After a difficult few weeks for Point-to-Point racing, with many meetings abandoned or, at best, postponed, we are hopeful that the Midlands season will be able to continue on Sunday at Guilsborough. The ground was reported as soft, heavy in places, on 3.30pm Sunday 8th.
The Pytchley meeting is always a popular one with spectators, with excellent facilities, lots of trade stands, bookmakers, bars and catering available. The lie of the land offers good viewing of the racecourse from most positions. The course is on the on A5199 between Creaton and Thornby, postcode NN6 8SR. Tickets are £10 in advance from MidlandsPointing.com/shop, or £12.50 on the day, with under-16s admitted free of charge.
There are 109 entries for a seven-race card which starts at 2pm, preceded by three pony races, for ponies of different size and experience, which begin at 1pm.
The first horse race on the card is the Hunt Members race, with 11 entries combining youthfulness and experience. There are two particularly in-form horses in this line up, Gunmoney and Teeton Power. Gunmoney is trained by Gerald Bailey, has won here before, and jockey John Russell has plenty of experience here at Guilsborough. The combination won as recently as 25th March. Teeton Power won an Intermediate in January, is one of the youngest horses in the race at seven, and will get a 7lb allowance too. A number of the horses entered in this race have entries in others too, so check the declarations board on the day.
Likewise there are a number of multiple entries in the line up for the PPORA Club Members Conditions race, which has attracted a talented field of 24 entries. Gunmoney may choose this race but will no longer be top-rated if they do. That honour would go to Mr Madeit, trained by Gerald Bailey for Countess Cathcart and ridden by her son George Greenock, who won impressively at the Cottesmore meeting in February. They won’t have it all their own way, though, as horses like Mr Maclennane, Subtitle and Summer Sounds have all had recent wins. Subtitle won twice in the month of March, while Summer Sounds is unbeaten in three runs since January.
Ten horses are entered for the Ladies Open at 3.10pm. Although there are five horses rated at over a hundred in this line-up, only two have won this season. Laura Horsfall-trained Follow The Paint won the Mens Open at High Easter under Jack Andrews and was then second in the mixed at Charing, a week later. Super-mare Popaway has not had it all her own way this season but did win most recently, at Brafield-On-The-Green. Others to watch include His Excellency and Goodnight Vienna.
Follow The Paint and Toby Lerone also has the option of the Mens Open which follows. This also has a quality field which includes previous course winners Brackloon High and TheTalkingHorse among its 15 entries, both of which have good winning form this year as well. Grandturgeon is the top-rated horse in this field, won twice in January, with a second and a third more recently. Facile Bien is one of the youngest horses in the race and has a similar recent record, including a second place to TheTalkingHorse at Garthorpe in February. Nick Wright’s son Archie will pilot In A Blue Dust, which won at the Cottesmore meeting in February and should perform well.
The Restricted race field covers a range of age and experience among its 13 entries. Teeton Turnip, The Jaffna Queen and Velvet Steel have all won their maiden races recently and may find the going to their liking. The Jaffna Queen (11lbs) and Velvet Steel (7lbs) both benefit from weight allowances, as does Champagne Lilly (11lbs) – one to watch.
As usual, the Open Maiden will be hard to predict. There are 22 entries, many of which have never raced on a Point-to-Point track in this country. The best prior result in the field belongs to Spring Cover, which may be up against its stable mate The Glover. Four-year-old horses are always worthy of note, due to their massive weight allowance. Here Elderon d’Airy fits that category.
Everyone in the area is delighted that Dodson & Horrell, the PPORA and the Pytchley Committee have been able to work together to provide an extra Novice Riders race, which will qualify leading horses for the Novice Rider Final which is the feature race of the Quorn meeting at Garthorpe later this month. There are 14 entries for this last race of the day. You Too Pet and Subtitle (also entered in the second) both won their last two races, though only one of Subtitle’s victories was under this novice rider, Will Marshall. Harry Thorpe-Codman and You Too Pet claimed the notable scalp of Tempelpirate in their last outing. Kashmir Peak also won last time out, at Horseheath. Meisha Micklewright and L’Eldorado have already qualified for the final and will be tough to beat here if they run; they have a number of options of the weekend.