THE ESSEX WITH FARMERS AND UNION – HIGH EASTER
Saturday April 15th 2023
1.00 Restricted – 7 entries
A rather miserable 7 entries and with Nigel Padfield’s Padjoes Legacy having won the Restricted at Aldington on Easter Monday it will be down to 6 possibles. Dash Full of Cash with plenty of experience having his 6th run of the season and won here in the March Maiden on soft ground but on his recent run was 3rd and beaten 24L in the April Dingley Restricted so the move up in grade could be an issue. It will be the 5th. run of the season for Doctor Tom who won the Feb Higham Maiden unchallenged on fast ground but 2 subsequent runs saw him struggle on softish ground in the higher grade so the ground and company may go against him. Another on her 5th run is Grenadine Save winning the Brockesby Park Maiden in Feb on fast ground and then 2nd to Runwiththetide and beating Doctor Tom by 15L in the Shelfield Park Restricted in March so a possible place finish again. Highland Glory from the Hill yard has not had much luck since his Maiden win at Ampton in March last season with 2 pu’s and running out at the 2nd last on his most recent run in the March Parham Restricted. Mossy Be Lucky with Gina Andrews up will need to up his game following a win in the Jan Ampton Maiden Div. 2 as subsequent Restricted runs showed him rather one paced in higher grades but the soft ground will be in his favour. Raleagh Flora from the Pennock yard is rated 99 but has not been between the flags since 2nd to Kaproyale in the Restricted at Kingston Blount in June 2021, missed last season but ran and pu making mistakes and well behind in a 2m 5f. Chase at Sedgefield in Feb. so one to watch to see if he can regain his form in Pointing. An eye on the market will pay dividends here.
Selection: Mossy Be Lucky Alternative: Grenadine Save
1.40 CA Club Members (3m 6f) – 12 entries
Clara Sorrento comes into this contest in tremendous form. He beat Diplomate Sivola a very comfortable 12 lengths over the standard trip here last month, Calin Du Brizais was further back in fourth, and Dancing Shadow was pulled up. He’s lumbered with a 6lb penalty in this race, so connections may opt to carry less weight in the Men’s Open. Diplomate Sivola has also finished behind Twilight Girl this season, but his yard were back amongst the winners over the Easter weekend, and a return to something like his best would be no surprise. Sugar Baron has a C&D victory in 2020 on his cv. He also landed a Warwick Hunter Chase the following year, on both occasions he had Gina Andrews at her most persuasive on board. He’s lightly raced in recent times but is a guarenteed stayer. Fiddler of Dooney is a model of consistency and won this race last season. He wouldn’t want the ground too soft, but on a form line through Bawnmore has the beating of Sugar Baron; he is also entered in the Members race. Master Templar has only once finished out of the first two in 9 points (6 wins). He’s stepping up in trip, but he never seems to do more than the absolute necessary, and they must be every chance he’ll stay this far. Skipthecuddles, also entered in the Open, has won a bumper, hurdle, chase and landed his first point success at Lockinge on Easter Monday, giving a novice rider a first winner in the process. He’s a character, and although stamina won’t be a problem this will be harder. Twilight Girl, also entered in the Open, has landed three of her five starts, 2nd in the other two, since moving over from Ireland to Jenny Owen. She took a fall when well held at the third last in a Hunter Chase at Fakenham on Easter Monday, and may find this coming too soon. In Arrears, also entered in the Ladies, is a h/chase winner in the past. He was novice ridden last season. Now with Andrew Pennock, he pulled up on seasonal debut at Garthorpe, when Sugar Baron was runner up.
Selection: Master Templar Alternative: Sugar Baron
2.15 Ladies Open – 8 entries
The prestigious Warwick Vase will be presented to the winner of the Ladies Open and could give a redemption opportunity for Koyote, who blundered Ellie Holder out of the saddle, at Higham on Good Friday. Gina Andrews is likely to be back on board here in an attempt to land the coveted trophy for the Signy and Marriage families. Rival opponents could be Santon and Getting Closer and there was 16 ½ lengths between them when the former came out on top in a Leicester H/C at the end of February. Santon has subsequently fallen, at the last, when held in a Ladies Open at Shelfield Park, a month ago. No Hassle Hoff has turned in some consistent performances since joining Ed Turner’s stable and goes well for Kate Gowing. Myth Buster can be chancy with his jumping and has only won once in nine outings and could be the Bradstock representative over the 15yo Southfield Theatre, although both turned out at Cothelstone on Easter Monday. Tullys Touch never got on terms with the leader, at this course, last month and with his past consistency would not be far away if declared for this race as opposed to the Mens equivalent.
Selection: Koyote Alternative: Santon
2.50 Mens Open – 8 entries
Of those entered in the Men’s Open race, four ran over the Easter weekend.
