Ayrshire cattle owner Maggie Howie from Ridley near Wrotham has previously competed in point-to-points, both as a jockey and a trainer. But after several years away from point-to-point racing she returned in 2016 as an owner/trainer of See You Jack who had been regularly placed in point-to-points within East Anglia with her daughter Beth Mellish in the saddle. The pair only competed twice in their debut season, finishing third in a seven runner race at Penshurst and second in a nine runner race for Veteran and Novice riders at Charing.

The family continued to train See You Jack throughout 2017, with Beth competing on four occasions and securing up her first winning ride at Penshurst in a Veteran and Novice riders race, before picking up two second placings in Ladies open company at Parham and Peper Harow.

It was at the end of the 2017 point-to-point season that Martyn Dean of High Halden near Ashford, Kent, who owns a small herd of Dairy Shorthorn cattle, of which the milking herd are housed at Maggie’s farm in Wrotham, arranged with Maggie to purchase another horse for her to train on his behalf for the 2018 point-to-point season. Martyn has previously owned a horse that was in training with Nick Pearce near Mayfield, before he moved to work at Dan Skelton’s yard in Warwickshire. But he no longer owned the horse and was looking to purchase something new. Armed with a cheque book, Maggie, Martyn and Beth went to Ascot sales in August 2017. But, rather than coming away with the one prospective new horse that Martyn had his eye on, they came home with two new recruits. Martyn’s first purchase was Annie’s Gun a six-year-old filly who had raced four times previously but had failed to complete in a point-to-point, pulling up three times and refusing the other time. The second purchase became a joint purchase between Maggie and Martyn, a seven-year-old gelding named Jackfield who had never run in a point-to-point but had run fourteen times in national hunt hurdle and chase races, winning once over hurdles and being placed on three other occasions.

See You Jack got the 2018 season off to a great start, finishing second in the ladies open race at Charing in February. But then the weather caused the abandonment of several meetings in March, so it was the end of March before Annie’s Gun made her debut in the South East area in the hunt members race at Penshurst. As this was her first run for over two years, she became a little detached from her rivals with a circuit to go and was pulled up. With more rain falling over the Easter period, the going was too soft for all three horses so the next outing was to Higham in Suffolk. Although the going was perfect for both See You Jack and Jackfield they both found the pace of their races a little outside their comfort zone.

With four more meetings in the South East area the team are hopeful that Beth will pick up her second win of her career.

Pictured: Annie’s Gun & Beth Mellish