2nd May 2015 Peper Harow
For the first time in years the South East has two point-to-points on the May Bank Holiday, which means Peper Harow’s runners may be taken elsewhere. Even so the entries look promising and include plenty from outside of the area.  
The day starts with a Veteran & Novice Riders race, which is realistically between three or four horses. The top two are Tim Underwood’s Commanche Conflict, who won impressively at the first Parham meeting, and the Phil York trained Hunters Lodge, second in four runs this season but was a disappointing favourite on fast ground at Penshurst. The horse that could give the pair a race is Terra Bleu, a winner at Hackwood Park on Easter Monday, while Tiermore can’t be discounted with the in-form Charlie Marshall expected to ride.
The Restricted follows and has been sponsored by Subaru, making it one of their qualifiers. The highest rated is Jenna Pride, trained by Nick Pearce who also has Inside Out, but both are expected to go to Aldington. Just behind Jenna Pride at Penshurst was Spiritofchartwell, who will have a much easier time without another battle with the mare. Shannon Smacker has placed three times in Restricteds this season, while Merrydown Vintage could also be expected to run into a place following his facile win at Parham on Saturday.
The Mens Open has nine entries with the two highest rated hailing from the same yard. Those two are Laura Thomas trained Credit Crunched and Full Throttle, who were both also entered at Parham but didn’t run and are also entered elsewhere this weekend. Should they turn up their competition could include Phil Hall’s Broughton Green, Parham Mens Open winner Peyekashe and one or two of Ed Turners horses, Frankie Anson and/or Good Order.
The Ladies Open could see another quick reappearance of Behind The Scenes, winner of three races this season and placed in another three. His rider Ella Darwin is narrowly leading Rose Grissell in the South East Ladies Championship and she will be hoping to score some final points before the end of the season. There are only six other entries but they include Volcan Surprise, who could only manage second to Behind The Scenes but has benefitted from an extra weeks rest. Ed Turner has entered Bavard Court to run, who looks capable of grabbing a place having finished second at Whitfield at the weekend.
The Open Maiden has attracted sixteen entries where Nick Pearce’s Slidecheck doesn’t appear to have any stiff competition. The eight year old has placed on all three of his starts this season and the form is stacking up well. His biggest danger could be My Brother Pat should he run again after his recent Parham second, while Some Surprise is a decent, well bred, Irish pointer and could improve from his second behind Miss Alice Jones last time out at Godstone.
The concluding Club Members Conditions race has eighteen entries with most of them double entered elsewhere over the weekend. The highest rated is Full Throttle, but Broughton Green, Commanche Conflict and Sa Kaldoun are all worthy opponents. Another danger is Tim Underwood’s Carnglave Cat, who has won his last two starts and shouldn’t find this level too much of a step up, while the Sally Randell trained Donnas Palm is starting to show some of his former talent and won last time out.
Veteran & Novice Riders (7 runners)
1. SHANTOU BREEZE Mr L. Madgwick 6/1
2. TIERMORE Mr C. Marshall 4/1
3. COMMANCHE CONFLICT Mr C. Dennington 11/10F
Time: 6mins 36s
Distances: 1/2l, 2l
Subaru Restricted (6 runners)
3. JENNA PRIDE Mr P. Hall 2/1
Time: 6mins 31s
Distances: 2l, runin
Mens Open (3 runners)
1. FRANKIE ANSON Mr E. Turner 5/4
2. PEYEKASHE Mr S. Cobden 8/11F
3. THENFORD RYDE Mr W. Hickman 4/1
Time: 6mins 34s
Distances: 8l, runin
Ladies Open (4 runners)
1. BAVARD COURT Miss L. Allan 8/1
2. VOLCAN SURPRISE Miss G. Andrews EvensF
3. BEHIND THE SCENES Miss E. Darwin 2/1
Time: 6mins 30s
Distances: neckl, 6l
Open Maiden (7 runners)
1. BACHMAN Mr P. York 5/1
2. FLOREAT Mr E. Turner 8/1
3. EBBISON Mr R. Dingle 14/1
Time: 6mins 44s
Distances: 6l, 30l
Club Members Conditions (6 runners)
1. CARNGLAVE CAT Miss K. Lyons 5/4F
2. TIME IS TICKIN Mr O. Wedmore 4/1
3. COOLEYS FLYER Miss G. Andrews 3/1
Time: 6mins 31s
Distances: 4l, 6l
With Aldington unexpectedly and abruptly cancelled, Peper Harow was as usual the last South East point-to-point of the season. While the lack of rain had claimed Aldington, the Peper Harow team, like those behind Penshurst and Parham, had produced safe ground through selective watering and aggravating. They were rewarded with thirty-three runners over the six races, where the South East failed to land a blow in a meeting dominated by runners from outside the area.
