Set in its delightful location, High Easter Racecourse hosts the first of two meetings – The High Easter Racing Club – held at the Essex course during the season. The meeting is now becoming established within the East Anglia region fixture list and has been rewarded with an entry of 122, which pleasingly shows a 45% increase from last year’s numbers. The first of six scheduled races is at 1pm.
Owner and Clerk of the Course Simon Marriage has invested in three new fences for the 2020 season, and with his loyal team of helpers will have the course in the best possible condition, not only for this fixture but also for the forthcoming April 4th meeting.
The opening PPORA Novice Riders' Race, as with all these type of races, will be eagerly contested, and Vivaldi Collonges offers the best credentials. Although not having been seen out since winning the Men's Open at Cottenham's opening November meeting, he will arrive 'fit for purpose'. Ben Bromley, son of owner Anthony, regularly rides out the 11-year-old at Philip Rowley's yard and the partnership has so far secured three wins together. Alan Hill has entered Supreme Danehill, who has in the past shown good stamina qualities which will be useful in the current conditions. The Tom Ellis-trained Earlshill (Lucy Burton) won a recent Conditions Race at Charing with race-reading comments stating "led 2 out and stayed on well"…..perfect tactics for High Easter.
The Restricted is run over the shorter distance of two-and-a-half miles and presents an ideal opportunity for Fiddler Of Dooney to recapture winning form. He looked a possible winner on his latest outing when challenging for the lead two fences out but possibly found the Horseheath finishing hill too testing – a drop back in distance could pay dividends. Rivercourt Guy showed improved form at Cottenham and The Triple Pillar will surely run better than his Higham performance. The lightly raced mare Tiger's Song would be in with a shout and would be fully prepared to add
to Gina Andrews' tally for the season.
Dale Peters has two entered in the Mixed Open, namely Benefit of Luck and Rocklander, and either would be worthy winners if taking their chance. Gerald Bailey's Early Retirement was a faller at Higham after winning his pointing debut at Thorpe Lodge. Championship-chasing Jack Andrews could be the answer to this tricky contest with a possible choice of King of The Clothe or Judy Wilson's top-rated Volnay De Thaix.
Rocklander could sidestep the Mixed Open and run in what appears the easier option of the Jockey Club & Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Conditions Race, which has attracted the biggest entry of the day (28). His main rivals could be previous course winner Blackwood Rover, Thetalkinghorse and the James Owen-trained Silvergrove.
The CA Club Members Conditions Race will be run over the extended distance of three-and-three-quarter miles, and any horse with previous potential of 'staying on' in softish conditions must come into the reckoning. Looking through the entrants, Distime, Man Of Steel and Perfect Pirate all fall into this category, for this race which will be a real test of stamina.
The Open Maiden has its fair share of exciting youngsters to conclude the day's racing, and notable contenders, to carry off the prize, include Andrew Pennock's Luscious Lilly, David Kemp's By Appointmentonly, and Stuart Morris' Classic Ruler. Local trainer Nigel Padfield has entered two – Aztec Cosmos and Howitsdone – and the latter will race prominently if chosen to carry the stable's winning aspiration.
The most interesting contender could be the Trevor Hemmings-owned and Francesca Nimmo-trained Glen Mooar, who fell when favourite on his pointing debut at Larkhill.
Once again, the East Anglian enthusiasts are in for a potentially exciting afternoon's racing at one of the most enchanting courses in the country.
High Easter Racecourse is situated eight miles west of Chelmsford and set in a picturesque location, to the south of the village of High Easter (Satnav CM1 4QL).
First of six races 1pm. Adults £12 (under-16s free). There will be trade stands, catering outlets, bar and bookmakers. Dogs on lead welcome.