Saturday April 28th @ Horseheath
2.00 Conditions – 14 entries
This looks a cracking race to start the day with many of the entries having an excellent season. The ground is likely to be much firmer than we’ve seen for the season so predicting the winners could be more difficult, (Keep up to date on the going by following the Forum page). Allie Beag was 2nd here to Mr Maclennane in February having won the Restricted at Ampton. Last time out was 3rd to Blackwater Bramble at Badbury Rings earlier this month. Bedrock Fred has had two outings this season and finished 2nd on both occasions but both Races were in five runner races. Broadway Symphony won the Conditions race at Ampton in January but has achieved little in more recent races. Galros Lady won five races in 2016 including an Intermediate race here, did win a three runner Hunt race at Ampton in March and was 3rd last week at Fakenham. Hawkhurst has been very impressive this season winning four out of six outings and 2nd in the other two. Last two outings have been in Novice riders races winning one and 2nd in the other in a three runner race at Kingston Blount. Midnight Bliss has had an excellent season so far, in the last five races has been 2nd three times and won twice at High Easter, the latest was the Restricted. Last appearance at this course was 2nd at the Cambridgeshire meeting to Keel Over. Welsh Castle won this race here at the Puckeridge meeting this season and previous to that won the Restricted in February. Unseated at High Easter two weeks ago when in with a shout and with the Kemp yard in such outstanding form this must be the banker of the day.
Selection: Welsh Castle Alternative: Hawkshurst
2.35 PPORA Club Members (Novice Riders) – 8 entries
A rather disappointing entry of just 8 for this novice riders contest but there are some decent horses amongst the octet. Bayleys Dream has rattled off a hat trick including a win at this course when beating another possible rival Just Cause by ¾ of a length when receiving 3 lbs. His rider Billy Aprahamian has ridden 7 pointing winners and 2 under rules including the Grand Military Gold Cup for Nicky Henderson on Baden at Sandown earlier this year so he won’t lack for anything from the saddle. On his previous run, Bayleys Dream beat Flicka’s Witness by ¾ of length with another possible rival today Kashmir Peak in 4th place a further 4 ½ lengths adrift at Brafield On The Green last month. Kashmir Peak is another horse who arrives here in top form having won his last two starts including here at the previous meeting when he beat Finnegans Hollow by 25 lengths under jockey Nikki Stubbs. On his latest start last weekend at Guilsborough, Kashmir Peak beat Subtitle by 3 ½ lengths under Tristan Durrell. Just Cause was last seen in a Catterick hunter chase in early March when ridden by Rupert Stearn and he finished 5th, beaten 14¼ lengths behind Duhallow Tornado. The previous run was his defeat here by Bayleys Dream but he now receives 2 lbs from that rival today. Just Cause is a dual pointing winner this season, those wins coming at Cottenham and Higham. Midnight Bliss comes here in great form and won her restricted at High Easter earlier this month when beating Blackwood Rover by 1½ lengths and whilst she’s clearly improving she lacks the experience of some of her rivals today. Amigo has been well beaten on all outings this season and although he was 3rd on his latest start it came in the hunt race at High Easter and he finished 27 lengths behind Excitable Island. He ran in Bayleys Dream’s race here in February but was about 17 lengths behind in 6th. According To Trev ran out on his latest start at Kingston Blount last Saturday but is a 5 time winner under rules and hails from Alan Hill’s yard as does Brians Well but he hasn’t shown much this season. Ginuwinefizz comes from the Gina and Tom Ellis yard and was 3rd at Higham on his latest start, beaten 16l behind Ballybough Gorta. We will make Bayleys Dream our selection today however he does have to give weight away to all his rivals. Kashmir Peak arrives here in decent form and like our selection is a previous course winner and he is our alternative ahead of Just Cause.
Selection: Bayleys Dream Alternative: Kashmir Peak
3.10 Ladies Open – 13 entries
Alan Hill has three entered for this: Consigliere, Court Dismissed and Sharp Suit and all have chances. Consigliere has been a solid performer in Men’s Opens for the last three seasons and although he’s now 15 has put in solid performances this year - 2l 2nd behind Midnight Cowboy at Ampton and won a 2 horse members at Kimble last month. He should still retain enough ability to take this. Court Dismissed won chases at Fakenham and Worcester for Donald McCain as recently as last summer but disappointed in his first couple of runs in points finishing only 6th at Charing and then PU at Kingston Blount. He bounced back with a win at Penshurst last month although that was against modest opposition. The going should be to his liking here and he has chances. Sharp Suit won at the Puckeridge meeting here last year beating Sa Kaldoun and Oh Toodles. On his best form he would be right there but he hasn’t been seen for nearly a year. Watch the betting. Blue Mountain Boy won at the last meeting here and would probably have been our selection but he ran in a Hunter Chase at Exeter on Tuesday and will presumably not turn out again so soon. Goodnight Vienna has a good record here winning in 2015 and 2016 and finished a close behind Blue Mountain Boy at the last meeting with Oh Toodles a further length back in 3rd. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Goodnight Vienna won and Oh Toodles hasn’t finished outside the top three on any of his five starts here. Kriss William started his campaign with a decent 2nd behind Excitable Island at High Easter last month but followed up with a first fence fall at Higham three weeks ago. He has course form finishing 2nd in a Novice Riders and has place chances. Ed Turner’s other entry Bavard Court has had a terrible time here over the last three season failing to finish any of his last five starts and although he’s put in some good performances at other tracks we can’t help but feel that this is not his course.
