Sunday 5th February @ Horseheath near Haverill
Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace
12.00 Intermediate– 13 entries
A strong entry here and it could be the opener of a very good day’s racing. Counting Stars was favourite for the Intermediate at Ampton but he unseated before the race got going. The Pennock yard are in flying form so far this season and it could continue here. Sava Bridge finished last season on a high with a win at Dingley, after improving as the season progessed, he might need his first run of the season. The Ellis/Andrews yard have also had a strong start to the season and they have Total Compliance entered here. This smart prospect clearly enjoys Horseheath having won his Maiden and Restricted’s at the course last season. His debut this season could have put him spot on for this and he has to go close and as he is only 7 he could improve more. Love Manhattan ran a good enough race on his debut this season at Thorpe last week; he would have a small chance if turning out again. Forrardon Xmoor has a strong chance too, especially after winning the Restricted at Ampton (a undulating track like Horseheath). Ignite A Light is another with strong course form and from the powerful Bailey yard the horse should be fit for his seasonal debut. With so many horses still young enough to improve and trainers in good form it is tough to pick our selections for this race.
Selection: Total Compliance Alternative: Ignite A Light
12.35 Open Maiden (4, 5 & 6yo) – 10 entries
A small number of entries in this race but a few with some reasonable form and prospects. Boomtown Knat had a promising start when coming 2nd at Wadebridge in early January; it was a very decent race on soft ground, on better ground here we could see him going one better. Breakdown Cover from the Hill’s yard, they always do well here, pulled up at Chaddesley Corbett close to the finish, did not jump well on that occasion. Canyouhearme has had seven outings in points without showing a great deal, was 3rd last time out in May in a Hunt race. Fizzlestix has had three outings and on each occasion has finished 2nd. Ran a good race at Garthorpe last season when beaten by The Bay Oak, could be just a bit one paced. Pettistree was 3rd at this meeting last year and followed again, here at Horseheath, by finishing 2nd to Ignite the Light. Started as favourite at Ampton two weeks ago but finished 2nd some 30 lengths to Tailspin.
Selection: Fizzlestix Alternative: Pettistree
1.10 Club Members (Novice Riders) – 27 entries
A very decent entry of 27 for this contest, and with a safety factor of 20 there is a slight chance of a division on the day. Citizen’s Arrest bounced back from a season off when beating Bincombe by 8 lengths at Ampton 3 weeks ago. The former top class hunter chaser Current Exchange was a head away in 3rd place that day. Current Exchange was staying on that day so this stamina dependant course may well play in to his hands and he could finish closer to Citizen’s Arrest here. Irish Anthem represents Sheila Crow’s Shropshire yard who boast a very good strike rate at this venue. He was 4th on his seasonal reappearance at Sheriff Hutton three weeks ago when going down by 17 ¾ lengths to Grandturgeon. Gift Of Dgab was 4th on his seasonal debut at Larkhill in mid December when beaten 30 lengths behind Anquetta. Lauberhorn was beaten 9 lengths by Arkose in the men’s open at Ampton 3 weeks ago. Roberto Pegasus was 2nd at Cottenham in a ladies open on New Year’s Eve when beaten 8 lengths by Sharp Suit. This long track may not suit him however as most of his runs have been at 3 miles or less. Done A Runner is a standing dish in novice riders races and is admirably consistent. He won 5 times last season and finished the season with a 5th place in a Cartmel hunter chase in May, beaten just over 14 ½ lengths by Abbeyview. Susquehana River was also very consistent last season and gave his jockey Patrick Bullard his first success when scoring at Fakenham in April and finished the season with a 2nd place behind Festival Bound at Dingley when going down by a head in May. Probably George finished last season with a 3rd place in a Cartmel hunter chase when beaten 4 ½ lengths behind Man Of Steel in June. He has since changed stables. Mazuri Cowboy dead-heated at Godstone last season with Hunters Lodge. He was 3rd on his final start last season in a ladies open at Mollington when beaten 15 lengths behind Dabinett Moon. Renta Gallery won a 3 runner mares race at Lydstep in May on her final start last season when beating Kimora by 2 ½ lengths. Ballycarry won a novice riders contest at Dingley in March when beating Festival Bound by 8 lengths but pulled up on his final start at Garthorpe in May in the final of this series. A trappy race to call and as usual in novice rider’s contest jockeyship is important. Alice Stephens gets a good tune out of Citizen’s Arrest and he is our selection just ahead of Irish Anthem.
