Seb Burnett-Wells made the perfect start to his riding career less than two weeks after his 16th birthday when landing the Novice Riders Race at the North Norfolk Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham, between Colchester and Ipswich, yesterday (February 19th).

Burnett-Wells betrayed none of his inexperience while guiding Abbey Lane – who is trained at Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, by Andrew Pennock – to his third victory of the season.

A pupil at St Benedicts School in Bury St Edmunds, Burnett-Wells hails from the ‘other’ Suffolk Higham, near Newmarket. And, judged by this stylish victory, he has every chance of emulating the success in the saddle of his father, Charlie, who was a professional jump jockey in the early 1990s.

Pennock went on to complete a double when Scorpion Star, a final fence faller when upsides the winner at the previous Higham fixture, proved two lengths too strong for Condorman in the Subaru Restricted Race.

But it was not all plain sailing for the Dalmer Lodge handler, as he suffered short-priced reverses in both the Maiden Race and the Club Members Race.

In the former, Pennock’s Royal Chieftain hit the deck and the fourth last obstacle leaving the 16-1 outsider, Royal Beekeeper, to come home six lengths clear of Toosey.

Clearly none the worse for a spectacular unseat at Cottenham just eight days earlier, Royal Beekeeper is trained in Newmarket by James Owen and benefitted from the application of sheepskin cheekpieces for the first time.

Black Glen Boy, Pennock’s Club Members runner, could never get on terms with the front-running Merrydown Vintage, trained in Surrey by Ray Fielder, and had to settle for second place, six lengths adrift of that rival.

The Ladies Open Race witnessed a popular success for Quinsman, owned by the three children of the late Robert Clifton-Brown and partnered by veteran pilot, Louise Allan. Clifton-Brown, who passed away last October, was an outspoken advocate of equine sports who carried on riding at his home in Great Bradley into his late eighties.

Allan, from Newmarket, still has a way to go to emulate such longevity, but this triumph came a quarter of a century after she notched her first triumph between the flags at Cottenham back in 1992.

The classiest performer on display was undoubtedly Broken Eagle, who took his Higham record to a perfect five-from-five with a command performance in the Mens Open Race.

Trained in Oxfordshire by Alan Hill, Broken Eagle is being targeted at the Aintree Foxhunters over the Grand National fences on April 6th and may have one more run beforehand, in a hunter chase.





Open Maiden

1st Royal Beekeeper 16/1     Alex Ferguson

2nd Toosey               4/1   Joe Hill

3rd Infinityandbeyond 6/1    Charlie Buckle

Time 5-58    Dists:6L, 8L

9 ran

Also: Lady Kay(pu) Midnight Quest(ur) On The Tangle (ur) Royal Chieftain 4/6f (f) Shamat(4th) Unseen (ur) *1 Fence omitted, fallen rider


Novice Riders

1st Abbey Lane         1/3f    Sebastian Burnett Wells

2nd Carrie On Asian 9/2      Carrie Tucker

3rd Valid Point          7/2    Rory Bevin

Time 5-51     Dists: Dist, Dist

5 ran

Also: Frankie Anson (ur) The Master Remover (ur)

* 3 jumps omitted, fallen riders


Subaru Restricted

1st Scorpion Star      4/7f          Evan David

2nd Condorman         7/2          Joe Hill

3rd Beat The Index    20/1         Kate Gowing

Time 5-56      Dists: 2L, 8L

5 ran

Also: Master Ally (4th) Weather Warning (5th)


Mens Open

1st Broken Eagle         1/9f    Joe Hill

2nd Kriss William         8/1     Ed Turner

3rd Nightscape          16/1    Charlie Buckle

Time 5-46      Dists: Dist, 1/2L       4 ran

Also: Protaras (4th)


Ladies Open

1st Quinsman                6/4 jt f          Louise Allan

2nd Sa Kaldoun            4/1               Rosie Turner

3rd Caulkin                  8/1               Honor Whyte

Time 5-54      Dists: 3L, 5L

5 ran

Also: Green Bank 6/4 jt f (4th) Stage Acclaim (5th)


CA Club Members

1st Merrydown Vintage   6/4     Chris Dennington

2nd Black Glen Boy                 4/7f    Evan David

3rd Kyles Faith                    8/1     Joe Hill

Time 5-54      Dists: 6L, 15L

5 ran

Also: Coral Point (4th) Good Order (pu)