Category Archives: News

FREQUENT RUNNERS – UPDATE 19TH MAY

 

Positions with one meeting remaining

 This new initiative which came in at the start of the 2021-2022 season rewards trainers for running their horses in our races throughout the season.
It covers 21 fixtures from November to June and is jointly sponsored by SHIRES EQUESTRIAN, BUYABREAK and SOUTHWICK WINES.

Prizes provided by the sponsors will be available as follows:

 LEADING TRAINERS

The FIRST SIX TRAINERS will receive a weekend break worth £149 from sponsors Buyabreak, dedicated to making your next UK break as relaxing and enjoyable as it can be. The company has partnered with selected hotels & resorts to bring you the most cost-effective solutions available.

The LEADING SIX TRAINERS will also receive a case of Notorious Pink, exclusively imported into the UK by sponsor Southwick Wines.

LEADING TRAINERS
FRANCESCA POSTE – 111 points
LAURA RICHARDSON – 89 points
PHIL ROWLEY – 78 points
JAMES RIDLEY – 75 points
HEIDI BROOKSHAW – 59 points
LUCY SMITH – 56 points
CAROLINE ROBINSON – 53 points
NICKIE SHEPPARD – 52 points

Only a few points separate Lucy Smith, Caroline Robinson and Nickie Sheppard as they fight it out for the six and final position, so runners at Chaddesley on the 2nd June could prove crucial

LEADING TRAINER FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA
Will receive a £200 voucher from Shires Equestrian.

FRANCESCA POSTE has an unassailable lead in this category

LEADING TRAINER (TWO HORSES OR LESS)
The 3 leading trainers with two horses or less will each win a £100 voucher.

ALEX MAGGS – 27 points
RUSSELL TEAGUE – 26 points
DEREK SMITH & CERI REECE – 19 points

DON’T FORGET YOU CAN ACCRUE POINTS BY HAVING RUNNERS AT THE REMAINING FIXTURES

THE ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

FREQUENT RUNNERS SCHEME – LATEST UPDATE

This new initiative which came in at the start of the 2021-2022 season rewards trainers for running their horses in our races throughout the season. It covers 21 fixtures from November to June and is jointly sponsored by SHIRES EQUESTRIAN, BUYABREAK and SOUTHWICK WINES.

Prizes provided by the scheme’s sponsors will be available as follows:
LEADING TRAINERS – The first six trainers will receive a weekend break worth £149 from sponsors Buyabreak, dedicated to making your next UK break as relaxing and enjoyable as it can be. The company has partnered with selected hotels & resorts to bring you the most cost-effective solutions available.
LEADING SIX TRAINERS – Will also receive a case of Notorious Pink, exclusively imported into the UK by sponsor Southwick Wines.
LEADING TRAINER FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA – will receive a £200 voucher from Shires Equestrian.

LEADING TRAINER (TWO HORSES OR LESS) -The 3 leading trainers with two horses or less will each win a £100 voucher.

POSITIONS AFTER MEETINGS ON 7th MAY

LEADING TRAINERS                                         LEADING TRAINERS – OUT OF AREA
FRAN POST – 106 points                                    FRAN POSTE – 106 points
LAURA RICHARDSON – 87 points                      NICKIE SHEPPARD – 39 points
PHIL ROWLEY – 78 points                                   NICK WILLIAMS – 16 points
JAMES RIDLEY  – 75 points                                 GEORGINA NICHOLLS – 14 points
HEIDI BROOKSHAW – 57 points
LUCY SMITH – 53 points
NICKIE SHEPPARD – 52 points
CAROLINE ROBINSON – 51 points         

LEADING TRAINERS (TWO HORSES OR LESS)
RUSSELL TEAGUE – 26 points
ALEX MAGGS – 22 points
DEREK SMITH & CERI REECE – 19 points

DON’T FORGET YOU CAN ACCRUE POINTS BY HAVING RUNNERS AT THE REMAINING FIXTURES,

KNUTSFORD RACES CLUB ON 15TH MAY AND THE ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

 

 

LORNA BROOKE MEMORIAL FINAL – 2ND JUNE

This series which was created to keep Lorna’s memory fresh in our minds concludes with the Final at the Albrighton & Woodland (South) meeting at Chaddesley Corbett on Thursday 2nd June

Lorna’s tragic death left a big void in the amateur ranks and has had a major impact in the closely knit communities at Point-to-Point and National Hunt courses along the Welsh Borders where her absence has been felt by many friends and weighing room colleagues.

