The East Anglian Point-to-Point season got off to an inauspicious start at Higham over the weekend as the continued dry spell kept all but 14 horses away from the course. The result was a day which included 2 walkovers amidst 2 and 3 runner fields.
Oh but had it all started as the first race played out. Five went to post for the Conditions race, and in the style of many a Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner, Will Featherstone secured a back to back victory with Minella Beat, who had won here for the final event of last season's abridged calendar in April. Featherstone is on work placement with Jamie Snowden, also enjoying a good run of form under Rules.
Alex Chadwick was a winner of the Open Maiden on Abunchofmemories, in a 3 runner field, owned and trained by Brian Dowling. Meantime, in the PPORA Club Members Conditions race, a match neatly set up Sam Lee to win by 3 1/2l on Lords Park Star.
In the closing Restricted Race, Alan Hill's Frank And Honest took command over Alex Chadwick on Le Pogues Storm to win by 7 lengths.
The small numbers are not unique to the Point-to-Point scene. Only 47 went to post for Huntingdon's last fixture on Saturday, but I never heard any winning trainer complain about a lack of opposition!
Pam Sly was on the mark once again with a youngster in the concluding Bumper when Special Cadeau made a winning debut under Rules. He';s impeccably bred out of Pam's own Speciosa, who won her a Guineas, by Nathaniel, a Derby winner, so I suspect he may be a late developer. Start as you mean to go on, however.
Also on the mark was Toby Bulgin with his second winner in as many runners, starting a fresh career as a trainer after a break stretching back to 1989. Operating from a base at Methwold, outside Thetford, the second attempt has started well. How appropriate that the winning horse should be named Luckofthedraw.
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