LATEST GOING: GOOD TO FIRM (Thursday 7th March.)  Following an inspection by BHA Course Inspector, Will Wales, this morning the going is Good to Firm and watering is continuing to mantain this ground.

Irigation has gone very well and will continue until Friday evening.  There are also showers forecast. All bends have been moved to provide fresh ground.  If you have any questions about the ground please do not hestitate to call Clerk of the Course, Simon Stearn on 07768 860157 and he will be happy to speak to you.

POINT-TO-POINT PREVIEW

SUFFOLK HUNT MEETING AT AMPTON, SUNDAY MARCH 10th 2019

By Mike Ashby

It’s often said that you don’t need many runners to make an exciting race and you have to be in it to win it. Two phrases that could apply to Sunday’s East Anglian fixture at Ampton,near Bury St. Edmunds where the Suffolk Hunt have 46 entries for their seven races. What is certain, there will be winners which will bring immense delight to owners/trainers/riders and associated staff who will be thrilled to be part of the victory team. The afternoon’s action will start with two pony races from 12.30pm and the first steeplechase race gets underway at 1.30pm.

One stable who will be looking to add to their season total is the Timworth stable of Andrew and Ruth Pennock who saddled their 7th winner of the season, last weekend. Their horseboxes will not have to travel far for Sunday’s fixture as the course is in view from Andrew and Ruth’s home and stables. What a memorable day they had had at this meeting two years ago when they triumphed in four of the races during the afternoon. The chance of a five-timer looked a distinct possibility as they saddled the odds-on favourite in the concluding Hunt Members’ race. Unfortunately their representative made an error and unseated, the then, stable jockey Evan David who had been on board all the other four winners.At last season’s fixture the stable had two winners including Andrew riding Galros Lady to victory in the Hunt Members’ race. This ultimately became his last winning ride as he announced his retirement from race-riding, later in the season.

For Sunday’s meeting the Pennock’s again have multiple entries and are represented in six of the seven scheduled races. They could be in for another very successful afternoon with the following stable stars entered. Chapelier ( Intermediate Race ) and Chosen Rose ( Mens Open ) were both successful at the January, Ampton meeting. Chapelier has won again since whilst Chosen Rose missed a run due to a set-back and now tries a higher class race. The mare has won four times in a row for the stable and will be in receipt of a massive 19lbs from Broken Eagle, a prolific winner of points. Laser Beam ( Restricted) and Somme Boy ( Hunt Members’ ) were both winners last time out at Higham whilst Farran Dancer ( Maiden ) has yet to fulfill his potential but could open his account at this Ampton meeting.

The Pennock’s have This Breac entered in the opening Conditions race and the gelding finished 3rd at Horseheath last weekend. The biggest challenge would possibly come from Dream Doc, who ran creditably behind Chosen Rose at this course in January whilst Knockedoutloaded, who finished second behing Hawkhurst in this race last year, also has an outstanding chance.

The Ladies Open could also result in a close finish with Quick Oats, Sa Kaldoun and the chosen representative from the Alan Hill stable, either Laurium or Changeof luck, all capable of making the winner’s enclosure.

As eluded to earlier, Broken Eagle will have to give loads of weight to Chosen Rose in the Mens Open. Nobody doubts the incredible standard that Broken Eagle sets, seventeen wins from twenty three starts in points, but now is the hour for the mare, Chosen Rose, to be pitched against stronger opposition and the outcome could be fascinating.

The Turner family, reside at Ampton Hall and this racecourse is situated on their grounds. This Suffolk Hunt meeting has been synonomous with the family for many a decade and they have several entries which will carry the locally, familiar navy blue, white hoop and check cap colours. They could introduce a couple of newcomers to their ranks in Aigle de La See and Quietly. Both are ex-National Hunt recruits and their appearances will be watched with great interest and both hold entries in two separate races during the afternoon. Their Haut Bages is lightly raced but did show good potential when winning two seasons ago and could take his chance either in the Intermediate or Hunt Members’ race.

Simon Stearn, Ampton Clerk of the Course and his team will be preparing the course meticously right up to raceday and have had to deal with the desperately dry conditions that we have experienced during the winter. Their knowledge will be invaluable and they have produced before, as decent ground as can be expected, for this meeting, and this year will be no exception.

Ampton racecourse is situated 4 miles north of Bury St Edmunds just off the A134, through the village of Ingham. There are two competitive pony races to start proceedings at 12.30pm followed by the first Point to Point race at 1.30pm. In the first pony race it is likely that Crofthill Montague will go off favourite. The second pony race at 12:45pm has a very strong line up with Dough Boy and Dillans Girl who have both already won this season.

Trade stands, licensed public bar and bookmakers. Food stands and tradestands. Fun for all the family.  Adults £10 Children (16 yrs & under) Free. FREE car parking. Dogs on leads and car boot picnics very welcome.