Category Archives: News

WEST MIDLAND AREA PREVIEW

The West Midlands has always been one of the most innovative of the 14 Point-to-Point administrative regions.

E-Ticketing has come a long way over the last 3 years and 9 out of 13 Area fixtures will be offering this service during 2017-2018. That equates to 69% of our meetings, which is double the National average where 27.9% (50 out of the 179 fixtures) are opting for digital ticketing.

Point-to-Point Racing continues to enjoy tremendous support from all its participants and these include William and Angela Rucker who also invest heavily in National Hunt Racing with the Worcestershire based couple having horses in training with Evan Williams and Fergal O’Brien.

Some fail to make the grade but that benefits Point-to-Pointing as they are then able to ply their trade between the flags.

IN THE HOLD and WILD BILL both showed good form last year; the former winning at Bitterley and Chaddesley, while the latter finished 5th in the Final Champion Hunters Chase at Stratford.

Both are ready for the early start especially In the Hold whose best form has always been with some give in the ground – stablemate Wild Bill could be seen out at Chaddesley’s Christmas meeting.

VINNIE RED is another expected to make an early appearance. Pulled when favourite at Newbury he had won at Market Rasen prior to that for Fergal O’Brien. The quintet is made up by MOUNTAIN CHIMES and BLUE RHYTHM.

Both are 5-year-olds, the former by Winged Love who has had a couple of runs under Rules for Evan Williams (an experience which should be helpful in the future). Blue Rhythm was favourite on his last run at Fontwell, having previously been narrowly beaten in a Southwell Hurdle.

BARRAKILLA has won 3 races under Rules but “never came right last year” according to the owners. Now with Fergal O’Brien he should soon make his mark in Hunter Chases.

Mrs Rucker’s sister Katherine Smith Maxwell has BUCK MAGIC who will be campaigned by her son John. This horse had good form in the past but managed just one run in 2016/2017 when troubled by an abscess.

TRAFALGAR ROCK joins the yard having made the short journey from the stable of Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland at Claines. Placed second on five occasions whilst in his care he then added two short distance chases to his account.

John and his sister Felicity are currently debating the future of LE LEGRO who came from Alex Dunn’s yard. It remains to be seen who gets the better of this argument.

Christine Banks horses also carry the royal blue and cerise hoop colours used by her sisters Angela and Katherine.

WELL MET and ROUND ROBIN are based at home with Banks’s and both will be aiming to improve on last season’s performances, while VASCO DU MEE and ARTHURS SECRET race from Martin Weston’s yard.

The latter’s bubble was well and truly burst when beaten by One More Tune at Chaddesley. His performances prior to that had been exhilarating, which prompts the question was this a one off? We will have a much clearer picture when he reappears.

INVISIBLE MAN returns for another season with Diana Ralph entrusted with his wellbeing while HORSHAM LAD is now 14-years-old, but as spritely as ever the coming weeks will dictate his future path.

David Maxwell and Kim Smyly regularly make successful forays down into the South East and connections are likely to follow a similar pattern. MON PARRAIN (pulled up at Barbury last week) has been hunter chasing from Paul Nicholls yard and the 11-year-old should be able to add to his career total of 9 wins.

MINERFORTYNINER has a good record over the last 3 seasons, but was seen out just twice last year when pulling up at Chaddesley before winning at Godstone. GOT THE NAC has been racing in much better company than he is likely to encounter in Points and joins OUT NOW who retain enough ability to sneak a win between the flags.

MAYBE PLENTY burst onto the Point-to-Point scene in 2014, and subsequently won at Warwick in April 2016. She returns after having a foal, but it is always a bit of a lottery knowing if the ability remains or whether a future in the paddocks beckons.

MINELLA FRIEND is due to team up with Ben Sutton. He started the previous season running well in the Rucker colours, but his form then deteriorated. His first run for new connections will prove informative.

Nickie Sheppard has a team of three at her Eastnor yard. BUTNEY ROCK fulfilled the criteria of providing Milo Herbert with his first winner by scoring at Lockinge on Easter Monday. He followed that success with a couple of placings and could score again in the right company.

The Herbert’s have purchased BALLYCAHANE from Arthur Moore. The 8-year-old has run 19 times under rules for just 4 placings, so connections have their work cut out getting this one into the winner’s enclosure.

