GINA Andrews and her husband Tom Ellis had retained their respective titles as leading lady rider and Foran leading trainer with eight horses or more so early in the season that the former only rode in one race in June while the latter didn’t saddle a single runner after May 29th.

On her way to a ninth championship success, one more than both David Turner and Polly Gundry, Andrews partnered 48 winners, exactly double the number ridden by her nearest rival, Izzie Marshall.

She broke Gundry’s career record of 303 wins for a female rider on New Year’s Eve and, from 120 rides, only hit the deck once when Latenightpass fell at the last when leading the ladies’ open at Alnwick in late January.

Trained by Ellis for his mother Pippa, who bred the nine-year-old Passing Glance gelding, Latenightpass returned to winning ways next time out in the ladies’ open at Charm Park – providing his handler with one of 62 successes between the flags.


He then ended his season over the Grand National fences at Aintree as a delighted Gina landed the Randox Hunters’ Chase as had her father Simon on the Cantab gelding Newnham in 1988.

For the summer, Andrews will concentrate on show jumping. She has four horses to compete including the Irish Sport Horse gelding Croisiere who was bred in Co Tipperary by Clement Stapleton out of the Cruising mare Tisara.

First produced here by Kieran Ryan, the 2008 Harlequin du Carel gelding won the four-year-old working hunter class at the 2012 Dublin Horse Show under the former amateur P.J. Casey (who purchased this year’s BoyleSports Irish Grand National winner Lord Lariat as a three-year-old) and went on to compete at CIC3* level in eventing with Britain’s Ben Wray. “Swanky, as we know him, had a very successful eventing career before the owners thought he’d prefer a quieter life show jumping with me,” revealed Andrews.

Two titles in a row for King

THE British point-to-point season concluded last Saturday at Umberleigh in Devon where one win from two rides gave James King his 62nd win of the campaign as he was crowned men’s champion for the second successive season.

King’s victory came in the two-runner Intermediate which he landed by six lengths on the John Mathias-trained Hitdroadjack, a nine-year-old Wareed gelding who carried the 26-year-old Gloucestershire native to three other victories this season.

Charlie Sprake, who was beaten into second in that Intermediate on the 8/13 favourite Ninth Wave had earlier secured victory in the Highflyer Bloodstock novice men’s championship.

The 19-year-old had gone into the Torrington Farmers’ fixture on even terms with Freddie Gordon on 12 wins apiece but came out two ahead thanks to a double which he initiated in the restricted on the Teresa Clark-trained favourite, Bennys Miracle, an eight-year-old Primary mare.

There were just two runners in the men’s open where Sprake, who currently works with Will Biddick but is due to join the Alan King yard as a conditional jockey, and the Jake Slatter-trained I’m Wiser Now, an eight-year-old Presenting gelding, saw off Gordon and the 1/3 favourite, Highway One O One, by a margin of nine lengths.

While it was a disappointing end to the campaign for 16-year-old Gordon, who rode his first winner in February, he did have the satisfaction of helping his mother Jenny become the season’s Foran Equine leading trainer with seven or fewer horses as he partnered all 11 of her winners.

Nicholls new novice champ

The Will Biddick-trained Monsieur Gibraltar walked over in the ladies’ open under the new Highflyer Bloodstock novice ladies’ champion, 16-year-old Olive Nicholls who too ended the campaign with 11 victories to her credit.

Darren Andrews recorded his 14th success of the season when landing last Saturday’s opening contest, the Level 3 conditions race, on the John Heard-trained Eric The Third, a 13-year-old Mountain High gelding.

The honour of riding the final winner of the 2021/22 campaign fell to Darren Edwards who notched up his 22nd victory of the season on the Leslie Jefford-trained Businessman as the 11/10 favourite in the maiden.

Once in the care here of Denis Murphy, for whom he finished third twice in three starts, this eight-year-old Milan gelding was bred by the Raheenwood Syndicate out of the Anshan mare Back Of The Pack who won three times over hurdles and four-times over fences while she was also Grade 3-placed over the larger obstacles.