After a short mid-season break Midlands Pointing returns to Garthorpe for the Belvoir Point-to-Point race meeting. We will be hoping that the Cottesmore meeting set a precedent for Spring weather. The first race is at 12.30pm with gates opening at around 10.30am. There will be the usual trade stands, catering units, bookmakers and other forms of entertainment. E-tickets in advance are £13 per person, £15 on the gate on the day, under 16s admitted free.
This year the meeting is also hosting a dog show which will take place below the main paddock, so bring the whole family and a picnic to make it a proper day out.
There is a seven-race card, including two races which are qualifiers for national series finals later in the season.
The Timico Mixed Open race – the fourth of the day, due to start at 2.15pm – will be the feature race of the meeting. Caryto Des Brosses, Golden Tobouggan and Queen Olivia are all likely to contest this one, as is Vedettariat, one of two possible rides for leading Lady Rider Gina Andrews.
The third race is a Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate race with a field which contains some in-form horses and others we haven’t seen for a while. Hadmeathello and Sommervieu have both reached this level with consecutive victories this season. Lily’s Got Wings recently made the jump from Restricted and should appreciate Garthorpe’s undulating track. Easythingsarebest is a capable pointer who had last season off and should be one to watch if back to his best. Fair Exchange, Hurricane Vic and Tullys Touch should also be in the mix at least.
The first race of the afternoon is a Hunt Members race which is shared with the South Notts this year. Both Spring Cover and Thomas Shelby are trained by Gerald Bailey for Alice Vaughan-Jones and Gary Luck. Both have won a maiden race this season and will be looking to step up. One from the Chatfeild-Roberts pair of She’s Real and Love Manhattan will also contest this one. Distime has won this season, a race for Novice Riders, and will have the in-form George Chatterton in the plate. Durban Gold and Some Kinda Lama could also be contenders.
This is followed by a conditions race for Novice riders, those who have not yet reached five winners. The horses, though, are experienced and talented. Top-rated Curraigflemens, for example, has six wins in Point-to-Points, three under rules, but might want the ground at Garthorpe to be a little quicker than it is today. Minella Friend has won five times in total, three of these under the jockey here, Belvoir member George Chatterton. Another very likely to contest this race is Susquehanna River, under Harry Arkwright.
After the Mixed Open there are three races, the first of which is the Restricted race. The fifteen entries for this have all won a single race in Point-to-Points. Dale Peters and his mount Law of Gold were second in a very close finish last time out and will be the best rated horse in this race. General Arrow will likely be a strong contender for this as well, for the in-form Ellis/Andrews team. If connections choose this race over the Members then Thomas Shelby should perform well here. Others to investigate include Draft Pick, Merrydown Black, Kalinite, Platinum Ben, Desert Retreat and Templepoint.
The last two races on the card are both maiden races, for horses which are yet to win on a Point-to-Point track. The first of these is the more usual 3-mile race and has 25 possible runners, though likely to be fewer than this on the day. King Gypsy and Sabbathical are both worth watching, as four-year-olds, as they will carry a lot less weight than the other horses.
Both of these may choose to run in the last race, in which they are also entered, as this is an open maiden for 4,5,6 and 7-year-olds only. Besides these two Bespoke Cave stands out as one to watch.
Click here for the full list of entries.