The Crawley and Horsham & Southdown and Eridge Hunt’s host the first fixture at Parham for 2023 on Saturday 25th March.
The first of six races commences at 13:45pm and is the Restricted race which has attracted ten entries. Included in the entries Why Didn’t Ya who lost his maiden status for owner, trainer, jockey William Rekert at Penshurst on March 12th beating Tim Underwood’s Must Have Hope by two lengths. He will be looking to add to that success with a victory here but he isn’t the only South East Area trained horse looking to follow up on a maiden victory. Imperial d’Ainey won the maiden race at Badbury Rings on February 19th for trainer Chris Barber and jockey James King but is now with South East area owner, trainer Sarah Ashby and could run a big race here. Wireless Operator trained by Andrew Coveney finished second in the Restricted race at Penshurst, having led for the early part of the race he finished strongly to take second on that day finishing seven lengths behind Touch Tight. He shouldn’t be discounted as that race was run over the shorter 2 mile 4 furlong distance and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was involved in the finish here if he lines up. Elizabeth Feakes Fayre Enough finished fourth in that race but was tailed off from his rivals and may once again find this happens too quickly for him. Steve Spice trained Jasmin des Bordes was a last fence faller when in contention at Parham in 2022 and finished third on his reappearance this season at Charing in February in the maiden race. He again was in contention in the Restricted race at Penshurst on March 12th before unseating at the third fence from home. He definitely has the ability and potential to be involved if he lines up here. Nigel Padfield’s Penniless was the winner of the maiden at Charing in February beating Jasmin des Bordes and she is another who will be looking to follow up that victory with success here and could benefit from having Jack Andrews in the saddle. She showed her ability at Charing and she is likely to be a threat to a local win if she makes the journey to Parham. Destination Dylan owned by The Stearn Family in Suffolk also lined up in the Restricted race at Penshurst but pulled up on that occasion and will probably struggle in this company. Dorset based Hannah Clarke has Schiap Hill and The Ballybreen Fox entered. Schiap Hill finished third on his latest start in Restricted company at Bishops Court whilst The Ballybreen Fox won a 2 mile 4 furlong maiden at Milborne St Andrew at the end of January having finished second on his first start at Larkhill, so is another looking for a quick second success. The final entry here is Highland Glory who comes from trainer Alan Hill who finished fourth in her first start this season in the Restricted at Ampton in January and will have benefitted from that run so it would not be a surprise if she was involved in the closing stages if she takes her place here.
The Ineos Grenadier mixed open race has only attracted eight entries but they all have the ability to win. The area based entries include Andrew Coveney trained Definite Dilemma who was a comfortable winner of the men’s open race at Penshurst on March 12th beating Jack Dillinger by twenty-five lengths. Hannah Grissell trained Ballintara pulled up in that race but had finished third in the men’s open behind Jetaway Joey at Charing in February and dead-heated at Aldington in April 2022 so is more than capable of getting involved here. Jackfield has won twice at Parham beating Golden Crisp in a ladies open in 2018 and then finishing alone in the ladies open in April 2022 but then unseated in his next start at Godstone but he isn’t without the ability to get involved but may need the run.
However, the trio entered from the East Anglian region will all be hoping to take the spoils. Simon Stearn’s Just Cause is another course winner having won the Veteran Horse Conditions race at this meeting in 2022 before then picking up victories at Penshurst and Higham. He ended the 2022 season with two seconds’ in Hunter Chases at Kelso and Huntingdon. Rob Cundy trained Josh The Plod is another course winner, he won the Restricted race at Parham in April 2022 and then won a level two conditions race at Peper Harow in May 2022. He was second behind Slievegar in an Intermediate race in his seasonal reappearance at Higham in February but will come here with every chance if he faces the starter. Nicholas Wright owned and trained Red Maple is an ex national hunt chase winner (May and August 2022) who was eighth in his last start, a hurdle race in October 2022 but may find the drop in class to the point-to-point sphere beneficial and shouldn’t be discounted if he makes his first point-to-point start.
