An enormous crowd flocked to Higham on Easter Saturday to enjoy the point-to-point racing, many of whom will have left with some extra money in their pockets as favourites won every race until a dramatic finale.
Two of East Anglia’s leading trainers enjoyed doubles on the day. Timworth near Bury St Edmunds based trainer Andrew Pennock is enjoying another stellar season in partnership with his new stable jockey Dicky Collinson. The pair began the day in style with their new recruit Black Glen Boy who had little more than an exercise canter in the opening Restricted contest to follow up his Ampton Maiden success of last month when on debut for the yard having shown smart form in Irish Maidens previously.
The Pennock double was achieved later on the card as course specialist Galbally King responded generously to an aggressive ride from James Jackson-Stops as the pair made all in the Novice Riders Race. Galbally King was winning on this card for the third successive season, having captured the Hunts Members race for the last two years, and for the sixth time at Higham in his career. Although this was the first occasion that James Jackson-Stops had ridden Galballly King in a race, the horse put in a spectacular round of jumping to repel the Sandra Fryer trained Festival Bound.
The Sanda Fryer yard in Wymondham went one better when the admirable Volcan Surprise was rewarded for his consistency with a much-deserved victory in the Ladies Open. Volcan Surprise has finished runner-up four times this season behind some smart performers but stayed on well past the front-running Warwickshire for new pilot Carey Williamson replacing Bridget Andrews who has now turned professional.
The second double on the day went the way of the Badlingham yard of Nick Wright who scored with both his runners on the card under his son Archie. Their 13 year-old veteran Patsy Finnegan is in the form of his life at the moment and recorded a hat-trick of wins this season in the Mens Open. His task was made considerably easier by the departures of his two main market rivals Themilanhorse and King High, but such was the ease of the victory that Patsy Finnegan would have been extremely difficult to beat in any case. A hunter chase beckons next.
Baroque Style made it third time lucky in the Maiden to complete the Nick Wright double. He has parted company with Archie Wright in the closing stages when holding every chance in both previous outings for the yard since being recruited from Ireland, but the combination made no mistake this time registering a facile success in the style of a smart performer. Evidently a horse that is not easy to manage mentally, Baroque Style is responding well to the expertise of the Nick Wright team.
The day concluded in dramatic style with two setting out in the Hunts Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race, but unfortunately neither horse managed to finish. Stage Acclaim unseated Charlotte Ingleton at the second fence and after a few ponderous leaps when trying to complete the remainder of the race on his own, King Of Castile ultimately refused at the final open ditch unseating Sophie Whyte.