THE ESSEX AND SUFFOLK HUNT – HIGHAM
Saturday April 20th 2019
2.10 Hunt Members (Vet and Nov Riders) – 11 entries
A super veteran with a perfect manner and that’s just his owner/trainer John Whyte!! Abbey Lane has been a model of consistency all season. He ran 2nd at Fakenham last Sunday and will give his all again here. Back Bar will need a change of pilot after normal partner, Henrietta’s unfortunate injury sustained at High Easter. One Fine Morning is becoming a Higham specialist with three wins to his name already, two of which have been this season. Owner/jockey Charlie Clover knows everything about this plucky little horse and the ground will be no problem to them. Torran Na Dtonn form this season has been a bit in and out but we can discount his last run in a Stratford Hunter ‘Chase in February, as he was probably aiming slightly too high. He is one of Ruth Pennock’s favourites and possesses an unbeaten record at Higham, two outings and two wins. Luke Scott has the ride and their chances cannot be discounted on ground conditions he has raced on before, at Higham. Weather Warning has finished in 3rd place in his last five races but they have been in small fields so his chances of getting his head in front of two others here, looks unlikely.
Selection: One Fine Morning Alternative: Torran Na Dtonn
2.45 Restricted – 4 entries
A really sad 4 runner entry. Bullsempire from the Pennock yard won the 4 runner Maiden here in Jan. and was 32L 4th to Captiva Island at Higham in Feb. but then p.u. when well behind at High Easter in March and just a length behind Multimedia at Fakenham last Sunday – will he run again so soon? The same for Drive on Joe who ran 18l 4th at the same meeting in the Open Maiden on his only finish this season. Placed 5 times from 14 runs under rules with Powell 7yr Oakidoaki is now with the Stearns and stayed on well to win his Maiden at High Easter recently and should run well here. The Tailor Quigley from the Hill yard will not get the ground that he had at Kingston Blount when 24l 4th in the March Restricted but could be placed. If the 2 who ran at Fakenham don’t appear it will be a match race between Oakidoaki and The Tailor Quigley.
Selection: Oakidoaki Alternative: The Tailor Quigley
3.20 Mixed Open – 9 entries
On paper this would be a fascinating contest with those entered having run in a variety of contests. Zeroeshadesofgrey and Local Show have both met this season, back in late December at Cottenham in a novice riders race in which Zeroeshadesofgrey won beating Local Show by 1¾ lengths into 3rd. Zeroeshadesofgrey then went to Fakenham for a hunter chase, finishing 2nd to Risk A Fine. He then won a match race at Horseheath before returning to Fakenham for another hunter chase, but got no further that the 4th fence. Local Show has been travelling the country this season and has won four races at Barbury, Ampton, Horseheath and Penshurst. He ran last Sunday in the novice and veteran riders race at Fakenham but could not challenge the all the way winner Ronava. Steeles Terrace also ran last Sunday, in what was virtually a match race against the useful Caryto des Brosses, but could not match his pace. This was his first run since being pulled up on his previous outing at Higham back in February. Kriss William who fell at the first in this contest last season, has been gradually getting closer to winning this season, with form figures on 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. The last of those runs was at High Easter two weeks ago against Dont Do Mondays, where Sand Blast finished behind in 3rd. Sand Blast has been placed in all four starts since the turn of the year, finishing 2nd to Start Royal and 3rd to Top Smart around this course, but came closest to winning at the first High Easter meeting when beaten a short head by Teeton Power. Burtredgipandgump had a titanic battle with Poyle Thomas at the first Higham fixture, and has since won at High Easter, as well as being placed at Garthorpe and Guilsborough. Allie Beag and Back Bar both hail from the Alan Hill yard and come into the race with differing form. Allie Beag was placed in a couple of intermediate races at Ampton this season, but was pulled up last time in a confined at Kingston Blount. Bar Bar has improved race by race, finishing 2nd at Horseheath to Local Show and then winning last time out in a novice riders race at High Easter.
