After a festive hiatus the Midlands Area season restarts with the area’s own Club meeting at Thorpe Lodge, on Sunday 27th January 2019. The first race is at 11am.
By their very definition Club fixtures are scheduled to meet the needs of trainers and owners, and usually attract good entries. The Thorpe fixture is no exception, with 162 entries across the six scheduled races.
The going at Thorpe Lodge is currently good, and the forecast does not contain any significant rain at the time of writing.
Many horses have entries in more than one race so decisions about the splitting of races will be made on the day, depending on which declarations are made. The final race, the open maiden, has 45 entries and may be the obvious candidate. It has a safety factor of 16.
The Bill Foulkes Mixed Open race is the fourth on the card and scheduled for a 12.30pm start. Among the 27 entries are some class performers from both in and out of the area.
Three horses stand out at the top of the ratings. Haymount may only be in his first season of pointing but has already impressed, winning the Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton a fortnight ago. Hazel Hill is entered but won a hunter chase on Monday so may not race again so soon. Volnay De Thaix last competed in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham and needs little introduction. Bear’s Affair will love the quick flat ground and left-hand track but can be unpredictable. Stellar Notion has also already won an open this season. Prolific local winner Thetalkinghorse is entered, alongside Arthur’s Secret and Dance Of Time. There is a lot of talent among the 27 entrants for this race beside those mentioned here.
The first race of the day is the Members Conditions race kindly sponsored by Pipers Farm. 34 horses are entered but many have other entries. Top-rated six-year-old Don Bersy will enjoy the flat course but will also be top weight. Blackwater Bramble has won both of his outings this season so far and likes a left-handed track like this one. Kalabaloo has Gina Andrews booked to ride and has also won this season. Minella Friend is another 2019 season winner. Others to watch might include Vasco Du Mee, Teeton Power, Teeton Kato, Summer Sounds, She’s Real, King’s Lodge, In A Blue Dust, Gunmoney, Distime, Burtredgipandgump, Black River and Beggar’s Velvet.
The Intermediate race which follows is being run in memory of Fred Roughton and has attracted 14 entries. Rob The Getaway looks the stand out market leader in this one, with wins in the last three outings. Competition may come from Luke Harvey’s Drumlynn, or one of Easythingsarebest, Encounter A Giant, Myoldman and Salvatore.
The PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders is kindly sponsored by Thomas Irving’s Equestrian Superstore and includes Mr Murphy, a
highly-rated ex-chaser which hasn’t raced yet this season. The only recent winner in this field is Minella Friend. also entered in the first race, which won at Ampton on similar ground a fortnight ago. Another horse which should enjoy this left-handed track is Gabrial The Great, a winner in one of its only two outings. You Too Pet and Summer Sounds are capable but will be carrying more weight, while Red Spinner also has potential.
The Roade Fibres Restricted race is the penultimate (scheduled) race on the card. Twenty horses are entered, including Hidden Cargo, an impressive debut winner last time, already rated at 95. Cornerman could be another to look at in this one, along with the Walkers’ Merrydown Black, with many of these horses having their first run of the season at this meeting.
Depending on declarations on Sunday morning, the final race of the day, the Open Maiden, sponsored by Newark Livestock Market, could well be split into two or more races. This has clearly been anticipated by some, with the same jockeys booked to ride multiple horses. There are a number of racecourse debutantes among the throng of 45 entries, several more with only one or two runs.
Thorpe Lodge is close to Newark and easily accessed from the A1 and A46. The postcode is NG23 5PY. E-tickets are available from Midlands Pointing (www.midlandspointing.com/shop) at only £13 if purchased in advance. Admission on the gate is £15, children under 16 are admitted free.