MARTON-based trainer Tom Ellis celebrated a treble at the Oakley Point-to-Point to move onto 42 wins for the season – one behind his best total set in 2019.
Ellis-trained horses Dundrum Wood, Master Templar and Precious Bounty all claimed victory at Brafield-on-the-Green.
And the three victories mean Ellis is just 10 winners away from beating the all-time record of winners trained in a season, held by Jack Barber with 51 in 2014/2015.
Ellis said: “We need ten more to do it, but still have a lot of horses to run. We’ll give it a go if we can.”
Dundrum Wood walked over for the Fisher German Ladies Open in the hands of leading Lady Novice rider Ellie Callwood.
And Master Templar took the spoils in the Landscape Land and Property Ltd Conditions Race in which seven horses went to the post.
The progressive seven-year-old moved steadily through the field on the second circuit, took the lead two out and was not troubled to score by one-and-a-half lengths having been held up early by Tom’s wife – champion Lady rider Gina Andrews, who herself was moving on to 29 victories this campaign.
On returning to the winners enclosure, Gina and Master Templar were welcomed by the customary “Oi! Oi!” greeting from the G and T Racing fan club.
Owner Jenny Hayward said: “Tom and Gina bought him last summer from Olly Murphy, he’s had a good season and the yard’s in form.
“As for plans, you’d have to talk to them.”
Ellis’s third winner, Precious Bounty, saw rider Callwood complete a first ever double and move onto six for the season on her mother Jo’s horse in the Bells Motor Group PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders.
Another progressive horse, the eight-year-old started the season a maiden and has now won his last four races – he was never headed and won comfortably.
Owner Jo Callwood said: “Ellie’s having the time of her life and has a great team behind her in Tom and Gina.
“We didn’t know what to expect from Precious Bounty when Tom bought him – he was very lean but has really matured.
“He’s very different to my other horse, Wounded Warrior, who’s an old stager.”
Ellie added: “He travelled well and jumped well. The plan was to sit out in front, but he was quite keen when he set off and we could have done with going half a stride faster.
“It’s only my second season and I didn’t expect it at all. I’ve learnt a lot from Precious Bounty – riding a maiden and going through the grades – and I’d like to do it again.
“The Novice Rider title wasn’t an ambition originally but, now it’s in sight, I’d like it to happen. I had my first outside ride earlier today and would like to have more – it’s great to get the experience.”
Ellis’s hopes of a four-timer went up in smoke when Every Minute was beaten in the concluding six-runner Toby Hunt Funeral Directors Restricted Race after a great battle with The Whistle Blower.
The latter made the running, but was headed by the Ellis-trained odds-on favourite going out on the final circuit.
However, the Paddy Barlow-ridden seven-year-old took the lead again five out, quickened three lengths clear and looked the winner after Every Minute made a mistake at the third last.
Andrews would not give up, however, and challenged again jumping the last and up the run-in, only to be denied by a head as The Whistle Blower held on.
The six point-to-point races featured a total of 25 runners although, unfortunately, the two feature races both attracted just a single declaration.
And Alan Hill’s Aintree Foxhunters entry Tidal Flow and Ben Sutton did likewise in the Brian Currie (Milton Keynes) Mens Open.
Organisers kept the crowd entertained during the break from competitive racing with an impromptu dog show – proceeds went to the Ukraine Relief Appeal and prizes were awarded to the dogs with the waggiest tails.