Sunday 14th January 2018 @ Ampton near Bury St Edmunds
12.00 Club Members Conditions – 19 entries
This promises to be a competitive contest with the spoils likely to go to one of the recent high-quality recruits from NH. ex-Tom Symonds 130+ rated hurdler Foxcub had a great start to his pointing career finishing only 4l behind the speedy Bound For Glory at Cottenham last month. This is a very different track but he has good form on soft ground and we expect him to go well. Jimmy The Jetplane impressed in points back in 2013 and was quickly switched to NH spending four seasons with Kim Bailey. He is still rated 135 under rules, has better recent NH form than Foxcub and should be right there though he may need a run. Generous Ransom was previously in Philip Hobbs’ charge and has rated up to 140. He was always behind and PU at Cottenham after returning from a year off but should hopefully come on for the run. Danandy won 3 chases whilst with Philip Hobbs and clearly retains ability as he ran into a decent 3rd place in a chase at Fontwell last August and shouldn’t be far away. Of the proven pointers: The Job Is Right was a good hurdler/chase with Michael Hourigan. He was switched to points last season and won his second race well at Parham. He has obvious place chances. Conkies Lad put in some good performances last season including a decent second behind Gauvain at Parham. He has unseated on 4 of his last 8 starts. According To Trev was focused on Hunter Chases last season but performed fairly modestly. He disappointed at Bishops Court back in November and now has something to prove. All Great N Theory had two decent seconds last season at Thorpe Lodge and Brocklesby Park but PU both starts this season. Trafficker finished a good 2nd in the Mixed Open at this meeting last season after more-favoured horses failed but dropped back down the ratings after that. Broadway Symphony only managed a single run last season winning a 3 runner members at Barbury but showed little when PU at Chaddesley last month. Dystonia’s Revenge , My Friend George and Salut Honore were all modest performers under rules and the latter two showed little in their first runs in points.
Selection: Foxcub Alternative: Jimmy The Jetplane
12.35 Open Maiden – 19 entries
Many of those entered have been around for a little while but as yet have not managed to get their heads in front. Although some have solid maiden form, such as Come on Harriet, Indian Chance and Midnight Bliss we prefer to look at those who haven’t yet run between the flags in the UK. Andrew Pennock, by and large, does well with his new recruits from across the water and he’s entered two, Staple Head and Steeles Terrace. Both have modest Irish pointing form but Pennock does seem to have the knack of getting the best out of these types so watch the betting – usually a good indicator! Gerald Bailey has the benefit of his wife’s professional yard facilities and his entry Woollards Ash (a large property near Bishop’s Stortford!) won’t lack in fitness and with Tom McClory on board will be in good hands. This one is a beautifully bred horse which should be there or thereabouts at the end of the race. The Tom Ellis and wife Gina Andrews is a formidable partnership and their 6 year old Mahler mare Withorwithoutlou, will have been well schooled and be fit and ready for her first outing. Rollingontheriver had his first race at Newbury in November 2014 when he contested a four-runner bumper coming third to of all horses Yanworth! Trained then by Charlie Swan he swopped yards moving to Mouse Morris but his Irish National Hunt career was hardly eye-catching. Now he finds himself contesting a Maiden race at Ampton – how the mighty are fallen! Of those that have raced already the likeliest to come out on top is Come on Harriet – she ran out of steam at Cottenham last year but jumped well and could break her Maiden duck.
On balance we will side with Woollards Ash whilst the more sensible amongst our readership may be inclined to invest in Come on Harriet.
