Cottesmore to open Garthorpe point-to-point season

Racing at Garthorpe returns this weekend EMN-150303-160006002

Racing at Garthorpe returns this weekend EMN-150303-160006002

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The point-to-point season at Garthorpe opens on Sunday when the racecourse hosts the first of five meetings.

A total of 118 entries have been taken for the seven races at the Cottesmore meeting with the first race due off at noon and the final race at 3.30pm.

The first of the Garthorpe Hunt Members’ race series opens proceedings where Patsy Finnegan or Bach To The Wall have a chance. The former won a similar race at Thorpe in February while the latter is lightly raced but an Open race winner.

Others to consider include John Chatfeild-Robert’s She’s Real who won a club race at Garthorpe last May and was second this season at Horseheath. Last year’s leading novice horse Colonial Boy may also run here.

* The PPORA Club Members race for Novice riders which sees Lucy Wheeler riding Done A Runner on the back of their recent intermediate race victory at Larkhill.

Number Cruncher the likely mount of David O’Brien also has some form, and Miller’s Reef is fresh from a win at the Sinnington.

* The winner of the Men’s Open race will qualify for next month’s Men’s Open Point-to-Point Championship final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham.

Realt Ag Leimt won two open races at Garthorpe last season and will take all the beating, while Time Gentleman finished second to him last year and could be a rival again. Gonalston Cloud has won a maiden and a restricted race from two starts this season and could be ridden by current Midlands Jockeys Championship leader Tom Strawson.

* There will be a minute’s silence 15 minutes before the ladies’ race in honour of Jill Dawson, a winner of this race many times at Garthorpe who died recently.

Jill’s husband Mike has three horses entered including the former leading national horse Palypso De Creek and has been in top form this season.

Stablemate His Excellency won a class three chase for David Pipe on his last racecourse appearance. Last year’s winner Hey Porter is also entered.

* Done A Runner, Number Cruncher, Time Gentlemen and Minella Class all hold entries in The Midlands Area Club race for horses aged nine and over.

But the winner could come from the in-form Gerald Bailey stable in Sandpipers, second in a recent Leicester Hunter Chase, or Mr Madeit who was second at Thorpe in a good Intermediate on his latest start.

* The restricted race features several maiden winners including Tommy Morgan’s Shutthebackdoor who won at Charing recently. Quirky Kirky has promise, while Katnapping won a mare’s maiden last season on her only start.

Tommy Morgan’s Waltham-on-the-Wolds stable also has a good chance in the final race, the open maiden with Teeton Kato who finished second on debut at Horseheath last month.

The Cottesmore hounds will parade before the first race. There will be bookmakers and a tote, the Grumpy Huntsman bar, food outlets, trade stands and children’s amusements.

Garthorpe is situated on the B676, six miles east of Melton. Admission is £10 per person, or free entry for under 16s.

Visit www.garthorpe.com for more details and the Garthorpe Races Facebook page for the latest news.