GALLERY & REPORT: Bumper crowd at Easter Saturday Higham point-to-point races

Higham Point to Point on Saturday - the first race of the day

Higham Point to Point on Saturday - the first race of the day - Credit:

An enormous Easter Saturday crowd enjoyed the sunny conditions at Higham for the Essex And Suffolk Hunt Point-to-Point.

The course had been extensively watered to ensure safe ground but the fast spring ground nevertheless meant small fields were the order of the day.

On a day when every race went the way of an East Anglian-trained runner, it was the prolific combination of Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, trainer Andrew Pennock and his stable jockey Ben Rivett who continued their sensational form this season with a memorable treble on the card. Irish recruit Uber Alles kicked off their day in the best possible fashion running out a ready winner of the opening Club Members Conditions Race. Uber Alles has now won two of his three starts since joining the Andrew Pennock yard with both victories coming at Higham.

It was a quick-fire double for East Anglia’s leading trainer and jockey combination in the following Mens Open with Marescou.

Amazingly this was Andrew Pennock’s first-ever success in an Open Race and was Marescou’s first victory since joining the yard last summer following an enforced absence through injury when trained under rules by Venetia Williams.

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The Pennock/Rivett treble was completed with a walkover for the prolific Galbally King in the concluding Hunt Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race. A firm favourite in the Andrew Pennock yard, Galbally King has now won all five of his starts at Higham including this race last year.

Another local yard in magnificent form all year has been the Wymondham yard of Sandra and Caroline Fryer.

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The mother and daughter team have enjoyed their best-ever season and continued their form with the facile victory of Saveiro in the Ladies Open. Gifted to owner David Gibbon by under rules trainer Alan Swinbank, Saveiro has proved a revelation since joining the Fryer yard, winning three of his four starts including twice at Higham.

Furthermore Saveiro’s win kept jockey Bridget Andrews level with her sister Gina and Northern-based Jacqueline Coward on 12 wins apiece in their quest to become National Ladies Champion. Gina Andrews rode a winner at Kimble while Jacqueline Coward was on the scoreboard at Whittington.

The ever-present Turner Family silks were seen in the winners’ enclosure after the Club Members Race for Novice Riders as the amazing Basic Fact provided Rosie Thorogood with her all-important fourth career victory taking her out of the novice rider ranks.

All four of Rosie’s wins have come on Basic Fact who was competing in the race for an incredible sixth time and was winning it for the fourth time. Ampton trainer Ed Turner, who also enjoyed multiple successes aboard Basic Fact, was particularly pleased with the victory since he is engaged to marry Rosie in October.

The Open Maiden Conditions Race was limited to horses that had never finished first or second in their career and hence only drew a field of two, but this did not dull the excitement for winning owner, trainer and breeder George Cooper who saddled Strategic Ruler to cosily defeat his sole rival Sir Ladyswell.

The success provided jockey Alex Vaughan-Jones with a second win of the season both of which have come at Higham.

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