Selection: Citizen’s Arrest Alternative: Irish Anthem
1.45 Mens Open – 26 entries
A strong entry of 26, with many horses venturing from far and wide. The stable of Sheila Crow, a regular visitor to Horseheath, has a couple of the leading entries in Abbeyview and Mr Mercurial. Twice beaten at Horseheath last season, including a 2 ½ length defeat by Green Winter, Abbeyview then won a couple of points at Upper Sapey and Eyton-On-Severn, finished 2nd at Bredwardine, and then ended the season winning a 2m5f hunter chase by 12 lengths from Kiestown Chief at Cartmel in May. Mr Mercurial won his only point on his seasonal reappearance last season around this course, beating Glint Of Steel by 2 ½ lengths, with Empire Builder a further 14 ½ lengths back in 4th. Mr Mercurial then ran at Cheltenham, finishing 12th to On The Fringe, was pulled up in a hunter chase at Southwell, but ran a good race to finish 4th, 16 lengths behind Paint The Clouds in the Champion Hunter Chase at Stratford. Green Winter followed his victory over Abbeyview with a couple of placed efforts and then won a 4 miler at Cold Harbour, defeating Schindler’s Prince. He has started this season finishing well behind, Thursday’s hunter chase winner, Ask The Weatherman, at Larkhill. Premier Portrait, the winningmost horse of last season with 8 point victories, and it would have been 9 if his rider had not failed to weigh-in following victory at Chipley Park. Premier Portrait had started this season in similar vein winning his first two races, beating Consigliere in the 2nd, but then suffered a reversal when finishing only 3rd to Full Trottle at Wadebridge early last month. Real Milan’s last seven runs have either ended with victory or he has unseated his rider. Four placed efforts at the start of last season were followed by victory at Howick. A couple of unseats followed, but then won his next two. A victory over Barel of Laughs at Larkhill got his season off to a fine start, but then, just as he was getting into contention unseated his rider at Taunton, victory going to the aforementioned Barel of Laughs. Wild Bill, the winner of a novices chase for Evan Williams, started his UK pointing campaign with victory over Big Fella Thanks at Chaddesley Corbett at the end of December. See U Again Son and Curraigflemens both won hunter chases at Fontwell’s hunter chase card in May last season. See U Again Son started last season for new connections by finishing 2nd in two maiden races. A win in another maiden followed at Garnons and was followed by a win in a 2 ½ mile club members race at Ystradown and then in a mixed open at Lydstep beating Rosies Peacock by 5 lengths. See U Again Son’s impressive victory at Fontwellwas at the expense of Brice Canyon, whilst last week’s winner Mr Raj was third. Curraigflemens showed improved form throughout last season. His victory at Whitfield set him up for his winning run at Fontwell, and then ran a better race around Stratford in the PointToPoint.co.uk Champion Hunter Chase, when fifth behind Quiet Account. It is possible he could wait for a hunter chase at Market Rasen on Tuesday. With last week’s Higham victory Green Bank, returning Colonel Iain and Empire Builder amongst the entries it could be a race to savour.
Selection: See U Again Son Alternative: Mr Mercurial
2.20 Ladies Open – 18 entries
Exciting new recruit Vedettariat won a Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins this time last year. Still in Mullins’ yard until late December and rated 136 under rules he won his first GB point for new connections at Chaddesley in December finishing 3/4 length ahead of Sybarite and has the best from of these at least on paper. Top Smart won all three of his pointing starts last season at Higham, Garthorpe and at Kingston Blount where he beat the much fancied Dabinett Moon. If he can repeat that form then he has every chance. Get It On put in a series of consistently good performance last season including 2 wins and 4 seconds and was going well when unseating last time out at Chaddesley - he shouldnt’ be far away. Berties Dream comes into the race with an excellent record of 10 wins from 16 starts in points including both his starts here. He’s now 14 years old and time may finally be catching up with him as he found himself in close battles with Bavard Court a couple of time last season and struggled last time out at Larkhill in December. Those with place claims include: Beggars Velvet who won all three of his pointing starts last season and it will be interesting to see how he runs for new connections; Current Exchange won an Irish point last season but otherwise found things tough in top-class company in Hunter Chases when trained by Gordon Elliott. He was 3rd in the Novice Riders at Ampton behind Citizens Arrest and has an entry in the corresponding race here in which he would have an excellent chance; Kimora won a moderate Open at Godstone last season, placed 5th in Mares Hunter Chase at Cheltenham and won weak mares