Selection: Woollards Ash Alternative: Come on Harriet
1.10 Mixed Open – 17 entries
An eclectic mix of horses entered for this mixed open. The Tim Gredley owned and ridden pair, Bivouac and Just Cause are both race fit, each having run twice this season. Bivouac ran a promising race first time out around Cottenham, finishing third to Bear’s Affair. A return to Cottenham saw him chasing another Philip Rowley inmate, Now Ben, and would have finished a clear second had he not unseated his rider two out. That same fence almost had the same result in the very next race, when Just Cause, who was clear at the time, hit the fence but the partnership stayed intact for a very easy victory, in the fastest time of the day. Foxcub, having previously been running under rules, finished a promising 2nd to Bound For Glory in the Ladies open at Cottenham’s first meeting and is likely to improve for the run. The Mike Dawson owned pair of the enigmatic His Excellency and the now 15 year old Palypso de Creek are both interesting entries at Ampton. His Excellency ran three times last season, winning an area club member’s race at Brocklesby Park and a PPORA club member’s race at Dalton Park, and then on his final run, finished 2nd to Temple Grandin at Clifton on Dunsmore. Palypso de Creek, the winningmost pointer in the 2012-13 season ran just once last season, finishing 2nd to Popaway at Garthorpe. It remains to be seen whether Anno Domini has caught up. Warden Hill, running in points for the first time last season, ended up winning two races, both around Thorpe Lodge, and was runner-up in his other three completions, the last of which was behind Thetalkinghorse at Garthorpe. One who could continue to improve this season is Counting Stars, who improved throughout the season, which culminated with a runaway victory over 3 ¾ miles at High Easter. Jimmy The Jetplane is an interesting recruit to the pointing scene for this season. The winner of two points back in 2013, Jimmy The Jetplane has since been running under rules for Kim Bailey, winning five races. He was last seen in April where he finished 3rd in a 3 mile chase at Kempton to Laurium and runner-up Bivouac.
Selection: Just Cause Alternative: Jimmy The Jetplane
1.45 Restricted –13 entries
Allie Beag from the well known Hill yard won her division of the Maiden at this meeting last season but failed in 5 attempts to win a Restricted but placed in 2, could run well first time out and likes the track. Bracho fell at the last when leading in the April Pyle Restricted following a short Maiden win at Buckfastleigh – distance and going an issue? The 7yr. mare Cobajay Away with a 7lb. allowance and a 2nd place restricted run at Mollington in May was then pu when well behind in the early Dec Cottenham Maiden on good ground and is probably best just watched here. Cresta Run ran 3rd in the same race last season on similar ground and could run close again this time. Florella ur at the first in last weeks Larkhill Restricted and was placed on her only 2 Restricted runs in 2017 following a 3yr lay off. Kings Walden won the Puckeridge Maiden at Horseheath last season but was only placed 75L behind Bay Sly in the Sandon short Restricted and pu on his last run at Garthorpe – no positives here and one to just watch. Nothing in his Irish Pointing form points to success for 7yr. Light and Easy so another to just watch. 7yr Pettistree ran 2nd to Tailspin in the Maiden at this meeting last season and followed with a win in the Thurlow Maiden at Horseheath but the disappointed with an outpaced 7th in the High Easter Restricted - if back to his early season form could run to a place here. Primary School won the short Maiden at Dingley in April but then disappointed in the Restricted at Northaw 33L behind Florella and may struggle again in this company. Stars Royale won the Godstone Maiden in April and was a poor 6th in the Kingston Blount Restricted in May 12l behind Allie Beag so another to struggle here. The Master Remover won his Maiden on this track 3yr ago but has struggled in his 10 runs last season and is unlikely to trouble the judge. Tipped to win the Cottenham Restricted in late Dec following his easy win in the early Dec Cottenham Maiden but weakened and t.o. after 4 out the maiden Irish pointer This Breac had 8 runs without getting his head in front but there was evidence of improvement as the Irish season progressed – just a blip and will have come on for the run and should go close here. Irish Pointer Willflywontsink from the well known Ellis yard won her Maiden in Oct 2016 but failed to impress in subsequent runs – may need the run but watch the market as with Gina Andrews up, a 7lb.allowance and the yard’s reputation a place is on the cards. A close race in prospect so difficult to predict.
