Saturday April 9th 2022
1.00 Restricted – 7 entries
Only 7 entries but hopefully a competitive race. Chongalolo from the Ellis yard 3rd on his 2 runs in Restricted company this season his latest 6l back to Tom Cody who has gone on to win an Intermediate – just his connections suggest a frame finish. Direct Flight from the local Padfield yard pu on this track in March but improved to 3rd at Parham – may well struggle in this company as he seems to pu or finish in the frame, which will occur this time? 9th run this season for Ego Des Mottes 40l back in 4th in the Fakenham Restricted last weekend – will he run again so soon? Hilnamix was a rather one paced 12l 3rd in the Feb. Duncombe Park Restricted from the Hill yard but he was 2nd to Mammoth in the Horseheath Dec. Restricted and may improve again. 10yr old Howitsdone another from the Padfield yard lost his Maiden tag at Parham with a 10l win and could move on from there but the ground will not be good to firm here. Oakidoaki pu on both his runs this season and is probably best watched here. Sum It Up from the Pennock yard won the Maiden here in March on soft ground following a creditable 3l 3rd in a 12 runner soft ground Jan. Irish Maiden PtP so could well progress again here. Why can’t we have 12 runner races!
Selection: Sum It Up Alternative: Chongalolo
1.40 CA Club Members (3m 6f) – 6 entries
King Of The Clothe could be the answer here if making a quick appearance after finishing 4th last weekend in a novice riders contest at Edgcote beaten just over 17L behind Summer Sounds. He won at the previous meeting here last month in the hands of Gina Andrews when beating Skipthecuddles by 5 L with a possible opponent today Calin du Brizais back in 5th place beaten 12¼L. Fiddler Of Dooney won last time out when scoring at Penshurst by 4L from Voie Dans Voie in an intermediate last month. Also hailing from the Tom Ellis stable like King Of The Clothe is Fox Valley. She won in January at Ampton in a novice riders contest when beating Earlshill by 4L but has pulled up on her two subsequent runs including here last month in the race won by Highway One O One and is one to treat with caution. Jeremy Central could be interesting if making the long trip from the West Country. He’s won twice this season in the hands of Will Biddick but was 2nd on his latest start in a lady riders conditions race at Buckfastleigh last month going down by a Nk to Micky Stark. Will Biddick is down to ride today. Cereal Killer was a two time pointing winner before joining Paul Nicholls but failed to win for the Master Of Ditcheat. He pulled up on his pointing reappearance at Parham two weeks ago after an absence of nearly 4 years and is probably best watched again if appearing here. King Of The Clothe should win this if turning out again so soon despite having a 3 lb penalty against all his opponents but we will side with the fact he may not turn out here and go with Fiddler Of Dooney as our premier selection with West Country raider Jeremy Central as our alternative.
Selection: Fiddler Of Dooney Alternative: Jeremy Central
2.15 Ladies Open – 7 entries
The prestigious Warwick Vase will be presented to the winner of the Ladies Open and Getting Closer represents trainer Alan Hill in what could be a very mouth-watering contest if Southfield Theatre and Tullys Touch are also declared. Getting Closer has won three out of four outings this season with his only defeat to the useful Kaproyale at Horseheath. He just held on to get the better of another entrant, Monkey Puzzle, at Penshurst by a head, two weeks ago. Tullys Touch could look to atone his jumping lapse at Fakenham, last weekend, either in this contest or the Mens equivalent. He was unbeaten in four races before falling at Fakenham and has a 100% record in two outings around High Easter. Southfield Theatre hasn’t been out of the first two placings in 17 races, in points, which includes 12 victories. Lily Bradstock has steered the 14yo veteran into the winners’ enclosure on 5 occasions this season and although they have never visited High Easter, connections will not be afraid to make their bid for the sought-after trophy, on offer.
Selection: Southfield Theatre Alternative: Getting Closer
2.50 Mens Open – 5 entries
Tullys Touch was expected to prevail in the men’s open race at Fakenham last Saturday. However the fences need jumping, and for the first time since departing Ireland in 2018, Tullys Touch came to grief at the 2nd fence. This gifted the race to Early Retirement, who was winning for the first time this season, having finished runner-up on three occasions. Mr Love created a favourable impression whilst winning two races at Horseheath this season, and then added a third victory at Didmarton. A step up into open company last time, saw him finish a creditable 2nd to Miss Seagreen at Shelfield Park. With either Just Cause or Midnight Cowboy to choose, Rupert Stearn will have an able conveyance on either. Just Cause, running for the first time this season, was a convincing winner at Parham, defeating Cheltenham Mati by ten lengths. On the same card, Midnight Cowboy came out second best in the Mixed Open race, finishing ½ length behind Who’s My Jockey. On each of the occasions Tullys Touch and Midnight Cowboy have met, Tullys Touch has come out on top.
