Saturday 25th March @ Horseheath -

Puckeridge

1.30 Horseheath Hunts Club Members – 3 entries

A VERY disappointing entry here and not for the first time it brings into question whether Members races should be the final race in case there is only a very small field.  We can only hope all 3 run to make it some kind of a race.  Horizontal Speed looks to have this race for the taking if he runs.  He unseated his jockey at the 3rd fence last time but previous to this won a 2m 4f Club Members race at Charing.  Horseheath would be a different test to a 2m4f race but he should have enough class to win.  Banksandditches came back from a long absence when running last week at High Easter, he ran well for a long time until understandably getting tired.  It might not be the plan to run again so soon after an absence but with only 3 entries we hope he runs.  Before his absence he was in a rich vain of form and won a hunter chase at Huntingdon.  Legend To Be hasn’t run since March 2016 and has a very poor completion record; hopefully he will run and give his jockey a good experience.

Selection: Horizontal Speed                               Alternative: Banksandditches

 

2.05 Open Maiden – 8 entries

A very modest entry of 8 for this contest. The David Kemp trained Age Of Heroes has been placed twice on his two starts so far, both at this track.  On his last outing he was beaten a neck by Pettistree last month and must be a warm order to break his maiden tag in this race. The Nick Pearce trained Roll Of The Dice was 4th on his racecourse debut in a pointers bumper at Barbury Castle in January beaten 13 lengths behind New List but then unseated at Charing last month when hampered 2 out whilst going well. The Andrew Pennock trained Weve Got Company has been placed several times but does seem very moderate. On his last run he was 2nd at Godstone earlier this month but 30 lengths adrift of the winner Fizzlestix and he was the only other finisher. Gather Round was 2nd on his final start last season when beaten ¾ of a length behind Katesoneoneeight at Whitfield in May 2016. However, he has had 18 starts and has a very inconsistent profile. Kings Walden represents the Tom and Gina Ellis yard. He was 3rd on his sole start so far when beaten 12 lengths by Mirs Choice at Hackwood Park last March and could be open to improvement. It’s very difficult to see any of the other three runners winning unless the race cuts up badly. Age Of Heroes has a strong chance today of losing his maiden tag and he is our selection and we will go with Roll Of The Dice just ahead of Kings Walden as our alternative.

Selection: Age Of Heroes                                   Alternative: Roll Of The Dice

 

2.40 Ladies Open – 12 entries

It’s perhaps harsh to be critical of a horse as consistent as Sharp Suit, but he has disappointed a couple of times this season firstly at Cottenham where he just went down by a neck to stablemate Vesperal Dream and then at Ampton when he was outpaced both by the classy Top Smart and the outsider Penelope Pips. On paper this should be a close race between him and Oh Toodles who has good recent course form placing a close 3rd behind Top Smart and Vedettariat at the Cambridgeshire meeting and then winning the Ladies’ at the Thurlow meeting last month.  He clearly handles the course well and has every chance particularly as Sharp Suit carries a 7lb penalty. Roberto Pegasus has had twoclose battles with Susguehanna River here in Novice Riders races finishing just ahead andthen just behind him. The time for the race he won was 3 seconds faster than that posted on the same card by Top Smart - read into that what you will. Celtic Silver finished ahead of some decent horses in an Intermediate at Cottenham last month, though he couldn’t challenge Lough Inch, and he wasn’t far behind Oh Toodles at the Thurlow meeting here. We think he’s ahead of his pointer rating and he could be worth an each-way bet. Sa Kaldoun ran well in the corresponding race here last season finishing 10l 2nd behind Popaway and ahead of previous course winner Sagalyrique. If he could reproduce that form then he shouldn’t be far away though he will need to find more than when 2nd to Quinsman at Higham last month. Hill of Gold has disappointed on both his starts this season and finished behind the moderate Weather Warning at High Easter last weekend though he was staying on at the finish. Hunter Chase winner Banksandditches finished a distant 5th in the Men’s at the same meeting when returning after nearly two years on the sidelines. He should come on for the run though connections may prefer his chances in the Members’ race. Goodnight Vienna was only 3l behind Berties Dream when racing here last year but hasn’t shown such good form this season.

Selection: Oh Toodles                                       Alternative: Sharp Suit

 

3.15 Mens Open – 8 entries

Curraigflemens made the trip to High Easter last week, but remained in his box as it was decided not to run him on the prevailing ground conditions.  It is hoped that enough rain falls to ease the ground at Horseheath so that he take participate in this race, rather than journeying up the A1 to run in the mixed open at Garthorpe.  Curraigflemens ran well at the first Horseheath meeting with a second place, behind Empire Builder in the men’s open, but could only finish 3rd to Thetalkinghorse and Legal Legend on hid return to this track four weeks ago.  Following that race he was found to be a little under the weather for a few days afterwards and may have contributed to his defeat.   

