Quorn at Garthorpe - Preview

The Quorn Point-to-Point race meeting will be held at Garthorpe, on the B676, 5m East of Melton Mowbray, on Sunday 29th April. There will be a large selection of trade stands, caterers, bookmakers, a bar, music and lots of entertainment for the whole family.

On the course there will be eight races, including the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Novice Rider national final, for which the best young riders have been qualifying up and down the country. There will also be a Point-to-Point flat race, sponsored by JRL Group, which has been split into two divisions for safety reasons.

First off, at 1.30pm, is the PPORA Club Members Conditions Race, with 20 entries. There are two in-form horses in this one: Caryto des Brosses and Robin De Boss. Caryto des Brosses has won his last three outings, most recently beating In A Blue Dust at High Easter. All three of these trips were over the shorter 2m4f distance so it will be interesting to see if he can stay the full three miles. Robin De Boss has also won his last three races, under Novice Rider James Hepburn and is also qualified for the Novice Rider final which is the fourth race on the card here. Other horses of note include the Braces' Delkantra, a restricted winner last time at Pyle; Big Bang De Loire, maiden winner at Brafield-On-The-Green, and Medieval Chapel which won the members at Lockinge three weeks ago. Quick Oats is another one to watch here, although only fourth last time out, and His Excellency is well-rated but also entered for the Ladies Open and may well choose that option.

The Mens Open provides us with a head-to-head between two of the classiest Point-to-Point horses around in Hazel Hill and TheTalkingHorse. Hazel Hill recently gave up a twelve-race unbeaten run when second to Garde Ville at Sandon but the winner was carrying nearly a stone less. TheTalkingHorse doesn't rate quite as highly, and has lost twice this season to Hazel Hill but has recent winning form at this course and at Brafield-On-The-Green. Beyond these there are Curraigflemens, a winner in March at Horseheath, Toby Lerone and Arkilly Witness among others worthy of a mention.

There is a really competitive field for the Ladies Open which is third on the card. There is little to separate the ten runners on the basis of their ratings but one of the favourites, Lough Inch, has not yet had a run this season. This is his local course and he has won here five times previously. He won eight times last season, under four different jockeys. The best recent form belongs to Blue Mountain Boy, who has won two Ladies Opens this season, but jockey Gina Andrews is booked for several rides (Can Mestret and Lough Inch) in this race so we will have to see who rides what on the day. The very impressive Golden Tobouggan won here in February and will definitely be in with a chance, as will Western Diva, Storm Lantern ans His Excellency, to name but a few. This is a very good race on paper.

The feature race of the day is the fourth, the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Novice Riders Final, with a £1000 prize fund and £600 to the winner. All the entrants here have qualified by being placed in a series of races around the country. In the field are several combinations who have qualified several times. William Money and Connor Brace have four wins this season and probably start as favourites. Aforementioned Robin De Boss and James Hepburn have won their last three races, two of which were qualifiers. L'Eldorado and Meisha Micklewright have won three of their last four starts, losing only in a Ladies Open to Golden Tobouggan. L'Eldorado and Robin De Boss have both won previously at Garthorpe. In addition to these Ballybough Gorta and Subtitle both have wins this season.

After this we have a Conditions race for horses of nine-years-old or over, with 19 entries. Unseen is the most recent winner in this field, having won a maiden at Charm Park. Quorn-registered Cool Valley has also won this season but fell last time out. In-form jockey Philip Armson has Quirky Kirky in this one, second on his last run. ThroTheThatch is another to consider, Jack Andrews in the plate.

There are twenty entries for the Maiden race which is the last jump race of the meeting. Unraced four-year-old Cawthorne will carry a stone and a half less than some of the horses in this field.

Two two-mile Point-to-Point flat races bring the day to a close. This fixture is one of only six this season to be given permission to run flat races under the rules of Point-to-Point racing. Horses aged four, five or six may enter but they can not have run under any rules, except in other flat races of this type. The winner of each division will be offered a place in the Goffs Sale. A few of the horses here have run in earlier races of this type and have a rating based on their performance. It is also worth noting the different weights carried by these horses, with four-year-old mares only carrying ten stone, six-year-old geldings carrying twelve.

E-tickets for this meeting are available for £10, saving £3 on the gate price when purchased in advance. Children under-16 are admitted free. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.


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