The Bean Club have enjoyed numerous successes over the years and will be hoping PLAYBOOK a 6-year-old son of Milan can keep up their winning sequence. He was pulled up at Bellowstown but had been third in a hurdle on his racecourse debut so obviously has some ability, but fell at the last when in fourth place last week.

NICKNAME EXIT remains with James Ridley and their best effort was when finishing third in the Ledbury Members. An outing in the famous Golden Button Challenge is also on the cards.

BIG GEORGIE enjoyed success with Ridley back in 2016 but struggled when campaigned at a higher level from Katy Price’s stable. He runs in the colours of the “Cheers Syndicate” and could prove an inspired purchase if Ridley can rekindle his flame.

With Jack Barber now training under Rules Will Biddicks tenure as Champion Jockey looks under greater threat than normal and that could enhance Alex Edwards’s challenge for the Riders Championship.

The Leading Trainers Title could see the cards fall in Phil Rowley’s favour and with the Shropshire handlers record in unearthing new talent “we have 10 to 12 three-year-olds who are in the early stages of their education” that could prove decisive.

Rowley has PIQUE ROCK who races in the colours of Juliett Minton. She ran four times under Rules and after his best effort when 5th of 15th at Bangor the post-race analysis comment was “one to note”. That proved a correct assessment because she scored a facile win in the Mares Race at Barbury and should have no difficulty following up.

THE STING looked a potential winner of the short Maiden at Barbury when he tipped up just behind the leader at the last so it should not be long before the winner’s enclosure beckons while STOLEAWAY missed last season and the trainer will be looking for longer tracks and some cut in the ground for him to show his best.

BAREL OF LAUGHS finished 3rd in last year’s Cheltenham Foxhunters prior to winning the Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup on a return visit to the Gloucestershire venue. He also added the Lady Dudley Cup to his impressive C.V. and the gelding is “now back in work and on top form” so connections will be hoping for repeat successes.

BEAR’S AFFAIR has a Warwick Hunter Chase success to his credit and won at Cottenham in early December, while NOW BEN crowned a fine season by taking the Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase at Stratford. TEMPLE GRANDIN will do well to match last season exploits when he won five out of six races.

Connections do not believe we have seen the best out of HAZEL HILL and given that he is on an 8-race unbeaten run that should put the fear of god into any future opponents.

Jane Allfrey will be glad to see the North Ledbury have retained their slot at Hereford Racecourse because IN THE DOCK’s fondness for that venue is well known.

TAKE OVER SIVOLA has tested the trainer’s patience over the last couple of seasons but will need everything in his favour to score in future. MASTER HIDE was never out of the frame in five outings last year and nobody would begrudge connections their moment of glory when he finally manages to get his head in front.

PULL THE TRIGGER finished in front of his new stablemate when the pair were second and third in an Umberleigh Maiden back in 2016. The 6-year-old failed to show any form under Rules for Tim Vaughn but could show improvement at this level.

Emma Alvis returned to the training ranks last year and made an immediate impact with Clive and Eileen Bennett’s CHASFORGOLD taking the Award for the Leading Horse and Leading Novice Horse. The 8-year-old progressed through the ranks and seems to have improved judging by his win in the Intermediate at the PPORA meeting.

Connections did well with RYE CROSS who won an Intermediate at Black Forest Lodge prior to taking the Hargreave Hale Hunter Chase at Worcester in May.

Alvis is also preparing an un-raced and un-named 4-year-old filly out of Greensleeves and thus related to Passage East.

BIG CASINO is a newcomer to Alvis’s Laverton yard. The 11-year-old showed form under Rules for Nigel Twiston Davies but will now race in his new trainers colours. Judged on his previous efforts staying is his forte and he finished a promising third behind Iberico and Lilbitluso recently which marks him out as a future winner.

As well as having horses with Alvis, Sam Jukes is preparing some Bennett’s horses at their home near Dymock. These include old favourite STONE who has “summered well and will be aimed at the Barbury International meeting in January”. Stablemate IBERICO won at the PPORC meeting at Barbury last year and beat a top-class field in this year’s race to show his well-being.

UPPERTOWN HAWK has always shown his best form on faster ground so don’t expect him to make an appearance until conditions are in his favour.

THE WELL ROAD has had problems, but is giving indications that things are finally clicking into place so watch out for him at Larkhill in January.

Based on last year’s performance MARCLE RIDGE should not be long making his mark. The Bennett’s made the trip out to Ireland for his racecourse debut but had to settle for the runners up spot when he was outpaced on the run in.