All the qualifying events have been held in the newly established West Mercian Area, where every Ladies Open has carried the title The Lorna Brooke Memorial Qualifying Race. Lorna’s family has put up the prize money for the Final and mementoes.

Entrance to the final is open to ANY horse that started in these qualifying events.

The meeting and the list of horses is provided below.

Harkaway Club Ladies Open on Tuesday 28th December 2021
Dubai Quest
Tango de Juilley
Red Indian
Silsol
Financial Outcome
Ballyhowne
Myth Buster
Top of the Charts
Oistrakh Le Noir
Optimised
Goldbury
Harrie

Albrighton & Woodland (North) Ladies Open on Sunday 20th February 2022 (Meeting abandoned)

No horses eligible

Sir W W Wynn’s & Flint & Denbigh Ladies Conditions on Sunday 6th March 2022
Golden Tobouggan
Skipping On
Write it Down
Dream Conti

Croome & West Warwickshire Ladies Open on Saturday 19th March 2022
Toshima
Agamemmon
Tb Broke Her
Longhouse Sale
Summer Sounds
Ryans Fancy
Gold Opera
Kings Cross
Brown Bear

Cotswold Ladies Open and Ladies Conditions on Sunday 3rd April 2022
Rhythm is a Dancer
Lord Scoundrel
Tb Broke Her
Keep Moving
Jack Dillinger
Duc Kauto
Rebel Turn
Lip Service
Proximo
Monsieur Gibraltar

Cotswold Vale Farmers Ladies Open on Sunday 10th April 2022
Dandy Dan
Ancient Empire

Worcestershire Ladies Open on Saturday 16th April
Southfield Theatre
Tb Broke Her
Chase Me
Agamemmon

North Shropshire Ladies Open on Monday 18th April
Champagne Lilly
Drakes Well
Azzuri

Berkeley Ladies Conditions (Level 1) on Saturday 23rd April
Wotzizname
Grageelagh Girl
Actival
Stay out of Court
Knight Batchelor
Master Templar
Danseur du Large

 

 

 

DON’T FORGET

TO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN FOR THE FINAL AT THE ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) MEETING ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

 

 

DAIRY PARTNERS CHAMPIONSHIP – LATEST UPDATES

 

As the season draws to a close, opportunities for winning this major prize (which has kindly been donated by Dairy Partners) are diminishing with point scoring opportunities available at four more races.

The winner of the Championship picks up a first prize of £1,000 and is open to ANY horse that has run in one of the 28 qualifying races (12 Mixed Opens, 8 Men’s Opens and 8 Ladies Opens) held in the West Mercian Area.

The remaining races are the South Shropshire (Mixed Open) on 2nd May, the Mixed Open at the Wheatland on 7th May, Knutsford Club (Mixed Open) on 15th May and the Ladies Open at the Albrighton and Woodland (South) on Thursday 2nd June.

Winning or being placed in one of these remaining races could prove crucial when the totals are calculated at the end of the season.

 

Don’t miss out!

The current positions are after 23rd April meetings

1st – Rhythm is a Dancer – 14 points
2nd – Chase Me – 13 points
3rd – Fifty Shades/Mr Love/Somekindofking – 12 points
4th – Tb Broke Her – 11 points
5th – Green Winter/Miss Seagreen/Staple Head/Complete Sizing – 10 points
6th – Igor – 8 points
7th – Dubai Quest/For Rita/Hazzaar/Lip Service/Premier Magic/Southfield Theatre/Toshima/Trio for
       Rio/Dandy Dan/Twig – 7 points

 

FREQUENT RUNNERS SCHEME – LATEST UPDATE

This new initiative which came in at the start of the 2021-2022 season rewards trainers for running their horses in our races throughout the season. It covers 21 fixtures from November to June and is jointly sponsored by SHIRES EQUESTRIAN, BUYABREAK and SOUTHWICK WINES.

Each race carries a star rating depending on its propensity to attract entries and runners. For example, Point-to-Point Bumpers until the end of March will attract 1pt, whilst Open races will attract 5pts. For the remaining two months of the season, scores will alter in order to encourage runners trained both within and outside the Area to run in our races.

Prizes provided by the scheme’s sponsors will be available as follows:

LEADING TRAINERS – The first six trainers will receive a weekend break worth £149 from sponsors Buyabreak, dedicated to making your next UK break as relaxing and enjoyable as it can be. The company has partnered with selected hotels & resorts to bring you the most cost-effective solutions available.
LEADING SIX TRAINERS – Will also receive a case of Notorious Pink, exclusively imported into the UK by sponsor Southwick Wines.
LEADING TRAINER FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA – will receive a £200 voucher from Shires Equestrian.
LEADING TRAINER (TWO HORSES OR LESS) -The 3 leading trainers with two horses or less will each win a £100 voucher.

