It was a case of doubles all round as East Anglia played host to a brace of cold but entertaining Point-To-Points over the weekend. On Saturday the spotlight fell on Higham for the Granta Harriers meeting while on Sunday it moved to Ampton where the course survived three inspection following overnight frost to stage the Suffolk fixture.
The Ampton highlight was the Men’s Open where three of Norfolk’s finest, Caveman, Rydal Park and Forget The Ref, fought out the finish. Caveman, trained at Wymondham by Nigel Bloom and ridden by George Greenock, jumped brilliantly throughout and held off the rallying Rydal Park by a length with Forget The Ref just two lengths back in third.
Bloom, who was notching his first success of the season, said: “Caveman has a rare quality among racehorses in that he never gives up and hates being passed. He is best going right-handed and would be even better over bigger fences.”
The Ampton card was bookended by popular triumphs for course officials. First Big Rob defied his position as outsider of three in the betting market when lumping 13 stone to victory in the Hunt Race.
Ridden by Rupert Strearn, he is trained near Wymondham by Rupert’s father, Simon, who has the thankless task of Ampton Clerk Of The Course.
“I’ve been here since 7.15am and here I am, seven hours, lots of stress and 18 cigarettes later,” Stearn senior joked.
The Ampton finale went to the course’s landowner, Joe Turner, courtesy of the James Owen-ridden Native Bob.