It may not have been the Grand National and it may not have even been at Aintree, but Antonia Peck tamed a difficult horse to give Newmarket trainer James Owen a highly pleasing win.
The 17-year-old jockey’s triumph in the Warwick Vase Ladies Open at the Essex Point-to-Point landed the £500 first prize and completed a whirlwind seven days for Denham-based Peck which showcased her talent.
A spare ride in 33/1 outsider Weather Warming — whom she had never ridden before — at the West Norfolk Point-to-Point the previous weekend had become a dream partner for the West Suffolk College student, who combines her studies with working at Owen’s yard.
She came through to win a thrilling Ladies Open contest against two more experienced riders, one on a horse — Lough Inch — owned by her step-brother, Tommy Morgan.
In what was only her sixth ride, she then followed it up for former East Anglian Point-to-Point champion Owen aboard Remarkable Man on Saturday at High Easter, near Chelmsford.
“I did not think I was going to win until I came over the line,” said Peck, who revealed just getting Remarkable Man to settle ahead of the start was a test in itself.
“He can be quire fiery and went bucking to the start and I thought ‘what is going to happen’?”
But Peck did manage to get him off in a race featuring two other entrants.
Speaking about the previous week’s success at Fakenham, which had thrust her into the limelight on the local circuit, she said: “I just kept staying on really, it was great.
The East Anglian Point-to-Point season concludes this bank holiday weekend with the Essex and Suffolk meeting at Higham on Saturday, followed by Monday’s Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace at Northaw, near Potters Bar (both from 2.15pm).