SHOWMETHEWAY, an unraced 4-year-old homebred filly is a full sister to Marcle Ridge who the Bennett’s are hoping to run in the Bumper at Barbury in January.

Lilly Pinchin has won the Ladies Title for the last 2 years, but her chances of making it a hattrick must have diminished following Allerton’s recent sale.

She has already ridden several winners under Rules for her boss Fergal O’Brien and is hoping to build up a book of rides as the season progresses.

With Mike Hammonds licensed premises at Abberley full his wife Zoe has fewer Pointers to prepare.

The couple are striving to provide a first winner for their daughter Lucy. She enjoyed several good runs on MILLED last year, and will be hoping to build on that experience. Zoe is busy preparing a 5-year-old by Mr Dinos with the intention of running him in the Point-to-Point Bumper at the Barbury International meeting in January.

Don Constable has a 3-year-old by Artic Cosmos and this home bred half-brother to Snuff Box who won on his debut for connections in 2015/16 should be able to follow in his relations footsteps.

Mike Hawker is busy preparing COTILLION from his base near Chippenham. After finishing second to Iberico over 3 miles and 6 furlongs at Barbuary he beat Jepeck in the Tiverton Members a few weeks later.

CECILE DE VOLANGES was a useful performer between the flags a couple of years ago and will have benefited from a recent run over hurdles. Her best form has always been over extreme distances so watch out for her in those type of races.

A couple of homebreds complete the team. LEMONADE DRINKER is out of that smart Point-to-Point mare Sheknowsyouknow and is another being aimed at the Barbury Bumper.

Stablemate BETTY BATTENS is also 4 years old but this time out of Where’s My Slave – a debut between the flags is expected this season.

Julie and Dave Mansell have SACRE TOI in their care at Hasfield. He provided Ledbury Joint Master David Redvers with his first winner last May and is now entrusted with the same task for George Daly, the son of one of Redvers Joint Master Louise Daly. The partnership did well on their first outing together finishing a strong finishing fourth in a hot Men’s Open.

George has enjoyed success Pony Racing and that will stand him in good stead as he endeavors to continue his families’ successes between the flags.

JOEY KANGAROO won a Cocklebarrow Maiden 2 years ago but was only seen out twice the following season when 2nd in a Larkhill Restricted before he was the subject of major support at Maisemore where he pulled up.

WATCH ME BOP BOP is a Doncaster Sales purchase who has had a few niggling injuries which have delayed his racecourse debut.

FOUR ALFIE had one run in a Navan Bumper for Willie Mullins but has been purchased by Bill Hawkins who will be hoping he can improve on that performance.

Swallows Delight provided Bill and Ade Sparey with some great memories over the years so NO LIKEY has some big hoof prints to follow in. The 10-year-old best form has been over short distances and that type of race may provide him with his best chance of success in the future.

LIVERPOOL LAD was brought late last season by Sylvia and Chris Edmunds, while FINDLAYS FIND is well known to Hunt racing enthusiasts. He has been enjoying himself over the big hedges in the cream of the Ledbury country and could make a return to racing if things go well.

It must be the individual attention horses receive at Pup and Lucy King’s yard at Weston sub Edge that proves beneficial as proved last year by Knockaderry King.

A 20-1 winner of a Mollington Maiden under Lilly Pinchin, he was then surprisingly beaten when odds on favourite for the North Cotswold Members. He then scored another big priced win when storming to victory at Cheltenham’s May evening fixture.

It was always going to be difficult for the Kings to retain the horse after that major success and he subsequently returned to owner Dave Shorey and is now in the care of Fergal O’Brien.

The Kings have acquired a new horse called FIRST GOODNIGHT but the form summary for his only run in a Kinsale Maiden in May 2015 does not make good reading while previous trainer Gerald Bailey said a year later “He was in training in Ireland and schooled atrociously when he first came, but we’ve hunted him, and he’s improved massively.” From that low starting point, he can only improve.

Abbie Meyers and Patrick Berkins are both based with O’Brien at Naunton and they continue their quest to win with VAILLANT CREEK who ran a couple of promising races last year.

Down in the Cotswold Vale Farmers country Jason Warner is lining up AMERICAN LEGEND for one of the early meetings. Jumping is his forte and there was a lot to like about his win at Andoversford, but he always seems to find one or two better than him at the finish.

