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25-1 long shot Upton Springs is surprise winner in the AGA ladies’ open Point-to-Point championship race at Heythrop


The AGA Ladies' Open Championship race at the Heythrop point-to-point at Dunthrop near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire on Sunday January 23rd produced a major shock, with the winner coming home as a 25-1 outsider.

The meeting - which saw Prime Minister David Cameron among the race-goers - is one of the highlights of the point-to-point season.

The prestigious AGA championship race - the second-longest ladies' race in the point-to-point calendar - saw Upton Springs, who had never before tackled the extreme distance, handing out a comprehensive beating to better-fancied rivals.

Upton Springs, who broke her jaw in November 2009, was home bred by Peter Corbett and her victory at Brampton Bryan last year completed a century of winners for her owner. Peter had been thinking of selling her, so Sarah-Jayne Davies stepped in to buy a share in order to keep the mare in her yard.

Sarah-Jayne seldom rides in races herself, concentrating instead on the training - she has 16 pointers at her yard near Ludlow in Shropshire - and this was her first success since partnering Upton Springs to victory in 2008.

Two outstanding lady champion riders - one past and one present - were in opposition in the race. Third-placed Virginia Preuil is owned by Pat Tollit - six-times champion between 1951 and 1973 - while Polly Gundry - rider of Jean's Joy - won her eighth title last season and is the most successful woman point-to-point rider of all time.

Heythrop AGA Ladies' Open full result:

  1. Upton Springs. Owned by Peter Corbett and Sarah-Jayne Davies; trained and ridden by Sarah-Jayne Davies. SP 25/1.
  2. Chiaro. Owned by Sarah Hobbs, trained by Marie McGuinness; ridden by Katherine Hobbs. SP 7/4 fav.
  3. Virginia Preuil. Owned by Pat Tollit, trained by Fergal O'Brien; ridden by Phine Banks. SP 25/1.
  4. The Hookie Bookie, ridden by Rachel King
  5. Scott's Mill, ridden by Faye Conway.

PU  Balinova, ridden by Emma Alvis.

PU  Blue Business, ridden by Angela Rucker

PU  Ha Ho Magregor, ridden by Suzy Berry

PU  Jean's Joy, ridden by Polly Gundry

PU  Kock de la Vesvre, ridden by Lucy Turner

PU  Prince Of Persia, ridden by Clare Wills


11 ran.

Distances: 8 lengths and 4 lengths.

Time: 7min 54sec.


9 ran.

Distances: neck and neck.

Time 6min 20sec.

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