POSITIONS AFTER MEETINGS ON 23RD APRIL

LEADING TRAINERS                                         LEADING TRAINERS – OUT OF AREA
FRAN POST – 93 points                                      FRAN POSTE – 93 points
LAURA RICHARDSON – 79 points                       NICKIE SHEPPARD – 39 points
JAMES RIDLEY – 64 points                                  NICK WILLIAMS – 16 points
PHIL ROWLEY – 61 points                                   GEORGINA NICHOLLS – 14 points
HEIDI BROOKSHAW – 51 points
NICKIE SHEPPARD – 47 points    

LEADING TRAINERS (TWO HORSES OR LESS)
RUSSELL TEAGUE – 22 points
ALEX MAGGS – 19 points
CHLOE MILLS – 17 points
DEREK SMITH & CERI REECE – 16 points

 

DON’T FORGET YOU CAN ACCRUE POINTS BY HAVING RUNNERS AT THE REMAINING WEST MERCIAN AREA FIXTURES, SOUTH SHROPSHIRE ON 2ND MAY, WHEATLAND ON 7TH MAY, KNUTSFORD RACES CLUB ON 15TH MAY AND FINISHES WITH THE ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) FIXTURE AT CHADDESLEY CORBETT ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

WEST MERCIAN AREA MEETINGS – FREQUENT RUNNERS SCHEME

This new initiative for the 2021-2022 season rewards trainers for running their horses in our races throughout the season. This scheme has been running since the start of the season and covers 21 fixtures from November to June. The Frequent Runner Scheme which is jointly sponsored by Shires Equestrian, Buyabreak and Southwick Wines.

Each race carries a star rating depending on its propensity to attract entries and runners. For example, Point-to-Point Bumpers until the end of March will attract 1pt, whilst Open races will attract 5pts. For the remaining two months of the season, scores will alter in order to encourage runners trained both within and outside the Area to run in our races.

Prizes provided by the scheme’s sponsors will be available as follows:

LEADING TRAINERS – The first six trainers will receive a weekend break worth £149 from sponsors Buyabreak, dedicated to making your next UK break as relaxing and enjoyable as it can be. The company has partnered with selected hotels & resorts to bring you the most cost-effective solutions available.
LEADING SIX TRAINERS – Will also receive a case of Notorious Pink, exclusively imported into the UK by sponsor Southwick Wines.
LEADING TRAINER FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA – will receive a £200 voucher from Shires Equestrian.

LEADING TRAINER (TWO HORSES OR LESS) -The 3 leading trainers with two horses or less will each win a £100 voucher.

CURRENT POSITIONS

LEADING TRAINERS                                         LEADING TRAINERS – OUT OF AREA

LAURA RICHARDSON – 37 points                       FRAN POSTE – 35 points

FRAN POSTE – 35 points                                    NICKIE SHEPPARD – 26 points

PHIL ROWLEY – 31 points                                   NICK WILLIAMS – 16 points

JAMES RIDLEY – 31 points                                  GEORGINA NICHOLLS – 14 points

NICKIE SHEPPARD – 26 points

HEIDI BROOKSHAW – 21 points                                                                                                       

 

LEADING TRAINERS (TWO HORSES OR LESS)

ALEX MAGGS – 14 points

CHLOE MILLS & RUSSELL TEAGUE – 12 points

DEREK SMITH & OLIVER BRISSENDON – 11 points

CERI REECE & ED WALKER – 10 points

JOANNA MCCAIN – 9 points

 

 

 

25 YEARS AT PAXFORD

 

Easter Point-to-Points have their own unique atmosphere and if the weather is favourable the sports regular supporters are joined by a throng of once-a-year attendees who combine to make the North Cotswold Point-to-Point one of the best attended meetings in the country.

The North Cotswold held their first Point-to-Point in 1903 at Aston Hill, Aston Somerville, and had a number of homes in subsequent years at Gorse Hill, Broadway, Saintbury, Washbourne, Buckland Fields and Dumbleton before moving to Springhill where they stayed for the next 64 years. The meeting spent a couple of years at Andoversford as the new course was being developed before finally opening in 1997, so celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2022.

That is testimony to the foresight of landowner and Hunt Stalwart Geoff Adams for the time and effort which went into the course’s creation.  

