Highlights of the last three decades of the Essex and Suffolk
by Mike Ashby
Date: 3rd April 2010 Going: GOOD
Races: 6 Runners: 38
Winning Favourites 2 out of 6
A Turner stable treble with three different winning jockeys wearing the famous navy blue with white hoop and check cap colours. BASIC FACT and Ed Turner were involved in a tight finish with Ballynonty and Tom Jonasson with only a neck in favour of the former, at the finish of the Novice Rider’s race.
James Owen was seen to good effect to get new French recruit PARRAIN home in the Men’s Open by half a length from Took My Eye. ASSASSINO and Louise Allan completed the treble when clear, twenty length winners of the Ladies’ Open.
The Maiden went to LORD PRUNUS to give owner Michael Skinner his first triumph, after a thirty year gap, since riding Pilot Officer to victory, also at Higham. Andrew Braithwaite brought the eventual winner with a tremendous late run to win the race, in the last 100 yards.
ASSASSINO: Bay gelding by Kabool out of Bleu Ciel Et Blanc
Not the biggest of geldings who started his racing career in France and is a half brother to 2010 Champion Hurdler, Binocular. Showed good, consistent form , especially in Ladies’ races, for the Joe Turner stable and always one to follow when firmer surfaces prevailed.
Date: 22nd April 2000 Going: GOOD ( Good to Soft in places)
Races: 7 Runners: 49
Winning Favourites: 4 out of 7
With first and last race wins, Alan Coe doubled his total tally of successes for the season to four. His wins came via veteran LUSTY LIGHT, who had no difficulty landing his twelfth victory of his career in the opening Members’ race and FOUNTAIN BANK in Division Two of the Maiden. Both races were won by comfortable distances.
Harry Fowler also registered two victories, his first ever double, and worked wonders in the saddle for both successes. ULVICK STAR overcame some untidy jumping in the Restricted whilst SHINING LEADER nearly stopped approaching the last in Division One of the Maiden. It was only Harry’s cajoling, the situation not helped by a slipping saddle, saw the pair hold on by a diminishing half a length.
Gi d’Angibau partnered the odds-on favourite, CRACKING IDEA, to an eight length victory in the Ladies’ Open in the fastest time of the day.
LUSTY LIGHT : Bay gelding by Strong Gale out of Pale Maid
Formerly with Jenny Pitman under rules and ran in two Grand Nationals. Fell at the first fence in 1995 and finished 16th in the 1996 Aintree race. Had along lay-off before returning to action and winning at
Cottenham in 1999 and had just the two outings in 2000, pulling up here in February before registering his twelfth career success at this Higham Easter meeting.
Date: 21st April 1990 Going: FIRM
Races: 6 Runners: 43
Winning Favourites: 2 plus 1 jt-fav out of 6
Nicola Bothway landed a quickfire double with wins on DAYBROOK’S GIFT (Restricted Open) and SKYGRANGE(Ladies’ Open), both for her grandfather, owner Joe Turner.
STANWICK LAD and John Sharp scored a bloodless victory in the Men’s Open after Rhusted and Tim Moore slipped up on the bend, turning into the straight for the final time, when in contention with the winner.
A very close finish in the Adjacent Hunt’s event saw ONE FOR MAMMY with Simon Andrews take the lead two fences out and stay on strongly on the flat, to repel Pendil’s Niece by two lengths. Behind them less than ten lengths covered the first seven horses home.
SKYGRANGE: Bay gelding by Al Sirat out Lady Rois
This gelding could be headstrong and generally front ran in his races but Nicola Bothway conjured some fine performances from him in the 1990 season. The record shows two wins, here and at Fakenham, a second and two falls, both at the last fence, one with the race at his mercy.
Date: 26th April 1980 Going: FIRM
Races: 6 Runners : 39 Winning Favourites: 2 out of 6
A double for William Wales on SWIFTWOOD in the Men’s Open and PAPILLION in the Adjacent Hunt’s Maiden and both started favourite for their races. Papillion was a ten lengths winner whilst Swiftwood had a much harder task with just two lengths and one length being recorded distances from Purple Haze ( Mike Bloom ) and Roundtown ( David Turner ).
KEEP and Lucy King won the Ladies’ Open, in the fastest time of the day, from Caroline Saunders on Taken On with the favourite Kara Pops back in third.
In the Members’ race the fifteen year old Atomic Prince was made favourite but was pulled up and honours went to George Cooper and PRIZELAND.
SWIFTWOOD: \Grey mare by Precipice Wood out of Swift Justice
A distinctive grey and highly commendable performer who gave the Wales family some exhilarating days at the races. Won five of her ten starts in 1980 including two successes at Higham but her momentous wins, in that season, came in hunter chases at Fakenham on Easter Monday and when landing the John Corbet Cup at Stratford, at their prestigious end of season meeting.