Midlands Area Club
A fair crowd witnessed some excellent Point to Point racing at Thorpe Lodge on Sunday. 67 runners contested the 7 races on “good to soft” ground.
13 runners went to post for the Castle Rock Brewery sponsored Mark Ashton Memorial Midlands Area Club race. Gun Smith set a fast early pace before Tom Ellis and Point Proven went up with the leaders 4 fences from home and went clear at the second last. However, the 5 – 1 joint favourite Super Lord had been kept in a good position throughout by Stuart Morris and came with a strong challenge after the last fence to beat Point Proven by a neck in an exciting finish. Pennytino and Dickie Barrett were a length away in third in what turned out to be the fastest race of the day.
The second race on the card was the Midland Area Trainers Intermediate race for which the mare Fresh Fruit went off the 13– 8 favourite and had to be led in at the start. Ridden by top Point to Point jockey Richard Burton, Fresh Fruit from Sheila Crow’s Shropshire yard tracked the leaders in the early part of the race before Burton made his move at the second last and set sail for home going on to win by 3 and a half lengths. True Legend rallied for Dickie Barrett but was just beaten for second place by Banbury Babe and Ben Poste on the line. The winner Fresh Fruit was following up a win at Horseheath in January and looks very useful. She is now eligible for the £7000 3 miles 1 ½ furlongs Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Point to Point Championship Hunter Chase Final at Cheltenham on Wednesday 5th May.
The Lincolnshire Meat Company kindly sponsored the Men’s Open race for which 9 runners were declared. The veteran Buckby Lane, a previous winner of this race, and jockey Sam Waley Cohen took the lead at the open ditch on the final circuit. They were still in front 2 fences from home but Farmer Frank took it up at the last and Buckby Lane could find nothing on the run in. Farmer Frank was given a good ride by Steve Magee and at 7 years old may still have some improvement left. South Notts farmer Roger Jackson can look forward to plenty more fun as the season unfolds. The local stable of Antonia Bealby sent out Aztec Warrior, ridden by George Henderson to finish third. Richard Hunnisett’s mount The King Of Angels was making his Point to Point debut and had plenty of support in the betting ring. However, he ran in snatches and may need to revert to the blinkers that he wore when successful under rules.
The smallest field of the day was the 4 runner Ladies Open race sponsored by D & M Barthorpe Electrical Contractors. Moustique De L’Isle made the early running before falling on the second circuit when headed by Mad Victor and Sue Sharratt who went on to score easily by 14 lengths. Teeton Dazzler and Lizzie Harris finished runners up.
The most impressive winner of the day came in the Sharp Nutrition Restricted race. The Gerald Bailey trained Three Chords, who had won readily on his debut at Higham, was sent off the 4– 5 favourite. Under a confident ride from Dickie Barrett, Three Chords took up the running 5 fences from home and won unchallenged by 16 lengths. Barrett is in fine form at the moment with a winner, a second and three thirds at this meeting following on from a winner at the Burton meeting last week. Kilcascan and Jack Watson finished second with Camden Society and Henry Kinchin 3/4 of a length away in third.
The meeting concluded with the C & G Concrete sponsored Open Maiden race which had to be divided on the day. Division 1 led to the most exciting finish of the day with the favourite Attrapeur ridden by Jake Greenall and Elite Beneficial ridden by Jack Watson, jumping the last side by side. The pair were neck and neck up the run in before the 5 year old Elite Beneficial went a length and a half clear close home. Elite Beneficial was the biggest priced winner of the day at 10 -1. The debutant Karintino, who is a half sister to Pennytino, ran well to finish third under Dickie Barrett. This proved to be the fastest division and the David Easterby trained Attrapeur can be expected to make amends in the near future. In the second division Unoitmakessense and Will Telfer went clear after the third last fence and despite making a mistake at the last fence won by twenty lengths. The second Byways Boy was given a good ride by Dickie Barrett and should be able to win soon. Roger Jackson has another promising recruit in the form of third placed Propriano Du Bourg.
The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Brocklesby Point to Point at Brocklesby Park on Saturday 20th February, first race 12 noon.