MR BURGEES is a newcomer to the yard having travelled up from David Pipe’s. He ran 15 times for 4 wins but at 8 years of age this son of Westener still has time on his side.

Ben Pauling’s assistant Mary Vestey did well with Silver Roque last year. He was an experienced chaser, but U NO LIKE is a different challenge. The 5-year-old was second of eight on his Belharbour debut and that gives his trainer cause for optimism.

 Down in the Berkeley country Reg Hopkins is preparing BALLYFORE CROSS who claimed a controversial decision in the Stewards Room at Whitfield, but had won a Parham Maiden prior to that in Tim Underwood’s colours.

Speaking with Charlie Dando at the PPORA meeting he was waiting for an assessment regarding riding in Point-to-Points this year. Charlie suffered life threatening injuries in a shooting accident at the beginning of last season but made a marvelous recovery and was back at work about two months later. While taking nothing for granted he is cautiously optimistic about returning to the saddle and last years Woodford winner BRASS IN POCKET is amongst several the Dando’s are priming for the coming season.

Elsewhere Ryan Potter is hoping to build on last years successes with BRAVE JAQ and FOXCUB amongst others.

The former, a 6-year-old by Network, won a 1-1/2 mile AQPAS flat race in France but has not shown anything subsequently for Paul Nicholls and Tim Vaughan. Foxcub has tasted success 5 times under Rules the latest at Bangor back in 2015.

Sue Bowen has acquired THE ABSENT MARE from Sarah Jane Davies but this one has struggled since winning 2 years ago.

David Fitch Peyton’s BOUND FOR GLORY has a fondness for Cottenham and he followed up last year’s success by taking the Ladies Open at that courses December meeting and the Leigherton based trainer should enjoy another successful season.

Axelle Wall’s Coln Rogers stables houses ASK CONNIE and FESTIVAL DAWN and judging by last seasons performances the latter should have not difficulty improving her record in a Maiden.

MAN FROM SEVILLE won at Andoversford last year whilst in Fergal O’Brien’s care but has now been qualified with the Clifton-on-Teme by John Walker, while John Bryan is preparing ASK THE GUVNOR for Jack McGrath and given their record it would not be wise to dismiss his chances.

Andrew Campbell early runners are likely to include YOU’RE THE MAN, GEORGE HERBERT and LIGHT FLICKER and judging by his recent effort at Bishops Court the latter still has a lot to learn.

The Tom Weston trained THE LATE LEGEND is only 4-years-old but he is bound to have been well schooled and that should stand him in good stead when he makes his racecourse debut (He finished 3rd in a Larkhill Maiden last weekend).

BENNETTS & JUKES DOUBLE UP AT BARBURY

Clive and Eileen Bennett have been involved in Point-to-Point Racing for over 30 years and last season proved one of their most successful. They started this season as they ended the last one with winners during Sundays Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Club fixture at Barbury Racecourse.

19 horses lined up for the Mixed Open with Now Ben and Lilbitluso vying for favouritism although Iberico did come in for late support. The two market leaders were at the head of affairs from the start while Emma Alvis’s runner Big Casino also held a prominent position.

Now Ben was carrying a 12-lb penalty but put in a brave front running display until a bad mistake at the 14th ended his chances. Iberico was beginning to get into his stride at this point, and Sam Jukes made what turned out to be a race winning move as he then began to pour on the pressure.

Lilbitluso was the only one able to cope with the increased pace and was about a length behind the leader approaching the third from home. Iberico met it on a perfect stride, whereas Lilbitluso hit it hard, became temporarily unbalanced and went very wide round the bend.

Approaching two out and Iberico (pink) is clear of Lilbitluso (dark & light blue) with Big Casino (green cap) coming through to take 3rd

Juke’s mount looked vulnerable as Lilbitluso closed the gap as they met the rising ground, but once they straightened up for home Iberico saw off his rival’s challenge and Lilbitluso had to accept defeat between the final two fences.

Iberico jumps the last with a clear lead

The Dymock trained gelding stormed up the run in to prevail by 5-lengths with the Emma Alvis trained Big Casino 8-lengths back in third. The winner of 3 races last year Iberico was conceding 6lb to the runner up and although 11-years-old this was probably one of the best performances of his career.

