Racing moves to Penshurst this Sunday where a 6 race card kicks off at 13:30 with the Restricted race, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs. The South East area is well represented in the race and two with the ability to record the victory for the area are Phil York trained and ridden Touch Tight and Steve Spice trained Jasmin des Bordes. Touch Tight was second on his first start at Higham in February finishing six lengths behind the winner Whiskey For Jack, but Touch Tight was disappointing in his latest start at Kingston Blount where he pulled up. Jasmin des Bordes finished third in his most recent start at Charing in February over this distance in maiden company. He finished just over two lengths behind the winner, Nigel Padfield’s Penniless who also holds an entry here, so it would be interesting to see if Jasmin des Bordes could overcome Penniless on this occasion. Andrew Coveney owned and trained Wireless Operator finished third in the Restricted race at Charing in January and unseated at the penultimate fence in his latest start at Kingston Blount two weeks ago and he could get involved here. Also representing the South East area are Hannah Grissell trained Robin Is Ready who was second in a Restricted race here at Penshurst in 2022, Gemma Cobb trained Iron In The Soul who has not competed in a Point-to-Point since 2020 and Elizabeth Feakes owned, trained and ridden Fayre Enough who has failed to complete on his last three starts this season at Knightwick, Chaddesley Corbett and Larkhill.
One of the biggest dangers in this race would be Simon Stearn’s Destination Dylan who had good form in Irish point-to-Points in 2018. He pulled up in the restricted race at Horseheath in December but will surely benefit from this race over the shorter distance. Andrew Pennock trained Flashy Kate was an easy winner of a Mare’s maiden match at Horseheath three weeks ago and could also prove to be a danger if she starts here. Alan Hill trained Mythical Prince finished behind Touch Tight at Higham but may also prefer the shorter trip being offered here. Chief Black Robe trained by Myles Osborne finished sixth on his latest start at Milborne St Andrew and was unlucky to unseat having been hampered when in touch at Ampton in January and he again may benefit from the shorter distance for this race. The other entries here are Louise Dace trained Jaunty Warrior who has won a National Hunt bumper race but is yet to line up in a point-to-point and Luke Price’s Vermilion Cliffs who finished three lengths behind Kauto No Risk at Howick last weekend over three miles so again is likely to be involved in the finish if he faces the starter.
The Level Two Conditions Race has attracted seventeen entries and this is an option for Louise Dace’s Jaunty Warrior. Of the local entries Sarah Ashby trained Monkey Puzzle was second in this race at this fixture last season and was third in his latest start in a Novice Riders race at Kingston Blount three weeks ago. Hannah Grissell trained Ballintara dead-heated in a mixed open at Aldington last April and was third at Charing in February in a Men’s open race but definitely has the potential to win here. Scooby changed stable for this season, moving from Rob Varnham to Ryan Botley. Scooby was regularly placed throughout 2022 although he failed to reach the winners spot but this is not outside his scope. He was hampered and unseated at Charing in January when in contention so could be involved here. William Rekert’s Why Didn’t Ya was sixth in an Irish point-to-point in November 2022 and finished fourth in maiden company at Kingston Blount on Feb 25th. Elizabeth Feakes Oscar O’Scar finished behind Monkey Puzzle in this race in 2022 and may again find this all happens a bit to quickly for him.
Former area jockey Jenny Gordon trains two of the other entries, including Conrad Hastings for local owner / jockey Stuart Robinson who pulled up in a Hunter Chase in March 2021 and in his latest start in a point-to-point at Higham four weeks ago. Jenny’s other entry is Thegallantway who could be the one to take the trophy. Having been with Fergal O’Brien previously he was placed and won over hurdles in 2019 and 2020 before failing to reach the winners enclosure over chase fences. However, he has returned to point-to-pointing having won in this sphere in 2018 and returned with a victory in a novice riders race at Larkhill on New Year’s Day and was third behind Master Templar at Charing in January.
