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Ron's winner boosts race day success

PUBLISHED: 09:22 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 07 July 2010

When Ron Mills bought his first racehorse Bonne Noel's at auction in November last year it was a bit of a punt.

He got her for a steal at £2,800 at Ascot with the plan of using his skills as a professional physiotherapist for greyhounds to bring him back to racing form at stables near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

When Ron Mills bought his first racehorse Bonne Noel's at auction in November last year it was a bit of a punt.

He got her for a steal at £2,800 at Ascot with the plan of using his skills as a professional physiotherapist for greyhounds to bring him back to racing form at stables near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

On Monday, he did just that in front of Fakenham Racecourse's largest meeting of the year, the Easter Meeting, when Bonne Noel's left the Wymondham-trained favourite Go North in the dust.

Rider, Wymondham novice Rupert Stearn, romped home on the 14 to one outsider to win the 2.40pm novices' hunters' steeple chase, his first of two wins on the bank holiday card.

In a twist of fate, Bonne Noel's trainer, James Owen, failed to finish the race on the favourite, Go North, after hitting a ditch.

However, after the race Mr Owen said he was pleased with the win, despite not finishing on his horse, trained by Norfolk-based champion rider Nigel Bloom.

It was his first win as a trainer under rules, meaning not as an amateur.

He said: “It is Ron's first horse. He bought him to treat because he had jumping problems. He treats him with his Zamar machine, an ice-therapy machine.”

Mr Mills, who co-owns the horse with Christine Cusselle from their base at Wickhambrook, was also very pleased with the win.

For rider Rupert Stearn it was his latest in a string of wins and also his first win under rules.

He said he was thrilled to have won, especially on what was an outsider.

“It was unexpected,” he said. “It was a 14 to one outsider of five. James could have ridden him but he chose to ride Go North.”

His second win saw him come first in the 5pm Queen's Cup amateur race, for East Anglian entries only, on Coat of Honour, trained at Wretham near Thetford by Robert Abrey.

The jockey's colours on Bonne Noel's were chosen after Miss Cusselle's father, Joe Cusselle, a Chelsea Pensioner, who was unable to make the race for health reasons.

David Hunter, clerk of the course, said the whole day's racing, with seven races in total, had been a success and there had been a good turnout at the course.

“It is the biggest meeting of the season. Last year Easter was early and the event was snowed off.

“Fortunately, we could not have had a better day and the weather was perfect for racing, for the horses and the crowds.

“We have had very good attendance and people came early to avoid traffic problems.”

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