Lucy Saunders, our Goedhuis Jockey, relates how she rode Early to victory on Sunday:
“On Sunday 13th January I rode my first winner at Ampton point to point near Bury St. Edmunds. It was a small field but the horse, Early Wings (owned by my granny Pam), was the lowest rated in the race, running against horses that were better than him previously and that had even been placed at Cheltenham.
At the end of last year he was retired because he wasn’t trying very hard in his races. I then concentrated on hunting, schooling and jumping him because he is great to ride and has plenty of potential to do other disciplines. Out hunting last week he jumped his first 5 bar gate! He has not been treated like a racehorse, hasn’t been out with the others or up the gallops and he was going so well that everyone decided to run him, and sure enough! We led virtually from start to finish and Early wasn’t going to let anyone come past. This is my third season riding and after lots of placings, particularly on Early, it was great to have a win. Also, ironically, I had my first ride at the same Ampton meeting exactly 2 years ago, also on Early where we were 2nd!
Just in case I was going to get cocky I then had my first fall in the last race at Ampton, on a horse called Noble Crusader owned by Sir Michael Connell. Unfortunately he wasn’t concentrating at the crucial take off moment and both of us went flying, but luckily we are both fine so no harm done.