Queen Olivia has been competing at a much higher level than the opposition in the Members Race which opens the North Cotswold Point-to-Point on Monday afternoon.
Torrential rain caused the last-minute cancellation of last years meeting but the opposite is true 12 months later as the current dry spell is expected to continue over the holiday weekend.
Broadway trainer “Tor” Collins has found winners difficult to come by since moving over from Ludlow in the summer, but this looks a perfect opportunity for her stable to get back to winning ways.
Martin and Jane Wanless’s Big Man Doe or Monetaire are expected to give the mare most to do, but they will be hampered by 7lb penalties, while Queen Olivia benefits from the 5 lb mares allowance and that has to make all the difference.
Creepy and Llancillo Lord both ran at Maisemore last weekend and the latter looked useful sort after turning the Maiden into a procession. Red Inca gave his best performance for some time at Bitterley recently but that was over 2-1/2 miles and this trip might test his stamina.
Pantxoa is a confirmed front runner but he can often throw in one careless jump and that has caused problems for Jacob Pritchard Webb in the past so he will need to keep his wits about him.
Queen Olivia has an alternative engagement in the Mixed Open but the opposition is much stronger to that she is likely to encounter in the Members.
They include the penalised Ardkilly Witness, Brackloon High and Green Winter and with regular pilot Zac Baker lining up other potential rides at this meeting this could be the latter’s chosen objective. His form is consistently high but it remains to be seen if he can concede weight to Chasforgold and Premier Portrait.
Both horses have struggled this year, but the latter showed signs of a revival at Andoversford and could upset some of his more fancied rivals.
George Daly had his first ride on Dandan at the Cotswold so expect a bold showing from them in the Novice Riders. This could be an interesting tactical contest if You’re the Man attempts his third win in the space of three weeks.
Sam Canning gets the best out of Jake Slatter’s 7-year-old and the sight of these two taking one another on would itself be worthy of the entrance fee. Call Me Vic’s win at Maisemore indicates he has a chance so the winner must come from this trio.
Behomebymidnight and Singinthevalleys represent Sam Evans Stratford on Avon yard in the Restricted. Both are just out of Maiden class and may struggle at the next grade, but that same remark does not apply to Buffalo Sabre who has put in some good performance in recent weeks.
No Limitations was let down by his jumping at Maisemore and that problem could limit future progression, while Black Frost was impressive when winning at Bredwardine last season and seems to flourish at this time of year.
The latter’s trainer James Ridley could also take the Maiden with Cashmoll who was prominent for a long way at Brampton Bryan and should be able to build on that experience, while Amadoue has no chance of lasting home the way he races.
Lilys Got Wings looks the one for the Mares race, whilst the 10-year-old and upwards Conditions throws up some difficult questions but ones that could be resolved by How About It.