Sam Jukes seems pleased with himself and so he should be after success in this company

Winning connections in the paddock

Questioned about future objectives connections were keen to keep Point-to-Pointing reasoning it had taken them a long time to improve his jumping and that could be easily undone over larger obstacles.

The trainer/jockey indicated his charge “was likely to return to the course for the January meeting. He loves it here so why change. He likes a flat track and has to go left handed. He was completely outpaced over the first four fences and made mistakes at each one, but they came back to me and he started to jump better”.

The Bennett horses are divided between Jukes who trains at their home near Dymock and Emma Alvis’s yard at Laverton and the friendly rivalry between these two trainers ended on level terms when Alvis took the Intermediate with Chasforgold.

Ballyfore Cross and Minella Friend alternated in the lead but the field closed ranks racing down the back straight. Employing similar tactics to those employed earlier in the afternoon, Jukes closed on the leaders with Chasforgold and hit the front with half a mile to run.

Chasforgold and Sam Jukes hold a useful advantage over their rivals at the second from home

Palmaria and Robin de Boss were within touching distance on the home turn but were unable to close the gap which resulted in Chasforgold prevailing by a length and a quarter with just a neck separating the second and third.

Alvis admitted afterwards “We thought he had a good chance. He is stronger this year and has filled out. He is big and rangy, and it has taken a long time to fill his frame. He had a couple of years off with a ligament problem in his back.”

Winning trainer Emma Alvis with Chasforgold – Sam Jukes, Clive Bennett and Heather Kemp in the presentation area

The jockey recall “He did not pick up the bridle on the first circuit, but when I asked him for an effort down the back straight he did so immediately. He loves this type of ground.”

Bridgnorth trainer Phil Rowley was unlucky not to land a double. Pique Rock scored an impressive in in the Mares and Fillies Maiden while his newcomer The Sting half a length behind the long-time leader Lily’s Got Wings in the 2-1/2-mile Maiden when capsizing at the final obstacle.

Pique Rocks path to victory was eased when the favourite One Big Love went at the first, but its doubtful if this made any difference to the result.

The Spider Catcher led into the back straight, but Alex Edwards was just biding his time and the partnership hit the front approaching the third from home and strode clear for a 10-length success.

Pique Rock and Alex Edwards at the last

With owner Juliett Minton busy preparing foals for the Newmarket Sales her husband David explained “We like her a lot. She knew where she was when she arrived at the racecourse because her box (she was previously in training with Alan King) was just behind the paddock. She ran well when 5th at Cheltenham but then lost her way. If we can win another point with her, we might send her hurdling”.

David Minton, Alex Edwards, Mel and Philip Rowley are all smiles after this win

Opinion was divided about the outcome of the concluding 2-1/2 mile Maiden. Lily’s Got Wings held a useful lead from halfway, but all the way down the back straight The Sting began to make significant inroads and it looked as though the leader would be swallowed up on the final bend.

The Sting (red and white) and Lily’s Got Wings are level at the second from home

Jack Andrews mount has the advantage at the last and is left clear when The Sting falls

The 5-year-old proved a difficult nut to crack although The Sting did get on level terms at the second from home. There was little in it at the last, but Alex Edwards mount hit the top and came down which left Lily’s Got Wings 20-lengths clear of Mary Vestey’s U No Like who held a prominent position until the pace quickened with half a mile to run.

Photo’s Graham Fisher & Pete Mansell

Novice Riders

1st           William Money                                C Brace                4-6 fav

2nd          Just Cause

3rd          Vaillant Creek

Mares Maiden

1st           Pique Rock                                       A Edwards          6-5

2nd          Act Like You Know

3rd          Sackable Offence

Mixed Open

1st           Iberico                                               S Jukes                7-2

2nd          Lilbitluso

3rd          Big Casino

PPORA Conditions

1st           Sentimentaljourney                       S Wood               6-1

2nd          Rendezvous Peak

3rd          Shangani

Intermediate

1st           Chasforgold                                     S Jukes                5-2

2nd          Palmaria

3rd          Robin de Boss

2-1/2 mile Maiden

1st           Lily’s Got Wings                              J Andrews          33-1

2nd          U No Like

3rd          Troed Y Melin

JO PRIEST MOVES TO HOLDFAST STABLES

Worcestershire Point-to-Point trainer Jo Priest is one of the tenants at Holdfast Stables near Upton-on-Severn.

