Parham racecourse hosts its second fixture of 2023 on Saturday with two pony races taking place at 12:20pm and 12:45pm prior to the racing starting at 2pm. The course has been rolled and rails have been moved to provide fresh ground on this left-handed oval course.
The first race of the day is theJackson-Stops Intermediate race which has attracted eight entries. Phil York trained and ridden Touch Tight has won his last two starts, a restricted race at Penshurst in March and the Hunt Member’s race at Aldington on Easter Monday and he could be looking for a hat-trick of successes. Hannah Hickman-Jones trained Buffalo Sabre is the other locally trained entry here. He was second here at Parham in March finishing 30 lengths behind Loughan but could be closer here. Essex based owner/ trainer Nigel Padfield has Padjoes Legacy entered who was a comfortable winner of the restricted race at Aldington on Easter Monday so will also be looking for a quick second victory. Also from Essex is Rob Cundy trained Josh The Plod who is a course winner having won the restricted race at this meeting in 2022. He was second on his first start of this season at Higham in an Intermediate in February but only finished sixth in his most recent start at Higham two weeks ago.
Harriet Waight trained Sake of Secrecy won a restricted race at Milborne St Andrew in January and was then second in Intermediate company at Buckfastleigh in February. However, he was third in his most recent start in a two mile four furlong Intermediate race at Milborne St Andrew in mid-March finishing twenty five lengths behind the winner Tigerbythetail, but it is impossible to rule him out if he faces the starter. Benjamin Durrell’s Bonamargy won a two mile five furlong restricted race at Kingston Blount in March 2022 and has finished fourth and fifth in Novice rider races earlier in the season before finishing second last time out at Dingley in mixed open company having been prominent until the final stages of the race so again cannot be discounted. Tim Underwood’s Bolamore Bridge has only had one race this season finishing six lengths second to Fairly Famous in a match at High Easter last Saturday. He should improve from that run but may find that this happens a bit too quickly. The final entry here is Hannah Clarke trained Shanoule Wood who has pulled up on both starts this season including here at Parham in March in the Conditions race where Buffalo Sabre finished second to Loughan, so he may also find this a tough task.
Following on from the Intermediate race is the Shipbourne Stables Maiden race which has ten entries. Hannah Clarke trains Frontieres Lad who was a close second in the maiden at Buckfastleigh in February but he then pulled up at Penshurst four weeks later. He ran again on Easter Monday at Cothelstone finishing ten lengths second behind Ping Pong Paddy and if he starts here he could be sent off the bookmaker’s favourite. Hannah also has Right Hand of God entered 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. He was second here at Parham in March leading until the penultimate fence where he was passed by the winner Mount Pleasant finishing eight lengths behind the winner.
Steve Spice trained Jasmin des Bordes was a last fence faller when in contention in the maiden race 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 but the finished third in the maiden at the first meeting here at Parham in March and was also third in the maiden at Aldington on Easter Monday. He clearly has ability and deserves to win but as yet cannot get his head in front at the crucial point.
Hannah Grissell also has two entries here, with Gold Bandit and Robin Is Ready. Gold Bandit finished seven lengths behind Why Didn’t Ya at Penshurst in the maiden on March 12th but then finished five lengths behind Jasmin des Bordes at Aldington on Easter Monday but he is another who has the ability to win a race. Robin Is Ready finished fourth here at Parham in March behind both Right Hand of God and Jasmin des Bordes so this could be a tough ask of him. Annabelle Bacon trained Millbrook Lad has only had one start in a point-to-point finishing fourth about eight and a half lengths behind Pocatello so he could also surprise a few here as that race was run in five minutes forty three seconds. Annabelle also has Washington Singer entered who has yet to race in a point-to-point. David Phelan trained Panorama Ridge pulled up ay Kingston Blount in February but then finished third at Higham on Good Friday. He finished eight lengths ahead of Nigel Padfield’s Vango Vick who is also entered and either could be involved at the finish if they are in peak form here. The final entry here is Tim Underwood’s Windgap Hill who pulled up in his first two starts in Irish point-to-points before finishing fourth in his most recent race at Ballyragget on March 19th having been in touch until the closing stages of the race. He could get involved here but may find someone too good to beat.
The Savills Ladies Open race has eight entries. Jenny Gordon trained Commanche Red has been second on his last three starts in a Veteran Horse Conditions race at Charing in February, a ladies open at Penshurst and a mixed open at Higham most recently on Good Friday and will hope to go one better here. However, Rob Varnham trained Count Simon will be looking for his third victory of the season having won a level two conditions race at Didmarton in March and the Veteran and Novice riders conditions race at Aldington on Easter Monday beating Happy Larry by thirty lengths. Molly Landau is booked for both horses and it would be interesting to see which she picks if both are declared. Molly has also been booked to ride the two entries from Anthony Ward-Thomas. Ballotin has had some successes in hunter chases in 2019 but pulled up in his latest start in a hunter chase at Warwick on March 30th. He has had one start in a point-to-point finishing second in a mixed open at Milborne St Andrew in mid-March. His other entry is Go Whatever who won the Sussex National at Plumpton in January 2022 but then pulled up in a three mile five furlong national hunt chase at Lingfield at the end of January 2022. He was then unraced until starting in a hunter chase at Exeter on April 11th where he pulled up four fences from the finish. Sarah Ashby trained Monkey Puzzle and Margaret Howie trained Jackfield battled out the finish of the ladies open at Aldington on Easter Monday with Monkey Puzzle winning by half a length. They both hold entries here and could also get involved in the closing stages of the race. They both finished twenty lengths ahead of Fox Valley trained by David Phelan for owner / jockey Nicole Lockhead Anderson who is also entered here. Hannah Grissell trained Ballintara is the final entry, he has failed to finish on his last two starts in the men’s open at Penshurst in March and in the level one conditions race at Parham in March where he pulled up at the penultimate fence. However, he also has the ability to win races and if back to his best could be one to watch out for.
