Quorn at Garthorpe 2024 - Preview

Maiden field at Garthorpe

Saturday April 20th sees the MIdlands Area return to Garthorpe for the Quorn meeting, where there will be pony racing from 1pm and then, from 2pm, six horse races over fences and one on the flat. There are 34 entries for the point-to-point flat race at the end of the day, so this will almost certainly have to split at least once.

The ground at Garthorpe, has been drying and is currently reported as Good to Soft, Soft in places by Clerk of the Course Jim Culloty. This fixture, as with all at Garthorpe, will take place on fresh ground, the fences having been moved since the Belvoir meeting.

Members of the public looking forward to good racing will be pleased to hear that there are 144 entries across the horse racing card. Some of these horses have multiple entries in this meeting and can only run once, and some also have other entries at other meetings.

The feature race of the day will be the William Hercock Mixed Open race for the Quorn Gold Cup, at 3.10pm. The 15 entries include some of the best point-to-point horses around, including Tigerbythetail; winner of his last two point-to-points, Knight in Dubai; with three wins from four starts and a perfect record in points, and Caryto Des Brosses; yet to return to winning form this season but a five-time winner here at Garthorpe. Local trainer Kelly Morgan has two identically-rated horses in this one. Bothwell Bridge has been first or second in his three starts so far, and Precious Bounty was a winner last time at Higham. Reikers Island pulled up in the Foxhunters at Aintree last week but may find the ground here rather more to his taste. Grand National jockey Gina Andrews has the ride on Tigerbythetail, but may decide to ride Captain Biggles, a prolific winner in points, including here at Garthorpe. Several jockeys have multiple rides here so expect the starting number to be reduced somewhat.

The card is bookended by races for young horses, the first of which is a young horse maiden over the fences, sponsored by Manor Farm Rehabilitation/Jane Bell. 17 horses are entered for this, some of which have run before - some only in flat races - but a lot are making their racecourse debut. The JRL Group point-to-point flat race, at the end of the day, has 34 entries and is likely to be divided into separate divisions to enable trainers and jockeys with multiple runners the chance to run more horses. Some of these have run once before but the majority will once again be making their first appearance on a racecourse.

The second race of the day is sponsored by Robert Whowell and Partners: a conditions race for members of PPORA, the Point-to-point Owners and Riders Association, in which horses carry weight penalties for races they have won at different levels. A few of the 16 entries for this have also got entries in the Open or Conditions (L2) which follow so may choose to run in those. Leading the ratings is I'm Spellbound, one of two options for Gina Andrews, which fell when leading at Lark Hill in February. Her other horse is General Arrow, fourth in his only run so far this season. Go Go Geronimo will be keen to turn a couple of second-placed finishes into a win for Kelly Morgan and the Chatfeild-Roberts family. Kelly also has Bothwell Bridge entered here, in case it is a better option than the Open, as well as Francesco du Clos and Runwiththetide. Alex Chadwick also has three rides booked: Back It Up has the same owner/trainer combination as Caryto Des Brosses and beat Go Go Geronimo last time out at Higham, while Red Maple and Mount Pleasant are owned and trained by Nick Wright. Others include Golden Taipan (also in Open), Janika and Take To Heart (for the Turner family), Methodtothemadness (Lee Moulson/J. Parker), One For Rosie (Jason Maguire/R. Alderman) and Thunderstruck (Dale Peters.

After the Mixed Open there is a traditional Restricted race, sponsored by the Fox & Hounds in Knossington, for which the entrants must not have one anything other than Maiden races or one Restricted race. 21 entered here and many well respected trainers are represented here. Trojan du Berlais has three wins to date, in a Hunt Members, Maiden and Restricted, so may be much fancied. Local interest might be with Clerk of the Course Jim Culloty's teenage daughter Eliza, who races 14-year-old ex-chaser Air Command. Leading Novice rider Edward Vaughan has a ride on Jean Genie in this race.

The penultimate jump race of the day is the Novice Riders race, sponsored by the PPA, for which there are 21 entries. Top rated here is Muckamore, the mount of Harry Arkwright, which gave the jockey his second career win at Horseheath in February and has finished second twice since. Up with them should be Bonamargy, trained by Kelly Morgan and ridden by Ben Durrell, who won last weekend at Kingston Blount but may go to Fakenham on Sunday instead. Kelly also has Runwiththetide and Francesco du Clos entered. Others to watch include Write it Down and Lucy Pickford, making the trip from Gloucestershire; Hadmeathello and Miss E. G. Stone (Wales); Jonjoela and J. Parker (Suffolk) and local novice Will Grant, riding Laura Morgan's Overworkdunderpaid, who finished strongly on Easter Monday after a variable jumping display.

Our final jump race is the Maiden race with no weight allowance for age, which is sponsored has 19 entries. Four horses would be making their racecourse debut, while other have been looking for their first win for some time.

Spectators will have lots of trade stands to visit and their is a family dog show to take part in so bring the pooch along too (on a lead please). The Round Corner bar was very popular at the Belvoir meeting and returns for the Quorn, and there will be bookmakers, catering and children's entertainment as well.

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