Alan Hill trained Knight Bachelor has finished third in his last two starts and could get into the mix here as could Luke Price trained Coquin Mans who was consistently placed during the 2022 season but has yet to race this season. Jennifer Owen trained Soldier At War has finished third on two occasions this season and second at Higham four weeks ago. He unseated at the penultimate fence in his latest start at Horseheath on February 18th but again could take the trophy back to East Anglia. Andrew Pennock trained Sum It Up won an Intermediate at Parham in April 2022. He finished second in a novice Riders race at Ampton finishing ahead of Monkey Puzzle in January and was second in an Intermediate race at Horseheath three weeks ago. Finishing between Sum It Up and Monkey Puzzle at Ampton was Frankly Speaking who is also entered here for Myles Osborne. He was brought down at the first fence at Buckfastleigh last weekend. The Turner Family often have a successful day at Penshurst and they have Take To Heart entered who won a mixed open at Garthorpe in May 2022 and was fourth on his seasonal reappearance at Garthorpe in February. Tim Underwood also frequently has success in the South East area and he has Ask Nile entered who was only three quarters of a length second to Reikers Island at Kingston Blount two weeks ago. The remaining two entries are Anthony Humphrey trained Dancing Shadow who finished fifth in a Novice Riders race at Horseheath on February 4th and the Stearn Family’s Broadwater who failed to complete in all of his starts in 2022.
The Ladies Open has ten entries and many of them have the potential and class to secure the victory. Jenny Gordon has this as an option for Thegallantway but also has Captain Buck’s and Commanche Red entered. Commanche Red finished second at Charing in February behind Trappist Monk who has subsequently won a Hunter Chase at Fontwell whilst Captain Bucks was fourth in a ladies open at Larkhill in November 2022 but unseated when hampered on his latest start at Badbury Rings on February 19th. Alan Hill trained Hawkhurst is another multiple winner and was second on his last start at Horseheath in February. The Turner Family have No Hassle Hoff entered who is a course winner beating Hawkhurst here last March by two lengths. Margaret Howie trained Jackfield finished third behind No Hassle Hoff and Hawkhurst here last year before winning at Parham in April 2022 when he left as the only runner after the eighth fence in a ladies’ open race. This race is an alternative option for both Monkey Puzzle and Take To Heart. The other entries are Lord Scoundrel for Myles Osborne who was fourth behind Reikers Island at Kingston Blount and Vivaldi Collonges who beat Commanche Red in a level one conditions race in May 2022 but has subsequently changed stable to join Robert Edwards. He has been placed fifth on three starts to date this season.
The Men’s Open is an alternative race option for Ballintara, Conrad Hastings, Coquin Mans and Jackfield. This also like the ladies’ open looks to be a fairly open contest with many of the entries having had several successes during their racing career. Local entries also included in this race are Hannah Hickman-Jones trained Buffalo Sabre who finished fifth behind Trappist Monk at Charing in January and was fourth in a level two conditions race at Larkhill on February 26th and Andrew Coveney’s Definite Dilemma who missed the 2022 season but was second in the Intermediate final at Cheltenham in April 2021 when trained by Will Biddick. However, the one to beat looks on paper to be Pont Aven trained by Alexandra Dunn who ran in Hunter Chases in 2022 including the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunter Chases. He ran in a point-to-point at Revesby Park in January and pulled up but definitely should not be discounted here although he may have to face James Owen trained twilight Girl who has won three of her four starts in point-to-points this season and was second on the other occasion a neck behind Bawnmore. Just Cause trained by Jennifer Owen for the Stearn Family is another prolific winner and was second in his last two starts in hunter chases at Kelso and Huntingdon in May 2022 and he has a course victory to his name. Luke Price trained Jack Dillinger is another useful point-to-pointer who won three of his five starts in 2022. Railway Muice will be an interesting runner for Sarah Humphrey who has won four National Hunt Chase’s since May 2021 and he may well enjoy the drop in class to running in a point-to-point. The remaining two entries are Ecco also for Alexandra Dunn who was third in his point-to-point debut at Cocklebarrow in January and Stephen Allen’s Frankie Rapper who has previously won a hurdle race but has pulled up in both starts in Hunter Chases this season.