The Peter Hedger Memorial level three owner-trainer conditions race has seven entries and this is an option for Padjoes Legacy rather than Intermediate race. If he chooses this option, he could come up against Rob Varnham trained Tangoed who has finished third on both of her starts to date this season in the mixed open at Didmarton and a level one conditions race at Lockinge on Easter Monday. She is a course winner having won a level one conditions race here in March 2022. Andrew Coveney trained Wireless Operator is another course winner having won the level one conditions race here in March beating Buachail Dana by thirty lengths, and he will be looking for a second victory of the season if he lines up for the starter. William Rekert owned, trained and ridden Why Didn’t Ya was an impressive winner of the maiden race at Penshurst in March but he was then an eighth fence faller here at Parham at the end of March and unseated at the ninth fence at Aldington on Easter Monday so he will be looking to bounce back to victory here too. Too Many Diamonds for Anthony Ward-Thomas finished third in the mixed open at Parham in March and had every chance until weakening over the final two fences. He should improve following that race so could be closer to the action at the finish this time. Local trainer Simon Cross has Whoshotwho entered. He was formerly with Dr Richard Newland and won a National Hunt chase in 2018. His form had tailed off under rules and he set a blistering pace in the early stages of his only point-to-point start here at Parham in March in the level three conditions race before pulling up at the fifteenth fence. If he settles he too has the ability to be involved in the closing stages of the race. Elizabeth Feakes Oscar O’Scar also ran in that race which is his only start to date this season and pulled up at the thirteenth fence and once again he may find that this race happens too quickly for his liking.
The J R Tree Care Men’s Open is an option for both Ballintara and Go Whatever, however Benjamin Durrell has Seven No Trumps entered who has won his only point-to-point start at Dingley two weeks ago in a level two conditions race. Rob Varnham also has Trappist Monk entered here who beat Commanche Red at Charing in February and then won a Hunter Chase at Fontwell Park later that month. He had a walkover at Aldington on Easter Monday.
Tim Underwood’s Skipthecuddles won last time out in a level two conditions race at Lockinge beating Frisson Collonges by three lengths and is another who is more than capable of winning in this company, as is Rob Cundy’s Castle Trump who was second in a hunter chase at Stratford on March 13th and was second last weekend at High Easter in the men’s open weakening after the final fence. Kate Featherstone owned and trained Imperial Acolyte definitely has the ability to win but has struggled so far this season running out at Charing in February before finishing third in a novice riders race at Garthorpe. He then pulled up at High Easter on March 18th and fell in his last start here at Parham at the end of March in the level one conditions race.
Stephen Allen’s Graasten has had two starts to date this season, pulling up in an owner/trainer conditions race at Higham in February before finishing fourth at Paxford on Easter Monday in a close finish in a level three conditions race. Max Comey trained Oscar Montel has had two runs in point-to-points. He finished third on his debut in a level two conditions race at Larkhill and was fourth last time out in a level one conditions race at Lockinge on Easter Monday finishing half a length behind Tangoed so it would not be a shock to see him getting involved here. Robert Hawker trained Havana River has not raced so far this season and pulled up on her last two starts in March 2022 so she may find this a challenge given her lack of race experience compared to some of her rivals.
Rintulla for 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. His only other start in 2022 came at Penshurst where he ran out at the penultimate fence. He made his seasonal debut here at Parham in march in the level one conditions race in which he pulled up at the penultimate fence but he could be closer to the action at the finish this time. 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 he also pulled up here at Parham in March in the level one conditions race although he cannot be discounted he may struggle here.
The racing finishes with the Friends of the C, L & C Hunt Restricted race which has six entries including Why Didn’t Ya. Hannah Grissell trained Westtara won the maiden at Aldington on Easter Monday beating Don Carlito by four lengths and he could pick up a quick second victory here. Must Have Hope from Tim Underwood’s stable finished second behind Why Didn’t Ya at Penshurst in March before winning a two mile four furlong maiden at Larkhill at the end of March. He was third in the restricted at Lockinge on Easter Monday and the only doubt is whether he will still be involved at the finish over the full three mile distance.
Hannah Clarke trained Schiap Hill was third here in his last start in March in the restricted and could be the one to beat here. Louise Dace trained Jaunty Warrior has won a National Hunt bumper race but has yet to complete in point-to-points pulling up on both starts to date. Fayre Enough for Elizabeth Feakes is the other entry, he finished fourth in the restricted race at Penshurst in March but was tailed off from his rivals and he pulled up in the restricted race at Aldington and may once again find this happens too quickly for him.
The course at Parham can be found 4 miles south east of Pulborough or 1 mile west of Storrington near the A283. The course postcode is RH20 2ER. Gates open at 10:30am with activities in the Bone Interiors Countryside Ring from 11am and the Bellmans Auctioneers Dog Show from 12:00pm.
Entry £15 per person with under 16’s admitted for free, or you could choose the Premium Parking which is £15 per person (Under 16’s admitted for free) plus £20 per car.