full of horses. Gina’s brother Jack plays a massive part. He schools them, breaks them in, and rides all the difficult ones. He is also the brains on form, and advises us where to run the horses.”

Gina’s win on King Of The Clothe was also her 298th in all types of jump races — comprising 239 in UK points, four in Irish points, 56 in British races run under Rules and one in Irish races under Turf Club Rules. She has also ridden seven winners on the Flat.

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With a lead of 17 wins over the men’s title leader, Alex Edwards, Gina has a strong chance of becoming only the second woman to ride more winners in a season than the top male rider — an achievement Polly managed three times. Gina gives herself little or no chance of reaching Will Biddick’s record of 68 winners in a season, set in 2014/15.

“You can never say never, and we still have 20 horses in to run [this season], but 68 looks a long way off,” she added.

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