Hardy souls rewarded for braving weather

THE hardy souls who braved a biting wind and intermittent hail to attend Saturday's Easton Harriers Point-To-Point at High Easter on Saturday were rewarded with eight competitive races and plenty of late drama.

THE hardy souls who braved a biting wind and intermittent hail to attend Saturday's Easton Harriers Point-To-Point at High Easter on Saturday were rewarded with eight competitive races and plenty of late drama.

And, as the fiercest of the hail storms descended 10 minutes after the closing Novice Riders' Race, it could not cool the enthusiasm of winning owner-rider, John Morrey, who was celebrating his first ever winner after his mount, Mr Naborro, had defied Becky Ward (another pilot seeking an initial success) aboard Magic To Do.

Morrey, a 35-year-old who lives in Newmarket and works for Tattersalls, the equine auction house, rode a cool race, stalking the runner-up before squeezing up the inside approaching the final fence.

Mr Naborro was also a first winner as a trainer for Cowlinge handler Sarah Gunn, much as Maiden scorer Suir Castle had been for Frenchman Geoffroy de la Sayette, who has a yard at Hardwick, near Cambridge, earlier in the afternoon.

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Suir Castle proved a length too quick for Edgar Wilde to break a 22-year riding drought for part-owner Graham Tawell.

The other Maiden saw a much more clear-cut victory as Minehill Lad, owned by Roy Green, from Soham and partnered by Burwell's Matt Smith, took advantage of the third-last fence fall of Huron to come home a distance clear of the front-running favourite, The Factor.

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Trainer Robert Abrey, from Wretham, near Thetford, and Wymondham-based jockey Rupert Stearn had an down-and-up day as Another Dude crashed out of the Men's Open when in a clear lead at the final fence, but Forget The Ref jumped the same obstacle with aplomb to land a stylish Intermediate Race victory.

Caveman, ridden by George Greenock, from Gateley, near Fakenham, and trained at Wymondham by Nibby Bloom, inherited the lead and his Men's Open victory may have been doubly fortunate as second-placed Hatsnall was badly hampered by the prostrate Another Dude after the last.

A final fence departure also featured in the Restricted Race but by that stage the spring-heeled Sunyblaze had got the measure of the chasing favourite, Rear Gunner.

Shoddy jumping failed to stop Rockville from edging out Top Boots in the Hunts Club Members Race thanks to a never-say-die ride from James Owen, from Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds.

The fastest time of the day came in the Ladies' Open where a battle of the greys ended in a two length defeat of Carryonharry by Bedtime Boys, trained in Leicestershire by Holly Campbell and ridden by Louise Allan.

Results at High Easter

Easton Harriers meeting

Going: Good to Soft (Soft in places)

Race One (High Easter Hunts Club Members' Race) 1 N Padfield's Rockville (Essex) (J Owen), 2 Mrs J K Marriage's Top Boots (Essex) (Mrs N Cook), 3 C Hemmins' Lismore Legend (Essex) (A Braithwaite). Also: Spikey Passage (4), Coxwell Snowstorm (pu). One and a-half length, five lengths. 7.09. SP 4-6 fav.

Race Two (Division One Open Maiden Race): 1 G Hartigan and G Tawell's Suir Castle (Oakley) (G Tawell), 2 Mrs J May's Edgar Wilde (Essex and Suffolk) (A Braithwaite), 3 G Cooper's Crooked Brook (Essex and Farmers' Union). Also: Jerry'n See More (4), Marine Gunner (5), Nomadic Dreamer (pu), Royal Blazer (pu), Sir Anthony (pu), Steak 'n' Kidney (ur). One length, head. 7.08. SP 2-1 fav.

Race Three (Division Two Open Maiden Race): 1 R D Green's Minehill Lad (Cambs University), 2 D Bare's The Factor (Cottesmore) (M Mackley), 3 Mrs J K Marriage's Gavz Boy (Essex) (A Braithwaite). Also: Crosby (pu), Fairly Devious (pu), Huron (f), Pur Star (ur), River Impulse (pu). Three lengths. 7.08. SP 3-1 (The Factor evens fav).

Race Four (Men's Open Race): 1 Countess Cathcart's Caveman (West Norfolk) (G Greenock), 2 W Poulton's Hatsnall (E Kent) (M Mackley), 3 J M Turner's Militaire (Suffolk) (J Owen). Also: Another Dude (f). Three lengths, distance. 7.23. SP 5-4 (Another Dude 10-11 fav).

Race Five (Ladies' Open Race): 1 Miss M Samworth's Bedtime Boys (Cottesmore) (Miss L Allan), 2 Mrs H Silk and R Purkis' Carryonharry (Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds) (Miss C Haydon), 3 M Burman's Frosty Run (Cambs with Enfield Chase) (Miss E Bell). Also Dad Man's Dante (4), Peachy (f). Two lengths, 15 lengths. 7.01. SP 7-4 (Carryonharry 11-7 fav).

Race Six (Restricted Race): 1 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck's Sunyblaze (West Norfolk). Also: Comeonourfella (pu), Epop (pu), Mid Div and Creep (f), Mr Bashir (pu), Rear Gunner (ur), Reymysterio (pu). 7.06. SP (Rear Gunner 11-8 fav).

Race Seven (Intermediate Race): 1 I Thurtle and R Abrey's Forget The Ref (Suffolk) (R Stearn), 2 J M Turner's Winapenny (Suffolk) (J Owen), 3 Mrs S Embiricos' Jilted Lover (Suffolk) (Ms A Embiricos). Also: Young Lord (4), Balau (5), Perfect Prefect (pu). Ten lengths, neck. 7.06. SP 100-30 (Winapenny 2-1 fav).

Race Eight (PPORA Club Members' Race, Novice Riders): 1 J Morrey's Mr Naborro (Thurlow) (Owner), 2 Miss T Ward, Miss Ward and Miss F Ward's Magic To Do (Granta Harriers) (Miss R Ward), 3 R Fairley and K Jordan's Briar (Essex and Suffolk) (Miss R Chinery). Also: Moving Earth (4), Rakatia (5). One length, five lengths. 7.12. SP 7-2 (Moving Earth 4-6 fav).

Pony Race One (Children's Pony Flat Race under 128cm): 1 A Dixon's Knapaton Windrush (East Essex) (Edward Twinn), 2 Mrs S Cranston's Dykebeck Wild Bramble (North Norfolk) (India Taylor), 3 Jo O'Hara's Bureside Snickers William (Bickeridge) (Kia O'Hara). Also: Deben Pollyflinders (4). Ten lengths, three-quarters of a length. 1.20.

Pony Race Two (Children's Pony Flat Race under 138cm): 1 Mrs E Andrews' Clonross Polly (Cambs with Enfield Chase) (Bridget Andrews), 2 Miss C Wyatt's Sebastian (Dunston Harriers) (Charlotte Wyatt), 3 J Vestey's Skylark (Puckeridge), (Jack Vestey). Half-a-length, distance. 1.35.

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