Although a fairly strong wind kept spectators on their toes, quite a decent size crowd enjoyed some exciting racing at Garthorpe, when the Belvoir Hunt held the second of five meetings sheduled at this racecourse during the season.
First race of the afternoon was the Belvoir Hunt Members, Subscribers & Farmers race where four horses went to post. This race was sponsored by W.Spence & Son, (Blacksmiths). This produced the first of some close finishes during the day. Andrew Corbett on joint favourite, Just Jove looked to be going just the better than ten year old, Hi Up Brenkley, ridden by Richard Armson and held on to win by half a length at the line.
The Intermediate Race was kindly sponsored by Connolly’s Red Mills, the Horse Feed Specialists and a field of seven went to post. This race produced the fastest time of the day and resulted in a comfortable win for the in form Fred Hutsby on his stables horse, Mister Bertolli. Sovereign Quest and The Camerengo took the minor placings.
There was a disappointing turn out for the Ladies Race when only one horse was declared. The Saltby Estate were sponsors here. Fullards, a winner early on in the season, and jockey, Louise Allan, had the easy task of walking over.
Bentons Land & Estate Agents kindly sponsored the Mens Open Race and this race attracted a field of four runners. This produced another exciting finish. Sleep Bal was having his first race since running at Cheltenham three years ago and rider Stuart Morris had the gelding in front till two fences from home. True Friday, the hot favourite racing into the lead, made a blunder at the second last, almost unseating Richard Armson but his rider recovered to go clear at the final fence. The winner of this race is now eligible for the £10,000 3m ½ f Volkswagan Touareg Mens Championship Final at Towcester in May.
Fifth race of the afternoon was the Restricted Race and this was sponsored by The Martins Arms at Colston Bassett and a field of five went to the post. Stuart Morris riding the favourite, Paulinski, soon had the Pytchley mare in front and never looked in danger, winning by twelve lengths. Cameroon and Tanners Hall took second and third spot.
Final race of the day was the Open Maiden Race for 4,5,6 and 7 year olds, run over 2 ½ miles. Clayton Mott, Solicitors of Nottingham, kindly sponsored. This race produced another close finish. Dickie Barrett, on Fenny Lane and Fred Hutsby on Hugo Hackenbush disputed the lead for most of the race, but neither could shake off the persistent, If You Must, who’s young rider, Ben Way was having his first point to point winner.
Next local Midlands meeting is the Pytchley at Guilsborough on Sunday 6 th April.