Ragnar Lodbrok once again showed his battling qualities defeating Bonamargy in a Mixed Open race at Dingley on Saturday. This followed a similar performance at Brafield when defeating Precious Bounty in a Mixed Open race. Skipthecuddles was another to taste victory over Easter, when defeating Frisson Collonges by 3 lengths in a Level 2 Conditions Race at Lockinge finally gaining a victory following many second placed efforts over the last two seasons. Although last of four, Graasten was not beaten far in a Level 3 Conditions Race at Paxford on Monday, whilst Twilight Girl fell in the “Queen’s Cup” Hunter Chase at Fakenham on Monday. One that was due to run in that contest was Castle Trump, but was pulled out due to the softer racing surface than that was expected. A winner first time out this season, Castle Trump then finished 5th behind Law Of Gold in a Mixed Open at Garthorpe, and followed that with a 2nd place in a Hunter Chase at Stratford, a long way behind Time Leader. His participation will depend upon the prevailing ground conditions. The same will apply to his conqueror at Garthorpe. Entered for the Mixed Open Race at the previous fixture at High Easter, Law Of Gold did not participate due to the soft ground, but on a sound surface he is a classy individual. Considering his stable companion Clara Sorrento is a spritely 12 year old, this son of Maresca Sorrento appears to be improving with age. Following a pipe-opener at Garthorpe in early February when finishing 5th to One For Rosie, Clara Sorrento has won his next two races, back at Garthorpe to win a Level 2 Veteran Horse Conditions race and then at High Easter when accounting for Diplomate Sivola in a similar race by an easy 15 lengths on soft ground. Clara Sorrento also holds an entry in the 3 ¾ mile Conditions race on this card. The final entrant, Tullys Touch ran in the Mixed Open race that day finishing a well beaten 3rd behind Dundrum Wood. He too may have preferred a sounder racing surface, but he did try to get rid of Jack Andrews on his way to the start.
Selection: David Kemp trained inmate
3.25 Intermediate – 6 entries
Just 6 entries for this intermediate race but it does include a few progressive horses amongst the sextet. Fairly Famous represents the Tom Ellis yard and he’s already won three races this season. On his most recent outing he justified favouritism with an easy 3 L win over Rocket Lad at Askham Bryan last month. Lagan Valley had won his previous two outings prior to Garthorpe last month where he was prominent until running out at the final fence. Runwiththetide has won her last two starts including at Thorpe on Bank Holiday Monday so may not reappear so soon. At Thorpe she beat The New Kid by ½L. Five year old Penniless gets weight from all her rivals and is a two time winner this season. Most recently at Parham when beating Imperial d’Ainay by 12 L last month. She also holds an entry in the concluding members race. Bolamore Bridge makes a belated seasonal debut if running today. He won on his final start last season when scoring at Kingston Blount last May, beating Dinah Washington by ¾ L. The final runner is Broadwater but it would take a giant leap of faith to see him winning today. He’s a two time pointing winner but his last win was almost 4 years ago when he scored at Northaw beating Un Huit Huit by 15L and he’s failed to complete in four outings since including most recently at Parham late last month. With the Ellis yard in such good form this season we will side with Fairly Famous as our selection and make Lagan Valley our alternative despite his waywardness at Garthorpe previously.
Selection: Fairly Famous Alternative: Lagan Valley
4.00 Open Maiden – 11 entries
All The Ammunition is a big strong galloping type that looks like he will be well suited to High Easter. He has finished second in both races this year and the form looks rock solid with both of the winners easily winning their next races. He definitely looks as if he will keep improving and with the Kemp yard in fantastic form, he looks the one to beat. Gunteur for the Tom Ellis yard is very lightly raced for a 7 year old. He makes his debut for Tom after running twice In Irish Point to Points, finished second last May and has not been seen since. Presumably, he must have had a setback and is best watched on this occasion. Mister Splash has run twice for the Turner family and ran a race full of promise last time out over the same course and distance. He looks sure to keep improving and holds every chance. Nomoreblackjack trained by Bradley Gibbs is a 4 year old filly and gets a massive twenty-one pounds allowance in her weight. On breeding, she is related to a few horses that have showed no signs of ability, and with her mother also being unraced, it is hard to give a strong opinion. However, considering that she is trained by Bradley, together with the massive weight allowance, she is to be respected.
Selection: All The Ammunition Alternative Mister Splash.
4.35 Hunts Members – 7 entries
I’m Spellbound is the most likely runner, given that he is the only one of the seven not entered elsewhere on the card and is part-owned by Clerk Of The Course Simon Marriage. He’s already won at the track and though that came over 2m 4f this trip will be no problem at all. He’s still inexperienced over fences but is from the family of the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King and is improving fast enough to make him a big player here. Nigel Padfield has two entries including Padjoes Legacy who may not turn up given that he won at Aldington as recently as Easter Monday. So his hopes are set to be to be pinned to Penniless, winner of both of her British pointing starts but up against more experienced rivals here. Castle Trump and Fiddler Of Dooney are both six-time winners worthy of the utmost respect in this kind of company. Castle Trump won this race last year and ran pretty much a personal best in a Stratford Hunter Chase last time but would not want the ground to be riding too soft. Fiddler Of Dooney has not run for approaching 11 months but ran numerous good races last season and would go very close here if fully fit. The two Tony Humphrey-trained runners, Dancing Shadow and Railway Muice, look like great schoolmasters for their inexperienced pilots but are unlikely to be involved at the finish.
Selection: Castle Trump Alternative: I’m Spellbound
Race 1: Mossy Be Lucky / Grenadine Save
Race 2: Master Templar / Sugar Baron
Race 3: Koyote / Santon
Race 4: David Kemp trained runner
Race 5: Fairly Famous / Lagan Valley
Race 6: All The Ammunition / Mister Splash
Race 7: Castle Trump / I’m Spellbound