Anthony Ward-Thomas owned and trained Too Many Diamonds finished fourth in a Hunter Chase at Leicester in February and was then fifth in a mixed open at Charlton Horethorne at the beginning of March having weakened in the closing stages of the race. He again weakened in the closing stages of a veteran horse conditions race at Milborne St Andrew last weekend and again this may be a stretch too far. Heidi Brookshaw trained Flaminger for owner, jockey Daniel Cherriman has only had one point-to-point start finishing fifth in a mixed open at Bangor-On-Dee on March 12th. He was in contention until the closing stages of the race and may also struggle in this company however he may benefit from that first experience of racing and isn’t without a chance.
The level two conditions race is the third race of the day and is an option for Ballintara, Flaminger and Josh The Plod. Tom Ellis has two entries here, Champagne Noir and Master Templar. The latter won the level three conditions race at Charing in February beating Count Simon by a head but then saw the placings reversed on their next meeting at Didmarton on March 4th where Count Simon finished eight lengths ahead of Master Templar. Champagne Noir won a novice riders race at Garthorpe on February 26th having unseated early on his first start in a point-to-point at Revesby Park in January. Both have the ability to win here and it wouldn’t be a surprise for either to take the trophy. Local trainer Rob Varnham has Imperial Esprit entered, previously with Harry Fry he won a National Hunt Chase in October 2021 but was a faller three fences from home when starting to close in on the leader in his first start in a point-to-point at Badbury Rings in November 2022. Rintulla for another local trainer John Ayton finished third in the mixed open here at Parham in March 2022 finishing eight and a half lengths behind the winner Who’s My Jockey but finished ahead of Jackfield. His only other start in 2022 came at Penshurst where he ran out at the penultimate fence. Instant Replay is also locally trained by Andrew Hazeltine, he has yet to race in a point-to-point but has won five National Hunt Chases when trained by Brain Ellison between January 2018 and September 2021.
Tim Underwood’s veteran pointer Tempelpirate is a multiple race winner and won three of his four starts in 2022 and shouldn’t be discounted here despite his advancing years. Nicholas Wright trained Oval Street won a maiden, a restricted and a level two conditions race in 2022 before competing in the Llewellyn Humphreys Restricted Point-to-Point final at Stratford-On-Avon in May where he was a faller at the penultimate fence but was beaten at the time. He was fourth in the Intermediate race at Higham on February 12th finishing six lengths behind second placed Josh The Plod. Sara Bradstock trained Jaisalmer has had four starts in point-to-points this season, winning a novice riders race on his debut at Chaddesley Corbett. He then unseated at Chaddesley Corbett in a novice riders race at the end of December 2022 before finishing second in a novice riders race at Cocklebarrow and most recently finishing fourth at Kingston Blount in a novice riders (level three) conditions race. Rob Cundy trained Myplaceatmidnight was fourth in the veteran horse conditions race at Charing in February and followed this up with fourth in another veteran horse conditions race at Garthorpe weakening over the final stages of the race. He pulled up in his latest start at High Easter in conditions that may not have been ideal. The final entry is The Stearn Family’s Broadwater who pulled up in all three of his starts in point-to-points in 2022.
Josh The Plod, Why Didn’t Ya, Oval Street and Myplaceatmidnight also hold entries in the level three conditions race. Phil York trained Touch Tight will be looking to follow up his recent Penshurst Restricted race victory here to provide an area trained winner whilst Sarah Ashby trained Monkey Puzzle could also keep the trophy in the South East. He was second behind Thegallantway in his most recent start in a level two conditions race at Penshurst two weeks ago. Hannah Hickman-Jones trained Buffalo Sabre finished behind Myplaceatmidnight in the veteran horse conditions race at Charing in February and then finished thirty-three lengths fourth to Frisson Collonges at Larkhill having been in contention until the penultimate fence. Local trainer Simon Cross has Whoshotwho entered. Yet to race in a point-to-point Whoshotwho was formerly with Dr Richard Newland and won a National Hunt chase in 2018. His form has tailed off under rules but he could appreciate the drop in class to the point-to-point sphere.
Tom Ellis again has two entries, Fairly Famous and Loughan. The former has won on both starts in point-to-points at Horseheath and Charing in maiden and restricted company whilst the latter has finished second on both starts this season at Revesby Park and Didmarton. Hannah Clarke has Shanoule Wood entered, he pulled up in his first start this season at Buckfastleigh but finished second in this race in 2022 but subsequently finished behind Buffalo Sabre at Aldington in April 2022. Annabelle Bacon trained Little Billy Boy has been placed in eleven of his sixteen point-to-point starts with four victories to his name. He won a level two conditions race at Vauterhill in May 2022 but finished third, twelve lengths behind the winner on his seasonal reappearance at Charlton Horethorne three weeks ago but could easily be involved in the finish if he makes the journey here. Julie Wadland trained Lagan Valley finished three lengths behind Fairly Famous at Horseheath in December before winning a maiden race at Chipley Park in February. He followed this with success in a restricted race at Charm Park on March 5th winning comfortably so again this is not outside his capability and he looks to have Jack Andrews booked for the ride.
