Saturday January 29th 2022

12.00 Intermediate – 14 entries
What a cracking looking race to begin the afternoon’s entertainment. The Ellis / Andrew’s team seem to have the best chance with their lightly raced 8-year-old Mammoth. An impressive winner of the Thurlow Restricted race at Horseheath in December in a time only 4 seconds slower than Kaproyale, winner of the Conditions race at the same meeting and also entered in this race. Which horse will have come on the most from the race – if Kaproyale runs he will have to give 12lbs to Mammoth and we see this as a bridge too far. Castle Trump has impressed in both runs this season but this is a much more difficult challenge and he may have to settle for minor placings although he did beat a Rowley / Bromley hotshot by 30 lengths at Ampton last time out when giving 7lbs away. David Kemp has entered a couple of which Rebel Dawn Rising would seem the most promising. Unlike those already mentioned has not yet had a run this season and whilst would not run if Kemp wasn’t happy with his charge’s fitness may just need the outing to sharpen up. Finally, the dark horse may be Tekap. Nick and Archie Wright have worked wonders with this former Rowley inmate and can run well when fresh but this is a tall order with so many classy entrants that a watching brief is recommended.
Overall, we feel Mammoth, with her weight advantage may just have too much in her locker for her competitors. Castle Trump looks the likely one to chase her home.

Selection: Mammoth                              Alternative: Castle Trump

12.35 Club Members Conditions (Novice Riders) – 11 entries
An entry of 11 for this novice riders contest. Tom Ellis is responsible for two entries, Bawnmore and Fox Valley. Bawnmore was 2nd at this course on New Year’s Eve when going down by 25L to Mr Love with a possible rival Groundunderrepair a further 20L adrift in 3rd that day. Ego des Mottes PU in this race. Fox Valley won the novice rider’s race at Ampton earlier this month when she defeated another possible rival today Earlshill by 4L with Three Ways a further 26L away in 5th this day. Perpignan is one of two entries from James Owen’s yard. He was 2nd on his final start last season when going down by ½ L to Chameron at Garthorpe in June with Fox Valley around 35L behind in 7th place that day. James’s other entry is Clondaw Rigger who finished 3rd at Higham two weeks ago when going down by 26L to Azurri with Ego Des Mottes 41L behind in 8th in that race. Triopas hails from Fergal O’Brien’s Gloucestershire yard. He was 3rd on his latest start when going down by just over 12L to Dragon D’Estruval at Larkhill in December. For Rita hails from Francesca Poste’s yard and she rattled up a hat trick last season when ridden by James King. She was 4th on her last start at Garthorpe in June when going down by 25L to How To Get Away. Trojan Star finished 4th at Ampton earlier this month in a veteran horses race but was nearly 25L behind the winner Sir Mangan. A tricky race to call with several having chances. If making the long journey from Gloucestershire we will make the Fergal O’Brien runner Triopas as our selection. As an alternative, Clondaw Rigger may find this course more suitable than Higham and could run well at a decent price.

Selection: Triopas                              Alternative: Clondaw Rigger

1.10 Mens Open – 8 entries

Eight have been entered for the men’s open race, headed in the ratings by Law Of Gold, the 2021 winner of the Pertemps Champion Hunter Chase, running for the Horse and Hound Cup at Stratford in May, where he stayed on strongly to defeat Bob And Co by 5 ½ lengths. This win followed another hunter chase success at Fontwell where he beat Shantou Flyer. His form is definitely stronger in the second half of the season, but did win a men’s open around this course in early February 2020, when he defeated Tullys Touch by 12 lengths. Tullys Touch had the benefit of Will Biddick in the saddle at Ampton when winning on his seasonal reappearance for the fourth year in a row, around a course he relishes, and Will Biddick is pencilled in to take the ride again. Mr Love, who had winning form under rules, won convincingly at the Thurlow meeting on New Year’s Eve, defeating Bawnmore by 25 lengths on his first run in points. Based on that performance he should make the jump into open company, but has a daunting task at this first attempt. At the same Thurlow fixture, Early Retirement just failed to secure victory by a head in the men’s open race, following another close 2nd at Revesby Park.

