East Anglian Point-to-Point Association reveal details of this season's calender
Point-to-point racing is set to return to the region after an absence of more than a year at Higham tomorrow – but the two Ampton meetings are among the fixtures lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, writes Mike Ashby.
Following the Prime Minister’s road out of lockdown announcement on February 22, the Point-to-Point Authority issued a revised nationally allocated fixture list for the sport’s return, which restarted this week.
The East Anglian Point-to-Point Association administered season normally runs from November through to early May.
But while its calendar traditionally features three meetings at Horseheath, near Haverhill, and two at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, only two from the region now remain.
The Essex and Suffolk fixture at Higham will take place today ahead of the Essex with Farmers and Union meeting at High Easter on Sunday, April 25.
Both meetings will run strictly behind closed doors with Eventbrite streaming a live feed of tomorrow’s action for a cost of £5.98. It will be hosted by popular TV racing personality Derek Thompson and 1981 Grand National winning jockey Bob Champion CBE – see www.pointingea.com for link.
The Essex and Suffolk meeting has attracted 55 entries with a total of seven races, the first of which is at 2pm, preceded by two children’s pony flat races.
Andrew and Ruth Pennock, who have their stables located at Timworth, just outside Bury, possess an outstanding winning record at Higham with more than 30 winners in the last nine years.
They have entered four horses and hold a strong winning chance with Laser Beam in the concluding Hunt Members’ race. He has already won over the course on two occasions and currently boasts five wins from six outings in point-to-points.
They run Steeles Terrace in the Conditions race and the nine-year-old also has winning form at Higham with his last success coming two years ago, at the corresponding meeting.
Straight Eight has been off the course since May 2019 when finishing third, beaten 30 lengths. There could be room for improvement from the seven-year-old in the Maiden contest.
No Gale in the Maiden Conditions race is their fourth representative and although he has finished in the placings , twice in Ireland, has failed to complete the course when saddled by the Pennocks, in Great Britain. Sam Lee will be the man in the saddle for all these runners.
The Turner family from Ampton have entered three horses, all trained by Ed Turner, namely Aigle De La See (Veterans race), Conteur D’Histoire (Maiden Conditions) and Take To Heart has two entries; one in the Mixed Open and the other in the Conditions race.
Trainer Nick Wright and his jockey, son Archie, from Badlingham near Newmarket, team up with In A Blue Dust, who runs in either the opening Veterans race or the Conditions race.