Easter meetings the highlight
The annual highlight of the South East season – the two-day Easter double header – takes place this weekend.
The Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt stage their meeting at Charing on Saturday, while East Kent and West Street hold their annual fixture at Aldington on Monday.
Officials confirmed watering will take place at both courses in the build-up, due to the lack of rain recently. That is in stark contrast to last year when the Aldington meeting was called off due to storms and high winds.
Both six-race meetings start at 2pm.
Most trainers have horses entered at both venues, with Kent/East Sussex-based Nick Pearce and Phil York both well represented, while Brasted handler Paul Blagg sends out previous Charing course winner Iheardu in the Mixed Open, a horse who prefers the firm ground expected this weekend but has failed to complete this season.
The opening maiden at Aldington is an alternative option for Pearce-trained Clondaw Nell and Florabell but Peter Bull’s mount The Real Scorpion could be a danger.
David Phelan who trains at Brook near Ashford, makes the short trip with Indian Chance, Little Herbie and Running In Socks.
The Ladies Open at Aldington has only attracted five entries and is an option for both Conkies Lad and Crack Of Thunder over Charing with Wor Rom also entered.
The Men’s Open could be the feature with Philip Hall-trained Adept Approach entered.
Unbeaten in three starts at the course, Charlie Marshall takes the ride, following Hall’s retirement from the saddle.
Phelan has this as an alternative for The Job Is Right.
Admission at Charing is £20 per car and £10 per person at Aldington with under-16s free.
Shane Roche closed in on the area jockeys’ title, riding two winners and two seconds in his four rides in the Southdown and Eridge meeting at Godstone on Sunday.