Selection: Law Of Gold                     Alternative: Tullys Touch

1.45 Ladies Open – 11 entries

This is surely nailed on for Fumet D’Oudairies to register his fourth course success, with Gina aboard. With a facile increase of pace they cruised past the front-running Princeton Royale to win by 3 lengths, here, on New Year’s Eve. Kate Gowing and Princeton Royale could oppose again. Alan Hill’s yard has four entries which confuses the issue in ascertaining which might be the selected runner(s). Back Bar disappointed at Ampton when pulled up but is a Horseheath winner. Getting Closer was beaten 3 lengths by Kaproyale at the Horseheath’s initial fixture and is also a course winner. Knight Bachelor weakened quickly on seasonal debut at Ampton whilst Normofthenorth won four races on the bounce last season and will be better for his run 6 weeks ago. Earlshill has only run in Open company on the one occasion and will probably be declared for the novice riders race. Right Of Reply unseated Emma Freeman early on at Horseheath, a month ago, so his true running is yet to be seen this season.

Selection: Fumet D’Oudairies        Alternative: Alan Hill’s selected runner

2.20 Restricted – 8 entries

Bite My Tongue still a Maiden and way back 6th at Larkhill and p.u. at Cocklebarrow this season so treat with caution. 10yr. Champion Chase from the Poste yard ran prominently to win his Maiden at Sheriff Hutton earlier this month – seem to take to Pointing and should make the frame here. 6yr old Chongalolo from the inform Ellis yard has his first run of the season and was only 2l down in the May Restricted at Edgecote so another to look for a frame finish. The one to beat will be Coolagh Park from the in form Hill yard is, for a Restricted horse, highly rated at 111 and won the Maiden Conditions here last month by 50l. No real form this season for Design Plan and this field may be too strong so best watched. Destination Dylan won his Maiden in Ireland on soft going recording a decent time in the process, but has missed three years, then pu on this track in Dec. but although he will have come on for the run this field could prove too strong. Another to struggle in this company will be Ego des Mottes p.u. here in the Dec. Novice riders and unplaced since. Another Ellis runner Master Templar ran prominently to win the Ampton Maiden earlier this month and could be a challenger.

Selection: Coolagh Park                  Alternative: Champion Chase

2.55 Open Maiden –17 entries

A solid number of entries for this Maiden race. Imnottalkingtoyou went off favourite on his racecourse debut in a five runner race. With only three finishers it is hard to weigh up the form, he was one paced at the finish after travelling well throughout the race. Here he steps up in trip and with the forecast of better ground it will be interesting to see how he fairs against more experienced rivals. By Appointmentonly was 3rd on his first start in England in a strong Maiden over course and distance. He was not seen again until the following season when he went off a short price favourite at Garthorpe, the ground that day was good to firm and this big imposing gelding was unsuited by that. With no rain expected connections might not want to run on quick ground again, if he were to turn up he could be the one to beat. Call Colman ran with promise in a hot Garthorpe Maiden first time out. Ran a very creditable race second time out at this course to finish ½ length down to Bloodstone on New Year’s Eve. Stick With It is making his debut in this country for David Kemp having ran three times in Ireland and completed twice. He ran well in his second race finishing sixth.. Improved on that finishing 3rd in his final start in Ireland staying on all the way to the line. He shapes to be well suited to the emphasis on stamina up the Horseheath hill and should be able to handle the ground. He runs in the colours of the late Barry Belchem who was a great supporter of the Point to Point scene, Barry was a gentleman and a pleasure to know, he was very generous, kind and we wish his connections the best of luck.

Selection: Stick With It              Alternative: Call Colman

Race 1: Mammoth / Castle Trump
Race 2: Triopas / Clondaw Rigger
Race 3: Law Of Gold / Tullys Touch
Race 4: Fumet D’Oudairies / Alan Hill’s runner
Race 5: Coolagh Park / Champion Chase
Race 6: Stick With It / Call Colman