Garthorpe racing: Point-to-point officials seek answers after poor turnout
Following the cancelled Belvoir Hunt meet, point-to-point racing returned to Garthorpe on Sunday as the Quorn overcame further problematic weather.
The racecourse team worked hard to get the track fit for sport after further days of heavy rain in the build-up, but declaration were disappointing on the day,
There were plenty of entries and a good crowd, but the horses didn’t show, and the Midlands Area team are aiming to find out from keepers what influenced their decisions.
The David Kemp-trained Caryto Des Brosses (Dale Peters) was joined by Bravehearted Harry (Rory Bevin) in the opening PPORA Club Members Conditions race.
The latter made a good race of it, but the odds-on favourite was too strong and pulled away to win comfortably despite a scare over the last, following up three straight wins over a shorter 2m 4f distance.
* The lure of the Quorn Gold Cup was not enough to attract a field for the men’s open as Albi Tufnell and Tangolan completed a walkover to take home the trophy.
* The Ladies’ Open pitched two of the most prolific female jockeys in the country head-to-head as Gina Andrews rode Can Mestret, and Claire Hardwick raced Golden Tobouggan.
The two were together for three laps, with the lead changing several times, before Golden Tobouggan was pulled up as they approached the last, leaving Andrews to complete the win on the 11-year-old.
* The Dodson and Horrell PPORA Club Members’ Race for Novice Riders Final was next.
Late qualifier Subtitle (Will Marshall) was the front runner, with Tangolan (Albi Tufnell), Aupcharlie (Miss M. Tallett) and Robin De Boss all in attendance.
Turning into the final straight, Robin De Boss and Aupcharlie fought out a good finish, with Jamie Hepburn steering Robin De Boss to victory in the run in.
The horse won twice in the Midlands area before heading to Chipley Park to qualify for the final, and then adding further wins to a successful season.
* Races for older horses remain popular and the conditions race for nine-year-olds and over brought 10 runners to the start.
The running order had changed as the horses came down the hill for the final time, with Midnight King (Claire Hardwick) leading Unseen (Rory Bevin), Blackwood Rover (Dickie Collinson) and Pebbleglen (Marcus Thorpe-Codman) with three to jump.
Hardwick made up for her Ladies Open disappointment with a strong finish aboard Midnight King, with Unseen was second and Pebbleglen in third.
* Dickie Collinson piloted Iconic Star to victory in the Open Maiden, a race which saw the places go to less fancied horses.
The 8/1 winner was raced by Collinson for the first time and beat Mackie Dee (Philip Armson) and Squeaky (James Martin) into second and third.
* The last two races of the day were JRL-sponsored two-mile flat races for horses of four to six, aiming to qualify for the series final at Aintree next month.
The first race went to Rapaport and Toby Bulgin quite comfortably, with Hardessa (J. Brace) and Complywithme (Philip Armson) in the places, and the day’s last race went to Shaltoo and Alex Edwards who held off a spirited finish from Sally Can’t Wait (J. Nailor) with Foxy Covert (E. Glassonbury) in third.