WAVENEY HARRIERS - HIGHAM
Sunday 25th January
Brackloon High could be set for a tilt at the nation’s most prestigious hunter chase, the Foxhunter at Cheltenham on March 13, after he exhibited an incredible turn of foot to land a top quality Mens Open race at the Waveney Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham, near Colchester, on Sunday.
It was a fabulous fixture, featuring no less than nine steeplechases and two pony races during five and a half hours of action.
The highlight was the Mens Open where just five lengths covered the first six horses across the finish line. Brackloon High, trained at Leighton Buzzard by Michael Kehoe, passed six horses in the final half mile and had half a length to spare over Ravethebrave at the winning post.
The top East Anglian horses Master Workman, Bach To The Wall and Macklin all excelled themselves to finish close up in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Nick Wright, from Badlingham, near Newmarket, the owner-trainer of Bach To The Wall, had earlier been on the right end of a similarly tight finish when Stress had won the first of two Club Members Races.
Ridden by Nick’s son, Archie, Stress got up close home to beat Earl Grez by half a length.
The other division of the Club Members looked set to be dominated by Themilanhorse, trained at Cowlinge, near Newmarket, by John Ferguson, only for the 14-year-old veteran, The Sliotar, who had journeyed down from the Julie Marles yard in Warwickshire, to sweep past and score with ease.
The Restricted Race witnessed a second success of the season for Play The Ace, trained at Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, by Andrew Pennock and ridden by Dickie Collinson. Again, it was tight, but Play The Ace pulled out a little extra in the closing stages to beat Brians Well by two lengths with Troufion, trained at Wymondham by Caroline Fryer, close behind in third.
The other East Anglian success came in the opening Hunt Race as Carlanstown, trained at Chediston in Suffolk by John Ibbott and partnered by Annie Bowles, from Rushall, near Diss, beat King Of Castile by a comfortable ten lengths despite a blunder at the penultimate fence.
The Ladies Open was won by the Gloucestershire raider, Bound For Glory, who set off in front at a strong pace and managed to hold off the Nick Wright-trained It Was Me by a length and a half.
Northamptonshire handler Pauline Harkin had never been to Higham before but is likely to be returning after both her runners – Glory Hunter and Popaway -returned triumphant.
Glory Hunter looks like a young horse to follow after breaking his duck in a division of the Maiden, while Popaway began her preparation for April’s Aintree Foxhunter with an incredibly easy victory in the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares Race.
Finally, My Alfie got off the mark at the seventh attempt by defying the errant-jumping Venlo by a neck in the other Maiden Race.
1st Carlanstown (Annie Bowles) 1/5f
2nd King Of Castile (Dicky Collinson) 7/2
3rd Chapmans Peak (Sophie Whyte)
Time 6 mins 12 secs Dists: 10L, Dist 4 ran
PPORA Club Members Div One
1st Stress (Archie Wright) 5/2
2nd Earl Grez (Joe Hill) 10/1
3rd Driftashore (Brodie Hampson) 13/8f
Time 5-56* Dists: 1/2L, 4L 11 ran
* 2 jumps omitted, damaged fence
PPORA Club Members Div Two
1st The Sliotar (Peter Mann) 10/1
2nd Themilanhorse (James Ferguson) 4/7f
3rd Carpincho (Kate Gowing) 5/1
Time 6-00 Dists: 8L, 3L 10 ran
1st Brackloon High (Andrew Barlow) 5/4f
2nd Ravethebrave (Joe Hill) 2/1
3rd Brunswick Gold (Stuart Robinson) 6/1
Time 5-59 Dists: 1/2L, 1L 10 ran
1st Bound For Glory (Hannah Lewis) 16/1
2nd It Was Me (Carey Williamson) 2/1f
3rd Start Royal (Gina Andrews) 3/1
Time 5-55 Dists: 1 1/2L, 1L 9 ran
Open Maiden Div One
1st My Alfie (Tom Ellis) 11/4f
2nd Venlo (Zac Baker) 7/1
3rd Beat The Index (Rupert Stearn) 7/2
Time 6-03 Dists: Nk, 8L 10 ran Ballingarrow 7/4f (PU)
Open Maiden Div Two
1st Glory Hunter (Peter Mann) 2/1f
2nd Weve Got Company (Jack Andrews) 13/2
3rd Celtic Intrigue (Andrew Barlow) 5/2
Time 6-08 Dists: 12L, 1/2L 12 ran
1st Play The Ace (Dicky Collinson) 7/4
2nd Brians Well (James Tudor) Evs f
3rd Troufion (Bridget Andrews) 8/1
Time 6-07 Dists: 2L, Hd 8 ran
TBA Club Members Mares + Fillies
1st Popaway (Joe Docker) 1/7f
2nd Running In Heels (Gina Andrews) 5/1
3rd Zakharyina (Tabitha Worsley) 10/1
Time 6-20 Dists: 8L, 1L 4 ran