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Men’s Open race leads the field at Horseheath point-to-point

PUBLISHED: 16:39 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:39 02 February 2018

Point-to-point racing returns to Horseheath this weekend. Picture: Phil Morley

Point-to-point racing returns to Horseheath this weekend. Picture: Phil Morley

Archant

The Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Point-To-Point at Horseheath, near Haverhill, on Sunday is usually one of the classiest fixtures of the East Anglian season.

This year should be no exception, especially the Men’s Open Race, which has the biggest entry on the card – 23 horses – and looks sure to throw up a decent winner.

Overall, the meeting has attracted 118 entries for its seven races, which commence at noon with a 20-entry Intermediate Race and run through until 3.30pm, when there are 11 possible starters in an older horse Maiden.

There will also be children’s pony races before the steeplechasing starts, the first of three contests run on the normal course but bypassing the fences scheduled to come under orders at 10.45am.

Hazel Hill, unbeaten in nine career starts in British Points, stands out among those engaged for the Men’s Open. But if he is to make it a perfect 10 out of 10 he will have to overcome some stiff opposition as his potential rivals include a number of talented individuals such as Mr Mercurial, Facile Bien and Glint Of Steel.

Mr Mercurial has won on both of his previous Horseheath outings; Facile Bien had some good horses behind him when third on his Open Race debut in Wiltshire four weeks ago; Glint Of Steel showed when landing a Newbury Hunter Chase on his latest start what a useful performer he is, albeit that was 22 months ago.

The Men’s Open is followed by a 12-entry Ladies equivalent in which Oh Toodles, who ran well on all three of his visits to this picturesque track last season, may come out on top.

Irish Legionnaire is set to bid for a third straight win of this campaign in the Intermediate, where the beautifully-bred mare, Chipmunk, could be among his opponents, while Namako is another strong candidate for Hazel Hill’s Shropshire-based trainer, Phil Rowley, in the 22-entry Novice Riders Race.

A much more local handler, David Kemp, from Kilverstone, near Thetford, may get off the mark for 2018 with his exciting youngster, Welsh’s Castle, in the 16-entry Restricted Race while the recent Irish Import, Keel Over, should finally get his head in front at the 11th attempt in the concluding Maiden.

Horseheath is four miles west of Haverhill (post code CB21 4QF) with easy access straight off the A1307. Admission will be charged at £12 per head with students and young farmers priced at £8 and under 17s allowed in for free.

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