Garthorpe point-to-point: Midlands jockey award on line at season finale

Garthorpe Racecourse hosted its fifth and final race of the season on Saturday EMN-170530-143135002
Garthorpe Racecourse hosted its fifth and final race of the season on Saturday EMN-170530-143135002

The Garthorpe and Midlands area season finale takes place on Saturday when the Meynell and South Staffs hold their annual point-to-point races.

A total of 104 entries have been taken for a seven-race card, starting at 2.30pm, which will be preceded by pony races from 12.40pm.

Sophie Walker looks to already have the Midlands area leading lady and novice jockey awards in the bag, but, the men’s rider title looks set to go to the wire.

Tom Strawson heads the race for the Southwell Racecourse leading rider award by six points from Dale Peters, and both riders will be in action on Saturday.

Strawson has ridden eight winners this season, including two at Garthorpe.

The opening PPORA Members’ race may go to Change Of Luck who has enjoyed a hat-trick of wins, but rival Ballalough won a similar race at the Melton Hunts Club meeting

The Intermediate race may be won by progressive five-year-old Mac’s Gift who won at Tabley on his latest outing. Dido is entered here and looks like Peters’ best chance of gaining some more points.

Rory Bevin is set to partner the in-form Done A Runner in the PPORA Novice Riders’ race. The horse won the Members’ race at Dingley last Saturday and prior to that was a respectable third in a Towcester Hunter Chase.

A parade of hounds will precede the Mixed Open race where Michael Bowen looks to hold the aces with the well-rated duo Universal Soldier and Flying Eagle.

Four-time Garthorpe winner Panama Canal would be a hugely popular choice if he could repeat his Dingley victory with Strawson in the saddle, but the horse they all have to beat is the classy Temple Grandin.

Strawson will hope Frosty Dawn runs as well as she did at the Melton Hunts Club meeting if she lines up in the Open Maiden race.

But Master Hide has been placed on his last five starts and should still be open to some improvement.

Racing concludes with two races over the shorter trip of a two-and-a-half miles.

The Restricted race could be between Baily Smile and Too Much Too Soon, while Ask Connie is the likely favourite for the final Maiden race.

There will be children’s amusements, licenced bar, trade stands and food outlets. Entrance is £10 per person.