Priest has spent the previous 10 years at Abberley from where she enjoyed her fair share of success. She is a familiar face on the local Point-to-Point scene and with the help of owner Phil Rees has built a circuit of schooling fences to help ensure her charges are given every opportunity to reach their maximum potential.

The trainer starts her new venture with 8 horses, although the converted farmyard has more boxes so there is room for expansion. Facilities include a four furlong all weather loop gallop and a 3 furlong gradient as well as an indoor exercise school.

It will be interesting to see how the horses react to their new surroundings and training regimes. These include Alfstar who won two races last year before pulling up on two occasions later in the campaign. Very Keen has taken a long time to win his Maiden but finally came good at Whitfield and connections will be hoping he can build on that success.

Swiss Height’s best effort was finishing third in a Maisemore Maiden and a return visit to that track could reap benefits. Riding plans are unclear for a majority of the inmates but James Martin gets on well with Swiss Heights so their partnership is likely to continue.

Gallant Lad has been around for a few years but his form figures do not look that inspiring. He was pulled up 4 out of the last 5 times he ran for previous trainer Ray Rogers so an operation to improve his breathing must be a step in the right direction.

Buffalo Sabre ran twice under Rules. He finished third of four on his second run in a Carlisle Hurdle and that is his best effort to date. Time is on his side and the drop into the Point-to-Point field could prove beneficial.

Stoneyley Minstrel has been side-lined since finishing third in a Brampton Bryan Maiden back in 2014/15 and it would be a feather in the trainers cap if he made it into the winner’s enclosure.

Priest also has charge of an un-named and un-raced homebred for her Landlady Sue Troughton, while Liam Carter who is based with Andoversford trainer Kim Bailey teams up with the ex-Andy Martin trained Fitz Volante. This one has jumped around Aintree so should be a safe conveyance for his new rider.

NATIONAL POINT-TO-POINT SPONSORSHIP

Grass roots of racing well supported by big-name sponsors
Britain’s new series of point-to-point flat races will be sponsored by Hertfordshire-based construction company, JRL Group. Following on from the success of the first race of its type held at Barbury International Racing Club’s December meeting last year, five more ‘bumpers’ will be held this season across the country.

Skinners Pet Foods has stepped up its support of point-to-pointing by sponsoring the lady riders championship this coming season. In addition, it is once again supporting the 20 races that make up the Ladies Open Series, concluding with a Hunters’ Chase final at Stratford Racecourse on 8th June. (West Midland qualifying races held at the Cotswold Vale Farmers meeting at Andoversford on 15th April and the Worcestershire Point-to-Point at Chaddesley Corbett on 21st April)

Cheltenham Gold Cup-sponsor Timico is continuing its support for point-to-point with a 14 race Mixed Open series across the country, all run for the maximum total prize fund of £1,000. The series will culminate in a £25,000 final at Cheltenham’s evening Hunters’ Chase meeting on Friday 4th May. (West Midland qualifying race at the Ledbury fixture at Maisemore Park on 25th March)

To mark its eleventh year of national sponsorship of the sport, Connolly’s RED MILLS has come on board as the Point-to-Point Authority’s official nutrition partner and will stage events, give advice and offer promotions to the pointing community. The company once again sponsors the 14 races that make up its popular Intermediate Series in leading to a Final at Cheltenham on 4th May. Connolly’s RED MILLS continues to support the national championships for the leading horse and, under their supplement brand Foran Equine, the leading trainers’ titles. (The Albrighton & Woodland (North) meeting at Chaddesley Corbett on 11th February stages the first of 14 qualifying races in this popular series)

Building on the success of last year’s point-to-point National Hunt flat (Bumper) races at Aintree and Exeter, Goffs UK is in place to support them for another season. The two races are open to all 4, 5 and 6-year-old horses who have finished in the first three in any Maiden point-to-point, and the first three in either bumper are offered a wild-card entry to Goffs UK Spring Sales (21st-24th May 2018).

Support for mares is strengthened this season with the continuation of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s 3-2-1 Bonus. This exciting initiative sees the highest-placing mare (down to 5th place) in all of the point-to-point National Hunt flat (Bumper) races, including the two Goffs UK sponsored races and another at Stratford, eligible for up to £3,000 in bonus money.

