Parham hosts the next point-to-point fixture of the 2022 South East area season on Saturday 26th March, the going is currently good to soft, soft in places but with a drying week this week the going is expected to be good. The course is an undulating oval left handed course with an uphill section to the open ditch.
The first race of the day is at 13:45pm and is the restricted race and has attracted eight entries. Ashford based trainer David Phelan has Buachaill Dana entered who was second in the maiden at Charing on 5th February behind Finistere but won in maiden company at Kingston Blount on February 26th beating the Bradley Gibbs trained favourite Keaden Hill on that occasion. This five year old looks the type to progress quickly and could find himself back in the winner’s enclosure. Destination Dylan from Simon Stearn’s yard pulled up on his first UK Point-to-Point run at Horseheath in December and has not raced again since then but could prove to be a threat here. Pam Tetley’s Big Dawg also pulled up in the restricted at Horseheath in December but has subsequently finished seventh and fifth in Novice Rider’s races at Higham and High Easter and he could also spring a surprise. Alan Hill and Izzie Marshall who enjoyed a successful day at Penshurst on March 20th team up once again in this race with Bucaneros. Bucaneros won on his debut in maiden company at Pyle in October 2021 but has struggled in restricted company pulling up at Alnwick in December and again at High Easter on March 12th. He had a further race at Ampton in January where he finished third on the four runners over thirty lengths behind the winner, but it would definitely be unwise to discount a runner from the team that seems to be in form. Nigel Padfield owned and trained Direct Flight also holds an entry here and he too pulled up in the restricted race at High Easter two weeks ago but he should improve for that initial run of this season. Berkshire based Sarah Bosley has Midnight Jitterbug entered. This nine year old won a 2 mile four furlong maiden at Knightwick in November 2021 but pulled up in his only other race of this season which was the restricted at Cothelstone on March 12th and he may also struggle here. The other two entries for the restricted have both yet to complete a point-to-point, Max Comley’s Call His Bluff was running under rules until October 2021 and recorded three consecutive seconds in races between May and August 2021 but he pulled up in his only point-to-point at Kingston Blount in February whilst Timothy O’Callaghan’s Max The Brave, another who previously ran under rules unseated his jockey in his first point-toi-point at Larkhill in January and has subsequently pulled up at Larkhill in maiden company at the end of January and at Charing in a level three conditions race in February.
The INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open race has attracted nine entries including Highway One O One from Jenny Gordon’s team in Hampshire. Highway One O One had previously raced under rules for Jenny’s husband Chris Gordon, a former south east area champion jockey and was regularly placed under rules in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He appeared to lose his way in 2020 before returning to better form in 2021. However he seems to be enjoying and revelling in the drop in class to the point-to-point sphere having an impressive record of three victories and a second from his four starts which have all happened since the beginning of February. His biggest threat here could be Midnight Cowboy from James Owen’s Suffolk yard who won the hunt member’s race at Ampton on March 5th and was second behind Tullys Touch in the men’s open at Horseheath in January where he was outpaced on the flat. Nigel Benstead owned and trained Streets of London is also more than capable of winning in this company and is expected to have the benefit of Phil York in the saddle. Streets of London finished third in a Hunter Chase at Stratford on March 14th and prior to that was second in a men’s open at Kingston Blount in February and he could be the one who causes an upset here. Who’s My Jockey trained by Hannah Clarke for The Glebe House Racing Club is a half brother to Hurricane Fly who has won a national hunt bumper in February 2021 at Newcastle but has also won a 3 mile national hunt chase at Hexham in 2019. He is also more than capable of getting himself into the winners enclosure but he has only completed in one of his four starts to dateand even though this is likely to be a tough task he could make the frame with previous area champion jockey Charlie Marshall in the saddle. Katie Featherstone owned, trained and ridden Imperial Acolyte is a dual hurdle winner who came from Nigel Twiston-Davies yard and has finished second on both point-to-point starts to date at Charing in February and the at High Easter on March 12th finishing a length behind Tullys Touch. Alyce’s Fisher’s Jac The Legend finished thirty lengths behind Imperial Acolyte on that occasion and will probably also struggle here if he lines up. Jackfield trained by Maggie Howie was a surprise winner of a ladies open at Parham in April 2018 but has not repeated that form since. He ran a creditable third at Penshurst on March 20th finishing five lengths behind No Hassle Hoff and three lengths behind Hawkhurst and has a chance of being involved here if he lines up for the starter. The other two entries for this race are John Ayton’s Rintulla who was previously with Ben Pauling and won a two mile four furlong chase at Worcester in July 2021 but has yet to run in a point-to-point and Cereal Killer from Simon Stearn’s yard. He has not raced in a point-to-point since 2017 when he was under the care of Jack Barber but he won both his starts in maiden and restricted company so clearly has some ability. He has since been running under rules from Paul Nicholls yard and was placed on a couple of occasions and it will be interesting to see if he can make a winning return in the point-to-point sphere.
