THE ESSEX AND SUFFOLK – HIGHAM
FRIDAY APRIL 2ND 2021
2.00 ROR and JC Veterans – 8 entries
We welcome back point-to-point racing for the first time in East Anglia for over a year and we start the day with the Veterans race. Firstly, a massive thank you to the event organizers and volunteers making it possible for the meeting to go ahead, back to the racing and we have 8 entries. Deans Road has solid Chase form under rules, he found the Wincanton Hunter Chase on his first start for Tom Ellis too hot, but that was on heavy going and with his sights lowered and the better ground over an easy 3 miles a better showing is expected. Bramble Brook was 10 lengths 3rd before falling at Larkhill on his first start for Alan Hill in a Veteran’s Chase. He has solid form under rules over a variety of trips from 2m 4f to 3m 2f, his best form has come on a quicker surface. Ballykan was a strong favourite for a more competitive Veteran’s race in December, he made a terrible mistake which cost him any chance of winning and was pulled up. He has won under today’s jockey and will love the quicker Higham ground and should be able to jump out in front and make all and is our selection.
Selection: Ballykan Alternative: Bramble Brook.
2.35 Mixed Open – 10 entries
This race could see Southfield Theatre and An Scairp lock horns once again around this course, following their clash last season in which Southfield Theatre came out on top by six lengths. Southfield Theatre managed two outings before the recent suspension of racing, both times finishing 2nd, to Ravished at Kimble and Miss Seagreen at Larkhill. An Scairp has also been in action, but has been pulled up in two hunter chase appearances. Ramble On was pulled up on his only start last season, but had won 3 times in 2019, and also finished 2nd five times during that season. Deans Road, an interesting recruit to pointing, was pulled up in a hunter chase behind Sametegal and Porlock Bay in February, but has the distinction of running in some competitive races in Ireland and lowered the colours of Tiger Roll in a novices chase back in 2016
Selection: Southfield Theatre
3.10 PPORA Club Members (Novice Riders) – 6 entries
Two horses entered in this race won their Divisions at Barbury Racecourse on December 13th, 2020. In the first Division Fifty Shades won and in the second Diplomate Sivola won in identical times so difficult to base the winner on times. Diplomate Sivola was previously owned by David Maxwell and trained by Phillip Hobbs with some success, now in the Alan Hill yard. Alan also has Knights Bachelor entered but ran on Monday at Hutton’s Rudby so unlikely to turn out here. Gun Sly won two Points in Wales in 2019 but has not raced since. Killiney Court last ran at Leicester earlier this month in a Hunter Chase and came 3rd in very heavy going, may prefer this ground but is also entered at Sandon on Saturday. Minella Beat ran twice under rules and came 2nd at Fontwell but unfortunately bled from the noise on both occasions. Can confirm that looked fantastic when seen yesterday but doubts must be a concern on bleeding. We regret that with double entries, recent races already this week there could be a small field. Only takes two horses to give an exciting finish.
Selection: Diplomate Sivola Alternative: Fifty Shades
3.45 Conditions (Level 3) – 8 entries
8 entries only at Level 3 ( whatever that is) but hopefully it will be a competitive contest. First runs this season for all bar Alan Hill’s Brassmoulder who fell when 7th at Larkhill so one to just watch. Fox Valley from the Ellis yard with 4 runs, 2 places and a win in last seasons Cottenham Maiden – major player with Gina Andrews up. Always respect a Nick Wright runner but In a Blue Dust has been off the track for 2 yrs. and probably past his best. Best of luck to young Will Featherstone on Minella Beat which he will need as no PtP or jumps form but placed under hurdling rules. Back in the Pennock yard Steeles Terrace a smart chaser on his day but out of sorts last season – ran 2nd to Caryto Des Brosses in the Stratford Restricted 2018 final and an Open at Fakenham the following year – a change of yard could be the answer.
Selection: Fox Valley Alternative: Steeles Terrace
4.20 Maiden – 10 entries
Our anticipation of huge fields, with numerous divisions has sadly not arisen and what is left appears more like a traditional end of season fixture. Watering starts today at the Suffolk track so with the likelihood of fast ground there now seems every possibility that the card will cut up even further – such a shame but what will be will be! Of the 10 entered for this race nothing really stands out. Alan Hill has a couple entered and one, Bon Calvados has bits and pieces of NH form although pulled up last time out. Might adjust better to the slower pace of pointing. Champion jockey Jack Andrews has the ride on the Jenny Pidgeon entry, Atigun Pass – this one at least has shown he gets the distance having finished twice in fourth place at the demanding Larkhill circuit last season. But it is newcomer Takoda who may come out on top. Trained by new NH Trainer Max Young this half brother to the useful King Golan looks of interest and could be worth following for the rest of the season.
Selection: Takoda Alternative: Bon Calvados
4.55 Maiden Conditions – 5 entries
Two of these, Atigun Pass and Mythical Prince have alternative entries in the preceding Maiden race, so connections might consider this race a better option. Atigun Pass could be a contender for trainer Jenny Pidgeon but hasn’t shown enough in his previous races whilst Mythical Prince’s owners will be hoping that this is a possible turning point in his career. Conteur D’Histoire was just touched off in an Open Maiden at Horseheath in April 2018 but hasn’t been seen since. Ahead of The Game has shown a glimpse of ability but has never run on the current, quick ground conditions. No Gale would be an obvious improver having joined Andrew Pennock’s stable but brings some inconsistent form, from his racing in Ireland.
Selection: No Gale Alternative: Ahead of The Game
5.30 Hunt Members – 8 entries
Only 8 entered here but if the 2 main protagonits turn up it could be an interesting end to the day. Getting Closer’s 2nd to Dubai Quest in a Hunter Chase at Fakenham with Chapelier in 4th should be good enough to win this. The sharp turns of Higham should suit but the ground will be very different at Higham (heavy at Fakenham and forecast good/good to firm here). Laser Beam from the powerful Pennock yard could mount a strong challenge as he has won on 2 of his 3 appearances at Higham but with the fitness advantage Getting Closer gets the call. Of the others Josh The Plod deserves a mention, he took a while to break his maiden but could be running on at the end.
Selection: Getting Closer Alternative: Laser Beam