The Jockey Club is committed to its support of grass-roots racing and sponsors 20 races in the popular “Mares Maiden Series”. It also continue to sponsor the Champion Novice Mare Award, including a bonus that would double any prize money she gains on her first start at a Jockey Club Racecourse. (Mares Maiden Series races will be held in the Area at Knightwick Races on 29th April, the Croome & West Warwickshire fixture at Maisemore Park on 7th May and finally at the Albrighton & Woodland (South) on 28th May)

Dodson & Horrell’s patronage is synonymous with pointing and the company is continuing their partnership with the PPORA through their Novice Riders’ Series. This will be their 31st  consecutive year of involvement with the sport. The series takes place over 12 races with a final held at Garthorpe on 29th April. (The Albrighton & Woodland (North) stage a race in this series on 11th February)

DODSON & HORRELL SPONSORSHIP DETAILS FOR 2017/2018

With the start of the season rapidly approaching, the PPORA is pleased to announce equine nutrition specialists Dodson & Horrell’s support for Point-to-Pointing continues to grow from strength to strength, with a trio of sponsorships designed to support the grassroots of the sport.

The Dodson & Horrell Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association Club Members Novice Riders Series

Headlining Dodson & Horrell’s 2017/18 sponsorship is the Dodson & Horrell Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association Club Members Novice Riders Series – 12 national qualifiers lead the way to a £1,000 Final at Garthorpe on April 29th.

The first of these qualifiers opens the PPORC card at Barbury on November 26thwhere the team for Dodson & Horrell will be joining us on the day and taking part in the Novice Riders Instructional Course Walk with Mark Bradburne, before enjoying the action on the track throughout the afternoon. Click here if you are a novice rider and would like to know more about how to join Mark Bradburne to walk the course.

Sam Horrell, CEO at Dodson & Horrell, commented:

“With over 30 years of sponsoring Point-to-Points, Dodson & Horrell is always delighted when the season starts; it is a chance to get close to our core customers, who are true horse and dog fans. The final is always an exciting climax to the season and the winner is a true champion, with many notable wining riders over the years who have gone on to great things in racing.”

For details of all the Dodson & Horrell Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association Club Members Novice Riders Series Qualifiers and other ways to become eligible for the Final, please click here

The Dodson & Horrell Award For The Wilkinson Sword

 

Dodson & Horrell’s enthusiasm for emerging talent is further evidenced by their continued support for the 2017/18 Dodson & Horrell Award For The Wilkinson Sword – a fiercely competitive event that sees each season’s novice men go head-to-head in a battle to ride the most winners prior to the PPORA Grassroots Awards Lunch in June.

The 2016/17 contest witnessed the emergence of a remarkable talent as noted by Chris Gordon, Technical Director at Dodson & Horrell and racing enthusiast:

“Sponsoring the Wilkinson Sword for male novice riders is always an exciting experience; it is great to watch the riders progress throughout the season and see who comes out on top at the end. Last season’s winner James Bowen (16) had an incredible run of 30 wins, and Dodson & Horrell were pleased to recognise and celebrate his outstanding success.”

With the new season now just four weeks away there’s growing anticipation as the focus now shifts to who will emerge as the key players and who will ultimately triumph over their rivals in the coming months.

Read more about the Dodson & Horrell Award For The Wilkinson Sword by clicking here

The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Owner Trainer of the Month Award

In 2016/17 Dodson & Horrell celebrated their 30th year of support for Pointing with the introduction of The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Owner Trainer of the Month Award.

Designed to recognise the achievements of the owner-trainers at the heart of the grassroots pointing community, this award proved immediately popular and offered new monthly interest throughout the season. Dodson & Horrell and the PPORA will build on the success of last year’s awards, which will be continued in the coming season.

The award further promotes grassroots involvement by encouraging all PPORA members to nominate the Owner Trainers who they think deserve to win a monthly award.

Confirming their continued support for these awards, Sam Horrell, CEO at Dodson & Horrell, told us:

“As a long-standing sponsor of Point-to-Pointing, Dodson & Horrell feel it is important to celebrate pointing’s traditional grass roots and we are particularly pleased to be able to celebrate the dedication of the owner-trainer, a very special part of this unique sport.”

To find out more about this season’s Owner Trainer of the Month Award – including how to nominate a monthly contender please click here

 

Reflecting on the long-standing and successful relationship between the PPORA and Dodson & Horrell, PPORA chairman Robert Killen said:

“Supporting and strengthening Grassroots Pointing, along with recognising the achievements of our grassroots owners and riders, is at the heart or the PPORA’s aims. Over the years we have forged a strong and much valued partnership with Dodson & Horrell, whose remarkable commitment to Point-to-Pointing, and choice of sponsorship opportunities, have made a major contribution in helping to shine the spotlight on grassroots achievements in our sport.”