HC at Fontwell in May with with Sam Davies-Thomas on board; Bavard Court showed some good form last season beating Berties Dream at High Easter and only going down by 2 lengths to him at Dingley. However, he has a terrible recent record at this track PUPPFP and can’t be backed with any confidence. Citizens Arrest won the Novice Riders at Ampton 2 weeks ago when returning after a long break; and The Admiral Benbow won three of his eight pointing starts last season including an Intermediate at Northaw. He’s now 12 and whilst it would be unreasonable to expect him to challenge for the win he could well run into a place. Valid Point won two chases whilst with Nigel Twiston-Davies but unfortunately unseated at the first in the Novice Riders at Thorpe Lodge last weekend and is best watched
Selection: Vedettariat Alternative: Top Smart
2.55 Restricted – 26 entries
An excellent 26 entries for what should be an excellent competitive race in prospect. Rated 86 is Barrafohona who ran 7 times in 2016 and looked to have won his Restricted(2ml 5f)at Whitfield in May but was placed 2nd – is he up to 3ml.? Beat The Index pu on his last 4 runs so can probably be discounted. Cresta One won the Mares Maiden at Dingley last May and ran a 6L 3rd at Ampton in Jan. and could again run into a place here as Gina Andrews and a 7lb allowance will help. Don’t Be Fooled was placed twice last season and could repeat here but may struggle in this company. Hillview Lad won his Maiden in Ireland in 2014 and has been hurdling only since without any success but placed at Bangor in 2015 – just watch. Katesoneoneeight ran 6 times in 2016 finally just holding on to win a Whitfield Maiden in May and may struggle here. Marble Moll from the Kemp yard and originally from Monbeg in Ireland has a Maiden win following 2 pu last season but with 7lb and these connections could well be up there. Aptly named Megabucks from the Rucker yard won on his only Maiden run in 2015 in Ireland and then a flat and hurdle race under rules in May / June without success so may need this run. Placed in all but 2 of 7 runs in 2016 Midnight Monkey but is rather a one pace finisher. 6yr. Neumond fell when with every chance in a 2015 Irish Maiden and then in Henderson’s yard and novice hurdling and no success but with Stuart Morris and Jack Andrews up took the Chaddesley Corbett Dec. Maiden by 20L so a real prospect in this team. Ex. McManus/ de Bromhead and hurdling / NHF in 2015 /2016 7yr. Tailspin from the successful Pennock yard pu. at Cottenham in Dec but went onto win by 20L in the recent Ampton Maiden and should score here. The Tailor Quigley from the well-known Bloom yard has 2015 form with a Maiden win and place but nothing since so may need the run.
Selection: Tailspin Alternative: Neumond
3.30 Open Maiden (7yr & up) – 18 entries
This race is made up of Ex NH horses who failed to excel at that level and numerous pointers, who for whatever reason have yet to get their heads in front. Arcal Fifty was disappointing under Irish Rules but fared slightly better between the flags in Ireland but after 6 attempts still didn’t get his head in front. Bilbrook Blaze was formerly in the powerful Philip Hobbs yard where he was placed 4 times and came second in a Grade 3 Handicap Chase (only 2m 2f). With the slower place of a Maiden Race and the strength of Gina Andrews in the saddle this combination could prove useful in this company. Brogeen Boy caught the eye at Cottenham when in the lead falling 5 from home – this is a different track and possibly not suited to this front running horse. Likewise Kev the Car has twice run very well at Cottenham and questions remain as to whether he’ll take to the undulating Horseheath course. Max O had a hard race last time out at Sheriff Hutton. Jockey Dale Peters was at work some way from home and although in contention his fall at the last fence was that of a tired horse and he may not be ready for another gruelling race. Teeton Turnip is yet another from the long line of Teeton horses to have graced the pointing world. Unraced this one could be anything. West Lake improved from his Cottenham run to get within one and quarter lengths of the useful Allie Beag at Ampton with We’ve Got Company five lengths back in third. Of the two it is likely that We’ve Got Company will come on better for the race. Both horses will be in the hands of capable jockeys and we just favour West Lake. The surprise in the race may come from the Turner’s entry Woodstyle. This very lightly raced 7 year old was originally with Sheila Crow where he was sold after coming second in a hot maiden. The horse has been retained by the Turner’s after one promising run last season. Noticeably the horse has performed best on its second run for the last two seasons – this might just be the surprise of the day. Overall we feel that the Ellis entrant Bilbrook Blaze looks interesting and should have enough ammunition to repel West Lake.
Selection: Bilbrook Blaze Alternative: West Lake