High Easter point-to-point preview and course details

Racing goes at High Easter this weekend. on soft ground. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Racing goes at High Easter this weekend. on soft ground. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Cheltenham is not the only steeplechase course to have been hit by the wet weather over the past few days and High Easter, near Chelmsford, one of East Anglia’s top point-to-point venues, is set to stage a meeting on ‘soft’ ground for the first time in over two decades when it hosts the High Easter Racing Club fixture tomorrow.

This event has attracted 81 entries to its six chases and runs from 1pm, when there are 11 entries in a Novice Riders Race, to 3.55pm, when the Open Maiden Race has 15 potential combatants.

Despite the stamina-sapping conditions, one of the highlights of the day is a speed test, the 19-entry Ladies Open which, unusually for a point, is run over two and a half miles rather than the regulation three miles.

Two of the best contenders here, Broken Eagle and Karinga Dancer, really need a sound surface to perform at their peak, so a more likely winner is Teeton Power, who was strongly fancied for a hunter chase at Stratford on Monday only for that meeting to be lost to waterlogging.

Others of note here are Degooch, winner of his British Pointing debut down in Kent last month, and the ultra-consistent Quick Oats, from the in-form Nigel Padfield stable and never out on the first three in his last ten starts.

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The ten-entry Mens Open could go to the Oxfordshire raider, Ivy Gate, who will be hard fit after three recent starts and has twice prevailed on soft ground. Underfoot conditions will not be so suitable for the two useful David Kemp-trained entries, Curraigflemens and Master Workman.

Willsinkwontfly, owned by Stephen Howlett, from Attleborough in Norfolk, is progressing nicely and could prove the answer to the Restricted Race, while another Padfield inmate, Excitable Island, will prove very difficult to beat in the Conditions Race for nine-year-olds and above.

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The course is just south of the village of High Easter, eight miles north west of Chelmsford at post code CM1 4QP.

Admission will be charged at £12 per head with under 17s allowed in for free.

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