Confusion reigns at Higham races

CONFUSION reigned following the running of the Novice Riders Race at a superb Essex & Suffolk Point-to-Point at Higham on Saturday.Scare Lotte, the red hot favourite, cruised home ten lengths clear of the field.

CONFUSION reigned following the running of the Novice Riders Race at a superb Essex & Suffolk Point-to-Point at Higham on Saturday.

Scare Lotte, the red hot favourite, cruised home ten lengths clear of the field. However, winning rider Clare Hobson discovered she had lost her weight cloth - it had fallen to the ground before the second last - so disqualification was inevitable.

Victory was inherited by the second past the post, Rockley Beach, whose trainer-rider, Kelly Smith, from Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, was the first person to notice Hobson's misfortune.

“I saw Clare's weight cloth come off just as she was quickening away and immediately realised that I didn't need to bother about her and only needed to beat the others,” said Smith. “But then I began to fear that Clare's saddle might come off altogether and worried about how I would avoid her if she fell.”

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To further compound matters, Ben Rivett, who guided 16-year-old veteran Village Copper into a fine fourth place, forgot to weigh in and was also disqualified. All of which meant that although five of the seven runners completed the course, only three were deemed to have 'finished'.

Village Copper's ill luck summed up the miserable season of young trainer Tory Hayter, whose string has been ravaged by a mystery virus since she moved to a new yard at Semer, near Hadleigh, in November.

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But the sporting gods finally deigned to give her a break in the second of two Maiden Races as Siam de Baune eased clear under Tim Lane.

The first three events on a seven-race card brought a winner apiece for East Anglia's three top riders of the season - Rupert Stearn, David Kemp and James Owen.

Stearn, from Wymondham, teamed up with Raydon trainer George Cooper to notch his sixth success of the campaign aboard Alittlemoreaction in the Hunts Club Members Race.

Then trainer-jockey Kemp, from Kilverstone, near Thetford, won when Took My Eye skipped clear in the closing stages of the Restricted Race to give owner Barry Belchem, from Kelvedon, a 64th birthday present.

Finally, and most impressive of the trio, Kadount made every yard of the running under Owen to take the Volkswagen Touareg Men's Open for Ampton handler Joe Turner.

Owen, whose victory was later matched by his partner, Kelly Smith.

The easy Ladies' Open win of Beet de Bob meant that his trainer, Susan Busby, has won all four Ladies' races contested at Higham this year, despite the course is a 330-mile round trip from her Warwickshire base.

Oxfordshire trainer Alan Hill's Camisky, ridden by national champion jockey James Tudor, took the first Maiden.

Essex and Suffolk Hunt meeting at Higham, good to firm

Race One (Higham Hunt Club Members' Race) 1 T Buxton and Lady J Green's Alittlemoreaction (Essex and Suffolk) (R Stearn), 2 P Johnson's Brown Teddy (N Norfolk Harriers) (Owner), 3 J Buckle's Serpentine Rock (Essex and Suffolk) (J Owen).. Two lengths, head. 6.20. SP 2-1 (Brown Teddy 11-10 fav).

Race Two (Restricted Race): 1 B Belchem's Took My Eye (East Essex) (D Kemp), 2 Mrs J May's Laharna (Essex and Suffolk) (A Braithwaite), 3 J M Turner's The Right People (Suffolk) (J Owen). Ten lengths, five lengths. 6.17. SP 5-1 (Rear Gunner evens fav).

Race Three (Men's Open Race): 1 J M Turner's Kadount (Suffolk), (J Owen), 2 Mr and Mrs R Abrey's Another Dude (Suffolk) (R Stearn), 3 S Clark's Monty's Island (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (J Tudor). Fifteen lengths, 15 lengths. 6.15. SP 2-1 (Another Dude 5-4 fav).

Race Four (Ladies' Open Race): 1 Mr S Busby and G Wright's Beet De Bob (Farmers Bloodhounds) (Miss H Watson) 2 Mrs S Sansom and P Rhodes' Persian King (Old Surrey, Burstow and W Kent), 3 A Scholfield's Itsallupintheair (Waveney Harriers) (Miss M Graholska). Five lengths, head. 6.18. SP 4-6 fav.

Race Five (PPORA Club Members' Race, novice riders): 1 Mrs M Brightwell's Rockley Beach (Essex and Suffolk) (Miss K Smith) 2 Mrs W Ward's Memsahib Ki Behan (Granta Harriers). Disqualified: Scare Lotte, finished first but rider failed to draw correct weight and Village Copper, finished fourth but rider failed to weigh in. Ten lengths, two lengths. 6.24. SP 6-4 (Scre Lotte 1-2 fav).

Race Six (Open Maiden Race): 1 I Mann's Camisky (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (J Tudor), 2 N Padfield's Mountain Emperor (Essex) (Miss G Andrews), 3 P Rackham's Bridgham (Dunston Harriers) (R Stearn). Two lengths, one length. 6.26. SP 5-2 (Basiliko 2-1 fav).

Race Seven (Open Maiden Race, division two): 1 A Howland-Jackson's Siam De Baune (Suffolk) (T Lane), 2 P Millington's Mirage Prince (Fernie) (Owner), 3 The Andrews and Rowe Families' Crosby (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (J Tudor). Ten lengths, half-a-length. 6.27. SP 4-5 fav.

Pony Race One (Children's Pony Flat Race, ponies 138cm and under): 1 C Clover's Ernford William Lobb (Essex and Suffolk) (Charlie Clover), 2 Mrs E M Andrews' Clonross Pully (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (Jack Andrews), 3 Miss C Wyatt's Sebastian (Dunston Harriers) (Charlotte Wyatt). Half-a-length, one length. 0.55.

Pony Race Two (Children's Pony Flat Race, ponies 148cm and under): 1 Mrs J Elphick's Midsummer Son (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (Todd Roberts), 2 Lucinda Wright's Fitzwarren (Thurlow) (Archie Wright), 3 Mrs J Andrews' Pepsi (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (Bridget Andrews). One length, three lengths. 0.58.

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