 

FREE NOVICE RIDERS COURSE WALK AT BARBURY CASTLE ON 26TH NOVEMBER 2017

The Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association and the Point-to-Point Authority have teamed up to offer ALL 2017/18 novice riders the opportunity to join an instructional course walk with former Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Mark Bradburne.

Why join a novice riders’ course walk… it’s a great chance to get guidance and insight from an experienced jockey and qualified coach.

Mark is helpful and friendly and will make it easy for you to ask any questions you might have. Feedback from Mark’s previous training sessions are that riders find them helpful and fun.

For anyone riding in the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Novice Riders race it’s a great opportunity to walk the course you will ride under the guidance of an experienced jockey, and to deal with any last minute nerves or questions – joining in might make a wining difference…

…what should you expect… course walks are relaxed and informal – it’s not a lecture or a test, it is an opportunity to learn and to ask as many questions as you like – the more you put into this the bigger the benefit. Plus, it’s a chance to get to know some of your fellow novice riders for the season…

…what’s covered on the walk… a course walk will typically include:

  • pre-race procedures, your medical book and weighing out
  • an overview of the course from start to finish
  • guidance on starting procedure – including what’s expected of you, and how to line up and jump off – depending on race strategy
  • fence skills – including the line to take and things to think about in the approach, over the fence and on the landing side
  • race positioning – where to be when and why
  • understanding markers and flags
  • riding a finish – balance and whip rules
  • post-race procedures, including unsaddling and weighing in

…and there’s plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you might have…

…how much does it cost… it’s FREE for 2017/18 novice riders…

…do I have to have an RQC or join the PPORA to join the walk… no, as it’s early in the season there’s no need to have already registered your RQQ to join Mark on the walk…

…do I have to be a PPORA Rider Member to join the walk… no, as it’s the first walk of the season we want to make this a free opportunity for all this season’s novice riders.

We really hope you will join the PPORA and ride in some PPORA races this season. Remember if you are a first season novice rider you’ll be eligible for FREE PPORA membership when you register your RQC.

You can find out more information about PPORA membership here: www.ppora.co.uk/2016-2017-membership

Please remember you will need to be a PPORA member by declaration to ride in a PPORA race…

…how do I sign up to join the course walk… it’s easy – send us an email to membership@ppora.co.ukor call Maria on 01267 232105 – places are limited so we encourage you to pre-book, subject to places remaining available you may also be able to sign up on the day…

…arrangements on the day… the course walk will start at 10.30am and the assembly point will be in front of the Secretary’s Tent…

…I can’t make it to Barbury, will there be more course walks… yes, the Point-to-Point Authority and the PPORA are finalising a series of rider training events, including course walks and coaching sessions – keep a look out for announcements on the PPORA website www.ppora.co.uk and on social media…

…any questions… call or email Maria using the contact details above.

WEST MIDLAND FIXTURES FOR 2017/2018

29TH DECEMBER 2017 – HARKAWAY CLUB – CHADDESLEY CORBETT

11TH FEBRUARY 2018 – ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (NORTH) – CHADDESLEY CORBETT

3RD MARCH 2018 – DUKE OF BEAUFORT – DIDMARTON

25TH MARCH 2018 – LEDBURY – MAISEMORE PARK

2ND APRIL 2018 – NORTH COTSWOLD – PAXFORD

8TH APRIL 2018 – ANDOVERSFORD RACES (FORMERLY COTSWOLD) – ANDOVERSFORD

15TH APRIL 2018 – COTSWOLD VALE FARMERS – ANDOVERSFORD

21ST APRIL 2018 – WORCESTERSHIRE – CHADDESLEY CORBETT

28TH APRIL 2018 – BERKELEY – WOODFORD

29TH APRIL 2018 – KNIGHTWICK RACES (FOMERLY CLIFTON-ON-TEME) – KNIGHTWICK

7TH MAY 2018 – CROOME & WEST WARWICKSHIRE – MAISEMORE PARK

12TH MAY 2018 – WHEATLAND – CHADDESLEY CORBETT

28TH MAY 2018 – ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) – CHADDESLEY CORBETT

For list of ALL 2017/2018 fixtures – click here