Esplendidos gave owner Roy Green a belated fiftieeth birthday present when scoring for trainer Katie Thory and jockey Nick Pearce at a muddy North Norfolk Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham on Saturday.

The course survived two inspections as the thaw came in the nick of time and although the going was officially, good to soft, it was considerably worse in the car parks, where vehicles slipped and skidded all day but just about managed to get around.

Green, who like fellow owner Brian Sayer hails from Soham in Cambridgeshire, registered his half century one week before Esplendidos came home ten lengths in front of Yukon Jack in the elders Maiden.

But Newmarket-based Pearce, who was getting off the mark for the season, had to display all his horsemanship to keep the partnership intact as Esplendidos blundered his way through the last two fences.

Green revealed that these wet conditions were not meant to suit his charge. His previous trainer, Paul Keane, told us when we bought him that he liked firm ground but wouldn’t go at all on the soft, he chuckled.

Full Irish shaped like a prolific future winner when allowing another top local pilot, Zoe Turner, to break her duck for 2007 with victory over the promising Who Cares Wins in the Ladies’ Open.Full Irish, who is owned and trained at Ampton near Bury St Edmunds by Zoe’s grandfather, Joe Turner, was a ten-time winner under rules for Len Lungo before making this pointing debut. Badly held up in his training by last week’s cold snap, Full Irish was blowing like mad afterwards according to his rider and will improve a great deal for the outing.

Nokimover has visited the winner’s enclosure even more than Full Irish during his long career and he took his tally to 16 (including no less than nine, from just 13 attempts, for current rider Alex Vaughan-Jones) when accounting for Lucky Leader in the Men’s Open.Nokimover is trained in Northamptonshire by Gerald Bailey but is owned by Vaughan-Jones’s mother, Alice, and feed merchant Gary Luck, both from Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk.

Alex has flown the nest and now lives in Shepherds Bush, London, where he shares a mechanical horse (piece of jockey’s training equipment) with neighbour Joe Docker, who, like Alex, was victorious on his only ride of the day.

In Docker’s case his big moment came aboard Oscar Buck in the youngsters Maiden. A very bright prospect, Oscar Buck is trained in Leicestershire by Holly Campbell.

Melton Mowbray-trained course specialist The Stickler took his record at this venue to three wins and two seconds from five starts when given a well-timed waiting ride by Eyes Alex Merriam en route to a five length triumph in the Intermediate Race.

Banbury trainer Annie Connell has her string in brilliant form at present and she was celebrating her fourth triumph of the campaign when Needs Time overcame a couple of earth-shuddering fencing errors to take the Dodson & Horrell Club Members Race under Tim Lane.

And The Granby gave trainer-rider Heather Kemp her first success since moving from the Midlands to Sussex last year when lifting the Countryside Alliance Conditions Race.


Race One (Open Maiden Race, 5, 6 and 7yo):

1 Miss Mary Samworth’s Oscar Buck (Quorn) (J Docker),

2 Mrs F A Cooper’s Olympe de Farges (Essex Farmers and Union) (R Stearn),

3 Mrs J Holt’s Skuna Bay (Belvoir) (R Armson).

Also: Catch a Tartar (F), Crown Agent (pu), Holle Berry (pu), Lane Marshal (pu), Mon Avis (pu), Trip to the Stars (pu), Shotgun Annie (withdrawn). 20 lengths, 10 lengths. 6.47. Win £2.40. DF £6.50 (winner with third horse). SP 6-4 fav.

Race Two (Open Maiden Race, 8yo and over):

1 R Green and B Sayer’s Esplendidos (Fitzwilliam, Milton) (N Pearce),

2 T North’s Yukon Jack (Cottesmure) (M Mackley),

3 A Gibbons’ Sound Skin (Essex) (M Jackson).

Also: Beau Brummel (ur), Bosco’s Tune (ur), Edensworld (pu), Green Collar (pu), Mem Octavia (pu), Warrier Dan (pu). Ten lengths, a distance. 6.51. Win £4. DF £5. SP 9-4 fav.

Race Three (Intermediate Race):

1 S Blyth’s The Stickler (S Notts) (A Merriam),

2 I Heaney’s Aslapoftheeuro (Chid, Lec and Cowdray) (P York). Only two finished.

Also: Accademia (pu), Badger’s Glory (pu), Beggars Brook (ur), Crystal Dance (tnp), Hi Up Brenkley (pu), Rakatia (pu), Rocja (pu), Supreme Vintage (pu). Five lengths. 6.40. Win £2.20. DF 24.50. SP 2-1 fav.

Race Four (Men’s Open Race):

1 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Nokimover (W Norfolk) (A Vaughan-Jones),

2 K Dilworth and N Tutt’s Lucky Leader (Ashford Vale) (K Dilworth). Only two finished.

Also: Caber (pu), Doe Nal Rua (pu), Durlston Bay (pu), Power Glory (pu) Quality First (pu). Three lengths. 6.50. Win £1.40. DF £7. SP 1-2 fav.

Race Five (Ladies’ Open Race):

1 J M Turner’s Full Irish (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),

2 S March’s Who Cares Wins (E Essex) (Miss A Stennett),

3 Mr and Mrs A Kemp’s Stromness (Chid, Lec and Cowdray).

Also: Gatchoi Mans (4), Cedar Chief (5), Hot Plunge (tnp), Lawman (pu), Persian King (ur), Tartar Sabre (ur). Ten lengths, a distance. T 6.45. Win £4.40. DF £20. SP 3-1 (Hot Plunge 2-1 fav).

Race Six (Countryside Alliance Club Members’ Conditions Race):

1 Mr and Mrs A Kemp’s The Granby (Chid, Lec and Cowdray) (Mrs H Kemp),

2 Mr and Mrs R Abrey’s Another Dude (Suffolk) (R Stearn),

3 D Harding-Jones’ Quid Pro Quo (Puckeridge) (M Mackley).

Also: Asthefellowsaid (4), Sorkatcheguy (5), Anatar (pu), Gallery God (pu), Rome (pu), Thoutmosis (pu). Twenty-five lengths, three lengths. 6.45. Win £12.60. DF £58. SP 6-1 (Asthefellowsaid 2-1 fav).

Race Seven (PPORA Club Members’ Restricted Race):

1 Lady Connell’s Needs Time (Grafton) (T Lane),

2 The BCD Partnership’s Barrels Pal (Staff College) (P York),

3 T Batterbee’s Ballalley Lad (Suffolk) (A Braithwaite).

Also: Court Award (ur), Down the River (pu), Forget the Ref (ur), Lanicene (pu). A distance, five lengths. 6.59. Win £1.60. DF £4.20. SP 6-4 fav