THE THURLOW HUNT – HORSEHEATH
Saturday February 16th 2019
12.00 Conditions – 23 entries
A solid entry to start the day and it could be very competitive. The first to be mentioned, Summer Sounds has already run twice this season and horses with a run might be at an advantage as the uphill finish here will certainly test fitness. He improved for his seasonal debut to be 2nd to Portrait King in the Novice Riders race at Chaddesley Corbett, he has to give 8lb to many here and that could be difficult. Cygnet fell mid race on his first start since 2016 so might be best watched but a market move should be noted. Gunmoney has been a wonderful servant to connections and now aged 14 it might be asking a lot for him to see off his younger rivals but if he is in anything like his old form he could go close. Gunmoney needs to reverse the form with Bingo Star from their run at Garthorpe last May. Bingo Star is consistent and Stuart Morris should have him tuned up for his seasonal debut. Jack Andrews could have a good day and he is also jocked up on Tullys Touch improved on Irish pointing form figures of BP6PPU2F to win the Restricted at Ampton in January beating odds on favourite Angelsea Lace. This race will be a lot tougher but aged only 6 further progression can’t be ruled out. The Nick Wright yard had a winner at Higham last week and have the lightly raced Mr Maclennane entered here. He won the Intermediate at this meeting last season and was last seen when running with credit in the Intermediate Final at Cheltenham HC meeting in May. Dream Doc has not had much racing recently and is one of the few who don’t get a penalty and she ran well at Ampton and seems to enjoy an undulating track. Weight advantage and possible improvement after a seasonal debut means she is our alternative with the heart slightly ruling the head to select Gunmoney, this is an open race and market moves should be noted.
Selection: Gunmoney Alternative: Dream Doc
12.35 Open Maiden 4/5/6yo – 8 entries
Broadwater has had 1 run, coming a close up 5th in a P to P Bumper last month. Looked promising and will no doubt have come on for the race. Providing it can jump and stay, which breeding suggests is likely should be there or thereabouts.
Although 2nd in a 5yo Mares maiden in Ireland Do What You Can disappointed next time out in a similar race when 5th beaten 24l. Now with new connections we do not think this is one on which to risk your shirt. Icallherkatie seemed to find the holding going at Chaddesley Corbett too much back in Feb 2018 when pulling up 3 from home but the fact that she subsequently disappeared might indicate that she had some physical problems. She could be a contender. Despite an encouraging start Smoke Man seems to have deteriorated whilst Tekap, despite the training skills of Henry Daly and the riding skills of Alex Edwards has failed to get his head in front and probably cannot be trusted. Finally and yet again we have an apparent “no hoper” from the Pennock yard in Un Huit Huit having no doubt been bought for a song last year. With 6 runs under his belt in Irish points, including one F, two U/R’s and two P/U’s what is there to like about this 6 year old Tikkanen maiden. The answer Pennock/ Collinson! No doubt there will be money down for this one to do well but on this occasion, perhaps foolishly, we will steer clear. On balance we think Broadwater has all the credentials to make a nice pointer and, although a look in the paddock is crucial, we would expect Icallherkatie to run a big race.