The Jockey Club & Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Horse Conditions race has eleven entries. James Owen trained Just Cause has not raced since May 2021 where he finished second in a conditions race and he has been placed in all seven point-to-point starts since January 2020 including four wins so he could be the one to beat if he makes the journey from Suffolk to West Sussex. Francesca Poste trained Champion Chase has had three point-to-point races since January 2022 and they have all seen him make the winners enclosure in maiden, restricted and intermediate company so he has the recent form that could be beneficial over Just Cause and is likely to want to continue his winning streak. Ellie Holder has Jonjoela entered, she finished second behind Highway One O One at Charing in February and was third on her latest start in a Novice rider’s race at Ampton, but she should not be discounted here. Tim Underwood’s Cheltenham Mati has also finished second behind Highway One O One this season on her latest start in a Novice rider’s race at High Easter and with potentially the benefit of Phil York in the saddle she could also be able to get back into the winner’s enclosure here. Phil York could also pick up the ride on Nigel Benstead’s Thomas Junior who pulled up at Charing in February but then finished sixth of ten runners at Kingston Blount in a level three conditions race but he was the last of the finishers and was well behind his rivals on that occasion.
Sarah Ashby trained Whatsinthecorner moved from JJ Hanlon’s yard. This 10 year old had 49 starts over fences under rules, but none of these were over three miles and in both of his point-to-point starts this season he has pulled up and he might find the pace here hard to handle. Shanoule Wood trained by Hannah Clarke finished twenty nine lengths behind Fiddler of Dooney in the Intermediate at Penshurst on Sunday and connections will need to see how he comes out of that race. Elizabeth Feakes will also need to see how Oscar O’Scar is following his run at Penshurst last Sunday too. He finished third also but thirty lengths behind Getting Closer in the level two conditions race having made much of the early running in the race. East Sussex based Hannah Grissell trains Cooladerry King who pulled up in his only start this season at Charing in February and is another who might struggle against younger rivals here and the other two entries are Emily Peck’s Calin du Brizais who was fifth in his latest start in this company finishing twelve lengths behind the winner King of the Clothe and Brown Bear owned and trained by another former South East area jockey Tabitha Worsley. Brown Bear has pulled up on his last three starts this season but that does not mean that this is outside his realm.
