LATEST GOING REPORT: GOOD TO FIRM, GOOD IN PLACES (As of Wednesday 20th February) Excellent grass covering and all bends have been moved onto fresh ground.
Preview – Waveney Harriers at Higham on Sunday February 24th
By Graham Bishop
The action returns to Higham on Sunday for the Waveney Harriers point to point, with several familiar names appearing amongst the entries on this six race card, including five of the six winners from the North Norfolk Harriers meeting at the end of January.
After two pony races, the point to point races commence at 1pm with the hunt race in which One Fine Morning, the winner of the novice riders race in January could be opposed by the second and third from that race, Abbey Lane and Weather Warning as well as last Saturday’s gutsy ladies open winner Lord Topper.
The conditions race could see Burtredgipandgump and Poyle Thomas renew their rivalry, and with a 5lb advantage Poyle Thomas could turn the tables for his neck defeat, however Chosen Rose the easy winner of the intermediate race at Ampton could provide a bigger threat and is now looking for a fifth consecutive victory.
The men’s open race sees course specialist Broken Eagle and closest pursuer Steeles Terrace possibly take on each other again. Although Broken Eagle eventually had an easy victory, Steeles Terrace will be more of a threat with that run under his belt. Dont Do Mondays, who was in fine form in the latter half of last season, could make his seasonal reappearance in this race as could the ex Tom George trained Call Me Vic, who won a 3 ¼ mile handicap chase on his penultimate start last summer.
The ladies open has a strong entry and features all three that ran in the ladies open at Higham in January, when Start Royal came out on top ahead of Sand Blast and Sa Kaldoun, when only four lengths separated all three. They are joined in the line-up by the very useful Top Smart who has two course victories to his name, and since running in points, has only failed to finish outside the first two on one occasion, when unseating his rider at the last, when clear. Karinga Dancer, the winner of a
2 ½ mile club race at Cottenham in December, has winning form around this course from last season, whilst the ex National Hunt trained Mighty Leader, who won three chases between May and September last season adds further interest.
Broom Tip, Pandinus Imperator, Josh The Plod and Raleagh Mountain have all finished in the first four this season in East Anglian points and seek their maiden win, but may have to take on the Andrew Pennock trained Laser Beam in the Open Maiden. This Irish import has finished 2nd and 3rd in points in December and January and is an interesting recruit.
The racing concludes with the restricted race in which half brothers and Cottenham maiden winners Black Jewel and Captiva Island feature. Add Bullsempire, who won the maiden race at Higham in January, and Steel The China, who won a maiden around the Sedgefield point to point course on his second and final start last season, and an intriguing contest could ensue.
First race is at 1pm with pony racing from 12 noon.
Admission: Children under 17 free while advance tickets for adults, priced at £13 per head, are available, up to midnight on the day before racing, from www.highamraces.co.uk – a £2 saving compared with what you will pay on the gate on Sunday.
Higham is just west of the A12 between Colchester and Ipswich using the B1068 turn-off towards Stoke-by-Nayland, post code CO7 6NG.