Saturday 17th March @ High Easter
High Easter Racing Club
1.00 PPORA Club Members (Nov Riders) - 11 entries
As with a lot of the novice riders contests in this area, a lot will depend on which horse Tim Gredley will ride. He has the choice of two. Midnight Cowboy ran out a 2 length winner at Ampton last Sunday from Consigliere in the men’s open. He will have a strong chance even if turning out again so soon after his debut pointing victory. Bivouac is the other possible Gredley mount. He has been a shade disappointing this season and has yet to get his head in front. He pulled up in a Warwick hunter chase on his most recent outing. Previously he was 4th at Ampton to Warden Hill in January, a subsequent hunter chase winner since. Nightscape finished 5th behind Just Cause at Higham, 18 lengths in arrears of One Fine Morning on his seasonal debut and is entitled to come on for that run. He won at this meeting last year when beating Burtredgipandgump by a short head. One Fine Morning has been placed on both outings for Charlie Clover this season and prior to his 20 lengths 2nd to Just Cause at Higham in late January was 3rd at Cottenham on New Year’s Eve when beaten 4¾ lengths by In A Blue Dust. Amigo finished well behind One Fine Morning when he ran at Cottenham, he then finished just under 17 lengths 6th behind Just Cause at Horseheath early last month. Like Nightscape, he also a course winner having beaten Abbey Lane 6 lengths last year at this meeting. Finnegan’s Hollow won the novice rider’s race at Ampton in January when defeating William Money by 1 ¼ lengths. He was 4th on his most recent outing at Charing when 16 lengths adrift of Ivy Gate. Pebbleglen is a two time pointing winner but both those wins came in 2014 and his recent form is nothing to shout about. None of the other possible runners can be given a chance unless the race cuts up very badly. We will side with Midnight Cowboy if making a quick reappearance to land this. Bivouac may want it a bit firmer under foot then he may encounter today so for that reason we will side with Nightscape, a previous course winner as our alternative.
Selection: Midnight Cowboy Alternative: Nightscape
1.35 Restricted – 13 entries
Ground will be an issue so looking for soft ground form. Baxxos p.u when t.o on his only run in 2017 and will be best watched here. 9 yr Blackwood Rover missed 2016 but has been running under rules in 2017 placed twice in Class 5 chases under Leighton Aspell but what can he do over a longer 3m trip and 12st. instead of 10.5st then ran 15l 2nd to Mr Maclennane in the Dec Cottenham Restricted on softish ground and could repeat a frame finish here. Nor much luck so far this season for Cresta Run - t.o and pu in the Ampton Restricted in Jan. then pu at Horseheath in Feb and again last week at Ampton so may struggle here again. Emeralds Choice ran in 5 Restricteds last season with 1 place and pu on his only run on soft ground, so will struggle here. A 4th 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 under Rupert Stearn - so may struggle again at the longer distance. Indian Chance stayed on well to win the Open Maiden at Charing in Feb and ran 2nd on 3 previous runs – chances here but up a grade. Inmyday from the well-known Hill yard was fav. and prominently then weakened and fell 2 out at Charing in Feb. but won his Maiden unchallenged at Barbury in Jan. – higher grade telling ? Muchadoaboutnothing from the Ward yard ran 8l 2nd in a 3 horse Restricted behind Beat the Index at Higham on good to firm ground in April and tried her hand in a ladies Open at Northaw but ref when well behind and this season ref to run at the recent Ampton meeting – probably avoid. Multimedia ran last in 2016 so one to just watch. Primary School t.o at Kingston Blount last week – unlikely to run so soon. Shamat from the Ward yard, won the March Garthorpe young short Maiden last season 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 – will need to have come on to repeat. Irish Pointer Willflywontsink from the well known Ellis yard won her Maiden in Oct. 2016 but failed to impress in subsequent runs – then 2nd to Summer Sounds at Charing in Feb. on good ground but watch the market as with Gina Andrews up, a 7lb allowance and the yard’s reputation, a place is on the cards.
Selection: Blackwood Rover Alternative: Willflywontsink
2.10 Mens Open – 10 entries
The men’s open run at Charing last month is probably the most significant race amongst the recent outings of those entered for this open. Ivy Gate, who was runner-up at Cottenham to Shimla Dawn in the ladies open on New Year’s eve, was once again held up off the pace behind the front-running and subsequent hunter chase winner Jimmy The Jetplane and prominently ridden Curraigflemens. Ivy Gate swept pass the leaders between the last two fences to score by six lengths from Jimmy The Jetplane, with Curraigflemens a further ten lengths back in third, whilst Master Workman was pulled up. Curraigflemens will have benefited from this run and will also be 3lb better off at the weights. Master Workman has since run again, at Kingston Blount last week but was pulled up on ground that would not have been to his liking, and he will need the ground to dry out and the sun to shine before seen at his best. Burtredgipandgump has not progressed as much as expected following victory in an intermediate around this course two years ago, and although placed several times, has not won again. Follow The Paint has run four times this season, winning on the third occasion in a mares club race at Barbury where she beat Cecile De Volanges by twelve lengths. She too ran at Kingston Blount last week, but was pulled up after five fences. Should Bivouac start, it will be interesting to see whether the enforced break will bring about a better performance, especially after such a promising first run in points at Cottenham.