Jasmin des Bordes, Sum It Up and Buffalo Sabre all have the Intermediate race as an option which has attracted a total of eight entries. Phil York trained Happy Larry could however be the one to provide the area trainers with a winner. He finished twelve lengths third at Higham a month ago and he should improve for that run, although his competition could come from Flying Column trained by Luke Price who won a maiden in March 2022 at Maisemore Park and then won a Restricted race at Eyton-On-Severn in May 2022. Tim Underwood trained Bolamore Bridge could also be a danger, he won his maiden here at Penshurst in April 2022 and then won a Restricted race at Kingston Blount in May 2022 so has the advantage of a course victory to his name although he also unseated here at Penshurst in the maiden race in March 2022. Myles Osborne trained I Often Wonder has pulled up in both starts in point-to-points this season and Simon Stearn’s Cereal Killer also has a string of pulled up’s to his name from recent starts.
The maiden race concludes the racing and this is also an option for Steve Spice’s Jasmin des Bordes, William Rekert’s Why Didn’t Ya and Hannah Grissell’s Robin Is Ready. Hannah also has Westtara and Gold Bandit entered. Gold Bandit pulled up in his first start this season at Charing in a 2 mile 4-furlong maiden. Westtara came close to losing his maiden status last season so he is one who could make the winner’s enclosure, but he too pulled up in the 2 mile 4-furlong maiden race at Charing in February.
Nigel Padfield has ex Irish point-to-pointer Super Dawn entered who was second in her last run in Ireland in 2022 but she pulled up in her first start in the UK at Brocklesby Park four weeks ago. Hannah Clarke trains Frontieres Lad who was a close second in the maiden at Buckfastleigh four weeks ago and he could be the one that makes it into the winner’s enclosure here if he faces the starter. Myles Osborne trains Compose Yourself who was fourth in a short maiden at Garthorpe at the beginning of February but he may struggle over the 3-mile distance as he was some distance behind the winner on that occasion. Sara Bradstock trained Idol’s Eye had his first run in a Point-to-Point at Cocklebarrow at the end of January and finished third three lengths behind the winner so he definitely has the potential to get involved if he makes the journey to Penshurst.
Luke Price trained Ballard Prince has failed to complete in point-to-points despite previously running under rules in Ireland and may also struggle here as may Jenny Gordon trained Hatchet Jack who has accumulated a string of letters to his name this season but a change of jockey with Molly Landau booked for the ride may provide a different outcome. Andrew Pennock trained Italian Legend was third in a hurdle race at Warwick in April 2022 and he pulled up in his first start under this sphere at Horseheath five weeks ago but should improve for that run. Tim Underwood’s entry Must Have Hope has also shown ability in maiden company this season finishing second most recently at Kingston Blount only a length and a half behind the winner and he finished ahead of Why Didn’t Ya on that occasion.
Aimee Rowe’s Nicklass was fourth in the maiden here at Penshurst last April but finished fifteen lengths behind Westtara on that day and she may once again struggle to be involved in this race. The final entry is Gunsight Hill for Worcestershire based Jack Wallace who would be making his racecourse debut if he faces the starter.
Penshurst is a rectangular left handed course with a sharp bend into the finishing straight. The course can be found 3 miles south west of Penshurst off the B2188 and is 12 miles from junction 5 of the M25. The postcode for the course is TN8 7DD.
Admission is £30 per car for up to five occupants or £10 per person for pedestrian’s. Dogs are welcome on short leads, gates open at 11am and there will be a parade of hounds before the first race.