Saturday 14th April @ High Easter nr Chelmsford

Essex

1.00 Restricted – 19 entries

Great entry numbers but many have alternatives – who will Jack Andrews ride?! 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 last week. Chosen Rose, with a 7lb allowance, from the Pennock yard won the Ampton Maiden in March staying on well and will have come on from that, so watch the market and a place finish very possible. Emeralds Choice ran in 5 Restricteds last season with 1 place and pu on his only run on soft ground but ran 2nd to Little Legend in the Penshurst Members, so will struggle here. First run for Escapefromthedark last ran in a 4m Open at Dingley in May following 8 runs without success and will need the run. Grayhawk from the Grissell yard won the Penshurst Open Maiden and will have come on but this is a grade up. Orchard Hill from the Padfield yard won his Irish Maiden in Nov but may need his run on U.K soil, another from the same yard 6yr Platinum Ben with 3 runs so far and a win in the recent Charing Maiden should challenge. Rollingontheriver from the Owen yard made all and won the recent Horseheath Maiden in fine style and should challenge here. Shamat from the Ward yard, won the March Garthorpe young short Maiden and followed with 2 place finishes in 4 Restricted runs – best when here last year 7l 2nd to Haut Brages, beating The Master Remover 1l and ran a sh. 2nd here in March with Jack Andrews up and another to challenge for a place. Teeton Turnip won the Thorpe Lodge Maiden In Jan and then pu when weakening in the Garthorpe Restricted in Feb – may struggle at this level.

Selection:  Chosen Rose                     Alternative: Rollingontheriver

 

1.40 CA Club Members (3m 6f) – 13 entries

A reasonable entry of 13 for this contest run over 3 miles 6 furlongs. You Too Pet has won on his last two starts for the novice rider Harry Thorpe-Codman. His latest win came at Hackwood Park last month when he beat Tempelpirate by a length. Mr Maclennane represents Nick Wright’s yard here and he won on his last appearance at Horseheath in early February when accounting for Allie Beag by a length. Will Fight is due to be ridden by Dale Peters who happens to train another possible rival in You Too Pet. On his last run Will Fight was 2nd at Kingston Blount last month beaten 10 lengths by Western Diva. Excitable Island won on his last start which was at this course last month when he beat Kriss William by 5 lengths. Knockoutloaded like Excitable Island is trained by Nigel Padfield who has a great record here with his runners. Knockedoutloaded won on his latest start by 12 lengths from Wonderful Present at Charing on Easter Saturday. Amigo has been well beaten on both starts this season. His last outing saw him finish 6th at Horseheath beaten just under 18 lengths behind Bayley’s Dream in early February. Zagmeister was 30 lengths adrift of Amigo in 12th place in this contest.  According To Trev hails from Alan Hill’s yard and has been novice ridden on his last three starts.  On his latest start he was 5th at Kimble, beaten 19 ¾ lengths behind Subtitle but 20 lengths ahead of a possible rival from the same yard Brian’s Well on Easter Saturday. Franks A Million scored three times last season including a win at this venue but has pulled up on both starts this season. The other runners would need the race to cut badly to feature. Given the trainer’s good record at this venue and the fact he won on his latest start here we will go with Excitable Island as our selection and You Too Pet is chasing a hat trick so he is our alternative pick.

Selection: Excitable Island                                Alternative: You Too Pet 

 

2.15 PPORA Club Members  – 20 entries

The prospect of a decent size field going to post for this 2 ½ mile race with several of the entrants having been in good form so far this season, although it is unlikely that one of the leading contenders, Full Trottle, will go to post having won the hunter chase at Ludlow on Monday for the second consecutive year.  Brackloon High has been seen in East Anglia in previous seasons on courses such as Cottenham and Higham, where he has a high success rate.  Brackloon High has only competed at Larkhill this season, winning on his two most recent starts, beating Bistouri d’Honore (a winner twice since) in one and Mon Parrain in the other.  On flat tracks such as Higham and Cottenham he tends to come with a late run, and it has to be seen whether he is effective over 2 ½ miles around High Easter.  In A Blue Dust, has run and won on both starts this season having returned from a long lay-off.  His debut victory saw him victorious at Cottenham on New Year’s Eve, beating last weekends winner Mr Syntax by 2 ¼ lengths, and then a visit to Garthorpe followed, with victory over Merrydown Black, where Extreme Appeal was 22 ¼ lengths back in 6th.  Extreme Appeal did not perform to the level we were expecting last week at Higham, where his jumping appeared to lack fluency, and ended up finishing a well beaten 6th behind Mr Syntax.  The Nigel Padfield pair, Knockedoutloaded and Quick Oats have both been victorious at Charing this season, Knockedoutloaded easily landing the odds in a three runner intermediate on Easter Saturday having been runner-up to Hawkhurst at Ampton.  Quick Oats won a 2 ½ mile conditions race in February, but could only manage 4th to Great Link around this track last time.  Caryto des Brosses has benefited from the drop in trip on his last two outings winning a 2 ½ mile maiden at Charing in February and then a 2 ½ mile restricted at Penshurst and will need to have improved again against these more experienced rivals.  Kashmir Peak won the novice riders race at Horseheath on Easter Saturday in good style having finished a close 4th to Bayley’s Dream at Brafield the week before.

