Monday 7th May @ Northaw -
Enfield Chace with Cambridgeshire
2.15 Conditions – 18 entries
A number of those entered arrive in winning form. Both Legend To Be and Midnight Bliss were successful at Horseheath last weekend. Legend To Be benefited from a change in jockey and a positive front running ride to win the conditions race from Allie Beag, whilst Midnight Bliss won the novice riders’ race from Amigo. This was her third win of the season having won a maiden and a restricted race at the two High Easter meetings, and has also finished second in three contests including a length behind Chosen Rose in a maiden race at Ampton in March. Chosen Rose has only run once since that victory, at Fakenham, where she won the restricted race by 6 lengths from Bengo. In A Blue Dust could not match the improving Caryto Des Brosses over 2 ½ miles around High Easter last time (Knockedoutloaded finished 4th), but had previously won both his starts this season, firstly at Cottenham and then at Garthorpe, where Love Manhattan finished behind in third. Love Manhattan has most recently won a three horse race at Revesby Park, beating Helpston by 6 lengths. Running in the same colours is Our Milly Acres, who missed all of last season. She has run three times this season, being placed on the first two occasions and then winning an intermediate race at Tabley ahead of Lake Balaton. Le Fou Royal who beat the aforementioned Caryto Des Brosses around Fakenham last season, had not threatened to get into the winner’s enclosure on his first three runs, but then on his 4th start won the intermediate race at Penshurst by ½ length from Magic Symphony.
Selection: In A Blue Dust Alternative: Our Milly Acres
2.50 Intermediate – 11 entries
Interesting little race this with most of the entries with a similar rating, but difficult to know which will turn up as multiple entered at various courses. Benefit of Luck is a six year old who has had three outings in points this season. First two runs was pulled up and unseated but won an Open Maiden for young horses at Godstone two weeks ago. Clenagh Castle was successful in 2017 in the West Country when ridden by Will Biddick winning a Maiden and Restricted in quick succession. So far this year has had two races in Novice Riders races and has still to complete. Cnoc Sion is from a successful yard and has six outings this year, won a Maiden and Restricted in succession and is obviously on the up. Dunara Castle and Fountains Cider have a great deal of experience in that both have competed in over twenty races each with a modicum of success; last time out both won three runner races. Haut Bages from the Turner’s yard won at High Easter last season and this year was 2nd to Summer Sounds at Ampton. Following on from winning the Ladies Open last week this is the time of the year when the Turner runners start to turn on the gas. Midnight Bliss has had seven outings this season and has been incredibly successful for trainer and Kate Gowing the jockey. Of the seven races she has won three times and 2nd three times. The step up in class should not be a problem and we would expect further success here, Steeles Terrace from the Andrew Pennock yard won a Maiden and Restricted back in January and last time out finished behind Kalabaloo at Fakenham. Virgo the First probably ran his best race of the season at the Puckeridge meeting at Horseheath at the end of March when finishing a length behind Welsh Castle. Last time out was 2nd to Dido at Fakenham and beaten by four lengths.
Selection: Midnight Bliss Alternative: Virgo the First
3.25 PPORA Club Members (Novice Riders) – 19 entries
Tempus fugit as the Romans used to say, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I wrote my first preview for Cottenham and now I am writing my final one for Northaw. An excellent entry of 19 for this novice riders contest. There are several horses entered here in decent form. L’Eldorado has won 3 of his last four starts and on the other start he was second. On his most recent outing at Revesby Park he beat Icthec by 4 lengths last month and has struck up a fine partnership with Meisha Micklewright. Tempelpirate has been placed first or second on his last 5 outings. On his most recent appearance he beat the useful Hawkhurst by 2 lengths at Kingston Blount last month. Kashmir Peak has completed a hat trick and won at Edgcote by 9 lengths from Bayley’s Dream late last month. However he has multiple entries over the Bank Holiday weekend so may not take up his engagement here. Caroline Fryer has two entered here from her Wymondham stable. Both are due to be ridden by the promising Kate Gowing. Kingston College defeated a possible rival today, Penelope Pips by 6 lengths with Nightscape a further 17 lengths away in 4th with last week’s surprise Horseheath winner Legend To Be a distance behind in 6th. The other Fryer runner is Midnight Bliss who beat Amigo by 3 lengths at Horseheath last weekend. Just Cause slipped up in this race at halfway when sent off favourite. Just Cause is a dual winner this season with wins at Cottenham and Higham but finished a well beaten 5th at Catterick in a hunter chase prior to the Horseheath appearance. Done A Runner won at Revesby Park on the same day as L’Eldorado in a time 7 seconds quicker when accounting for Gowanauthat by 9 lengths. Knockedoutloaded unseated his rider on the flat at Penshurst last month but did win at Charing on Easter Saturday with Jack Andrews aboard when defeating Wonderful Present by 12 lengths. Weather Warning was 3rd in the men’s open at Fakenham last month beaten 30 lengths by Broken Eagle. Oliver James last ran at the Cheltenham hunter chase meeting last season when he pulled up. Prior to this he won at Lockinge when beating Gizzit by 3 1/2 lengths in April 2017 and has changed stables since. Both L’Eldorado and Tempelpirate arrive here in great form so we’ll just side with L’Eldorado as our selection with Tempelpirate as our alternative. Kashmir Peak is another in decent form but probably won’t run here and of the local horses Midnight Bliss is another in great heart.