Selection: Broadwater Alternative: Icallherkatie
1.10 Conditions (Novice Riders) – 17 entries
A decent entry of 17 for the novice riders race and it could be a cracker if all the leading runners go in this. Zeroeshadesofgrey was very good under rules and he underlined that when beating two possible rivals, Vivaldi Collonges and Local Show on his pointing debut at Cottenham in late December. Royalraise was 70 lengths adrift in this contest. Vivaldi Collonges was sent off favourite for the novice riders race at Ampton last month but ran in snatches and could only finish 5th behind Minella Friend, who scored again at Thorpe last weekend, he possibly wasn’t suited by the going at Ampton and may prefer easier conditions underfoot. Local Show won at Ampton when landing the conditions race from Dandan with We Never Give Up back in 4th that day. Lord Topper ran very well on his pointing debut in the open when going down by 5L to last week’s Higham men’s open winner Broken Eagle at Ampton last month with a possible rival today Mahler’s Spirit, a further 20 lengths behind. Summer Sounds was 2nd on his last run when going down by 3¼ L to Portrait King at Chaddesley Corbett in late December. Royalraise showed very little on his UK pointing debut at Cottenham but did win a 3 mile hunter chase at Towcester in May 2018 when ridden by Gina by a nose from Port Melon and was placed in two other HC’s. Earthmoves was 3rd on his pointing debut at Wadebridge last month when going down by 10L. Earthmoves is a 6-time scorer under rules having been with Paul Nicholls and latterly Peter Bowen. Finnegan’s Hollow won a novice riders contest at Ampton last season, beating William Money and finished 2nd here on his final start last season when going down to Kashmir Peak by 25L. Dusk Till Dawn was placed on his last three starts last season and was 2nd at Dingley when going down by 2L to Derksen in June. Amigo is another who was placed on his final three starts last season. On his final outing he was 3rd to Kriss William, beaten just over 20L at Peper Harow. Previously he finished 2nd at this course, beaten 3L by Midnight Bliss in April. Compared to some of these, at 7 years old Back Bar is a baby! He won a 2 mile Clonmel hurdle under Davy Russell in March 2018. Now trained by Alan Hill it will be interesting to see how he gets on for his new connections. It could be a very good contest if Zeroeshadesofgrey, Vivaldi Collonges, Local Show and Lord Topper all run in this. Zeroeshadesofgrey looks a decent recruit to pointing and although this track is completely different to Cottenham, we will make him our selection ahead of Local Show.
Selection: Zeroeshadesofgrey Alternative: Local Show
1.45 Ladies Open – 14 entries
This race certainly is, potentially, a fascinating contest but several leading horses, currently, do not have jockeys listed against their entry. Top Smart has never been out of the first two in nine races which includes winning twice at Horseheath. For’n’Against was beaten a neck by Extreme Appeal at Dingley in June 2018 in a eight runner Ladies Open and Izzie Marshall was the gelding’s regular partner when registering two wins in 2018. Generous Ransom has never contested a Ladies Open before and has a record of 3 wins from 7 races, mainly competing in Kent. Haymount, formerly with Willie Mullins, stayed on strongly when making an impressive pointing debut over here in the Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton three weeks ago when partnered by, the currently injured, Gina Andrews. Kriss William finished last season with two victories under Louise Allan including a success in the corresponding race when the re-arranged Thurlow meeting took place in April. Rosie Turner resumes the partnership here but others make more appeal. Oh Toodles won this corresponding race in 2017. Lord Topper gave Frankie Flinton an exhilarating experience when chasing home Broken Eagle at Ampton and could spring a surprise. The key to this race could be previous Horseheath form and more importantly who takes the rides.
Selection: Top Smart Alternative: Haymount
2.20 Mens Open – 21 entries
A sizeable entry for the men’s open, with an interesting selection of entries and we start with a little trivia, how are Bayley’s Dream, Big Man Doe and Proximo all linked? All three won at the Meynell and South Staffordshire point at Garthorpe at the end of last season. Big Man Doe ended last season winning at Garthorpe and then went on to to win an open at Umberleigh. Proximo a Garthorpe specialist having won there on 5 occasions was winning on only his third outing of the season, whereas Bayley’s Dream was winning his fifth race of the season having started the winning spree around this course when beating Just Cause. Bayley’s Dream has already had a couple of starts this season winning by a head at Clifton-on-Dunsmore from Petrou and then finishing 3rd to Road To Rome in a hunter chase at Taunton. Just Cause did win three races last season, but put in an improved performance when winning the men’s open race at Cottenham’s second fixture, from Mr Mix, who has subsequently run well in a hunter chase at Warwick, and Broken Eagle who has since won two opens. Neumond failed to progress last season having won at each of the Horseheath fixtures in 2017. Limited to only three outings, Neumond won on the second of them at Mollington, beating Velvet Cognac by 8 lengths. Thetalkinghorse was the winner of three races last season, but has yet to win on his seasonal reappearance. Last year was no different, finishing 4th to Hazel Hill around this course, but then won his next three, twice at Garthorpe and the once at Brafield. Unlike Thetalkinghorse, Mr Maclennane has always won on his seasonal debut, both of which were at Cottenham. His other win last season was around this course when beating Allie Beag in an intermediate. This would be his first venture into open company. With Zeroeshadesofgrey likely to be better suited running in the novice riders race, the other winner this season is Haymount who won on his seasonal debut for his new connections at Sheriff Hutton, beating Golden Tobouggan by 3 lengths. Previously trained by Willie Mullins, Haymount had useful form in Ireland, and was seen staying on strongly to finish 3rd to Tiger Roll in the Cheltenham Festival Four Miler in 2017. He holds entries in both opens at all three meetings this weekend, no doubt trying to qualify for the Foxhunter at Cheltenham this year.
