THE WEST NORFOLK – FAKENHAM – Sunday April 14th 2019
2.00 Club Members (Veteran and Novice Riders) – 7 entries
This meeting always has a large local following and no doubt will do so again despite the low number of entries. Regrettably it sums up the season for racing in East Anglia not helped by the lack of rainfall. With the forecast projecting a cold weekend it may not be the most comfortable afternoon at what is a great course. Seven entries have been made starting with Abbey Lane who has given John Whyte its owner several near misses. Now a 14 yr old it still seems to enjoy racing and with Alex Chadwick on board has been 2nd four times, 3rd once and won the Novice Riders race at Horseheath at the end of March. In 2017 he won three on the trot when trained by Andrew Pennock. Apachee Prince has shown little in two outings this season. Last won a Handicap Chase at Perth in September 2017 when trained by Ollie Murphy. Dido is a course winner when winning a PPORA Conditions race here last April. It won the same Conditions race at Guilsborough last week and we would be surprised to see it out again so quickly. Previously in February was 2nd to Susquehanna River at Garthorpe. Local Show is having an excellent season for the Sarah/William Humphries combination. He has been racing since the first Cottenham with seven races when unseating there but since then has won four times, the latest being the Men’s Open at Penshurst in March. Postbridge from the same combination as Local Show was 2nd last Saturday at High Easter to Chapelier, beaten by a neck. It was a hard race and it would be a surprise if appearing again this weekend. Ronava was 3rd last time to How About It at Siddington but has only had two outings in Points. Last won in Ireland in May 2017 when ridden by Rachel Blackmore, eleven races since when shown little. Maybe proves that every dog/Horse has its day
Selection: Local Show Alternative: Abbey Lane
2.30 PPORA Club Members Conditions – 11 entries
This race has attracted an entry of just 11. The Alan Hill trained For’n’Against has been plying his recent trade in open races and will find this an easier proposition. He is due to be ridden by Izzie Marshall so won’t lack for any assistance in the saddle from this extremely competent young rider. On his latest start For’n’Against was 3rd to Dabinett Moon at Kingston Blount last month beaten 16 ¼L. Silvergrove was unbeaten in points in 2017 but missed last season. He has had two starts this season, both in hunter chases. He was 2nd at Fakenham in mid March when beaten 30L by Sir Jack Yeats, but was rather disappointing at Ascot later that month when 4th to Virak, beaten 28 ¾L. This however is a much easier contest and he should be in the shake up. Love Manhattan won at Revesby Park last season when beating Helpston by 6L, however he unseated at the last fence Garthorpe on his seasonal debut when a well beaten 4th two weeks ago. Postbridge has been placed 2nd on her two recent starts. She was beaten a neck by the progressive Chapelier last weekend at High Easter. The Andrew Pennock trained This Breac won at Ampton in early March when beating Drumshambo by 12L but pulled up on his last outing at Horseheath. The Turner runner Aigle De La See is a two time winner under rules but pulled up at High Easter last month on his stable debut however the yard did have a winner last weekend. Bi Quini Tiep has been placed 4th on both starts this season but been well behind on both occasions. Virgo The First won on his final outing last season when scoring at Northaw by 1/2 L from Steeles Terrace and could make a belated seasonal return here. This race will be easier for both For’n’Against and Silvergrove from what they have both been contesting recently but preference is for the former.
Selection: For’n’Against Alternative: Silvergrove
3.00 Restricted – 7 entries
A rather sad 7 entries for what is a great track and venue. Almost There from the Wright yard was ridden out well to win the Cottenham Open Maiden in Dec. and ran Blackwood Rover close at High Easter in the March Restricted with Shamat in 3rd and then ran a disappointing 16L 3rd to Law of Gold at Guilsborough last weekend so may not run so soon but a 7lb mares allowance will help. Baxxos p.u on last 3 runs so no form to go on. Bullsempire from the in form Pennock yard won the 4 runner Maiden at Higham 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 so may struggle again here along with Dulwich Hill 32L behind General Arrow at Garthorpe and Multimedia who also pu in the March High Easter Restricted when t.o. Racing Eagle although only rated 75 ran 3l 2nd to Shamat at High Easter last weekend and was an easy 8l Maiden winner on the same track in March – too soon to run again? Selection is between the 2 who ran last Saturday at High Easter.