Mr Raj won at Higham by 2 lengths from Mr Bricolage having been held-up he had just taken the lead before the 2nd last fence.  Mr Raj then ran in a club members race at Horseheath, but found Neumond and Counting Stars too good and could only finish 3rd, 8 lengths adrift of the winner.  Arkose was a 20/1 outsider for his seasonal reappearance at Ampton in January, but belied those odds with victory in the mixed open, beating Trafficker by 6 lengths.  On his next start he found Warden Hill too good in a club race at Thorpe Lodge.   His most recent outing was in a hunter chase at Doncaster, where he was a distant 4th of 5 to Paint The Clouds.  His best form has been shown with a bit of cut in the ground, so it is possible he may take up his entry at Garthorpe.  Fruit Fayre had a sole rival to beat on her reappearance at Revesby Park two weeks ago, which she duly accomplished and told us very little.   Her appearances last season were limited, running three times.  At Garnons in March she was defeated by a short head by Big Georgie, then at Eyton-on-Severn she beat Now Ben by 10 lengths whilst the rest of the field all pulled up.  Her third and final race, at Tabley, where she only had three opponents saw her win easily beating Niki Royal by 40 lengths (Niki Royal having won on its two previous starts).  Garstin had his first outing for connections at Higham in January, but was pulled up by halfway.  Most of his runs last season were at Larkhill, where he was successful on two occasions.  Letbeso was in the care of Peter Bowen, winning a handicap hurdle at Cartmel in June and a handicap chase at Southwell in August.  However his final three outings saw his form tail-off, finishing last on two occasions and then being pulled up on his final start in November.  Back in February 2015 he had the distinction of beating last week’s winner Silvergrove in a novices handicap chase.  The change in scenery maybe what is needed to see his rejuvenation.

Selection: Fruit Fayre                          Alternative: Curraigflemens

 

3.50 Intermediate – 10 entries

A rather miserable 10 entries and the ground should be fast. 6th run this season for Always a Chance, successful in his last 2 conditions races but has struggled in Intermediate company, 22L 3rd on this track in early Feb behind Total Compliance but shouldbe up for a frame finish. Successful twice in 2015 Autumn Haze ran in March, 2nd in a 3 runner Hunt race at Ampton and falling at Didmartin when t.o but does not inspire confidence. Celtic Silver from the inform Ellis yard looks up for a frame finish following a 2L 2nd to Oh Toodles in the Ladies Open at the last meeting on this track. Dream Doc was an impressive Restricted winner in Ireland last season and then was a 17L 4th in the March Int. at Kingston Blount so will have to find her Irish form for a place here. With plenty of experience (25 U.K. runs) Franks a Million came good earlier this month 6L behind Counting Stars in the Ampton Int after 3 p.u. this season but will find this a different race. The form horse and the one to beat has to be Neumond with 2 consecutive wins on this track this season and with Jack Andrews up will be hard to head, but Scorpion Star from the Pennock yard could go close, unraced on this track but with 2 recent wins on fast ground at Higham and Ampton and if theses 2 run it could make for a very exciting finish, but Celtic Silver could run close.  Conna Clound, Toodle Horse and Young Qc all rated in the 70’s will possibly struggle in this company

Selection: Neumond                          Alternative: Scorpion Star

 

4.25 PPORA Club Members – 11 entries

With 10mls of rain on Thursday and 3mls on Monday the ground should be in perfect racing condition.  Autumn Haze has had two outings this season and is mentioned in the Intermediate race, last win was in 2015. Banksandditches is entered in the first race on the card and we would expect it to run in that race. Berties Desire is making its seasonal debut in this race, had three outings in 2016, and best was 3rd in a Mixed Open race at Garthorpe in May. Hi Lucy Lou from the successful Andrew Pennock yard won its Maiden at Godstone in 2016 and was 2nd in a Restricted at Dingley last May. Not hit form this season as pulled up here in February and finished 5th last weekend at High Easter. Horatio Caino is a very experienced campaigner, last won at Maisemore in 2015 and been placed three times since. It did compete here at the very successful Cambridgeshire meeting when finishing 6th to Roberto Pegasus. Horizontal Speed from the Alan Hill yard has had three outings this season; first time out in January was 2nd at Larkhill in a Novice Riders Race. Followed up by winning a Club Members Race at Charing in February and last time unseated rider at the 3rd fence. Irish Anthem also unseated rider last time out but previously was a creditable 2nd at Chaddesley Corbett in February. Is from the Crow yard in Shropshire, they often bring horses to this venue and rarely go away without a win. Has won six races and been 2nd on six other occasions out of eighteen races. Roberto Pegasus won a cracking race here in February, previously was 2nd to Sharp Suit at Cottenham. Last time out was 2nd to Susquehanna River who he had previously beaten. If most of those entered in this race run it could be a cracker to end the days racing.

Finally let’s hope for a warm sunny afternoon.

Selection: Roberto Pegasus                               Alternative: Irish Anthem.