Neil King experienced the highs and lows of Point-To-Pointing within a few minutes as the sunshine brought out a massive crowd for the Waveney Harriers fixture at Higham on Sunday.
Barely half an hour after Newmarket trainer-jockey King had recorded his first riding success since moving his string to St Gatien Stables last autumn he suffered a suspected broken collar bone in a horrific fall.King’s victory came aboard stable stalwart Pangeran, who relished the fast ground as he beat Wise Advice by an easy ten lengths in the Confined Race. After the ecstasy, the agony, as Honey Trader walked through the third last fence in the following Men’s Open Race with fatal consequences, leaving his pilot in considerable pain.
It was largely a day for favourite backers, with four of the six market leaders obliging. Yet Jackie Jarvis and Star Glow – the two biggest hotpots on the card – were turned over, making it a long and fruitless journey from Cobham in Surrey for the York family, who were responsible for both.
Jackie Jarvis collected her third Higham second placing of the year in the Men’s Open, an untidy leap at the final fence allowing Gatchou Mans to take a narrow lead which the favourite failed by a neck to regain.
In some ways this was poetic justice for the winner (who is trained at Glemsford by Ruth Hayter and was brilliantly ridden by Christian Ward-Thomas) as Gatchou Mans had come a cropper at the last when vying for the lead at the previous meeting at this venue.
Ironically, winning owner Anthony Howland-Jackson, from Wakes Colne, is a director of the race sponsors, Hiscox, so afterwards was able to present the trophy to his own wife, Sue.
The Intermediate Race, which brought proceedings to a close, seemed likely to end the day on a low key note with just six runners and only two boasting any real form this season. But it produced high drama and, at 33-1, the longest-priced winner of the season so far.
Run Monty and Star Glow – the two form horses – fell at the same fence one circuit apart, leaving the lesser lights with the race between them. Bruan then built up what looked sure to be a winning lead only to falter badly in the closing stages and allow New Ross past for a five length victory.
New Ross is trained at Wymondham by Mike Bloom and was partnered by Alex Merriam, from Eye. He was carrying the colours of Merriam’s grandmother, Anne, who for the first time ever had ventured up from Dorset to see her charge run.
Mai Point, trained at Pebmarsh by Paula Twinn, showed that she has fully recovered from the virus that had afflicted all of Twinn’s horses when lifting the Gerrard Ladies’ Open. Brought with a well-timed challenge by Rachael Barrow, Mai Point saw off O’Fiaich’s Hope by three lengths.
The opening Members’ Race had a thrilling finish as Treasure Dome edged home by a head under Alan Coe. Runner-up in this event for the previous two years, Treasure Dome is trained at Beccles by Anneli Whyte.
The biggest field of the day resulted in the most facile winner as Leicestershire raider Sounds Promising made every yard of the running to beat his 12 Maiden Race rivals by 15 lengths.
Race One (Members’ Race):
1 J W Whyte’s Treasure Dome (Waveney Harriers) (A Coe),
2 Miss L Barratt-Nobbs’ Dancing Ranger (Waveney Harriers) (owner),
3 Mrs M Ibbott’s Musical Hit (Waveney Harriers) (Miss A Bowles).
Also Bright Torino (pu), Harry Tartar (ur). Head, three lengths. 6m 18s. W £2. SP Evens fav.
Race Two (Confined Race):
1 Mrs A McVay, R Oliver-Smith and P Cornwall’s Pangeran (Suffolk) (N King),
2 M A Kemp’s Wise Advice (Suffolk), (D Kemp),
3 J M Turner’s Pampered Gale (Suffolk) (J Owen).
Also Dockmaster (4th), Salmon Mead (5th) Spittal Beck (ur). Ten lengths, eight lengths. 6m 00s. W £2. SP 4/5 fav.
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 Mr and Mrs A Howland-Jackson’s Gatchou Mans (Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas),
2 Miss E Delaney’s Jackie Jarvis (Staff College) (P York),
3 A G Chinery’s Royal Action (East Essex) (P Chinery).
Also Drumlin (4th), Honey Trader (f), Watchowillie (f). Neck, five lengths. 5m 59s. W £5. SP 7/2 (Jackie Jarvis 2/5 fav).
Race Four (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 D L Claydon’s Mai Point (East Essex) (Miss R Barrow),
2 Miss A Wells’ O’Fiaich’s Hope (Fernie) (Owner),
3 J M Turner’s The Wiley Kalmuck (Suffolk), (Miss Z Turner).
Also Triple Eaves (4th), Ruth’s Boy (5th), Catherine’s Way (6th), Darak Shaw (7th), Mill O’ The Rags (8th), Pongo Waring (9th), Torus Spa (ro). Three lengths, five lengths. 5.59. W £2. SP 4/5 fav.
Race Five (Open Maiden Race):
1 J Burton’s Sounds Promising (Cranwell Bloodhounds) (M Mackley),
2 J D Parker’s Henry Tartar (Waveney Harriers) (Miss L Barratt-Nobbs),
3 C J Lawson’s Looking Magic (Essex) (owner).
Also Pendil’s Charm (4th), Bede (5th), Paperprince (6th), Barbed Broach (pu) Berewolf (pu), Cherokee Red (pu), Mighty Missflighty (pu), Run River Run (pu), Sense of Duty (pu), Wicklow Chase (f). Fifteen lengths, distance. No time taken. W £2.60. SP 6/4 fav.
Race Six (Intermediate Race):
1 A W K Merriam’s New Ross (Dunston Harriers) (Alex Merriam),
2 J M Turner’s Bruan (Suffolk) (J Owen),
3 Mr and Mrs A R Humphrey’s Nousayri (Thurlow) (A Humphrey).
Also Pharangel (pu), Run Monty (f), Star Glow (f). Five lengths, distance. 6m 03s. W £21. SP 33/1 (Star Glow 2/5 fav).