THE WAVERNEY HARRIERS – HIGHAM
Sunday February 24th 2019
1.00 Hunt Members – 9 entries
A small entry here and it will be interesting to see if last week’s Ladies Open winner Lord Topper runs again on a course very different to Horseheath. If he does run he has to go close. His previous run of the season, 2nd behind the mighty Broken Eagle, was at Ampton and that course is similar to Horseheath and Higham offers a very different test. It is often the case in Hunt Races that there is 1 or 2 standouts and the other here would be One Fine Morning who has a very good record at this course and has an entry in the Mens Open too but this looks an easier option. He beat Abbey Lane by 10l with Weather Warning at further 6l back in 3rd. Abbey Lane is now 14 and it might be asking too much to reverse the form with One Fine Morning. Weather Warning is admirably consistent but was beaten favourite here last time and again it is hard to see the form being reversed.
Selection: Lord Topper Alternative: One Fine Morning
1.35 PPORA Club Members – 14 entries
A reasonable entry of 14 for this conditions contest. Burtredgipandgump is a two time course winner and scored here on his latest appearance last month when beating possible rival Poyle Thomas by a neck. Mr Syntax pulled up in this race when sent off favourite. Poyle Thomas has a 5lb pull against Burtredgipandgump if re-opposing today. Chosen Rose is going for a five timer after scoring at Ampton last month in an intermediate when she beat Dream Doc who could possibly re-oppose today by 12L. Weather Warning was 3rd in the novice rider’s contest at the previous meeting here when he finished 16L adrift of One Fine Morning, where he had two possible opponents Ballybough Gorta and Clenagh Castle behind him on that occasion. Mr Syntax won a conditions race here last April when beating Can Mestret by 8L but has pulled up on his two latest appearances. Dandan finished 2nd to Local Show at Ampton in January when beaten 2 ¾L. Lords Park Star pulled up at Thorpe on his most recent start and prior to that was 5th at Cottenham beaten 13 ½L behind Hawkurst but 6L ahead of Dandan. Chosen Rose is in great form at present and represents the Andrew Pennock yard. She is our selection today ahead of Poyle Thomas who is improving with every run and has a weight advantage over his recent conqueror here Burtredgipandgump.
Selection: Chosen Rose Alternative: Poyle Thomas
2.10 Mens Open – 9 entries
A re-match is on the cards between Broken Eagle and Steeles Terrace, who finished 1st and 2nd at the North Norfolk Harriers meeting four weeks ago, and who both feature amongst the entries. Course specialist Broken Eagle has won seven times around this course, and duly obliged last time, when outjumping his opposition to score by an easy 6 lengths from Steeles Terrace. Steeles Terrace will need to have benefited from his seasonal reappearance to close the gap between them. Dont Do Mondays, who has yet to run this season, was in fine form last season, winning three opens. Beating Follow The Paint in two and Hazy Tom in the other, Dont Do Mondays was not disgraced on his final run at Fontwell in a 2m 5f hunter chase where he finished second, ¾ length behind last weekend’s Coronation Gold Cup winner, Monsieur Gibraltar. One Fine Morning may find the hunt race more appealing an opportunity, but won well at the last meeting in a much quicker time than Broken Eagle (carried 4lbs more). An interesting recruit to pointing is Call Me Vic, who changed hands for £19000 in September, having previously been in the care of Tom George. On his penultimate start Call Me Vic won a 3 ¼ mile handicap chase at Newton Abbot. Although some time ago, as a coincidence, Dont Do Mondays has a victory over Call Me Vic back in 2015, when Dont Do Mondays was in the care of David Bridgewater.
Selection: Broken Eagle Alternative: Dont Do Mondays
2.45 Ladies Open – 14 entries
A tenacious win for Start Royal at the January Higham meeting and should confirm placings with his only rivals on that day, Sand Blast and Sa Kaldoun. The latter will definitely benefit from that run and is a three-time Higham course winner. Top Smart is highly consistent but runs infrequently and therefore may not be risked on current ground conditions. Changeofluck, from the Alan Hill stable, would presumably only run in the absence of Start Royal but did run up to form at the previous Higham meeting, behind Burtredgipandgump Mighty Leader returns to pointing after running under rules for the last four seasons where he won 3 ‘chases and 6 hurdle races. Never been asked to perform on firmish conditions so that would count against him. Karinga Dancer can act on these ground conditions, as proved when winning here in January 2018 and will not be far away. So it’s got to be Start Royal to land his 30th career win but might be challenged strongly, this time, by Sa Kaldoun.
Selection: Start Royal Alternative: Sa Kaldoun
3.20 Open Maiden – 8 entries
Comparing with the other meetings this week this is a very disappointing number of entries. Only eight entries and difficult to find a new star coming out of this race. Broom Tip was 3rd to Chapelier at Ampton three weeks ago, the winner going on to win the Restricted at Horseheath last weekend. Broom Tip has had ten races in total and did come 3rd in a Hurdles race at Warwick in 2017. Flaggen has raced several times in Ireland and finished 3rd on two occasions, only outing in this country was at this track at the last meeting when fell two out and in with a chance. Could be in with a good chance her. Josh the Plod is likely to start as favourite in this race as finished 2nd twice at this course, firstly to Heated Debate and then by the 2/5 favourite Bullsempire. Laser Beam was 3rd in an Irish PtP in January and previously 2nd in December. Now in the Pennock yard so will be interesting to see if Andrew can improve to get the win here. Releagh Mountain has had ten outings in Points in the north, been 2nd twice and 3rd three times, maybe coming to East Anglian to crack the elusive. Rapaport has competed in two PtP flat races, firstly at Hereford where ran on strongly to finish 4th and then at Garthorpe when again ran on strongly to win. Last outing was last weekend where unseated rider at the second.
Selection: Josh the Plod Alternative: Laser Beam
3.55 Restricted –7 entries
The last race and again a miserable 7 entries but hopefully competitive on what will be fast ground. Black Jewel a prolific but not very successful rules runner (25 with 9 runs in 2018) won the Cottenham early Dec.Open Maiden but pu in the Cocklebarrow Restricted in Jan. and may struggle again in this higher grade. One for the short list – Bullsempire from the Pennock yard won the 4 runner Maiden here in Jan. on similar ground. 101 rated and a frame finish beckons – Captiva Island, under rules with Gordon Elliot and Olly Murphy ( placed twice over hurdles but PU in only chase run) and now from the Hill yard ( very successful at this track) with Jack Andrews up an easy 10L. winner at Cottenham in early Dec. in the short Maiden but rather disappointing in the late Dec. Cottenham Restricted when unable to quicken and beaten 1L by Tricky Silence then beaten 2L. by Pennock’s Somme Boy in a slow 2 runner restricted here in Jan. – will Jack Andrews be up this time? Steel The China won the short Maiden at Sedgefield well in Mayand could make the frame. Ka Maresco, Shamat and Stingthebookies probably unlikely to trouble the judge in this company.
Selection: Captiva Island Alternative: Bullsempire