Selection: Just Cause
3.25 Intermediate – 5 entries
The stand out animal is GoGoGeronimo, trained by the excellent Gerald Bailey, and likely to be ridden by Tom Chatfeild Roberts, whose surname defies my guidance at school that “i comes before e except after c”! Super reliable, in eleven races between the flags, he has never been out of the frame albeit that he is no superstar – should be good enough to take this modest race although there could be surprises. Luscious Lilly won the Maiden at this meeting back in 2020 but took over a year to find the winner’s enclosure again when coming out on top in the Restricted at Grafton in May 2021. This season she has struggled to be competitive but if on her “A” game could give the likely favourite a run for his money. The 8 year-old mare, Frank And Honest, won last time out when taking the Restricted Race at Higham back in November last year. This was a modest race and the winner was the odds-on favourite and won by ten lengths from the only other finisher. That was her only run this season and it may have been that she suffered a setback after the race which was, after all, over 100 days ago. This is the third yard trying to get the best out of the Lecroix mare and it remains to be seen if the skill of Alan Hill will have found the magic necessary for her to win again. Clondaw Bunny has been around for some years during which time she has been ridden by no less than four current national Hunt jockeys, Bryan Carver, Fergus Gillard, David Bass and Phillip Armson. Has won a couple but seems to be a bit of an also ran these days so may find the competition too stiff. Finally, Broadwater, from the wonderful Stearn Family supporters of pointing since the year dot! Has had a long lay off of almost three years and hardly surprisingly found his comeback race at Penshurst too hot to handle. May well have come on for the race but others may well be too strong but as he is only eight years old hopefully there will be more to come going forward.
On balance we feel GoGoGeronimo should have enough in the tank to take this with the challenge likely to be from Frank And Honest.
Selection: GoGoGeronimo Alternative: Frank And Honest
4.00 Open Maiden – 9 entries
Only nine entries for the Maiden, entries have recently been getting lower as more meetings are taking place throughout the country. Out of the unraced horses we like the look of Baseline from the Alan Hill yard he also holds an entry for Sunday so is not guaranteed runner. He gets a hefty weight allowance taking on the older horses as a 4 year old and has an interesting jockey booking, it will be interesting to see how he gets on if he turns up. Diamon Des Flos was a solid 3rd over course and distance in a hot looking Maiden, only beaten four lengths in total. Went off a short price favourite next time out and was well held when falling. A return to 3miles looks sure to suit and holds every chance if none the worst for his fall. Flashy Kate has been placed in her completed PtP starts, her only disappointing run was at Horseheath when pulling up, maybe the ground did not suit on the day. She got back on track with a solid run last time out finishing 2nd against more experienced horses and gets a seven pound allowance for being a mare. Looks sure to be in the mix with better ground conditions. She just gets our vote over Diamon Des Flos who has his wellbeing to prove after his fall last time out.
Selection: Flashy Kate Alternative: Diamon Des Flos
4.35 Hunts Members – 9 entries
Nine horses entered from three yards so more than probable that only three will run. Nigel Padfield has made this race his own but was beaten last season into second. This year Nigel has four entered namely, Direct Flight, Howsitdone, Magnetic Zero and Man of Means. Impossible at this stage to know which he will run but of the four Direct Flight would be the one which could make an appearance. Alan Hill Has two entered, Becaneros won a Maiden race in Wales back in October, has not progressed much since on further four outings and Mahlers Star who has finished fourth in its last three races, two at Larkhill earlier this season. To complete the entries Rob Cundy has two entered and Castle Trump stands out above the others having won at Charing, Ampton, Kingston Blount and a match here at the last meeting, rated 113 much above any other entry. Rob’s other entry Myplaceatmidnight won a Conditions race at Ampton in early March and was fourth last time out two weeks ago.
Selection: Castle Trump Alternative: Becaneros
Race 1: Sum It Up / Chongalolo
Race 2: Fiddler Of Dooney / Jeremy Central
Race 3: Southfield Theatre / Getting Closer
Race 4: Just Cause
Race 5: GoGoGeronimo / Frank And Honest
Race 6: Flashy Kate / Diamon Des Flos
Race 7: Castle Trump / Becaneros