Selection: Almost There / Racing Eagle or if they do not run Bullsempire
3.30 Mens Open – 7 entries
The entries for this race include the first two home in the “Restricted Final” hunter chase at Stratford last season. On that occasion Caryto des Brosses beat Steeles Terrace by 6 lengths. This win came on the back of four wins and a close second in six point races.
Caryto des Brosses has only had one start thus far this season, beating Golden Tobouggan at Garthorpe, and his participation here will be ground dependant, with an alternative engagement in a hunter chase at Stratford in the offing. Steeles Terrace had won a hunter chase at Fontwell prior to chasing home Caryto des Brosses, having himself been beaten by Virgo The First in a point at Northaw on his previous start. So far this season, Steeles Terrace has run twice at Higham the latest of which saw him being pulled up with almost a circuit to go, whilst this will be Virgo The First’s seasonal debut. Silvergrove, who missed all of last season, has run in two hunter chases, one around this course last month finishing 2nd, 30 lengths behind Sir Jack Yeats, and then at Ascot, a similar distance behind Virak in 4th. With an entry made for him in the second race on this card, connections may prefer that option. Tullys Touch who also holds an entry in the ladies open race, was a maiden at the start of this campaign. Missing out on a maiden win, Tullys Touch won a restricted race at Ampton in January and then finished a close 2nd to Tricky Silence in an intermediate at Horseheath. A trip to Garthorpe in March saw him home victorious in another intermediate race, beating the promising Hadmeathello by 6 ½ lengths. Local Show holds an entry in the first race but is not without a shout if running in this, having already won four races this season at Barbury, Ampton, Horseheath and Penshurst.
Selection: Caryto des Brosses Alternative: Tullys Touch
4.00 Ladies Open – 5 entries
Izzie Marshall is For’n’Against’s regular partner and they registered two wins in the latter part of the 2018 season. The partnership has yet to land a win this season having been beaten into 3rd place on two occasions but could be one that prefers the springtime to show their better performances. No Through Road gives Lottie Ingleton a lot of pleasure but they have yet to trouble the placings in their three races this season. Tullys Touch, the youngest by far in the race, has performed very well in this his debut, pointing season and Gina took over the ride from brother Jack at Garthorpe in late March, for a comfortable victory. If running here as opposed to the Men’s Open would prove difficult to beat. That leaves the two Turner entries and we can only assume just one of their entrants will take part. Kriss William ran up to form last week at High Easter but couldn’t peg back Dont Do Mondays and doesn’t normally race on back-to-back weeks. Sa Kaldoun hasn’t got a Laurium (twice), Top Smart or a Start Royal to contend with in this race, which he has had to endure in all four races this season.
Selection: Tullys Touch Alternative: Sa Kaldoun
4.30 Open Maiden – 4 entries
A very disappointing race which possibly highlights the perils of pointing in East Anglia exacerbated by the dry conditions which have led some owners to rough off their horses seemingly so early in the season. Only four are entered varying in age from 5 to 10. Oldest of the pack is Martin Ward’s 10-year-old maiden Ride on Joe. This one ran his best race back in May 2017 when a couple of lengths second to Big Man Doe in a Maiden at Dingley. He was then off the course for the best part of two years before returning at Horseheath earlier this season. It would be fair to say he has not yet captured his old form but if running to his best could be in the final mix. Broom Tip had a modest campaign under rules when with Tom George but so far does not seem to have progressed between the flags. Ran his best race first time out at Ampton when 13 lengths third to Chapelier but seems to have gone into reverse since then. Champagne Vintage has yet to be unleashed by Andrew Pennock. Only ran twice between the flags in Ireland and on both occasions there were definite signs of promise. With form of FD at first glance this looks a no hoper but don’t be fooled – have a look in the paddock if running – this one could be anything. Finally Broadwater, about whom we have waxed lyrical a couple of times this season. Clearly going the right way and his recent 4 lengths second at Parham last time out implies that a win is not far away. Will probably start favourite, as he has done before, but it remains to be seen if he will get the better of the Pennock mystery horse, which we expect to shine.
Selection: Champagne Vintage Alternative: Broadwater