By Emma Forman
The annual Brocklesby Point- to- Point races take place at Brocklesby Park on Saturday; 86 entries have been taken for a 7 race card starting at 12noon. The course is in excellent condition and has taken the recent rain well.
The first race; the Brigg Office Supplies Brocklesby Members Race has attracted only one entry, so while Nicky’s Nipper walks over, there will be plenty of time for racegoers to enjoy a sociable picnic whilst studying the form for the later contests.
In contrast the DDM Agriculture PPORA Club Members race has drawn a large entry of 21. Robin Tate’s grey mare Absainte, a course winner, progressed from winning the Brocklesby Restricted race last season to being placed in Hunter Chase company by the end of the spring, and the 8-year-old should be respected here. Distime may line up for the Chatterton family and the veteran stays extra well so any extra rain that falls will not inconvenience him. Gerald Bailey’s Early Retirement made a successful transition from the track to the amateur sphere when opening his account at Thorpe Lodge at the end of January and the consistent Things Change should run into a place for Will Easterby but has not visited the winner’s enclosure since 2016.
The feature Baillie Haylage Mixed Open has 19 horses entered and amongst them some quality contenders; Josephine Banks could ride the classy Diamond Theatre and Guy Brewer’s former Stratford Champion Hunter Chaser, Young Hurricane could be in the line-up. Dual Hunter Chase winner in 2018, Duhallow Tornado missed last season and trainer Ollie Pimlott may choose this venue for his re-appearance. Leading lady rider Gina Andrews, who has already recorded 11 winners so far this season, may ride Haymount while her brother Jack may pair up with recent Thorpe winner King Of The Clothe. An interesting entry is Hi Murphy from the Lincolnshire stables of Mike Dawson; an Irish Hunter Chase winner in 2019, Hi Murphy is set to make his debut in English point- to -points. Jack Teal will be in the saddle and they will be able to collect the Fighting Star Cup for the first Brocklesby horse past the post. In addition to this, Mike Dawson will be presenting a new trophy in memory of his late wife Jill, for so many years a key figure on the Point- to- Point circuit, and this will go to the leading lady rider at the meeting.
Omar Maretti should be able to follow up his Sheriff Hutton Restricted win by giving Dale Peters his fifth win of the season in the INRG Solar Intermediate where 9 entries have been taken. Gina Andrews and Dubai Quest could spoil the party.
17 entries have been received for a competitive Clark Weightman Restricted race; Ollie Pimlott’s 5-year-old mare Classic Lady bids to move up another grade following her Maiden race success at Sheriff Hutton. Another Yorkshire horse, Will Easterby’s Panther’s Creek, was third in a Tipperary Hunter Chase last year but has failed to complete so far in England. Fred Hutsby’s Byzantium Lad won a Maiden at Larkhill in January while Dale Peters’ Bonamargy has been second on two occasions so far this season, and others that have placed form in Restricted company include Alright Marlene and Fab Vinnie.
The Jockey Club and Duncan & Toplis sponsored Open Maiden race for Fillies and Mares has attracted 10 entries; of these Andrew Pennock’s Luscious Lilly was second at Revesby and is probably the most experienced, but the five-year-old Onestepatatime has been placed twice and may have improved enough to take this contest.
The final race, the Nunns Mitsubishi Open Maiden race is due off at 3.30pm and 9 horses have been entered. Ballygown Bay and Natalya Irvine should be on the shortlist following their third place at Sheriff Hutton in January. Tom Lacey has Piano Stars entered, this four-year-old will be able to take advantage of a 21lbs weight for age allowance and has to be respected. However, the race could go to Will Easterby riding Master Thyne for Lottie Crane and bidding to improve on their third place at Alnwick earlier this month.
Entry is £15 per person with under 16’s free. Discounted tickets are available at £13 in advance and can be purchased via www.midlandspointing.com/shop. There will be a good range of food outlets, stalls and a public bar.