Sunday November 21st 2021

12.00 Owner Trainer Conditions (Level 3)  – 7 entries

They’re Off! – The 2021/2022 East Anglian point-to-point season gets underway at Higham and kicks off with an Owners/ Trainers race.

Featuring last year’s Higham Mixed Open Winner, Minella Beat we understand connections have been working hard to get their horses fit for the start of the season. With Will Featherstone in the saddle, the horse will be in very capable hands particularly now that Featherstone is getting more experience riding under rules. This one looks nailed on for the opening race.  If absent where else can we turn? First Drift is also likely to have been well prepared for the race but he has not been seen on a racecourse since April 2019 and may just give his rider a safe jog round the fast Higham circuit.  Monbeg Legend is more interesting having already raced this season when a distant third in a Conditions Race. Probably will have to play second fiddle to Minella Beat whilst Net d’Ecosse might like the course, which favours front runners, it seems likely a strong jockey will be needed to get the best out of this James Owen trained horse.

Selection: Minella Beat                    Alternative: Monbeg Legend


12.35 PPORA Club Members Conditions (level 2) – 6 entries

Just 6 entered for this contest. Pont Aven was a £30,000 purchase out of Willie Mullins stable in September. He’s a two-time winner under rules in Ireland but his last win was back in May 2019 when he landed a Wexford 3 mile handicap chase by 28 L from The Mulcare Rover. On his final run in Ireland in August, he was 3rd at Killarney in a 2 ½ mile chase beaten 3 ½ L behind Batcio. Now trained in Newmarket by James Owen he must stand a strong chance of landing this but also holds an entry in the mixed open. The Alan Hill trained Normofthenorth landed a four-timer at the back end of last season and could give Point Aven most to do. On his final start at Kingston Blount he beat Graasten by a distance. Ryans Fancy won two races last season but also PU on three other starts. He beat Monsun Storm by 3 ½ L at Hornby Castle in April but PU on his next two starts. He also holds an engagement in the intermediate.  Normofthenorth is going for his fifth win in succession but the rules form of Pont Aven is stronger and he’s our selection to open his pointing account here.

Selection: Pont Aven                                      Alternative: Normofthenorth


1.10 Mixed Open – 6 entries

Hawkhurst, Pont Aven and Precious Cargo are the stand-out entries with Minella Beat possibly taking his chance in the opening contest. Hawkhurst is a 13-race winner to date including a success three weeks ago. Pont Aven is an ex-Willie Mullins inmate, winner at Wexford on two occasions and now trained by James Owen for owner, Tim Gredley. Precious Cargo joins Billy Aprahamian stable having competed and won under rules for both Lucinda Russell and Nicky Henderson. Minella Beat, if declared here, looks to follow up the success he gave the Featherstone family in a 3-runner novice rider’s race at Higham, in April. The verdict goes to Hawkhurst, a previous course winner, with Izzie Marshall seeming to get the best out of him and has race fitness on his side.

Selection: Hawkhurst                                     Alternative: Pont Aven


1.45 Intermediate – 7 entries

An intriguing contest in which most can be given a chance to win.  Two of these have recently won their restricted races, Cave Queen getting the better of Ballymac Boy at Revesby Park, whilst Post No Bills beat one rival to secure victory at Pyle.  Both French Piece and Ryans Fancy won intermediate races last season and must carry a 5lb penalty.  French Piece went on to be placed in three further outings and has a non-completion on his first outing this season.  Ryans Fancy, who has yet to run this year, failed to complete after his victory but one of those was around Cheltenham in the “Intermediate” final, and encouragingly the stable had a winner last week.  Fiddler Of Dooney appears to run his best races on his seasonal debut, having won his maiden at Cottenham in December 2019 beating last Sunday’s “Salmon Spray” winner Quinta Do Mar, but failed to shine around this course on his third start and was beaten when falling at the 3rd last.  His first start last season once again showed him to good effect, beating The Bonny Boy in a close fought battle in the restricted race at High Easter.  The excellent South Midlands preview feature by Jake Exelby gave Voie Dans Voie a mention suggesting that he suffered due to last season’s stop/start nature.  Representing the Alan Hill yard he could be one to take a good look in the parade ring and bounce back to the form shown in 2019/2020.

Selection: Fiddler Of Dooney                         Alternative: Voie Dans Voie


2.20 Open Maiden – 9 entries

Aracaras is an exposed sort who has run fourteen times in point to points, been placed twice in England and seems to enjoy the better ground. An interesting newcomer in the field is Charlie George, he is a full brother to multiple winners under rules but might lack for experience, however, but should go well. Loughan is having his first run for Tom Ellis and has been placed five times over Hurdles and once in a Chase under rules. He is sure to be a red-hot favourite for the race as his best form is on good ground. The main concern is he may be too keen over the 3 miles having only raced up to 2 miles under rules, will need to settle but has strong enough form to win this.  Abunchofmemories is having her first run in England. She ran 3 weeks ago finishing 3rd in an Irish PTP only beaten 7 lengths, seemingly improving for fences and the good ground, she gets the Mare’s allowance; she will be fit, and a big run is expected and is our selection.

Selection: Abunchofmemories                       Alternative: Loughan    


2.55 Restricted – 4 entries

A rather miserable entry of 4 for the last race on the card but hopefully all win run and make it a competitive race. Aracaras from the Price yard ran in the 6yr + horse Maiden at Pyle in soft ground but p.u. when weakening at the 13th.  He ran to a place in his 2 runs last season and the firmer ground may suit. The Hill yard are usually successful on this track and Frank and Honest should do the business here despite refusing to race in his first run at Mollington he was placed twice in further Restricted runs last season. Les Pogues Storm has run under rules from the Jenkins yard with 12 runs in 2021 and now with Brian Dowling is rated at 81 but only 2 places in 18 runs, should be fit but with no break is this a run too far. Another with rules running only is Megaboost from the Whyte yard, missing last season and with fairly indifferent form probably best watched.

Selection: Frank and Honest                         Alternative: Aracaras