The Midlands Area Easter Monday fixture is hosted by the South Notss at Thorpe Lodge, just outside Newark, where the left-handed racecourse offers good viewing from the raised car parking area.
The South Notts have opted out of e-ticketing for this year’s fixture so all access will be by payment on the gate. Adult entry is £12.50 (cash or card) with under-16s admitted free of charge. If you are bringing a group of ten or more people, please ring 07759 782884.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times. The hosts have laid on a dog show which starts at 2pm, with a £1.00 entry fee at the ring. There are 11 classes, with something for every dog, a Championship and £50 grooming voucher from Maddy’s Mutts.
There is also Ferret Racing throughout the afternoon – back a ferret and see if it wins for you! There is a bouncy castle and slide, face painting, trade stands, hot and cold catering outlets, and a bar.
The Bank Holiday racecard includes six races starting at 13.30pm with a Ladies Conditions race which has some excellent entries. Volnay de Thaix, trained by Stuart Morris for Judy Wilson, is top-rated of the entries, with the Nick Pearce-trained Azzuri another with an excellent record. Francesca Poste brings Champion Chase and Summer Sounds, Kelly Morgan trains Dream Conti for John Chatfeild-Roberts and Earlshill is another capable pointer for the Burton family.
The Intermediate is next, where Champion Chase also has an entry for Francesca Poste, but with a 5lb penalty. Others with good chances is this one are Oval Street, trained by Nick Wright and ridden by son Archie; Teescomponents Boy, trained by Fiona Needham, and Sum It Up for Andrew Pennock. Luscious Lilly is a mare and gets a 7lb allowance in this one.
The Mixed Open, next, is the feature race of the afternoon with ten entries including Volnay de Thaix, previously mentioned; Desire de Joie for Nick Wright; Badbad Leroy Brown from Stephen Wiles; Vinnie Lewis from the Kelly Morgan yard and Spider Web for Jon Barlow makes his point-to-point debut.
Santon looks to have a good chance in the Restricted race which follows. Kelly Morgan trains this seven-year-old for John Chatfeild-Roberts and Meisha Micklewright takes the ride. Design Plan will be looking to challenge them for Hannah Darpoe, while Max Chenery’s Moonlight Escapade is improving.
Two Maiden races complete the card. The first of these is for four and five year old runners and has entries which include Doctor Tom, trained by Kelly Morgan for John Chatfield-Roberts, and Just Four Fame, making the long trip from the Ledbury country for David Dennis. Taita Hills, The Borobudur and Vigilance are as yet unknown quantities between the flags.
The second maiden and last race of the day is for horses of six-years-old or older and has 12 possible runners. The Chatfeild-Roberts family are once again represented, this time with Beauvallon Bay, one of two trained by Kelly Morgan, while the highest rated horse is Lift Me Up, trained by Sarah Case. Classic Ruler is one of two from the Stuart Morris yard, and was second on their last run, while there are other entries trained by Mary Sowerby, Samantha Klug, Francesca Poste, Andrew Nicholls, Nicola Smith, Karen Clifton and Anne Rimell.
The ground at Thorpe Lodge is currently described as good, with a quicker stretch between the open ditch and the second fence. See you there!