The Cottesmore Point- to- Point races will be held at Garthorpe on Sunday 4th March and will be a great family day out. The first race is scheduled for 12noon and the seventh race is due off at 3.45pm but please note that this race, the Open Maiden race, has a large entry of 48 and is very likely to divide on the day. The total number of entries is 153.This is the first of five meetings to be held at this course in 2012.
Trainer Holly Campbell and jockey Joe Docker look to hold the aces in the opening Mallard Jewellers and Pawnbrokers Members race. They have two horses entered; Popaway who won a Maiden race at Thorpe recently giving Docker his 100th winner and Silver Tenor who is a sound jumper, course winner and has intermediate race form.
George Henderson, the leading rider at Garthorpe last season has a good chance in the Cavells of Oakham sponsored Confined race with Always Roses who is owned and was bred by his father James. This mare won twice last season and showed that she is progressing nicely when winning the Intermediate race at Thorpe in January. Being a five year old mare Always Roses will be able to take full advantage of the weight allowances and carrying just 11 stone will take some beating. Helen Connors Django also won nicely at Thorpe and is another to note and Point Proven who is likely to be ridden by Tom Ellis is usually consistent.
Point Proven also holds an entry in the Barnsdale Lodge and Hotel and Mrs Jane Hales sponsored Men’s Open race. This looks like being a good race with a number of previous course winners entered. Border Fusion won this race last year, Oedipe won a novice riders race at the Belvoir meeting and Sea Senor won at the final meeting at Garthorpe in May. Judy Wilson’s fourteen year old Coolefind has won seven Hunter Chases and twelve Point- to- Points including two at Garthorpe. Despite his advancing years Coolefind will still take some beating and his trainer Stuart Morris was in form with a winner at North Carlton last Sunday.
The Ladies race is being sponsored by the Sturgess Motor Group and also looks like being a competitive contest. Virginia Preuil is a class horse and stays well; he was placed second in the 3 miles 5 furlongs AGA Ladies race and Dunthrop in January. Louise Allan’s probable mount Leatherback has won thirteen Point- to- Points for the Turner family who usually do well when they visit Garthorpe. Another to note, Angela and William Rucker’s Qozak may take some beating having won easily at Cottenham on his latest start.
Joan Tice has a good chance in the Hellyer family Midlands Area Club Member’s Conditions race with Teeton Dazzler. Mrs Tice has enjoyed considerable success with her string of homebred horses and Teeton Dazzler has been placed second in the Quorn Gold Cup as well as finishing second in the Dodson and Horrell PPORA Club Members Novice Riders Championship Final at Tabley last season. Now an eleven year old Teeton Dazzler should run well on Sunday and goes well for rider Lizzie Harris. Katie Thory may run L’Oudon here or in the earlier Men’s Open. This horse has won four Men’s Open races in the past and will have the assistance of Matt Smith in the saddle. George Henderson is likely to ride Aztec Warrior and his younger brother Fred may take the mount on The Luder.
Brocklesby Maiden race winners Mr Trump and Panama Canal are both entered in the North family and Ranksborough Polo Restricted race. Panama Canal won in the faster time at Brocklesby and is from the Robinson family stable who have enjoyed three winners from four runners so far this season. Jockey Richard Armson could ride Panama Canal or Blarney Highwayman for Mike and Jill Dawson. Blarney Highwayman already has some Restricted race form having been placed third at the Brocklesby.
Dickinson and Morris of Melton Mowbray are sponsoring the Open Maiden race. Brian Duke has his homebred mare Midnight Hop entered. The full sister to this mare, Legendary Hop won a division of this race last year by twenty lengths. Trained locally by Antonia Bealby, Midnight Hop is likely to be ridden by Matt Stanley.
Punters will have the choice of the bookmakers or the Tote for betting purposes and The Grumpy Huntsman licenced bar will once again be open. Philip Andrew, the local Point- to- Point rider and butcher will be running Phil’s Hog Roast. There will be a large selection of trade stands, refreshment stalls and motor traders in attendance in addition to the usual children’s play area. The Cottesmore Hounds will parade between the third and fourth races at approximately 1.25pm.
Garthorpe is situated on the B676, 6 miles east of Melton Mowbray and 7 miles west of the A1. For those with satellite navigation systems the postcode is LE14 2RS. Admission is £10 per person including the car park and children under 16 are free. Race cards are £3.00 each or two for £5.00.