The South Notts held their traditional Easter Monday point-to-point meeting at Thorpe Lodge on Monday 17th April and were well supported by a good crowd and dry weather.
The first race on the card was the Midlands Area Club Members race, contest by five runners but dominated by one. Dale Peters rode favourite Wither Or Not from the front throughout and the result never looked in doubt as they were able to pull away from two out and leave the others behind. Kashmir Peak (Will Marshall) ran a good race in second to only be four lengths behind the winner and 15 clear of Panama Canal (Tom Strawson) in third.
The Triangle Kia Mixed Open race followed which quickly became a two-horse race between Tony Hunt’s Done A Runner (Dale Peters) and Warden Hill (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts). The latter had lost by a neck last time out in a close finish to the 4-mile Mixed Open at Kingston Blount but was not about to let it happen again, pushing out a lead with a couple of fences to jump and finishing comfortably to win by four lengths.
The Silcock & Partners Intermediate race brought four runners to post but after Dido (Dale Peters) fell at about half way the race quickly became a battle between the odds-on favourite Mahlers Spirit (Evan David) and Love Manhattan (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts). A couple of mistakes in the second half of the race might have taken a bit out of the favourite because when Chatfeild-Roberts asked for more before the last Mahlers Spirit was unable to reply. The winner pulled away before and after the last to win by four lengths. The Helen Connors-trained seven-year-old was disappointing at the Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough but wore cheek pieces here for the first time to great effect. This was Helen’s first double as a trainer too.
The Frank Key Group Restricted race was one of two races here which qualified the placed finishers for National Finals. In this case the winner qualifies for the Subaru sponsored final at Stratford on 9th June. Here we had a two horse race between Looking Glass (Harry Thorpe-Codman) and Poyntzpass (Evan David) who were upsides for much of the first two laps of the course. Both horses made mistakes, though, and after pulling clear with two fences to jump Poyntzpass very nearly deposited Evan David as he hit the second last, but they were able to recover and win by some distance by the post.
The last two races of the day were both maiden races for horses who are yet to win a point-to-point and the first of these was for younger horses, kindly sponsored by the Fernwood Group. Unfortunately only one horse declared for this race and a walk over was awarded to Chris Bealby’s Thomas Patrick. Not the way in which jockey Tom Chatfeild-Roberts would have liked to complete his maiden treble but a treble it was, nonetheless.
Finally the Brydon Property Development Open Maiden race for horses of seven-years old and over produced an excellent finish between Max O (Dale Peters) and Llangwm Lad (Ben Durrell). The latter, despite a 6/1 starting price, made much of the running in this race and was four-lengths clear approaching the second last before running wide and losing half of that. Max O put the pressure on in the run in but the Welsh raider had just enough in the tank to win by a neck.
To round off a pleasant afternoon the South Notts laid on a Challenge race over a mile and a half distance for non-pointing horses and riders. The aim here was to complete the course as close as possible to a “bogey” optimum time, and the winner was Bruce Langley-Mckim and his Irish Draught Stallion Cos Me Is Black.
The next meeting in the Midlands area will be the Quorn’s on the 29th April at Garthorpe. In addition to a full card of racing there will be over thirty trade stands of all sorts, the Lawn Enclosure which offers prosecco and canapes, and the chance to pre-order picnics and collect them on the day. See our ticket shop for more details – www.midlandspointing.com/shop.