Bank Holiday Point-to-Points are always popular with casual racegoers so the organisers of these meetings must be breathing a sigh of relief after recent predictions of another icy blast over the weekend have subsequently been amended.
Easter is one of the busiest periods on the Point-to-Point calendar and with 21 scheduled meetings it is impossible to predict running plans. However, Paxford has proved popular with racegoers since its inaugural meeting in 1997 and following a host of recent cancellations and with the going described as good to soft, soft in places at the start of the week, a good turn-out is expected.
Property Developer David Maxwell’s life style allows him to indulge his passion for race riding and his participation in the sport is welcomed. He travels far and wide in search of success and after a double at Brafield on the Green and Ascot last weekend he could add to his tally if Kim Smyly saddles Minerfortyniner for the Members which opens proceedings at 1 p.m.
The Stanton based trainer may not be single handed as Maybe Plenty and Minella Friend also hold entries. The former has spent a couple of years on the side-lines enjoying motherhood and this race will hopefully provide evidence that her enthusiasm remains intact.
Laverton resident Emma Alvis relies on Big Casino or Castle Cheetah and both have shaped promisingly in their most recent runs and this is an easier task than some they have faced this season.
Cyrien Star won this event 12 months ago, but despite connections best efforts he has always proved tricky at the start so others are preferred on that evidence. Martin Wanless’s stable holds three entries, Dynamo Frankie, Lake Balaton and Monetaire and their representative might be one for the forecast.
First Goodnight comes from Paul and Lucy King’s yard at Weston sub Edge. He got rid of his rider at halfway at Didmarton and will need to polish up in that department to make his mark in this contest.
Connections might stand a better chance in the following Maiden. Most of the contestants in this event have spurned previous chances to open their accounts, which tells you something about their ability.
Bus Stop represents owners who are no strangers to the winners enclosure, and the same remark applies to Miss Seagreen, one of Clive and Eileen’s Bennett’s homebreds. Trainer Emma Alvis and jockey Sam Jukes make a formidable combination so she gets the vote despite her lack of experience.
Men’s and Ladies Open have been run at this meeting in the past, that has changed to a Mixed Open this year and has proved popular with a total of 21 entries.
Facile Bien, Foxcub and Green Winter head the rankings, while the opposition includes Drumart, Horsham Lad, Old Pride and Well Mett, but preference to given to Johnny Og and Vinnie Red. Both horses have raced under rules with the latter showing the best form and he appears to have the right credentials.
Chris and Fran Marriotts Dabinett Moon looks a certainty for the Mares and Fillies race and only in her absence are we likely to see Following Mama or The Jaffna Queen fight out the finish.
Creepy and L’Eldorado are the two top rated horses in the Veteran and Novice Riders race, but Foxcub who won a Hunter Chase at Fakenham recently will be there to pick up the pieces if the two market leaders fail to produce the goods.
The Restricted is run over 2-1/2 miles. These races tend to throw up some unusual results because the competitors can sometimes give the leader too much rope which they find impossible to claw back in the latter stages of the race.
Emtidaad, Lily’s Got Wings and Master Hide all have chances but it may be worth taking a punt on the Diana Ralph trained Henry Howard. He had Master Hide behind him when successful over a longer distance at Chaddesley Corbett last May and should be able to see off most of these rivals.
The meeting finishes with the 10-year-old and over Conditions race where the entries include the aforementioned Creepy and Foxcub. Old Pride seems at home over 2-1/2 or 3 miles and showed excellent form at the end of last season and could supply the Ralphs with their second winner of the afternoon.