Selection: Zeroeshadesofgrey Alternative: Kriss William
3.55 Club Members Conditions (Novice Riders) – 7 entries
This race is over the shorter distance of 2miles 4 furlongs so may have a different effect on the results of recent form. Abbey Lane has had four 2nds this season including a 2nd at Fakenham last weekend; Local Show was 3rd, some six lengths behind albeit being the odds-on favourite. Maybe asking a bit much to give the fourteen-year-old another outing so quickly. Chosen Rose has not quite been up to last season’s form when winning three races on the bounce albeit it in small fields. Last time out was at High Easter two weeks ago when beaten by Quick Oats by a short distance. Clenagh Castle had success in the West Country in 2017 but has been disappointing since. Postbridge has been placed three times on last three outings, 2nd twice and 3rd last week at Fakenham to Love Manhattan. Weakened at the last but this could indicate that this shorter distance may be preferable. Royalraise won a Hunter Chase at Warwick last May and before that, in the same month, a Hunter Chase at Towcester. Pulled up in a HC at Stratford in June to complete the season. Disappointing in Points so far in 2019 and last race pulled up at Garthorpe in March. Zeroshadesofgrey pulled up in a Hunter Chase at Fakenham in March. He won a match at Horseheath earlier that month but the highlight of the season so far was winning a Novice Riders race at Cottenham when beating Vivaldi Collonges who has subsequently won two competitive races. Despite few entrants could be a competitive race if all were to turn up on the day.
Selection: Zeroshadesofgrey Alternative: Postbridge
4.30 Open Maiden – 9 entries
With little by way of rain expected fields are likely to cut up so it remains to be seen who will contend this race.
Three horses stand out as potential winners with one in particular holding most of the aces. This is Castle Trump a 5 year old Presenting Gelding who has already had two very promising runs between the flags in Ireland. Made favourite on both occasions this one had a second and third place to his name so would appear to be ready to win. The Buckle Family actually has a very strong hand in the race as they have also entered Josh the Plod. Perhaps it has surprised many racegoers that this one has not got his head in front already have filled the runner’s up berth on no less than three occasions. How the going will impact on this one’s potential remains to be seen but fast ground could well prove unpalatable. The final one in the potential trio is Un Huit Huit who was last seen at High Easter when coming second best (beaten 2 1/2 lengths) to Oakidoaki. Sandygate, another entered in this race, was a further 2 lengths back in third place. Whether either of these will improve for the race remains to be seen but at least we know they seem happy on fast going.
One interesting runner is the beautifully bred Rumble B from the Sarah Humphrey team. Taken to Alnwick for a 2m Point-to-Point Flat race last month he was made favourite but could only manage third place to the highly impressive King Erik. Towards the end of the race he was seen to run on and it may be that he ran somewhat green in the early stages however he has a lot to prove for his first run over the jumps.
Overall this is a muddling little race and if he runs we would expect Castle Trump take the spoils with Un Huit Huit taking the runners up slot.
Selection: Castle Trump Alternative: Un Huit Huit
5.05 Conditions – 12 entries
A creditable entry of 12 for this 2 miles 4 furlongs contest. Argot is improving with each run so far this season and was 2nd on his latest start over this trip at Mollington earlier this month when beaten ¾ L by Celtic Silver. He should be in the mix if running here. The Turner stable is finding it’s form now and have had a winner on the two latest weekends. Kriss William is their runner in this contest and he must be given a chance in this. He’s well into the veteran stage now but was 2nd to Don’t Do Mondays at High Easter two weeks ago, beaten 7L in the ladies open. Weather Warning has finished 3rd on his last 5 starts. This truncated trip might suit him and he can’t be ruled out if running. On his latest start he finished just over 10L adrift of Chapelier at High Easter two weeks ago. Postbridge finished 2nd, 10L ahead of Weather Warning in this race but has run on the three previous weekends so may not turn out here. Nothing Personal was a further 14L behind in 5th place in the High Easter race. The Alan Hill trained The Gunner Brady has been well beaten on both starts this season and others are preferred. Andrew Pennock runs Somme Boy in this. A course winner in January when beating Captiva Island 2L in a match. He has been placed on his two subsequent starts and was 3rd at Horseheath in March beaten 6 ½L by Black Jewel. Shamat won on his latest start at High Easter when beating Racing Eagle by 4L two weeks ago, he would need to improve however to trouble the principals here. Josh The Plod is the second runner for Charlie Buckle, still a maiden he may struggle against some of these but will enjoy this trip, he was 2nd here in February when beaten 4L by Laser Beam. Argot has steadily improved with each run this season and will relish this trip so is our selection today. With the Turner yard now finding their form we will side with the veteran Kriss William as our alternative.
Selection: Argot Alternative: Kriss William