The Midlands Area Point-to-Point season kicks off at Thorpe Lodge on Sunday 29th January, where a bumper entry of 220 horses will contest an eight-race card, the first of which runs at 11.30am.
It should be noted that many of these entries are multiple entries, both on this card and at other meetings over the weekend and may not run in the races in which they are mentioned here.
Of the sixteen entered runners for the opener, the Club Members race, there are several established names who we could expect to perform well. Top-rated is the Chatfeild-Roberts’ L’Eldorado but Love Manhattan is also entered so decisions will have to be made. Either could contest this one. Other to watch in this quality field include seasoned campaigner Sandpipers and in-form Bingo Star, who won last time out over the shorter distance. Gerald Bailey brings two horses but it is Denali Highway which will probably contest this one. The red-hot Team Morgan bring Tulsa and Teeton Power, which already has a win this season, but both are also entered in other races.
The Intermediate race which follows in part of the Connolly’s Red Mills Series and has attracted 25 entries. The likely contenders, on paper at least, could include Black Banjo, third last time out, and Golden Tobouggan, with a win last time. Bingo Star is entered here too and will be one to watch. Easythingsarebest will probably run here for Gerald Bailey and Dream Mistress has this one if she doesn’t compete the Club Members. Sam Davies-Thomas has Zagmeister in this one and should feature.
The PPORA Club Member Race for Novice Riders has been well-supported with 37 entries, but usual caveats apply with respect to multiple entries. The ones to watch here could be Executive Benefit, Argentato, Done A Runner, Double Dan, Irish Anthem, Royal Riviera and Susquehanna River. Tulsa could run here too and there are a several more that could feature. A difficult one to call.
The Mens Open race could start with seven runners rated over a hundred. As one trainer put it to me, “there are Hunter Chases which look easier!” Gerald Bailey has the top-rated Thetalkinghorse here, but also has I Wonder Why entered in this one and would prefer not to run both. Owners will decide. Awesome George is an obvious choice as he is only entered here and is very unlikely to be far from the front. Master Workman is another, but has the option of a shorter journey to Higham too. Abbey View and Templebraden are other to watch, as are L’Eldorado and She’s Real, one of which will run for John Chatfeild-Roberts.
The Restricted race looks to be an open affair with several form runners who could steal the show. The Waley-Cohen’s Facile Bien is likely to be a favourite, having won in December in style. Others to watch include Robin de Boss and Teeton Power, one of which is likely to choose this one. Ballalough, Mr Maclennane and Queens Law should feature too.
The Ladies Open race has attracted 21 entries and six 100+ rated horses. Top Smart leads the ratings but is also entered at Higham, as is the prolific Popaway. Let us hope at least one of these joins us. Get It On is only entered here and should feature strongly as should Vedettariat and Executive Benefit, if this is their chosen race.
The card finished with two large Maiden races which, as usual, will be hard to predict. Bentons Lad and Aunty Joan are known quantities in the first, Fair Player and Be A Dreamer in the second.
With the numbers of horses entered for this meeting it should be emphasised that races may split and race times may be adjusted accordingly but we will communicate any decision as soon as possible via the Midlands Pointing web site and social media. Tickets are available from the website as usual, and include a complimentary racecard.