Selection: This Breac Alternative: Willflywontsink
2.20 Intermediate – 14 entries
There are not many Intermediate races in East Anglia during the season but this looks an interesting race and surely a hot favourite if it appears here. Ginuwinefizz won a Maiden at Kingston Blount in April last and then a Restricted at Mollington a month later. Ran next in an Intermediate in May but struggled, could progress from this, is in a good yard. Hawkhurst won easily at Cottenham in early December and is from the Alan Hill yard, an Irish point winner and is ex National Hunt, as the commentator said at Cottenham ‘Alan Hill knows how to revitalise this type of horse’ and is certain to be favourite. Lickety Split won it’s only outing in 2017, a Restricted at Parham. Also won first time out on 2016 in a Maiden, difficult to assess but may have some talent, worth noting the betting. Andrew Pennock will be hoping to do well from his yard which is close to the course with Mahler’s Spirit. Won three on the trot last season and stepped up to Intermediate standard finishing 2nd out of four at Thorpe, disappointed on its last outing but could improve again. Mr Maclennane was beaten by Master Ally at High Easter into 2nd last March but with the success of Nick Wright and son Archie at Cottenham at the last meeting we could expect improvement and a reversal of placings here. Robin des Royal could be making the long trip from the David Brace yard in Wales. It last ran in the Subaru Restricted final last year at Stratford finishing 8th out of fourteen. Previously had won a Maiden and Restricted in quick succession. Very difficult to look further than Hawkhurst with Mahler’s Spirit chasing it home into 2nd.
Selection: Hawkhurst Alternative: Mahler’s Spirit.
2.55 Club Members Conditions (Novice Riders) – 15 entries
An entry of 15 for the closing novice riders contest which is bang on the safety factor. Tim Gredley would appear to be the rider here holding the aces as both his possible mounts have an outstanding chance in the race. Just Cause won the novice riders race at Cottenham two weeks when defeating another possible rival here, West Lake by 40 lengths. Previously Just Cause had been 2nd at Barbury Castle to another possible rival today William Money when going down by 8 lengths in November. Mr Bingley was almost 44 lengths adrift in 5th in this race on his seasonal debut. William Money has run since his Barbury victory when he was 4th at Wadebridge last month beaten 28 lengths by Mic’s Delight. Bivouac is the other possible Gredley mount, he was 3rd at Cottenham in early December when beaten just over 6 lengths by Bear’s Affair in the men’s open and was going well when unseating his jockey two fences out in the men’s open won by the progressive Now Ben a fortnight ago although it’s unlikely he would have won that day he should be on the premises if running in this contest. Like his stablemate Just Cause, he also holds an engagement in the mixed open. Doctor Braveheart is the possible mount of Connor Brace who also has the choice of riding William Money. Doctor Braveheart was 2nd on his previous outing when going down by 20 lengths to Crowded Room at Chaddesley Corbett last month. Kyles Faith was 6 lengths behind in 3rd place in this race on his first run of the season. Third Chance was 3rd on his final start last season when beaten 4 lengths behind Top Chief in a mixed open at Trebudannon in May, previously he had won at Stafford Cross in April when beating Tom Barton by 5 lengths in the mixed open. Air Glider has pulled up on both his starts so far this season but he did win at Umberleigh on the final day of last season in June when he beat Le Clo de la Lande by 1 ¼ lengths. Farmer Matt won at Dingley in May when he beat Festival Bound by 3 ½ lengths but this will be his seasonal debut. Finnegan’s Hollow was a two time pointing winner in Ireland but pulled up on his UK debut last week at Larkhill. Pointing debutant Crinkle Crags is a Sedgefield hurdle winner when in the care of Nicky Richards when scoring by 3 ¾ lengths from Separate Shadows in a 2 ½ mile handicap hurdle in March 2015. This race really revolves around what Tim Gredley rides so with some uncertainty about which horse will run in what race we will just select his choice as our first choice. Our Alternative selection is William Money.
Selection: Tim Gredley’s choice Alternative: William Money