Selection: Ivy Gate Alternative: Curraigflemens
2.45 Ladies Open – 19 entries
An intriguing entry for this 2 1/2m race with Alan Hill’s Broken Eagle rated well clear of the rest on his preferred fast ground. At the time of writing (Wednesday) the going was soft, good-soft in places and further rain is forecast so there must be serious doubts about his participation. There’s not a lot to choose between the next four in terms of ability. Karinga Dancer is another who performs better on faster ground but he has won a point over 3 miles on soft and should cope with likely conditions here. He showed good form at Higham in January beating the highly-fancied Hawkhurst by 6l with the disappointing Ericht 16l behind in 3rd. Degooch was a consistent hurdler/chaser for Johnny Farrelly who consistently rated in the high 120s. He impressed when winning his first GB point start at Charing last month carrying 12lb more than second placed stalwart See You Jack but again he’s better on good ground. Progressive mare Teeton Power won an Intermediate at Thorpe Lodge nicely on her only start this season beating the consistent Macs Gift by 8l. Her three point wins have all come on LH tracks so this should be ideal though the going is a question mark and this is a step up in class. Nigel Padfield’s Quick Oats has never finished out of the top three when completing in points and will be an excellent back-up ride for Gina Andrews if Broken Eagle doesn’t run though he is another who prefers faster ground. He beat Generous Ransom by a S.H. at Charing in a 2m 4f race last month and should be spot on. Kriss William finished last season with wins at Higham and Peper Harow but hasn’t been seen since. He also prefers fast ground and may need the run. Otis Tarda has been a consistent runner in the South West but has plenty to find as does Follow The Paint who won a Mares’ race at Barbury last month. Alan Hill’s other entry Great Link won 3 hurdles and 2 chases whilst with Tony Carroll and Dan Skelton but put in some modest performances after joining Lawney Hill, hasn’t been seen for a year and is best watched. Assuming conditions don’t suit Broken Eagle this is a tricky one to call - proven consistent pointers Karinga Dancer and Quick Oats v. an above average NH recruit Degooch v. a strong improver Teeton Power all with concerms about the going. Selection below but Gina’s track knowledge may tell.
Selection: Karinga Dancer Alternative: Teeton Power
3.20 Conditions (10yo & up) – 13 entries
Of the thirteen entries six are worthy of comment but with what could be quite heavy ground there could always be surprises. Amigo, partly owned by the course owners The Marriage family, would make a pleasing story if succeeding here. So far this season has had two outings and the best achievement has been 6th. Nevertheless did win the corresponding race here last season quite easily, could be horses for courses. Excitable Island is the highest rated horse in this race and is likely to start as the favourite. Has had ten starts in points and has won six of these plus being 2nd on three occasions, has also been placed in three out of four outings in Hunter Chases. This will be its first outing of the season and has been carefully placed in races so it is possible that there could be on better on the day. That one could be Karinga Dancer who won the Club Members Condition race at Higham in January beating Hawkshurst by six lengths. Previous to this won three races in 2017, mainly in the West Country, including a competitive race at Wadebridge in soft conditions. Generous Reason was 2nd last time to Quick Oats at Charing by a short head. Did win four chases under rules including a chase at Cheltenham in 2015 but did little thereafter. Kriss William had a successful season last year winning two races from five outings. Finished 2nd here to Lough Inch when running on strongly at the end but was twenty five lengths behind and the winner easing down. On soft ground could easily again run into a place. Blackwood Rover would have given connections encouragement when finishing 2nd to Mr Maclenname at Cottenham in December in a Restricted race. Previously was in the John Jenkins yard where did not show a great deal under rules.
Selection: Karinga Dancer Alternative: Excitable Island.
3.55 Open Maiden – 15 entries
This race could provide a fitting end to the day if Clerk of the Course, Simon Marriage, who has put his heart and soul into pointing for as long as your scribe can remember, cheers home his wife’s horse Sandygate to victory. This result is certainly not beyond the realms of fantasy. Last seen on New Year’s Eve he ran a solid race and came home a close third behind subsequent Horseheath winner Tricky Silence. If well this one should run another positive race and should be involved in the finish. Midnight Bliss had a hard race at Ampton on Sunday and we would be surprised to see this one turn out again so quickly. Connections know what they are doing and if declared rest assured it will be ready to run again so could be in the mix having run exceptionally well on two occasions this season without getting her head in front. Another horse worth noting will be Age of Heroes, he ran well last season and has now had the benefit of a pipe opener at Horseheath so should come on for the race. Likely favourite will be the Pennock entry Stowaway Hill who ran encouragingly at Charing when third in difficult conditions. The Age for Weight Allowance may come in handy if the course cuts up particularly as this is the last race of the day. The betting ring may well give a clue as to the likely success of this latest Pennock youngster. Of the remainder one interesting newcomer is Kalangadoo from the pointing yard of Sarah Case. An ignominious career under rules when with husband Ben Case it now seems a pointing career is more appropriate and could provide more ammunition for promising Novice Charlie Case. Owned by Alex Harvey it will be good to see a Harvey runner in East Anglia again. On balance we feel the Pennock runner Stowaway Hill holds all the cards but sentimentally it would be wonderful to end the day with a Marriage success.
Selection: Stowaway Hill Alternative: Sandygate