The final two entries here are Elizabeth Feakes Oscar O’Scar and September Fields for the Stearn Family. Oscar O’Scar was third in a level two conditions race at Penshurst in April 2022 but may find this a struggle as may September Fields who won a maiden and a restricted race in 2019 but has not raced since.
The maiden race has nine entries including Steve Spice trained Jasmin des Bordes who may find this an easier option than the Restricted race. Tim Underwood owned and trained Must Have Hope finished second behind Why Didn’t Ya at Penshurst two weeks ago and was second prior to that race at Kingston Blount four weeks ago so is definitely knocking on the door of victory. His greatest challenge could be Mount Pleasant from Nicholas Wright’s yard. He has had two starts in point-to-points this season unseating at the twelfth fence at Brocklesby Park on his debut when still in contention and then finishing third nine lengths behind the winner at Garthorpe on February 26th. Nicholas Wright also has Money Spinner entered who was prominent in his debut race at Garthorpe on February 5th before being brought down so he could also be in with a shout if he takes his place here. Hannah Grissell is also dual entered with Gold Bandit and Robin Is Ready. Robin Is Ready was placed twice in maiden company in 2022 but pulled up in his first start this season at Ampton in January. Gold Bandit third, five lengths behind second placed Must Have Hope at Penshurst two weeks ago, but he should improve following that run and could be closer on this occasion if both line up.
David Phelan trained Lou Cristiano could make his racecourse debut here but again that should not discount him as Phelan is often successful with young horses in his yard in maiden company. Pam Tetley trained Del Amitir is also yet to race in a point-to-point in England, but she finished fourth in an Irish point-to-point in February so clearly has some talent and she may find this a slightly easier option so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her in the winner’s enclosure. The other entry in the maiden race is Hannah Clarke’s Right Hand of God who was a length behind the winner in third place at Wadebridge in January and then finished fourth over the shorter two mile four furlong distance at Charing in February finishing seven lengths behind Jasmin des Bordes and nine lengths behind the winner Penniless.
The fixture concludes with a level one conditions race which is an option for Ballintara, Instant Replay, Why Didn’t Ya, Wireless Operator, Buffalo Sabre, Rintulla and Monkey Puzzle. However local hopes could fall to Rob Varnham’s Tangoed. She is a previous course winner having won this race at this meeting in 2022 and then won a veteran and novice riders race at Aldington in April 2022. She was outpaced in the closing stages of the mixed open at Didmarton in March but should be in with a chance of taking the victory here if she lines up. David Phelan trained Buachaill Dana is another course winner, having won the Restricted race at this fixture in 2022before winning the Southern Novice Champions race at Aldington on Easter Monday. He won a novice riders race on his seasonal reappearance at Ampton in January finishing ahead of Monkey Puzzle but was then fourth in the level three conditions race at Charing in February and was third in his latest start in a novice riders race at High Easter last Saturday weakening over the final couple of fences.
Katie Featherstone’s Imperial Acolyte finished third in a novice riders race at Garthorpe in February but then pulled up last Saturday at High Easter in a level two conditions race but he has the ability to get involved. Cheltenham Mati from Tim Underwood’s stable has been placed in twenty of her twenty-seven point-to-point starts to date. She finished second in the veteran horse race at this fixture in 2022 before winning level two and level three conditions races at Penshurst and Kimble in 2022. Simon Cross has the other entry here with Dogon who has also moved from Dr Richard Newland. He last won a National Hunt Chase at Fontwell in May 2022 but pulled up in his point-to-point debut race at Larkhill in November in a men’s open over the 2 mile 4 furlong distance weakening over the final couple of fences and although he cannot be discounted he may struggle here.
Parham is an undulating left handed oval course with an uphill finish, the course can be found four miles south east of Pulborough and one mile west of Storrington. The postcode for the course is RH20 2ER.