Hotting up at Higham
We are just weeks away from kicking off our season in the South East, but East Anglia are already in full swing and the Waveney Harriers play hosts this week at Higham. They are rewarded by bumper entries on what will be an at least eight race card, with South East runners galore.
We are mob handed in the Conditions race, with runners from all the main yards. Rose Grissell has Dead Or Alive and Owenacurra for owner-riders Felix Wheeler and Stuart Robinson, respectively, while Ian Cobb is also doubly represented by Bit Of A Clown and Tiermore. David Phelan's sole representive is Ballagio, with Richard Defago's Gamato and Paul Blagg's Cold Mountain making up the South East septet. Twenty-two other entries stand in between these seven and victory, with John Ferguson's Themilanhorse appearing to pose the biggest danger.
There are eighteen entered for what appears to be a quality Mens Open, with the Rose Grissell trained Brunswick Gold aiming to improve on the fourth place he achieved at Cottenham. However, he will have to reverse the form with Brackloon High and Earth Dream, who were first and third in that particular contest. Also holding entries are Ravethebrave, Woodview Prince, and the exciting mare Popaway.
We have a good chance in the Ladies Open, as Cynthia Woods has aimed Little Legend at this race rather than Warwick earlier in the week. Little Legend is well used to the course, winning twice from three previous visits. He has some stiff competition in It Was Me, who ran superbly at Cottenham after a lengthy lay off, but found Little Legend too good at this course in 2013. Another danger is Alan Hill's Start Royal won this race last year and is well suited to the course, having won four times from six runs at the Suffolk track. Also entered is the popular veteran Rear Gunner, as well as Ian Cobb's duo; Bit Of A Clown and Tiermore.
The Open Maiden has already been split, with fifteen entries in each division. The first 'div' see's Crowd Control make his debut for Cynthia Woods, while the Grissell's have Here I Am, who was given a good rating over hurdles without getting close to winning. The second division sees an entry for Robert Lancaster's Minmore Grey, who will aiming to complete after pulling up at Cottenham.
David Phelan has two entered in the Restricted, with Running In Heels aiming to complete for the first time this season and Tomstar aiming to improve on the last place he achieved at Cottenham. Cynthia Woods has a third entry for the meeting as her Penshurst winner, Isola Wild, lines up after a good fifth at Larkhill at the beginning of the month. It could be an exciting contest, with impressive Cottenham maiden winners Brians Well and Play The Ace set to lock horns.
The meeting is capped off by a Mares and Fillies Club Members race, where Isola Wild and Running In Heels both hold second entries, and are joined by Steve Spice's Zakharyina. They all look up against it however, with Barbury Castle Mens Open winner, Executive Benefit, and Cheltenham Hunter Chase winner, Popaway, both entered to run.