Garthorpe point-to-point: Local hero Lough Inch bids for big prize

Lough Inch has six wins this season and is entered in Garthorpe's feature race on Sunday EMN-170517-091614002
Lough Inch has six wins this season and is entered in Garthorpe's feature race on Sunday EMN-170517-091614002
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Garthorpe Racecourse hosts its penultimate point-to-point meeting of the season on Sunday, as Melton Hunt Club stages a seven-race card.

There are 24 horses entered for the opening Melton Hunt Club Members’ Conditions race at 2pm, nearly half of which have multiple entries at the same meeting.

The top-rated horse is Sarah Dawson’s Sybarite which was second in a hunter chase at Cheltenham early this month, but disappointed in its last point-to-point when fourth at Mollington in April.

Shantou Prince is another pick after finishing fourth in the Intermediate Championship Final while Ballalough, Ballingarrow, Bravo Riquet, Can Mestret, Kyles Faith, Mr Syntax, Namako, Otto The Great, Pay The King, Proximo, Shakalakaboomboom and Thanks For Coming could all be in the frame.

* Distant Rain is likely to lead the market in the Restricted race.

The seven-year-old was impressive winning here at the Quorn meeting in April, but Cobajay Away has good recent form, too, and should challenge with a 7lb advantage. Demood is another mare who has won this season and should be a contender.

* The third race is a two-mile four-furlong race for nine-year-old horses upwards and again, several in the field have multiple entries at the same meeting.

The Hills may bring Double Handful who is new to point-to-point racing, but has won more than £30,000 under rules, but Ring Ben is the horse with the best recent form, having won last time out at Cold Harbour over the same distance.

Nothing Personal also won last time out in a point-to-point against higher-rated opposition at Aldington, and Nelson’s Legend will be looking for a return to the form which saw him win here over the same distance last season.

* The feature race is the Championship Final of the Dodson and Horrell Novice Riders series.

Five of the 11 entries are rate at 100 or more, with all but one of the remainder in the 90s.

The favourite has to be Waltham horse Lough Inch, in the hands of Rory Bevin, who loves the course and has six wins and a second this season.

Beggar’s Velvet won the Ladies’ Open at Mollington, while Always A Chance, Creepy, For ‘n’ Against, Horizontal Speed and Againn Dul Aghaidh have all had wins this season.

* The Mixed Open has also attracted some quality among the 19 entries.

Temple Grandin has won his three point-to-points this season, all as hot favourite, while Hazel Hill has the same impressive record this season but both share the same jockey and trainer, with Temple Grandin perhaps getting the nod if the ground is quicker.

Thetalkinghorse won here at the Quorn meeting, and Beggar’s Velvet is entered in this one, too.

Two three-mile maidens round off this interesting day of racing.

The first is part of the Jockey Club-sponsored series for mares and Winola and Misola Bird are the leading horses on rating in this one.

The final open maiden race has 18 entries, including Max O who has been second in his last three starts, whole other options include Arcal Fifty, Ask Connie, Big Man Doe, Conhalt, Dibble Bridge and the aforementioned Misola Bird.

* Advance tickets are available from www.midlandspointing.com/shop and include a complimentary racecard.