Sunday January 15th 2023

12.00 Conditions – 13 entries

This looks likely to be a competitive heat.  Twilight Girl will be a popular choice to give rider Jamie Gambin his first winner in points after her excellent effort, under a different rider, when just collared by Bawnmore after the last at Horseheath on New Year’s eve. A winner of a point, a hurdle race and two chases in Ireland she has a 7lb penalty to carry once again.  Cheque En Blanc was well back in 4th on that occasion, despite attracting market support.  However this winning chaser, who stays well has a more experienced rider listed, and I expect him to be more competitive this time.  Perpignan has a 3lb penalty to carry. He was trained by James Owen when winning at the West Norfolk at Fakenham last season (Chapelier behind). Still in the same ownership he’s now trained by the equally capable James Ridley, and was placed at this track at the Suffolk meeting last season.  Chapelier has two course wins amongst his 5 victories in points. He took a competitive Members race at Higham last Easter, and reunited with Alex Chadwick he has the ability to go well, if fully tuned up for his seasonal debut.  Diplomate Sivola has to shoulder a 5lb penalty. He was runner up to the more than useful Tully’s Touch in the Mens Open at this meeting last season, and he’ll find this company easier than when far from disgraced on his seasonal debut at Chaddesley Corbett in a Mixed Open before Christmas.  Mr Snuffles has won 4 points, and he looks likely to have the cut in the ground he needs to be at his best if making the trip to Suffolk on Sunday.  Myplaceatmidnight won one of these contests at the Suffolk meeting last season. He’s never been the most convincing over fences, but obviously has the ability if putting in an error free round of jumping.  One For Billy has to lumber a 10lb penalty. A 4 time winning chaser for Dan Skelton he has stamina questions to answer, and his best form is on good ground.  Sending Love is a winning Irish pointer. He won two hurdle faces at trips below 3 miles when trained by Paul Nicholls, but his 3 efforts over fences included  a well beaten completion, and 2 non finishes.   Vango de Vaige won at Bitterley last season, and went close when 2nd on his next start. He has the ability, but isn’t the most reliable.

Selection: Diplomate Sivola             Alternative: Twilight Girl

12.35 Open Maiden – 18 entries

A competitive looking Maiden with a mixture of English Pointing form, Irish Pointing form and horses coming back from the National Hunt sphere plus and unraced horses that could be anything. From the Andrew Pennock pair we like Taita Hills, he was placed in English points last year and looks likely to improve this season. The Tom Ellis pair have to be respected Prince Of Newton makes his racecourse debut but is a 6 year old and out of a 5F sprinter, interesting that he makes his debut in a three mile Point to Point. I’m Spellbound brings solid under rules form and could be tough to beat but it is his first start over fences, so we are airing on the side of caution with this one. David Phelan has a couple of entries and always does well at Ampton. Out of his pair we think Hermes Roque is his main contender judging on jockey bookings and if he runs to his first race form from his Irish point form he holds every chance. However, the horse that interests us the most is the Michael Kehoe Paper Mill. He ran a respectable race on his debut two weeks ago finishing third. That was very valuable experience as his jumping was quite deliberate. He should not lack for fitness and hopefully can back up his debut performance and with more improvement he holds a strong chance.

Selection: Paper Mill          Alternative: I’m Spellbound

1.10 Ladies Open – 6 entries

Getting Closer is a model of consistency and pushed Latenightfumble all the way at Horseheath, two weeks ago, going down by just 3 lengths. Izzie Marshall takes the ride and the fitness of trainer Alan Hill’s entry, will not be in question. Precious Bounty has proved to be a real asset to Ellie Callwood’s career with 5 victories to their names from 7 outings last season, mainly in small fields.  Precious Bounty will be stepping up to Open class for the first time and this will be a good marker regarding future race planning for the 9yo. Fox Valley and Wagner both have alternative entries on the card and are more likely to run in the Novice Riders’ race and Mens Open, respectively. Of the two entries representing Caroline Robinson, Ballymoy finished out the back at Chaddesley Corbett last month whilst The Dellercheckout was similarly tailed off on his seasonal debut at Knightwick in November. However the ground that day was a lot firmer than the softer conditions on which The Dellercheckout has produced better career performances and an improved showing is likely on Ampton’s current going predictions.

