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Horseheath set to stage first of three scheduled 2020 point-to-point meetings this weekend

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The picturesque Horseheath racecourse will play host to the Thurlow Hunt meeting, for the first of three scheduled fixtures in 2020, this weekend, writes Mike Ashby.

The racecourse, situated five miles west of Haverhill, will boast 111 entries for the seven scheduled steeplechase races, the first of which starts at 12pm on Saturday.

James Owen has supported the meeting with a host of entries and, with the stable in very good form, there could be further success coming their way.

Richard Collinson led Bold Gesture to victory at Higham on Sunday Picture: Graham Bishop Photography
Richard Collinson led Bold Gesture to victory at Higham on Sunday Picture: Graham Bishop Photography

Fiddler of Downey was impressive when winning at Cottenham and will take his chance in the Restricted race, while Midnight Cowboy and Silvergrove hold entries in the Men’s Open race.

The former has been off the course since April 2018, while the latter won a hunter chase at Fakenham last April and has a record of four wins from as many starts in point-to-point races.

Amigo holds two entries and will probably be saddled for the Novice Riders race and be partnered by his enthusiastic owner John Morrey.

Andrew Pennock normally takes a full horsebox to Horseheath and his four entries are Urban Waltz (Young Horse Maiden), Somme Boy (Conditions), Lough Derg Sunrise (Older Horse Maiden) and the mare Chosen Rose, who could take on some decent out-of-area trained horses in the Men’s Open.

The Turner family, from Ampton, have selected Haut Bages (Conditions) and Franks A Million (Men’s Open) as their entrants for the meeting, while trainer Emily Peck has Groundunderrepair as a possible runner in the Novice Riders race.

Nick and Archie Wright, the father and son trainer/jockey duo, have just the one entry, being Bengo in the opening Conditions race.

The 10-year-old missed all of last season, but was a Horseheath course winner four years ago.

Admission is £12 adults with children under 16 free. Entry for young farmers, on production of their current members card, is £5.

l It was a positive meeting for local trainers at Higham on Sunday, when Newmarket-based trainer James Owen landed a double and the Timworth stable of Andrew Pennock commenced proceedings with an important win in the opening race.

Important by virtue of the fact Richard Collinson, last season’s leading East Anglian jockey, had made a surprise and successful return to the saddle when steering the odds-on favourite Bold Gesture to victory in the Open Maiden race.

Owen’s two wins came in the Conditions (Net D’Ecosse) and Men’s Open (Just Cause) races.