The first race was a Novice Riders event, where Tim Underwood’s Commanche Conflict was a well backed short priced favourite. The ten year old had to settle for third under Chris Dennington, as Lance Madgwick rode his first winner on his grandfather’s Shantou Breeze. The mare came off the best in a thrilling finish with Tiermore, ridden by Charlie Marshall who looked set ride his fourth winner of the season until he was caught by Madgwick yards before the line.  
The second race was a Subaru sponsored Restricted, where Knockyoursocksoff was the subject of a bit of a gamble as the initial 7/2 offered was quickly knocked down to 6/4. The five year old had won an Irish point-to-point as a four year old before going through the ring unsold at £29,000 at the Doncaster HIT Sales last May, before disappointing over hurdles for Gary Moore. Will Clarke was entrusted with the ride and he did little wrong in what will be one of his last point-to-point wins before he joins Chris Gordon’s yard as a Conditional Jockey. Spiritofchartwell lost nothing in defeat by chasing him home, reversing the form with Jenna Pride and bringing himself level with Come On You and De Clare Man in the South East Leading Novice Horse Award.
The Mens Open attracted just three runners but managed to provide an upset to the favourite backers. Peyekashe was sent off the odds on favourite to follow up his Parham win, but he was no match for the Ed Turner trained and ridden Frankie Anson, who improved from his recent second at Penshurst. Thenford Ryde completed the trio and just had to jump round to finish third in what was his forty-third and final race. The twelve year old has been a regular in the South East for the past five seasons and finished his career with a record of eight wins, seven seconds and eleven third place finishes.
The Ladies Open followed and it looked a match race between local veteran hero Behind The Scenes and his much younger rival, Volcan Surprise. With an extra weeks rest Volcan Surprise was sent off the Evens favourite under Gina Andrews to reverse the Penshurst form, but the pair had to settle for second again as the outsider of the four, Bavard Court, ran well above expectations under a master class ride by Louise Allan to give Ed Turner a training double. Behind The Scenes finished a well beaten third, the toll of the previous week’s efforts seemingly taking effect. The two points cemented the thirteen year olds position as the leading horse in the area while his first season jockey, Ella Darwin, will be crowned both the Leading Lady Rider and the Leading Novice Lady Rider in the South East.
The Open Maiden had seven runners but looked a two horse race on paper, with only Weve Got Company and Bachman having displayed any sort of form this season. The two drew clear from four out with the Jack Andrews ridden Weve Got Company seemingly holding the upper hand, until he ducked out through the wing at the second last fence, handing the race to his Phil York ridden rival.
The last race of the South East season was a Club Members Conditions race, where Tim Underwood’s Carnglave Cat was sent off favourite to follow up his Parham win and maintain his trainer’s superb vein of form. The nine year old didn’t disappoint, justifying favouritism with considerable ease under regular pilot Katy Lyons. Time Is Tickin chased him home, ridden by Oz Wedmore who was making a comeback from a broken collarbone that was caused by a fall from the same horse at Charing on Easter Saturday.