John Whyte, who gives up so much of his time to organise the Waveney Harriers Point-To-Point which took place at Higham on Sunday gained his just reward when Supreme Sir ran away with the new Hunts Club Members Race.
Supreme Sir followed up his victory at the same fixture last year. But this was a much more praiseworthy effort, as his 2007 triumph has come in an uncompetitive old-fashioned Hunt Race whereas this was against a strong field and in a winning time that turned out to be faster than any of the six subsequent races.
Whyte, from Ilketshall St Andrew near Beccles, both owns and trains Supreme Sir and said: “I knew he was in top form and, although he’s difficult to get fit, we’ve been able to work him harder this time as last year we had only just got him from the sales and took it a bit easy.”
Winning jockey Nick Pearce is the reigning East Anglian champion but has recently emigrated from Newmarket to start training down in Kent. This was his first ride back on his old stamping ground.
Other local successes were conspicuous by their absence during the rest of a superb afternoon of steeplechasing run in beautiful winter sunshine in the face of an onslaught from Midlands-trained horses
Three second places were achieved, the nearest miss coming when Where’s My Baby, making his debut for Thetford trainer-rider David Kemp, was let down by some sloppy jumping but rallied to such affect on the run-in that he failed by just a neck to overhaul Warwickshire raider Nobel Hero in the Maiden Race.Fullards, trained near Peterborough by Pam Sly, looked sure to repeat last month’s Cottenham triumph when sweeping into the lead at the second last in the Ladies’ Open
But he came across a most determined rival in Beet de Bob (another visitor from Warwickshire) who, assisted most ably by jockey Hannah Watson, regained the lead in the closing stages to prevail by a length and a half.
The other runner-up’s spot came courtesy of Resplendent Star who, despite a fine ride by Wymondham’s Rupert Stearn, found Half Inch a length and a half too strong in the PPORA Members Race.
There was one other East Anglian success in terms of riding. Newmarket-based jockey Harry Fowler judged the pace to perfection in the closing Restricted Race to come from miles back aboard the Towcester-trained Henry’s Luck Penny, who had not run since being badly struck into when winning at this meeting 12 months previously.
Beet de Bob is handled by Susan Busby and her partner, Ken Hutsby, took the training plaudits for the Intermediate Race winner, Rash Move. Partnered by his son, Fred, Rash Move got the better of a sustained duel with Paserella to come out on top by a length and a half.
Finally, Henry Kinchin, trainer-rider of Nobel Hero, would have initiated a double aboard Dickensbury Lad had his mount demonstrated a little more fencing prowess in the Men’s Open Race.
Instead they had to settle for second place behind the front-runner, Jumbul Sale, who is likely to make another sortie from Northamptonshire for the next Higham meeting in three weeks’ time.
Race One (Waveney Harriers Hunt Members Race):
1 Mr and Mrs J Whyte’s Supreme Sir (Waveney Harriers) (N Pearce),
2 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Nokimover (North Norfolk Harriers) (A Vaughan-Jones),
3 Miss T Ward, Miss R Ward and Miss F Ward’s Magic To Do (Granta Harriers) (Miss R Ward).
Ten lengths, 15 lengths. 6.04. SP 14-1 (Who Cares Wins 5-2 fav).
Race Two (PPORA Club Members Race):
1 Mrs M Howlett’s Half Inch (Grafton) (J Newbold),
2 Mrs S Fryer’s Resplendent Star (Dunston Harriers) (R Stearn),
3 F Duffin’s Star Double (Dunston Harriers) (M Smith).
One and a half lengths, ten lengths. 6.03. SP 4-1 (Nathos 7-4 fav).
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 C Dixey’s Jumbul Sale (Grafton) (P Cowley),
2 T Goodman’s Dickensbury Lad (Warwicks) (H Kinchin),
3 N Meakin’s Kaki Crazy (Cotswold) (D Mansell).
Two lengths, three lengths. 6.05. SP 9-2 (Dickensbury Lad 6-4 fav).
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 Mrs S Busby and G Wright’s Beet De Bob (Farmers Bloodhounds) (Miss H Watson),
2 Mrs PM Sly’s Fullards (Fitzwilliam) (Miss L Allan),
3 Mr and Mrs A Kemp’s The Granby (Chid, Lec and Cowdray) (Mrs H kemp).
One and a half lengths, 15 lengths. 6.05. SP 7-2 (Fullards 4-5 fav).
Race Five (Open Maiden Race):
1 T Goodman and Mrs D Renney’s Nobel Hero (Warwicks) (H Kinchin),
2 Mr and Mrs J Ridge’s Where’s My Baby (Ruckeridge) (D Kemp),
3 M Hemphill’s Greek Star (Granta Harriers) (Mrs F hemphill).
Neck, five lengths. 6.05. SP 2-1 fav.
Race Six (Intermediate Race):
1 K Hutsby’s Rash Move (Warwicks) (F Hutsby),
2 D Renney’s Paserella (Heythrop) (Owner),
3 A Cowing’s Delgany Gale (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (P Hall).
One and a half lengths, 15 lengths. 6.06. SP 4-5 fav.
Race Seven (Restricted Race):
1 P Riddle, Mrs E Young and P Clayton’s Henry’s Luck Penny (Grafton) (H Fowler),
2 C Booth and Miss A West’s Flirty Jill (Grafton) (P Cowley),
3 The Blinkered Partnership’s Airmark (Warwicks) (T Ellis).
Three lengths, two lengths. 6.08. SF 3-1 (The Harrow 2-1 Fav).