Selection: Alan Hill’s runner Alternative: Goodnight Vienna
3.45 Mens Open – 8 entries
Three of the four who ran in the men’s open at the last meeting at Horseheath on Easter Saturday could re-oppose each other. On that occasion Curraigflemens, who was wearing cheekpieces for the first time, prevailed by a short head from the fast finishing Ardkilly Witness who for that race was in receipt of 5lbs, whilst Pair Of Jacks who probably wanted quicker ground was pulled up before 3 out. Curraigflemens has since been to Aintree to contest the Foxhunter around the “National” course, but did not figure and was eventually pulled up. The Tim Gredley pair, Midnight Cowboy and Just Cause are on a retrieval mission following disappointing runs on their most recent outings. Midnight Cowboy, who looked a promising recruit to the pointing field when beating Consigliere at Ampton on his pointing debut (Franks A Million pulled up), then went to Ascot for a hunter chase over 2m 5f, where he finished 3rd. On his next and most recent outing at Higham three weeks ago, he was miles off the pace in a novice riders race, and eventually finished 2nd to Ballybough Gorta, but never looked like getting to the winner. Just Cause, who had won at Cottenham and Higham earlier this season has been given a break since running down the field in a hunter chase at Catterick in early March.
Consigliere, having chased home Midnight Cowboy at Ampton, had the easiest of tasks when winning a two runner members race at Kimble on Easter Saturday.
Selection: Curraigflemens Alternative: Just Cause/Midnight Cowboy
4.20 Restricted – 10 entries
A rather disappointing 10 entries and ground will be an issue. 9 yr Blackwood Rover missed 2016 but has been running under rules in 2017 placed twice in Class 5 chases under Leighton Aspell – no luck this season with an ur and a pu at Higham but Dickie Collinson ran 2L 2nd to Midnight Bliss at High Easter so could run to a place. Kings Walden won the Puckeridge Maiden here last season but was only placed 75L behind Bay Sly in the Sandon short Restricted and pu on his last run in 2017 at Garthorpe last season, finished 23l 3rd to the progressive Steeles Terrace at Higham in Jan then 3l 3rd to Kalabaloo at Ampton and 20L 4th in the recent short Restricted at Lockinge – no real positives here and one to just watch. Law of Gold from the in form Kemp yard stayed on well to win the recent High Easter Maiden and could make the frame but fell on this track in March so watch the market. Pass the Glass from the Ellis yard won a 2 horse short Maiden at Garthorpe last season and ran 2L 3rd to Keel Over in the March Kingston Blount short Restricted but will need to improve to make the frame here over 3m. Shamat pu in the recent High Easter Restricted but faster ground may suit but form does not inspire confidence. Somme Boy from the Pennock yard beat Kev the Car (Maiden winner at Higham in Jan) to win a Dec 2016 Cottenham short Maiden on good/firm ground but has struggled in subsequent Restricteds – may be favoured by the ground but a testing 3m? This Breac from the Pennock yard has had 6 runs this season with a win in the early Cottenham 3m Maiden and 20l 3rd to Allie Beag and a nk behind The Master Remover at Ampton in Jan then 2n to Welsh’s Castle on this track in Feb in a competitive 13 runner Restricted but was t.o. and p.u. on his 2 recent runs but a 7wk layoff might be enough to bring him a frame finish.
Selection: Blackwood Rover Alternatiive: Law of Gold
4.55 Open Maiden – 14 entries
It only seems a few weeks ago that the season got into full swing and now here we are drawing to a close with only two meetings left in the East Anglian schedule of which this is a the re-arranged fixture from a few weeks ago. The Open Maiden is an interesting race in that most of the runners we have now seen a few times so we can begin to compare one against the other. However there is one big outsider in this respect who we have not seen in East Anglia and who might just take all the beating – Lucarno Express. Sam Waley-Cohen’s mount ran most encouragingly when third in a Restricted at the Wilton Hunt meeting. If running at Horseheath it will surely be in the mix and this big, scopey 7 year old, should have no problem with the galloping Horseheath track. Within the card there are a few that, so far this season, have flattered to deceive. Holy Street always runs prominently but just seems to lack the finish to get his head in front but is bound to give a strong showing. Master Jeweller also flattered first time out at Horseheath but failed to fulfil that promise six weeks later at the same course when finishing behind both Holy Street and Age of Heroes. Likewise Age of Heroes has not really built on his encouraging third at Horseheath particularly after his first two runs last season.
Alan Hill has a couple entered both of which have question marks against them. Desert Retreat was in contention when falling towards the end of the maiden at Godstone a fortnight ago. If the partnership can stay intact could be in with a chance. Breakdown Cover has managed to off load both Archie Wright and Johnny Bailey in his last two outings, which is no mean feat. Beautifully bred, Alan Hill would not have kept this one if he didn’t see some potential so it is ignored at one’s risk. Sandygate just got home in 4th place getting the better of the demanding High Easter conditions at High Easter last time out. Also prominent in the same race but handled carefully when out of contention was Conteur D’histoire. Both of these should run well on the better Horsehath ground and we fancy Conteur D’Histoire to come out on top. Much will depend, as ever, on who turns up on the day but overall we will side with Lucarno Express to take the spoils with the main danger to come from Conteur D’Histoire.
Selection: Lucarno Express Alternative: Conteur D’Histoire