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Suffolk at Ampton
Sunday 13th March 2016
by James Crispe

Kate Gowing enjoyed a never-to-be-forgotten moment at a gloriously sunny Suffolk Point-To-Point at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, notching her first ever riding victory aboard In The Gate in a division of the Maiden Race.

The 18-year-old Norwich High School For Girls student's triumph was made even more memorable as she got the better of a tight finish with the National Champion Lady Rider, Gina Andrews, by a neck.

"Gina is my idol, I've learned so much from her," a delighted Gowing, from Mulbarton, said afterwards. "It seemed like her and I were having a screaming competition all the way up the home straight in an attempt to make our mounts go faster!"

In The Gate was also a first winner of the season for her owner-trainer, Caroline Fryer, from Wymondham.

Alex Ferguson, at 19 just a year Gowing's senior, was another young jockey to make his mark with a first ever double aboard a pair of horses, Tommy O'Dwyer and Honourable Henry, trained at Badlingham, near Newmarket, by Nick Wright.

Tommy O'Dwyer did not win outright, dead-heating for the Subaru Restricted Race with The Admiral Benbow, who is trained within half a mile of Ampton Racecourse by Andrew Pennock.

That result was much thanks to the fitness of Ferguson, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket, as Tommy O'Dwyer needed pushing along from an early stage. And Honourable Henry was even harder work – off the bridle almost from the start, he only overhauled Mister Serious approaching the final fence and needed to be driven right out to score by half a length.

Pennock had earlier sparked a training double when saddling Galros Lady to an easy victory – her fourth in succession – in the opening Club Members Race, under a stylish ride by Dickie Collinson, from Sutton, near Ely.

Berties Dream, trained in Newmarket by Lauren Braithwaite, maintained his unbeaten Ampton record with a two length defeat of The Rodeo Clown in the Ladies Open while the Men's equivalent went to Empire Builder, who responded to a vigorous ride from George Greenock, from Gateley, near Fakenham, to overcome some shoddy fencing and beat Carlanstown by a length and a half.

The fastest time of a highly competitive afternoon's racing was clocked by the only winner to hail from outside East Anglia, Rocky Island, in the Intermediate Race. Trained in the Midlands by Tom Messenger, he rewarded punters who backed him in from 6-1 to 2-1 with a narrow success.

The meeting finished on a popular note as the course owner, Ben Turner, landed his first win of the season as Kriss William held off Floreat by three-quarters of a length in the Hunt Race.

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