Saturday February 4th 2023

12.00 Intermediate – 11 entries

Some of these have alternative engagements elsewhere in the country but some really class sorts are engaged and whatever wins is likely to be pretty useful. Go Go Geronimo took nine attempts to break his duck but suddenly improved heaps last season when he was narrowly beaten in two prestigious hunter chases – the Intermediate Final at Cheltenham and the John Corbet at Stratford. His move to current handler Kelly Morgan upon the retirement of Gerald Bailey has done him no harm judged on the way he scooted clear at Alnwick three weeks ago and it will take a good one to lower his colours. He has, however, been beaten in all three previous Horseheath runs. Both Lift Me Up and Theshoddytradesman are lightly-raced exciting young prospects. Lift Me Up’s grandam is a full-sister to the mighty Denman and he put 14 rivals to the sword with the minimum of fuss at Chaddesley last time. Theshoddytradesman can also boast a recent Chaddesley win, though his was over only 2m 4f. He hails from the powerful Bradley Gibbs yard. The course and distance maiden scorer Imnottalkingtoyou represents the Tom Ellis stable which carried all before it at the last fixture here. Only six years of age, he is one for the future but may not be ready to win in this kind of company.  Slievegar ran a good second here on New Year’s Eve and has fitness on his side, though he may lack a little in quality. Josh The Plod did well to grab two wins last spring but has not run since and will come on for the run. Macfin was probably undone by the heavy ground on his latest start and merits respect on the form of his easy nine length defeat of Hung Jury last season. The reopposing Hung Jury beat a well-fancied Alan Hill horse here four weeks ago and may be improving. Frisson Collonges did not beat much in two victories last term and could be in need of this reappearance run. Supreme Johnson is inconsistent and, although already a dual winner this term, makes a step up in class here, The 11-year-old Second Time Around is fragile these days and makes little appeal.

Selection: Go Go Geronimo              Alternative: Lift Me Up

12.35 Club Members Conditions (Novice Riders) – 8 entries

A field of just 8 for this novice riders contest but it includes four previous course winners in the entries. Koyote won at the previous meeting here when landing a similar conditions race here by 2 L from Slievegar with Champion Chase a further 4 L back in 3rd and Calin du Brizais well back in 7th place that day. Gina Andrews was aboard Koyote that day and Ellie Holder takes the mount today. Champion Chase is due to be ridden by Amber Jackson-Fennell and she’s the most experienced rider in the contest. He won here at this meeting last year when he landed the restricted from Master Templar by a short head in the hands of James King. Mr Love is a two time course winner, his last win here was in February last year when he beat First Drift by 15 L. He ran at the first meeting here in the men’s open when he finished 5th to Foumet d’Oudairies beaten 43 L. No rider was showing for him so check the rider booking on the day. Groundunderrepair won here in February 2020 when beating Way Back Then by 30 L but his form has been rather in and out since then and others are preferred.  Dancing Shadow is well into the veteran stage and is a three time scorer under rules for Victor Dartnall but his last win was back in November 2017 at Exeter when he beat Just A Sting 1 ½ L in a novice hurdle.  This would appear to be rider Oliver Watson’s pointing debut.  Another in the veteran stage is More Bucks, a three time pointing winner, his last win was in May 2021 when he beat Yeat’s Ace by 30 L in a Holnicote mixed open. Rider Chris Hopkins has one win from four rides. Laurel Girl is still a maiden but was 2nd for her owner rider Madeline Plumb at Badbury Rings in November when beaten 6 L by Another Furlough in a maiden race. Quite a trappy contest to call but we will side with recent course winner Koyote to prevail in this ahead of the veteran More Bucks as she receives a stone in weight from that rival.

Selection: Koyote                          Alternative: More Bucks

1.10 Mens Open – 11 entries

 Fumet D’Oudairies will be seeking to maintain his 100% record around this course, having previously won five times, including victory on New Years Eve when beating Ragnar Lodbrok by three lengths in the men’s open race. Ragnar Lodbrok was making a first appearance in a point having previously been in the care of Gordon Elliot and had only shown glimpses of ability during the last twelve months.  Pont Aven, a stablemate of Ragnar Lodbrok might have won around here last season, but fell at the third last having just taken the lead.  A winner next time out at Higham was followed with a hunter chase victory over Bletchley Castle at Ludlow.  He then competed in the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunters, finishing sixth in the former but well beaten in the latter.  Salvatore has won his fair share of races, but has not been as prolific in recent seasons as he was in his younger days.  Last season’s sole victory was achieved in a Bangor hunter chase, beating 2021 Cheltenham Foxhunter winner Porlock Bay.  An outing at Chaddesley Corbett in December saw him finish a distant seventh behind the 2021 Aintree Foxhunter winner Cousin Pascal.  Kaproyale who won five races last season was well beaten by Famous Clermont on his reappearance at Larkhill on 1st January, whilst Epi Sacre also finished down the field on his reappearance at the same meeting, but may do better in 2023.