Selection: In A Blue Dust                   Alternative: Brackloon High

 

2.50 Ladies Open – 17 entries

The lightly raced Top Smart has won seven of his ten starts in points and always seems to find plenty when it counts. There will be a question mark if the going is soft as he’s mainly raced on good ground or faster but he won on good-soft at Horseheath two weeks ago with Sa Kaldoun 3l behind in 2nd and he’s unlikely to run if conditions aren’t right. Dont Do Mondays’ recent form has been a bit inconsistent - he has pulled up twice in his last three starts - but he ran well when winning at Charing last month with Follow The Paint two lengths behind in 2nd and has place chances. Follow The Paint won the Men’s here last month easily beating odds-on favourite Ivy Gate and the redoubtable Curraigflemens. If he can repeat that form he would have a chance. Ravethebrave has won 12 of his 28 starts in points including a Conditions race at Kimble last time out. That was his first race for 9 months so hopefully the dreaded ‘bounce factor’ won’t affect him. He goes well on soft ground and shouldn’t be far away. Goodnight Vienna is a consistent performer and has only finished outside the top three once in his last eight starts. He has definite place chances. Weather Warning finished 4l 2nd behind Great Link at the last meeting here and also has place chances. Quick Oats was 8l further back in 4th in the same race but probably didn’t appreciate the soft ground. Court Dismissed won a modest Ladies’ at Penshurst last month but will need to find more to feature in this as will Letbeso.

Selection: Top Smart                         Alternative: Follow The Paint

 

3.25 Intermediate – 9 entries

Two horses entered by the same trainer with similar form namely Aunty Joan and Demood. Aunty Joan has been competing in Points since 2015 and has always had the best jockeys on board. Was 2nd twice in 2016 then proceeded to win three on the trot in 2017, a Members race, Restricted and Hunt Members. Only race this season pulled up at Kingston Blount last month and with the continual rain since the weekend possibly will not like the going. Demood last ran in the Restricted Hunter Chase Final at Stratford- on- Avon in May where it unseated the jockey. Prior to that it won the Restricted at Garthorpe in May and was placed on several previous occasions. Clenagh Castle had decent form in the West Country when ridden by Will Biddick. It fell at the first at Higham last week in a Novice Riders race so form is difficult to access. Haut Bages won the Restricted at this course last season. Most recent run was at Ampton where was 2nd to Summer Sound in an Intermediate race. Keel Over won a Maiden at Horseheath in February and a Restricted at Kingston Blount later. Last time out in late March unseated the rider in an Intermediate at Penshurst when close to home. Steeles Terrace from the Andrew Pennock yard won a Maiden at Ampton and a Restricted at Higham in January. Well worth noting the betting here as this horse is owned by a successful team. Welsh's Castle is the highest rated in this race having won the Conditions race at Horseheath two weeks ago, previously had also won a Restricted race at the same course so seems to enjoy the stiff tracks. Virgo the First was 2nd to Welsh's Castle at Horseheath last time out and it is difficult to see the positions being altered.

Selection: Welsh's Castle                                 Alternative:  Keel Over

 

4.00 Open Maiden – 18 entries

This is a wide-open maiden race which may have to be split if all entries declare. Yet again we will look at young improvers and this week we start with the Turner entrant Counteur d’Histoire a close up 2nd in a modest Maiden at Penshurst. Ex Jonjo O’Neill Novice Hurdler her best Under Rules was a close up 2nd place in a 2mile hurdle at Wetherby. Improvement expected but whether good enough to take this race remains to be seen. An interesting runner is the ex Oliver Sherwood trained Linkenholt. This one had modest form Under Rules but knows his way round a racecourse and trainer James Owen does seem to get the best out of his charges. Pelegrine Falcon caught the eye amongst the list of entrants for the Puckeridge Maiden but was a “no show”. 4 runs between the flags in Ireland culminating in a 4 length second at Tinahely back in November last year look interesting. Land of Gold blotted his copybook at Horseheath when falling at the 6th when in the pack. He had 4 runs between the flags in Ireland although didn’t quite catch the eye as much as Pelegrine Falcon. Andrew Pennock has two entered and both could be in the mix with preference going to Staple Head last seen back in February when just going down to the progressive Tricky Silence. His other entry, Stowaway Hall was a well-beaten third over course and distance and we would definitely see this as Pennock’s second string. One that did catch the eye in that race was Racing Eagle. This one is very much going the right way and with Gina Andrews in the saddle further progress is likely. Finally one raider from south of the river that could take all the spoils is Light of the Mountain.  Travelling well when falling two out at Hackwood Park he followed up with a close second in a Maiden at Charing. Paddock observations will be critical for each way value we reckon Pelegrine Falcon could provide the answer although we think the one they’ll all have to catch is the southern raider Light of the Mountain who is our selection.

Selection:  Light of the Mountain                    Alternative: (E/W) Pelegrine Falcon  

 

4.35 Hunts Members – 12 entries

Yet again this race is dominated by the Nigel Padfield yard with nearly half of the entries.  Many have multiple entries at this meeting so it is difficult to guess which will run in this race.  Excitable Island seems to be the best; he won here at the last meeting beating Kriss William who unfortunately fell at the first at Higham last week.  Quick Oats won on seasonal debut at Charing but was slightly disappointing at the meeting here last month.  Orchard Hill is a new recruit to GB pointing after a maiden win at Turtalla in November.  The horses he beat have been beaten since so maybe best watched for now.  Simon Marriage does a wonderful job preparing this course and he has 2 entries, Amigo and the maiden Sandygate.  The Amigo of last year would have a great chance but this year has not been quite so good.  This course will suit better than Cottenham where he ran first but his run at Horseheath was disappointing.  Smadynium from the powerful Alan Hill yard is a multiple winner under rules and has only had 1 run pointing when 4th at Milborne St Andrew in the Novice Riders race.  We could see him running better but Nigel Padfield clearly has a very strong hand.

Selection: Nigel Padfield runner                        Alternative: Smadynium