Selection: L’Eldorado Alternative: Tempelpirate
4.00 Ladies Open – 11 entries
Three horses from Ed Turner’s yard head the entries: Sa Kaldoun (our pick) won the corresponding race here last season. He’s shown some decent form recently finishing 2nd on his last two starts to Top Smart at Horseheath and Degooch at Penshurst and should be able to take this; Kriss William has come into form and ran well to beat Sharp Suit by 1/2l at Horseheath last weekend. If he goes for this it will be his 4th race in 5 weeks, which is a concern; whilst Bavard Court hasn’t enjoyed the heavy ground in recent races but with mainly dry weather forecast over the weekend this should be more to his liking. He hasn’t won in the last two years but places regularly. Kimora just held on to beat Midnight Appeal and Ni Sin E Mo Ainm when receiving a stone in a Ladies Vet & Novice Riders at Andoversford last month and has place chances as do Golden Crisp who finished ahead of the decent Follow The Paint when 2nd at Parham last weekend, and Penelope Pips who was well clear of Galros Lady when 2nd to Kingston College at Fakenham two weeks ago.
Selection: Ed Turner’s runner Alternative: Kimora
4.35 Restricted –12 entries
A disappointing 12-runner entry. Benefit of Luck from the Peters yard had the advantage of the trainer in the plate when winning the young Maiden at Godstone on soft ground in April but in a grade up he may struggle. Bengo from the Wright yard on his first run this season was 2nd on firmer ground to the progressive Chosen Rose in the recent Fakenham Restricted and could run into a place. A 7th run this season for Full Batten, an ex Gordon Elliott horse who had seven outings in Ireland and was 2nd twice in Hurdles then ran six times in Points was 3rd on three occasions, the last time out was in late August at Sligo – won the short Maiden at Cottenham in Dec under Gina Andrews but did not impress at 3m on the same track later in Dec then 30l 4th at Higham in Jan and pu at Penshurst but came 4L 3rd to Hurricane Vic in the recent Higham Restricted under Gina Andrews beating Somme Boy into 5th by 4l and Lords Park Star into 6th by 20L – slipped up when in contention at the 15th in th Fakenham Restricted – one to note. Mountain Eagle pu on soft ground at High Easter behind the progressive Caryto Des Brosses and again may struggle here. The Ward yard’s Muchadoboutnothing ref in the Ladies Open at this track last season but with a 7lb allowance ran 3rd at Fakenham in April behind Bengo and is unlikely to reverse this result. Next Surprise has pu on his only 2 runs this season in soft ground, firmer ground may suit. Shamat, another from the Ward yard, won the March Garthorpe young short Maiden and followed with 2 place finishes in 4 Restricted runs – best when at High Easter last year 7l 2nd to Haut Brages, beating The Master Remover 1l and ran a sh 2nd again at High Easter in March but pu in the soft / heavy April Restricted again with Jack Andrews up and another to possibly challenge for a place. 6th Restricted run for The Master Remover with 2 place finishes but unlikely to make the frame in this company.
Selection: Full Batten Alternative: Bengo
5.10 Open Maiden – 10 entries
With only 10 horses entered for this race one could possibly give them all a squeak however we will concentrate on those horses who seem ready to score. Staple Head ran encouragingly for his first two races but found the going at High Easter just too much. Trainer Andrew Pennock has given him three weeks to recover so should be back in contention. Order in Court has run twice this season and acquitted himself well claiming the runner’s up berth on both occasions. We feel he should certainly be in contention at the end. The Unmentionable had bits and pieces of Irish form but seems no world beater. His only run this season, a fortnight ago, saw him third of three in a Maiden at Revesby Park – no doubt he will come on for the run but definitely needs to if he is to be in contention. Despite the assistance of Gina Andrews and Shane Roche Chase the Island has not exactly set the world alight in his three outings this season but may have improvement to come. Finally of those we think might be in contention we must mention Conteur D’Histoire. At Horseheath on Saturday he just failed to get up when beaten a short head by Age of Heroes. Our concern was that this was a hard race and if running will have only had nine days to recover. Both Conteur D’Histoire and Staple Head ran in the High Easter Maiden on the 14th April when they both pulled up. Although running very promisingly next time out we worry that Conteur D’Histoire had a hard race so our selection is Staple Head to take the spoils with Dale Peters finding improvement in The Unmentionable to take the runner’s up berth.
Selection: Staple Head Alternative: The Unmentionable