Selection: Pont Aven                          Alternative: Fumet D’Oudairies


1.45 Ladies Open – 10 entries

The outcome could depend upon what becomes the nomination from the entries of trainers Alan Hill and Tom Ellis. Hill could pitch either multiple winner Hawkhurst or the impressive pointing debut winner I K Brunel against the Gina Andrews chosen partner in either recent course winner Latenightfumble or Aintree Foxhunters’ hero Latenightpass, who was beaten a neck by Shantou Flyer on his seasonal outing at Chaddesley. Rhythm Is A Dancer’s appearance could make it a really classic contest with the Nicholl’s representative sure to improve on his run at Larkhill, when pulled up in the race won by I K Brunel at Larkhill in November. Twilight Girl will be stepping-up in class but the mare is in fine fettle after her success at Ampton, two weeks ago and will have the excellent services of Charlotte Butler, in the saddle.

Selection: Latenightpass/Latenightfumble     Alternative: I K Brunel/Hawkhurst


2.20 Restricted – 10 entries

 A respectable 10 entries and with 3 horses rated over 100 a very competitive race is in prospect. Access Granted has his first run out this season and placed in his last 2 Restricted runs so probably best watched. 6yr. All is True from the in form Ellis yard won easily by 8l here in Dec. and will be up for another strong run here. 7yr old Bloodstone won the 10 runner Maiden from the front here on good to soft ground at this meeting in 2021 but having lost places fell on his outing at Mollington in April, but a 5l  2nd to Rabble Rouser in the Larkhill Restricted early this month indicates potential and he will have come on for the run. Champagne Glory with Jack Andrews up could run into a place following his Maiden made all win at Dingley in April. Coolagh Park followed an indifferent stint with Gordon Elliot then came to the Hill yard and made an unchallenged 50l. Maiden win here in Dec. 2021 but no further run since so maybe one to watch but there is track form here. 4th. seasons run for 11yr. Midnight Jitterbug a distant Restricted 3rd here in Dec behind Hung Jury and may struggle in this company. Mossy be Lucky stayed on well to win Div 2 of the recent Ampton Maiden and placed 3 times in Maidens last season but now up a grade and is another to struggle in this company. Salacia’s Storm placed in an Irish Mares Maiden PtP last season and the step up in grade and in this company may be a struggle here. Tara Storm over from France with very indifferent form took the 12 runner Chaddesley Corbett Dec Maiden beating the odds on fav Captain Biggles and could well run to a place here. Veteran 12yr. Lies About Milan rated 126 back in 2020 under rules and unraced in PtPs but 3rd at Stratford in July 2021 shows ther might be something there.

Selection: All is True                          Alternative: Bloodstone     


2.55 Open Maiden –16 entries

A highly competitive Maiden with several interesting horses entered. Italian Legend is having his first start for Andrew Pennock. In his last run under Rules he finished 3rd in a highly competitive Hurdle, has his first start for 18 months and holds every chance if retaining his ability. Lagan Valley ran a race full of promise on his debut finishing 3rd.On his next start he finished 2nd at the first Horseheath meeting, had the race run to suit but just weakened up the hill in the final half furlong. He looks to be competitive again but possibly could be better over a shorter or flatter track. Paper Mill ran a respectable race on his debut finishing 3rd, he went off well fancied at Ampton on his next start but unseated at the first fence. Hopefully none the worse from that experience he can carry on the progression from his debut. Tigerbythetail is having his first start for Tom Ellis. He ran six times under Rules, once in a bumper and five time over hurdles. After a promising debut in his 1st Hurdle race he was regressive but still officially rated 111, he could be a class above but still has to prove his wellbeing and attempts fences for the first time. Ilhela d’Engilbert won a PtP bumper at Ffos Las on his debut very impressively, the further he went the better and won by ten lengths, Was giving weight to the second that day. As a 5 year old he will receive a handy 7lbs weight allowance which makes him interesting. We think he has a touch of class about him and being from the Alan Hill yard he will be well schooled so jumping fences for the first time in public shouldn’t be an issue.

Selection: Ilhela d’Engilbert             Alternative: Tigerbythetail


Race 1: Go Go Geronimo / Lift me Up

Race 2: Koyote / More Bucks

Race 3: Pont Aven / Fumet D’Oudairies

Race 4: Latenightpass/Latenightfumble / I K Brunel/Hawkhurst

Race 5: All Is True / Bloodstone

Race 6: Ilhela d’Engilbert / Tigerbythetail