Atherstone at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore - preview

SAMARNNI (G. Andrews)

The Atherstone Point-to-Point race meeting is on Sunday 17th April at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, Warwickshire with the first race starting at 1pm. There are 115 entries in total.

Four horses are entered into the Hunt Members race, the first of the day, but it is difficult to see past Samarnni, trained by Tom Ellis and ridden by Gina. The horse is part-owned by the meeting Secretary's husband Trevor Bourne so this would be a popular local winner. It has won twice this season on similar ground, most recently at the Belvoir meeting at Garthorpe.

The Confined race, which follows, has attracted 20 entries but several of them ran last weekend so may not be ready to race again. Top-rated is Connies Cross (P. Gerety) whose recent form in heavy ground has been unhelpful and he is also entered elsewhere. Arkose (W. Thirlby) won last time out at Dingley as did Flicka's Witness, but this one is also entered in the Men's Open and may have run the day before. Another to watch is Proximo (J. Bailey) but he may prefer faster ground.

The Jockey Club Open Mares Maiden follows, with 25 entries. The nature of this race means there is little form to work from so this is a difficult one to predict. Perhaps the likely suspects on paper are Overplan and Abijoe (G. Andrews).

The Mens Open could see a classy field if the entered horses come to post. Top-rated is Thetalkinghorse (T. McClorey) who won a hunter chase at Wetherby last time with this jockey on board. Brackloon High (A. Barlow) has won this season but is entered elsewhere on the same day so may not present. Kashline (T. O'Brien), Green Winter (Z. Baker), Fruit Fayre (P. Gerety) and the aforementioned Flicka's Witness are also likely to be contenders if they choose this race.

3.20pm is the start time for the Ladies Open. Although entered Palypso De Creek (Miss C. Hart) is probably unlikely to run a week after winning at Guilsborough but would be a dead cert if he did. If he does not declare then Claire may ride His Excellency instead.  Start Royal (G. Andrews) will have short odds having won recently at Kimble, if it chooses this meeting over Fakenham where it is also entered. Qoubilai (Miss C. Crane) will probably make the running but needs to prove he has the stamina too, having dropped off quickly at Dingley, last time out.

There are 18 entries for the Restricted, including Bingo Star (J. Bailey), which won last time out at Cottenham in February, and More Tricks (J. Day) which won at Dingley on Easter Saturday. Young QC is another recent winner (Hereford) but has three entries over the weekend so may not show. Ring Ben (P. Gerety) and Don't Be Fooled are both due a win but also have other entries.

As usual the Open Maiden will provide the final entertainment of the day at 4.30pm. Of the 25 entries a few stand out and many are unknown quantities. In-form Tom McClorey has the rider on Martin Tucker's First Goodnight, second to More Tricks at Dingley, and Gina Andrews may pilot Ginuwinefizz or Basher Brian, both of which have shown ability but have other entries elsewhere. The so far un-raced Robin De Boss may be an interesting one to watch if it runs.

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