Pointing returns to the Midlands area behind closed doors, on Monday 29th March, after a lengthy lay-off.
Storm Dennis was battering Brocklesby Park for our last meeting in February 2020. We have lost many good friends in that time and I’m sure we will think of absent friends before this new season begins.
Last month we learned of the death of Mark Barthorpe, a stalwart supporter of Midlands point-to-point racing. He will be very sorely missed, and our thoughts are with Pat at this time. I’m delighted to tell you that a new trophy will be awarded this year, in Mark and Pat’s name. The Barthorpe Trophy will be awarded to the jockey who holds a RQC issued by a non-Midlands hunt, with the most winners in the Midlands.
After several changes of date, Revesby Races will commence at 12.30pm under strict COVID protocols. Please do not attend if you have not got the correct credentials.
Connections are reminded that declarations must be made by lunchtime on Thursday to avoid congestion at the course.
There are six races over jumps followed by a two-mile flat race for 4, 5 and 6 year-old horses to finish the day.
We start with the intermediate race, which has 11 competitive-looking entries. Harmoney Row will be the one to beat if they make the trip from Essex. The Andrews sibling head-to-head pitches Jack’s ride, Stuart Morris-trained Minella Wizard (winner of the Restricted at Horseheath last time out) against Gina’s mount, Benefaktor. Ryans Fancy is another to win last time out, at Bishops Court, while Alan Hill trains Captiva Island
The maiden race, which follows, has 17 horses entered, including horses on their racecourse debut. Top-rated, but yet to complete a point-to-point, is French-bred Fier Jaguen. He will face a number of ex-chasers and Irish pointers. Chosen Tribe (Tom McClorey) was second last time out and is the most experienced British pointer.
Two open races are next, starting with the Skinner’s Sponsored Ladies Open. Gina Andrews is down to ride King of The Clothe for the Oak Partnership. Second is his last outing in a hunter chase, he also has an entry under Jack Andrews in the Mens Open which follows. Alan Hill has the veteran Changeofluck (Izzy Marshall) in this one; Imi Robinson rides Allblak des Places. Others include Flintham, Hit The Highway and Theatre Evening.
The Mens Open includes a number of horses rated over 110. Rio Bravo (Bradley Gibbs) won last time out when beating Duhallow Tornado in the Catterick Bridge Hunter Chase in February. Rupert Stearn rides Just Cause, winner of his last four races, the last a year ago at Higham. Previously mentioned King of The Clothe is entered here but may choose the Ladies instead. Will Thirlby has two possible rides in Black Valentine and Get On The Yager. Some Kinda Lama, the ride of George Chatterton, was a very close second here last time but this is a step up in race.
Entries for the Print Concerns Supports the NHS Restricted race include three for the Ellis/Andrews team, in the form of Bawnmore, Black Jasper and Oscars Fame. Francesca Nimmo has For Rita, making her British debut.
Our last jump race of the day is the ROR and The Jockey Club Veteran horse conditions race, for horses of nine-years-old and over. These are always popular races and 18 have entered for this renewal. Black Valentine (Will Thirlby), Flintham (Lily Bradstock), Get On The Yager (Will Thirlby) and Some Kinda Lama (George Chatterton) all have entries here as well as in their other races. George Chatterton also has Inchcolm, one of the best rated horses entered. Ben Bromley has the ride on Ballykan, trained by Philip Rowley and third in an open last time out. Another one of the many who could feature is Summer Sounds (Alice Stevens) for Francesca Nimmo. An interesting race in prospect.
The last race of the day, at 4pm, is the point-to-point flat race for 4, 5 and 6-year-old horses. It will be run over two miles and has attracted 16 entries with a total of six British point-to-point starts between them. Four-year-old fillies Penny Dancer and Optical Girl have 14lb allowances and six more have a 7lb allowance.