Point-to-point: Garthorpe going soft for Belvoir Hunt meeting
The going at the course, five miles east of Melton on the B676, is currently soft, and the weekend forecast is dry, with more than 100 entries in for the seven-race card.
The meet opens with the PPORA Club Members Race at 12.30pm with the first three to finish qualifying for the Novice Rider Final at the Melton Hunt Club meeting in May.
Top-rated is local favourite Lough Inch, but is also entered at Askham Bryan on the same day and could go for the quicker ground in Yorkshire.
Tallow Fair, a winner at the South Wold meeting is entered, while Current Exchange finished second last time out in a Hunter Chase at Fontwell Park, but will carry a 7lb penalty.
* There are eight entries for the Garthorpe Hunts Club Members race, but on recent form, Chipmunk, trained by Waltham’s Kelly Morgan is likely to be a leading contender after winning a Restricted race last time out at Revesby.
Love Manhattan has two recent second-place finishes and also in with a shout are Ignite A Light, from Gerald Bailey’s yard, and Merrydown Black.
* The Intermediate race has 20 horses entered, including several entered in other races at this meeting.
In theory we could see a sibling head-to-head at the front of this race as Gina Andrews could ride Quick Oats while her younger brother Jack has the ride on Judy Wilson’s Neumond, a winner at Horseheath last month.
Gina could also ride Celtic Silver, while Nelson’s Legend may run and could be a serious contender under Sam Davies-Thomas although he hasn’t run since last Summer.
The previously mentioned Chipmunk, Ignite a Light and Love Manhattan are all entered here, too, as well as Dream Mistress from Chris Bealby’s Barrowby yard.
* The feature race is the Mixed Open at 2.15pm which has a prize fund of £1,000.
A quality field of 18 could line up with Penmore Hill top-rated and likely to be a contender, but His Excellency has the best recent form with two wins this season on good-to-soft ground.
Other horses with recent form include Hazel Hill, who won at Sheriff Hutton in January, and I Wonder Why who won at Revesby for the Bailey yard.
* The restricted race has attracted a possible field of eight runners led by top-rated Merrydown Black, if the Walkers choose this race over the Hunts Club Members.
The form horse in the field, however, is Hurricane Vic, who won his maiden less than two weeks ago at Revesby Park and will be looking to quickly step up the divisions under Tom Strawson.
* The Open Maiden has 17 entries with several also qualifying for the day’s last race, a maiden for younger horses.
Semper Invicta has had a second this season on similar ground, but did not impress last time out, while Age Of Heroes has a second and third place this season and may well be ready to win. Quizzacle Nomad is another to watch.
* The shorter 2m 4f maiden for four to seven-year-olds features Roll Of The Dice, unlucky at Charing in February, Shamat, third at Ampton last time, and King’s Walden, third at Hackwood Park a fortnight ago.
Top-rated Dulwich Hill was second favourite when third at Brocklesby Park behind Demood and Quizzacle Nomad.
There will be a range of trade stands, catering and a licensed bar, and plenty of chances to have a bet. Entry is £10 per person.