The Midlands area point-to-point season continued on Sunday 26th Jan, as the Midlands Area Club held their annual fixture at Thorpe Lodge near Newark.
A good crowd defied the poor weather forecast to enjoy a six-race card. The highlight of the fixture was a treble for Jack Andrews to extend his lead in the Midlands Leading Rider table after two meetings.
Tom Ellis and his team are big supporters of pointing nationwide and in the Midlands area. This meeting was no exception, with with the Warwickshire team entering horses in every race. They were rewarded with victory in the feature race of the day, the Mike Chatterton and Billy Foulkes Mixed Open race, where King of The Clothe (Jack Andrews) saw off strong opposition to win for The Oak Partnership. Despite the onset of steady rain on the already soft ground King of The Clothe clearly benefited from his first run of the season, at Larkhill, which set him up for a competitive run here today.
Andrews had opened his account in the first race of the day, the Southwell Racecourse Conditions race, in which he piloted Judy Wilson’s Volnay de Thaix to Victory. This was a welcome return to the track for this Stuart Morris-trained horse, last seen in 2018. “He really prefers better ground than this, so I was relieved that he was able to come through this without any problems”, Morris said. Jack Andrews added, “he felt great, despite the ground being hard work in places.”
The Midlands Area Club Confined race, which followed was won by Tom McClorey riding Early Retirement for the newly formed Hunting Partnership. Early Retirement was previously campaigned under rules over both hurdles and chase fences, before losing his way a little. “I have been hunting him with the Pytchley and it seems to have done him good,” McClorey told me, “it has sweetened him up nicely. We will have another one or two race under point-to-point rules to see how he gets on, with the possibility of a hunter chase later in the season.”
Herefordshire-raider Sam Brown took the Midlands Keepers-sponsored Novice Riders Conditions race with Mr Potter’s Don Bersy, trained by Ryan Potter. A second win from three starts so far this season, the first for this jockey. “He’s a really good horse, but can be a little tricky, so my tactics were to lead from the front and it paid off today,” said Brown, who hopes to become a conditional jockey if all goes well.
Another win for the G & T Racing team followed, as Dubai Quest was victorious in the Roade Fibres Restricted race under Gina Andrews. The seven-year-old, another horse owned by the Oak Partnership, put their fall last time out behind them as they came home ten lengths clear of Dale Peters and Bonamargy.
The Melton Mowbray Market Open Maiden race, the final race of the day, brought jockey Jack Andrews the leg of his treble. This time the winning horse was Judy Wilson’s Minella Wizard, a five-year-old purchased at Doncaster sales last year with with some decent Irish form. “Of course he’s still quite young but but I feel quite excited by by his potential, as it felt like there was plenty left at the end of that run,” said Andrews.
Midlands pointing now takes a short break before returning on 15th of February for the Brocklesby meeting at Brocklesby Park. Discounted tickets for the Brocklesby meeting are available until the end of January, when they will return to £13.