Selection: Getting Closer                    Alternative: Precious Bounty

1.45 Mens Open – 9 entries

The nine entries for the men’s open race are well above the overall standard that have competed in recent seasons and this bodes well for an interesting and competitive renewal.  Local interest surrounds the resumption of the rivalry between Midnight Cowboy and Tullys Touch, each of whom had a success over the other last year, with Tullys Touch outpointing Midnight Cowboy at Horseheath, whilst later in the season Midnight Cowboy gained revenge at High Easter. Both have won around this course, Tullys Touch leading that competition 5 – 2.  The former Gigginstown owned Moratorium had a fine first season for Myles Osborne, winning four points and finishing 2nd in two hunter chases, one of which was a length defeat to Trio For Rio at Cheltenham.  An outing in November at Dunsmore saw him finish in arrears to Humaniste.  Another to thrive last season was Footloose who won five points and had three placings, progressing from winning a maiden race at Larkhill in December all the way up to open class when winning the 3 ½ mile men’s open at Trebudannon in April. A couple of runs at Larkhill this season failed to yield any places.  Wagner was pulled up in his only point last season (Moratorium was the winner) but then competed solely in hunter chases primarily over 2 ½ miles, winning on his next two starts. At Hereford he beat Cousin Pascal and then at Wincanton he beat Maitree Express. His final three starts were not so rewarding with two 3rd placings being split by a less effective performance at Cheltenham.  089Ballymoy, who is also entered in the ladies open, has had little racing since joining Caroline Robinson.  Two runs last season culminated with a 2nd place to Igor at Larkhill, whilst an outing at Chaddesley Corbett saw him finish a distant 3rd. Both Oscar Montel and Rock On Rocco have winning form under rules.  Oscar Montel finished a close 4th to Geordie des Champs at Uttoxeter in October, whilst Rock On Rocco finished a close 2nd to Seddon at Newton Abbot in April. Back in 2021 when Wagner was running under rules, Rock On Rocco gained a 2 ½ length victory over that rival around Worcester.

Selection:  Moratorium                      Alternative: Footloose

2.20 Restricted – 9 entries

Another E.A. meeting with only a disappointing and a rather difficult 9 entries to call on what should be soft ground . The veteran (13yr.) Fayre Enough could struggle in this company following pu’s in last 2 runs this season. 6yr. Fitzburg jumped well and ran 6l. 2nd on his last run in Ireland and should come on for the run. Highland Glory from the Hill yard won her Maiden comfortably on this track in March but has found the step up in grade an issue with 2 Restricted pu’s at Chaddesley Corbett this season and Fakenham last April so may find this company too strong. Itsallintheclouds from the in form Ellis yard with Jack Andrews up looks the class act, staying on well to win his Maiden at Aldington last season beating Fier Jaguen 5l. but on good to firm ground and then was well beaten (30l.) in the Chaddesley Corbett short Restricted in Dec. on soft sticky ground so distance and ground could find him out again. Meetuatnine changed hands for £40K in the Jan. 2022 sales following a Mares Maiden win in Ireland and moved to the Skelton yard but with 2 pu under rules it’s now into the PtP world and probably best watched this time. 6yr. Panorama Ridge from the Phelan yard ran 4th ( 25L.) in the Bradbury Rings young horse Maiden in Nov. following 2 pu in soft ground last season at Horseheath so grade, trip and ground will be against him. 6yr. Supreme Johnson with 4 runs to his name already this season – a win at the Wadebridge Maiden in Dec. but with 2 pu ( well behind Itsallintheclouds at Chaddesley Corbett) and a fall in 3 short Maidens probably indicates 3m. is his distance. Turbo Dave was ridden out well to win the 10 runner Chaddesley Corbett Maiden in Dec. but was never on terms (25L. 5th.) when moving up in grade at Larkhill earlier this month so may struggle here. 5yr. Wontbefurlong has struggled in his 2 Maiden runs this season so he may suffer the same fate in a step up in grade so he will probably run here in the Maiden.

Slection:  Itsallintheclouds              Alternative: Supreme Johnson


2.55 Conditions (Novice Riders) – 7 entries

A modest entry of just 7 for this closing novice riders race. Two of the runners have run already this season with Sum It Up pulling up at Horseheath last month whilst Jonjoella has run twice this season, both runs coming at Chaddesley Corbett. On her most recent outing last month she was 3rd to Classic Concorde beaten 27 L. Monkey Puzzle is a previous course winner when he beat Perpignan by 3 L here last March with Jonjoella. a further 5 L back in 3rd. Fox Valley is another previous course winner when landing this corresponding race last year beating Earlshill by 4 L. She was trained by Tom Ellis last season but now runs from David Phelan’s yard. Her rider would appear to be having her first ride here today. Perpignan has moved yards since last season and is now trained by James Ridley. He won at Fakenham in April when beating Always On The Run by 8 L to give rider Emma Freeman her first and only winner so far. Jonjoella was a further 6 L back in 4th this day. Frankly Speaking is still a maiden under rules from 16 starts after being with Fergal O’Brien. He hasn’t run for almost 3 years but on his final start he was 2nd at Hereford beaten 1½ L by Eaglehill in a 2 mile 5 furlong hurdle in March 2020.  This race would look to concern Monkey Puzzle and Perpignan who locked horns here last March and we will side with Monkey Puzzle to triumph again. He’s due to be ridden by Mary Ashby who’s the most experienced rider in the field and has two wins to her credit.

Selection: Monkey Puzzle                 Alternative: Perpignan



Race 1: Diplomate Sivola / Twilight Girl

Race 2: Paper Mill / I’m Spellpound

Race 3: Getting Closer / Precious Bounty

Race 4: Moratorium / Footloose

Race 5: Itsallintheclouds / Supteme Johnson

Race 6: Monkey Puzzle / Perpignan