After the unfortunate loss of the Cottesmore meeting last weekend, the Midlands Area season continues with a Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough which is earlier in the year than usual on Sunday 8th March. Tickets are available online from our website, midlandspointing.com/shop (under-16s are free) or on the gate on arrival.
The Guilsborough course can be found on the A5199 in Northamptonshire, between Creaton and Thornby (NN6 8SR or what3words whips.flopped polka).
Despite the recent inclement weather, the Pytchley meeting has attracted a very encouraging number of entries. Pony racing will commence at 1pm with 30 ponies competing three races for ponies of different sizes and experience. Horse racing begins at 2pm, with 123 horses entered for what should be a seven-race card.
The Pytchley meeting is always very well supported locally and we hope this year will be no exception. It is a community event with lots of local businesses, small and large, represented and an extensive array of trade stands, catering stands, bars and bookmakers.
The feature race of the afternoon will be the Mixed Open, sponsored by Berrys, for which 16 horses are entered. The first two past the post here will qualify for the Mixed Open Final at Cheltenham, and/or the Skinner’s Ladies Open Final at Stratford at the beginning and end of May respectively. Leading male rider Jack Andrews has a choice of classy rides in this race, one of which is the top-rated, Judy Wilson’s Volnay De Thaix. Local trainer Dale Peters could ride Rocklander, impressive when second to Hazel Hill at Sheriff Hutton in January, though they are perhaps more likely to run in the last. Regular course winner TheTalkingHorse in entered and Alfstar could be another to watch.
The first horse race of the day is a Hunt Members race, kindly sponsored by Billing Finance Ltd. It has nine entries but, with three jockeys having a choice of rides, we may see fewer at the start. Jack Andrews has to choose between Volnay De Thaix, also entered here, and Pelegrine Falcon, while John Russell has a choice of Easythingsarebest and Gunmoney, both previous winners on this course. Pytchley with Woodland Huntsman Daniel Cherriman rides Kashmir Peak or Spanish Fleet. Another local jockey, Tom McClorey, could win this one with Early Retirement for The Hunting Partnership and Gerald Bailey.
Two Maiden races follow, for horses who are yet to win on a point-to-point course. The first, for younger horses of 4, 5 and 6 years-old, sponsored by Dallas Burston, has 15 entries, while the Open Maiden (Sibbertoft Manor), which follows, has 26. Several entries in these maiden races qualify for an 18lb allowance and will be carrying more than a stone less than other runners.
The fourth race of the afternoon is a Restricted race for horses who have only one one race to date. This one is kindly sponsored by Elevation Investment Management and has 16 horses entered. Here we could easily see a battle between the Andrews siblings: Gina rides promising Black Jasper, who won last time out, and Jack could ride Pelegrine Falcon in this one rather than the first. Others to look out for include The Triple Pillar (Tom McClorey), Tekap and Poetry Emotion (Dale Peters).
After the Mixed Open there is a PPORA Club Members Conditions race (The Hawthorns) with 18 entries. Horses here can not have won races under rules and carry penalties for their previous point-to-point successes. Gina Andrews is a stand out among the entries with her mount Dubai Quest, an impressive winner at Brocklesby Park earlier this season, but Mark Barlow and son Andrew, who have a good record here at Guilsborough, bring forward Accord. Others to watch include James Henderson’s Benefit of Luck (Dale Peters), Early Retirement (Tom McClorey), Bask in the Glory (Dale Peters), Smoke Man (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts) and Broadwater (Rupert Stearn).
To end the day there is a Conditions race for older horses of 8 years and upwards kindly supported by Mr & Mrs Christopher Latilla-Campbell. 23 horses are entered here. Rocklander (Dale Peters) has a an entry here are well as in the Mixed Open, and Easythingsarebest might choose this over the Hunt Members. Other well-rated horses include After Hours and Braavos, one of a choice of two horses for Claire Hardwick. Jack Andrews has West Lake here.
Given the recent weather and we will regularly update our social media channels with going reports, when available, and also post these on our website at midlandspointing.com.