Monday May 6th 2019

2.00 Conditions – 17 entries

On paper, the opening contest looks to be a competitive affair, with 17 entered and many of a similar ability. Amigo, Bardista and Orchard Hill all come into the race on the back of victories on Easter Monday. Amigo won a race for novice and veteran riders at Aldington, beating Knockedoutloaded by 1 ½ lengths, having been beaten by Abbey Lane at Horseheath on his previous run.  Orchard Hill, a stablemate of Knockedoutloaded won the restricted race at Aldington, having been in a winning position on his previous run, only to fall three out.  Bardista, appearing to be outpaced, got up in the shadows of the post to win by a head from Worthapunt at Thorpe Lodge.  Following his victory over Amigo at Horseheath, Abbey Lane has visited the track on two occasions, finishing 2nd to Ronava at Fakenham (winner since) and then finishing a distant 3rd to The Gunner Brady at Higham.  Le Fou Royal, who took the scalp of Caryto des Brosses in a maiden race at Fakenham two years ago, ran one of his best races since, when beaten 3 lengths by Top Smart at Penshurst, however a return to that track saw him depart at the 11th fence.  Off the course for two years and although pulled up, Cheltenham Mati will have benefited from the run at Mollington in early April and boasts winning form back in 2017.


Selection: Amigo                                 Alternative: Le Fou Royal


2.35 Intermediate – 11 entries


With so many meetings scheduled for this weekend and horses entered at many of them, combined with jockey availability, it is difficult to access where owners will decide to run. Allie Beag has had four outings this season and been placed 3rd twice and 2nd on one occasion, be in with a fair chance if the race cuts up as from a successful yard. You could say the same about Bullsempire who walked over on his last outing. Haut Bages has finished 2nd on the last two occasions and the Turners have traditionally produced a winner at this meeting. With Rupert Stearn in fine form this could again follow the traditional victory. It’s difficult to access Legal OK as it stormed to victory at Barbury in early April winning by forty lengths, but next time out was 2nd at Edgecote beaten by General Arrow by fifteen lengths. Nigel Padfield has two entered here, Orchard Hill won last time out at Aldington two weeks ago. Platinum Ben has run five times this season when was 2nd twice in succession and then won two on the trot. Last time out was 3rd to Lake Balaton at Aldington. Shamat won a three-runner race at High Easter in early April; previous win was two years ago, a Maiden at Garthorpe. Spring Cover has won two small races this year and has jumped well each time; question is whether it stays the distance on stiffer tracks.


Selection: Haut Bages                                Alternative: Padfield Entry


3.10 PPORA Club Members (Novice Riders) – 15 entries


A decent entry by recent standards of 15 for this contest. Steeles Terrace won his last race at Higham when scoring in the mixed open by 4L from Kriss William. Net D’Ecosse hails from the James Owen yard. He has yet to get to get his head in front this season but was 2nd on his last outing when going down by 1½L to Blue Mountain Boy at Parham last weekend. Son Of Suzie was a winner at Howick in February when scoring by ½L from Victory Mill and he’s been placed on two subsequent outings. Veteran Abbey Lane has been remarkably consistent this season and hasn’t finished outside the first three in his last seven races. He won at Horseheath in late March when beating a possible rival today Amigo by 4L, he was 3rd on his latest start at Higham, beaten 37L by The Gunner Brady on Easter Saturday. Amigo won on his last start when scoring at Aldington from Knockedoutloaded by 1½L on Easter Monday, both Headspin and Dystonia’s Revenge finished behind him in this race. Follow The Paint scored in his hunt members race at Edgcote when beating Our Sox last Sunday. Moscow Blaze was consistent two seasons ago but hasn’t been seen out since falling at Cottenham in early December and is probably best watched here if running. Done A Runner won a match for his hunt members race at Dingley when beating Rudolf by 40L on Easter Saturday and would need to show more to trouble the principals here. The Andrew Pennock trained Steeles Terrace won well at Higham and is due to be ridden by the promising Luke Scott so is our selection in this just ahead of Net D’Ecosse who ran a good race at Parham and is due to have another talented jockey aboard in Alex Chadwick.


Selection: Steeles Terrace                                  Alternative: Net D’Ecosse


3.45 Ladies Open – 10 entries


Ten entries and whenever Top Smart’s name comes up amongst them, then it’s difficult to look past his form credentials and this contest is no exception. Extremely lightly raced the 13-y-o’s record shows only one unplaced run from twelve outings which includes 9 wins and this is over 5 seasons. Has beaten two other entrants in Sa Kaldoun and Le Fou Royal in Ladies Opens already this year and though giving weight away should have no problem in confirming superiority. Streets of London has won 6 races, this season and has been ridden by Phil York in all his 8 starts. So an unusual entry in a Ladies Open and although the 5-y-o has not had many opponents to beat, only two others last weekend at Parham and a walkover before that, he can do no more than win. Interesting, if declared, who gets the ride. Kriss William always gives his best and although seeking his first win of this season he did win twice at this time of year, last season. It’s difficult to imagine any of the others will trouble the afore-mentioned.


Selection: Top Smart               Alternative: Sa Kaldoun/ Kriss William

4.20 Restricted –4 entries


Another sad 4 runner entry and Rupert Stearn is down to ride 2 of them including 5yr old Broadwater from the Owen yard, he was driven out to win the recent Fakenham Maiden by 3l from Champagne Vintage. September Fields also lost his Maiden tag when finishing alone in the April Aldington Maiden following 2 pu’s in Maidens again with Rupert up. The rather inconsistent Shallamar fell when leading in the recent Parham Restricted and has had a very variable season so perhaps not one to rely on but seems to favour good / good to firm ground. 6yr old Un Huit Huit from the Pennock yard pu in the March High Easter Maiden but has been placed twice this season and won the 2 runner April Higham Maiden on firm ground so this track should suit.


Selection: Broadwater                       Alternative: Un Huit Huit


4.55 Open Maiden – 7 entries


As the season draws to a close the Open Maiden would normally bring together a motley crowd who have tried without success throughout the season and now find themselves in the “Last Chance” saloon. On this occasion, whilst some fit the bill, there are three interesting entries who could actually find themselves ascending the ladder of success. Leading trainer, Alan Hill has entered Celestino. Not seen since an 8 length 3rd to Milzipa at Dingley in June last year (after a two year absence) we can rest assured that Hill won’t have brought him here to make up the numbers.  Andrew Pennock’s latest Irish import, Champagne Vintage, ran encouragingly first time out when going down by three lengths to Broadwater a couple of weeks ago at Fakenham. This one is bound to have come on for the race and should be hard to beat.  An intriguing entry is Willcollins having his first outing in the UK after three fairly lack-lustre efforts between the flags in Ireland. Interesting that for his first two runs the Superior Premium 5 year old was made favourite so clearly original connections thought well of him. Last ran in December 2018 so it will be interesting to see what he looks like in the paddock.  The remainder of the field consist of a number who have promised much but delivered little, none more so that Poetry Emotion. Finally we cannot end this review without mentioning the wonderful yet highly unlucky Sandygate who seems to have been around forever. Could this be his day – we think not but if the field cuts up anything could happen.  On balance we feel Champagne Vintage’s recent run should put him spot on for this trappy little race and we expect Celestino to give him most to do.


Selection: Champagne Vintage               Alternative: Celestino