The level two conditions race is an option for several horses as Brown Bear, Cereal Killer, Cheltenham Mati, Cooladerry King, Midnight Cowboy, Oscar O’Scar and Shanoule Wood are seven of the twelve entries here. Of the other five entries Sarah Ashby trained Monkey Puzzle could be involved if he lines up for the starter. Formerly with Oliver Sherwood, Monkey Puzzle won a Novice riders race at Ampton at the beginning of March and was beaten by a head at Penshurst on Sunday by Getting Closer in a level two conditions race. Rob Varnham trained Count Simon is also a threat here, this first season point-to-pointer won a level three conditions race on his debut at Didmarton on March 5th comfortably beating the odds on favourite Frelia by twenty three lengths. Count Simon was previously with Gordon Elliott and had some good form in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but is another who seemed to fall out of love with racing under rules in 2021 but much like Highway One O One appears to be enjoying racing in point-to-points if his first race is an indication. James Owen trained Clondaw Rigger is another who has made the switch from racing under rules to point-to-pointing this season and has had three starts in Novice rider races which included a victory at Horseheath on January 29th where Clondaw Rigger beat Francesca Poste’s For Rita and the Tom Ellis trained favourite Bawnmore. However at High Easter on March 12th he finished fourth and in that race he finished behind Cheltenham Mati who was second and Groundunderrepair who finished third and also holds an entry in this race. Prior to that Groundunderrepair was a faller when in contention at Horseheath in February in a Novice riders race. The other entry for this race is Largy Mountain from Francesca Poste’s team, he is a multiple point-to-point winner who was an easy winner of an Intermediate race on his latest start at Didmarton on March 5th so overall this could be one of the races of the day depending on declarations.
The open maiden race has thirteen entries including Timothy O’Callaghan’s Max the Brave. The stand out entry is Nigel Padfield’s Howitsdone. He unseated on his seasonal reappearance at Charing in February but was third at Kingston Blount in February and was fourth at High Easter two weeks ago. Albert Huckleback for Jenny Gordon finished seventh on two earlier starts this season at Chipley Park and Badbury Rings and he pulled up in his latest race at Charlton Horethorne. Tim Underwood is another owner / trainer who frequently takes trophies out of the area and he has Bolamore Bridge entered. This is an ex Irish point-to-pointer who was third in a maiden in March 2020 but unseated at the first fence at Penshurst last Sunday. Tim also has Broomfield Boy entered who finished fourth in the maiden at High Easter two weeks ago. Connor Gray’s Argentoratum has only completed once in his four starts in maiden company this season but was unlucky to unseat on the flat last time out at Larkhill. David Phelan has a good record with maidens and he has No Peace From Him entered who was fourth in a point-to-point bumper at Larkhill in 2020, he pulled up at High Easter on his latest start but should improve for that run. Steve Spice has Jasmin des Bordes entered who has pulled up on both starts this season including last Sunday at Penshurst. Ker Melba trained by Fiona Dennington was third in a two mile four furlong maiden in December but pulled up in the race where Broomfield Boy finished fourth at High Easter. Other entries for this race are Lucky Purchase who pulled up in the maiden at Charlton Horethorne in which fellow entrant Party Town from Francesca Poste’s string fell. Pretty Fantasy is a first season point-to-pointer who was fourth behind Midnight Jitterbug at Knightwick in November, but then pulled up in a two mile four furlong maiden at Ffos Las in November and has not raced since then. The other entry is Hannah Clarke trained Timino Road who was in contention until the penultimate fence in maiden company at Kingston Blount in February and eventually finished fourth and was behind Howitsdone on that occasion.
The racing concludes with a level one conditions race which is an option for Cheltenham Mati, Cooladerry King, Jasmin des Bordes, Oscar O’Scar, Rintulla, Streets of London and Whatsinthecorner. Other entries here include Tangoed from Rob Varnham’s stables who won a level three conditions race at Aldington in 2021. She fell at the last fence in a hunter chase at Stratford in March but is a danger here. Hannah Jones trained Buffalo Sabre was fifth at Charing in December but unseated at Charing in February last time out. Seb Mead’s West Lake was fourth behind Monkey Puzzle in the Novice rider’s race at Ampton on March 5th and was third earlier in the season at Charing behind Waterloo warrior and Scooby. The interesting entry here though is John Ayton’s Doldido who is a first season point-to-pointer who has been in three novice rider races to date finishing fourth at Larkhill in January and February and finishing third at Didmarton in March and this grey gelding could be the one to beat.
The racecourse can be found 4 miles south east of Pulborough and 1 mile west of Storrington and the postcode for the course is RH20 2ER.