A very healthy entry of 108 horses – more than double the size of last year's entry – has been received for the Essex Point-To-Point at High Easter on Saturday (April 14th).
Seven races are carded, beginning at 1pm and running through until 4.35pm, but there is the added bonus after racing has finished of being able to watch the Grand National, which comes under orders at 5.15pm, on a big screen.
The highlight of the afternoon could be the £1000 East Anglian Area Feature Race, the Warwick Vase Ladies Open, which has 17 possible participants.
Top Smart, who has racked up seven wins from just eight starts over the last three seasons, will be very difficult to beat here although the veteran, Ravethebrave, bounced back to form at Kimble last time out and should make a good race of it.
Two of the supporting races, the Countryside Alliance Club Race and the PPORA Members Race, are contested over the unusual distances of three and three-quarter miles and two and a half miles respectively.
The in-form stable of Thetford-based David Kemp has a strong contender in Will Fight in the Countryside Alliance event where his chief opponents could be the last time out scorers Excitable Island and Mr Maclennane.
The PPORA Race features three different horses that are trying to win for the third time this season. The classiest of the trio is the 13-year-old Brackloon High, but this trip will be the shortest he has run over since 2010, while Caryto des Brosses, a specialist over this trip, has more on his plate here than when scoring in Restricted company last month.
So In A Blue Dust, never out of the first two since joining the yard of Nick Wright at Badlingham, near Newmarket, could be the one to extend his winning sequence.
The Intermediate Race has the smallest entry, of just nine. But eight of these nine are rated within five pounds of one another and the ninth, Dream Doc, made a highly promising reappearance at Horseheath last month so a very competitive affair is in prospect.
This meeting always attracts a big crowd, and has numerous trade strands and a fair ground to add to its allure, so leave plenty of time to access the course. It is situated just south of the village of High Easter, eight miles north west of Chelmsford at post code CM1 4QP. From M11 Junction 8 take the A120 east towards Colchester for roughly eight miles until the Dunmow South exit.
Turn right at the roundabout (going under the A120 ) and then take the first legal exit off the next roundabout, signed 'Barnston', making sure not to pass the 'no entry' sign and go the wrong way up the dual carriageway.
On arrival in Barnston (less than a mile further on), turn right at a mini roundabout signposted 'The Easters'. Follow this road all the way to High Easter where you turn right at a T junction beside the cricket ground. Stay on this road through the village and the course is about half a mile out the other side.
Admission will be charged at £12 per head with under 17s allowed in for free.