Selection: Haymount Alternative: Bayley’s Dream
2.55 Restricted – 13 entries
Black Frost won his Maiden on firm ground with 21lb advantage in May and will still have 7lb this time – watch the market. Blackwood Rover with 2 runs under his belt but nothing spectacular – could make the frame again. Chapelier from the in form Pennock yard won his Maiden by 7L at Ampton and could repeat here in the higher grade on similar ground but this is a stiffer track. 6 yr Classico Dais from the Ellis yard won the Chaddesley Corbett Maiden in Dec and has to have a great chance. Gadrose from the Rowley yard was 2nd in the short Restricted at Cold Harbour in May and won the short Garthorpe Maiden in 2017 but had a 21lb advantage -even with Alex Edwards up may struggle here. 10yr It’ll Be Grand ran 7 Maidens last season finally winning the Mollington 4 runner Maiden in May and may struggle in this company. 10yr Merrydown Black one paced 2nd to In a Blue Dust at Garthorpe in Feb 2018 and another to possibly struggle here. Multimedia won the Fakenham Maiden easily on his last run in 2018 on fast ground and will need to improve further to make the frame. Thomas Shelby stayed on well to win the Thorpe Lodge Maiden last week so my not run so soon but if the meeting is postponed could well make the frame. Rated 123!! the Ruckers Tossapenny has been placed in Class 4 & 5 hurdles but no chasing form or this longer distance on a testing track – watch the market but could well need the run to justify the rating.
Selection: Chapelier Alternatives: Classico Dais/Gadrose
3.30 Open Maiden 7yo and up – 14 entries
As you would expect several horses from this age group have been competing under rules and have shown little hence coming to the Pointing field looking for success. However a few entered in this race has shown a modicum of ability Ballintara is rated at 105 but it is difficult to understand this as several in this race have shown much more. The best this horse has achieved is 3rd in a bumper at Plumpton in March 2017, is however in a very good yard. Bardista was 3rd at Sherriff Hutton two weeks ago to Latenightpass but ran in snatches; Alex Vaughan Jones has had success at this course, as did his father going back, and will be hoping for improved form here Broom Tip started as the 7/4 favourite at Ampton two weeks ago but finished 3rd to Chapeltier. 2nd in that race was Racing Eagle, Surely it is only a short time until Racing Eagle loses its Maiden tag. Last season, in a cracking race at High Easter, he again finished 2nd to Law of Gold. Contour d’ Historie also ran well in that race but was pulled up. Previously to that was 2nd here last season to the Age of Hero’s and 2nd also at Penhurst. Captain Cuckoo has also been 2nd this season and that was at Wadebridge in December. Appeared again at the same course two weeks ago but fell when leading at the 7th, also from a successful yard. We have to mention Minuteman Gold from the Andrew Pennock yard. As we have mentioned previously Andrew does have the ability to prove that previous form is no guide to a horse’s potential ability, be interesting to follow the prices with the bookies on this one.
Selection: Racing Eagle Alternative: Bardista