The Melton Hunt Club meeting will be held at Garthorpe racecourse (
B676, 5m East of Melton Mowbray) on Sunday 12th May, with the first pony race starting at 1pm and the horse racing taking place from 2pm.
The feature race of the afternoon will be the Lance and Urky Newton Mixed Open race, which will see the highest rated horses competing over three miles. This is a quality field with all but two of the entries rating over a hundred. Black Valentine has won his last three outings, and is sure to feature strongly, as is Green Winter – placed first or second in his last seven outings. Law of Gold is in very good shape with wins in his last two, most recently on this course. Badboy Leroy Brown will enjoy this right-handed track and has beaten other entries in this field this season. Nearly all the entries in this field can win this on their day so a great race in prospect.
The day opens with a Melton Hunt Club Members race with 12 entries. Warden Hill, Bi Quini Tiep, Gunmoney, Warden Hill and Blazing Tom are the leading contenders for this one – all have form this season. Merrydown Black likes this course and seems to be enjoying a renaissance. Templepoint won last time for the Bevin stable.
All the horses in the restricted race which follows have a single win to their name. Dressedforsuccess has recent form, winning at Mosshouses last time out, as did Twentyoneblackjack, albeit a month previous. Sweet Lady Jane has not been seen since this time last year, but won on that occasion. Teeton Turnip has been banging on the door and could be a due a win. Sophie Walker has renewed confidence after recent successes in the saddle, and has First Class Ticket in this one.
This season has shown that there is great talent among the ranks of our novice riders (no more than five winners before this season) and they will be looking to score points towards their championship in the next race. Northgeorge, Blazing Tom (both trained but Jonathan Tudor) and Gingili would be putting the miles in to be here for this race and are well-rated. Minella Friend is much more locally trained and has a great season with George Chatterton. Sophie Walker has Merrydown Black entered here too. Dan Cherriman has Spanish Fleet in this one – tricky but talented.
The veteran pointers of nine-years-old and upwards feature in our next race, with Quick Oats the leading contender on paper, albeit with a weight penalty. Gallox Bridge, Pair Of Jacks and Singininthevalleys could provide some competition.
The last two races on the card are maidens, for horses yet to win a race. The first of these is over the full three miles distance and is open to horses of all ages. Master Campbell and Rivercourt Guy have both impressed with seconds recently; Brigstock Seabra and Ted Thistle are also in with chances. The Nimmo/Poste team have an unraced five-year-old entered here and these generally attract a lot of interest.
The final race is for four, five and six year-old horses and the four horses with point-to-point for are all worth a look in the paddock. The weight advantage, though, will be with the two youngest entries. Philip Rowley brings Lilith (with a 21lb allowance) while Nimmo and Poste train Pass Rusher (14lb allowance) – probably the pair to watch.
Garthorpe is a leading point-to-point course and is easy to find (postcode
LE14 2RS). Entry on the gate is £15 (under-16s are free) but a saving can be made by buying e-tickets online in advance at midlandspointing.com. There will be food and drink aplenty as well as trade stands offering a wide array of shopping. The forecast looks promising for the weekend.