The Pytchley’s point-to-point meeting at Guilsborough is on Sunday, 9th April with the first of six horse races scheduled for 2pm. The going at the course is currently Good and the hedge between the car park and the course has been trimmed to improve viewing. E-tickets may be purchased in advance and include a FREE race card (£3 if purchased at the gate) – midlandspointing.com/shop
The day begins with two pony races which start at 1pm: a novice race for ponies of 138cm and 148cm with prizes for each height, followed by an open race for 148cm ponies. Both of these races take place on the finishing straight and are always a popular spectacle.
The Hunt Members Race is the first horse race of the day and includes the impressive Neumond among the entries. Judy Wilson’s German-bred six-year-old is unbeaten in four races this season under Jack Andrews and looks likely to add to that form here. Judy also has Proximo entered for the Members but he is likely to run in one of the Opens instead. Competition could come from Life Long who will be having his first run of this season; Easythingsarebest which is looking for a return to last season’s form, and Teeton Kato, but he may opt for the Restricted instead. Joanna Hewitt, who won her first race at Garthorpe a fortnight ago on Smiths Hill, will be looking to repeat the achievement here.
The second race, the PPORA Club Members race, has attracted 25 entries but with a safety factor of 20 it is unlikely to split. There are lots of talented horses entered here but the pick of these is the Waley-Cohen’s Facile Bien who has already won three times this season and only has the one entry this weekend. Benheir may choose this race over the Mens Open – their last outing resulted in a second in a Hunter Chase at Fakenham last season. After this there are a number of horses with recent wins, including Bingo Star, Excitable Island, Carry On Asian, Downbythestrand, Love Manhattan, Somethingwonderful, Treacyswestcounty and Viewthedance and others with places this month.
It is nice to have separate Ladies and Mens Open races at a meeting and the Ladies here has attracted 13 entries including the likely winner of this race, Popaway. The Pauline Harkin-trained 12 year-old mare seems to be improving with age and has three wins this season already. Doing her best to upset the cart will be Claire Hardwick on His Excellency, second last time at the Atherstone meeting. Beggar’s Velvet, Done A Runner, Kashmir Peak, Can Mestret and Galant Nuit will be fighting for the places.
The Mens Open which follows includes Woodview Prince, fresh from a Hunter Chase victory last time out, and the Barlows’ Brackloon High, twice a winner in the last two months. These two stand out in a field which also includes Benheir, Kristian Gray, All Great N Theory and others who are likely to be competing for places.
The Restricted race looks to be a good one with a number of similarly rated horses lining up. Teeton Kato is looking to improve on two recent second place finishes, and Brake Hill could be prominent under Claire Hardwick. Cornerman will be looking to score for Judy Wilson and Stuart Morris, while Allie Beag and Cidersall (among others) will have a 7lb advantage. An interesting line up.
The last race of the day is the Open Maiden, with 17 entries. A number of these horses have recent seconds, including Alittlebitless, Born to Succeed, Harodale and The Glover. The challenge could also come from Middleton’s Minx or one of several horses who are a relatively unknown quantity.
As ever there will be a selection of trade stands, catering outlets and entertainment for the children at this popular meeting. The racecourse is on the A5199 between Creaton and Thornby. The postcode for your satnavs is NN6 8SR.