It was no easy transformation with the land at Bank Farm, dissected by the Knee Brook so that was one major obstacle to overcome. The farm buildings used to house sheep during the lambing season were temporarily adapted to provide covered changing facilities for jockeys and a weighing room area. Under expert guidance the course was sown with suitable grass seed and that has proved beneficial over the last quarter of a century, and the courses potential has certainly been maximised.

The previous course at Springhill survived the test of time, but it was compact with plenty of twists and turns. It was however extremely popular so its replacement needed room for expansion and provide excellent viewing from all parts of the course. Paxford fulfils all those criteria.

The course held its first meeting on Monday 31st March 1997 on good to firm ground and the distinction of riding the first winner went to Stanton based Emma Walker riding Wildnite, trained at Weston sub-Edge by Lucy Robbins and both have been involved with the meeting in various capacities ever since.

Field sizes improved the following season when it was the turn of Emma’s brother Ed to win the Members, and he went on to win the race for the next 3 seasons. Walker now runs a very successful Point-to-Point yard in South Devon, while his wife Polly has a N.H. licence.

The course was left-handed when it first opened but after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, it was changed to right-handed when the meeting restarted in 2002.

This period coincided with races at this fixture being dominated by Julian Pritchard and Alison Dare, with the former riding doubles and trebles on numerous occasions.

Inkberrow trainer Tom Gretton scored two successes in the Members in 2002 and 2003, while Belinda Keighley wife of Condicote trainer Martin Keighley took the Members in 2005.

From 2007 Mark Wall was always the jockey to follow at this meeting especially when he teamed up with Taddington owner Jim Collett, with Scuttlebrook, Marblehead and Bradley featuring among the winners, while Richard Spencer now a Flat Trainer in Newmarket rode a double in 2011 on Ruperts Vision and Woodsgift.

Fate has conspired against the meeting since 2016 with 4 out of the 6 meetings being cancelled, two to the weather and two to Covid, but this years meeting makes a welcome return on Monday 18th April.

 

INEOS AUTOMOTIVE SPONSOR MIXED OPEN AT TABLEY ON 3RD APRIL

 

INEOS Automotive are to sponsor the INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open, the feature race at The Cheshire Forest Point to Point to be held at Tabley on Sunday 3rd April.  The £1,000 race is part of a national series and will be hotly contended by some of the top horses in the area to earn a place at the prestigious national Hunter Chase final at Cheltenham.  The event will also give visitors a chance to see the new INEOS Grenadier 4X4 vehicle, set to launch in 2022.

The three-year national partnership coincides with the launch of the widely anticipated INEOS Grenadier 4X4. The British-designed, rugged and uncompromising off-roader is being built to meet extreme demands. Easily towing a horsebox or tackling challenging terrain, the highly capable vehicle is an ideal fit for a countryside-based sport with strong ties to Britain’s farming and rural communities.

Built from the ground up on an all-new platform, the INEOS Grenadier is inspired by legendary working off-roaders. The Grenadier is built to last: a stripped back, utilitarian, hard-working 4X4 engineered for modern day compliance and reliability. It is powered by a choice of six-cylinder petrol or diesel BMW engines with the power and torque to easily tow up to 3.5 tonnes. Featuring a durable hose-out interior, the vehicle will also come with an extensive range of accessories for all off-road and adventure activities.

Gary Pearson, Head of UK and MENA at INEOS Automotive, said: “The desire to build a vehicle with the versatility to meet the needs of those who live, work and play in the countryside has been at the forefront of our ambitions since the early development stages of the Grenadier. Engineered to be a capable and reliable workhorse, it’s fitting that the Grenadier will be forming such strong ties with the Point-to-Point Authority, not only to provide support for the sport, but to also build stronger relationships with a community this vehicle has been designed for.

INEOS is a global company comprising of businesses, consumer brands and sports interests in 29 countries.  INEOS Sport brings together some of the best talents including Formula One, cycling, sailing, football, and running, and the rural community have welcomed this new venture into equestrian sport.

Peter Wright, Chief Executive of the Point-to-Point Authority, added: “This is a very welcome new national partnership, focusing on a series of mixed open races leading to a valuable final and involving some of our leading horses. The Grenadier 4X4 is a perfect fit for point-to-pointing and the wider countryside community.”

INEOS Automotive are sponsoring 16 mixed open Point to Point races at venues from Scotland to Cornwall, and West Wales to East Anglia, with each race worth £1,000 in prize money. The first four horses from each INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open race, plus the first two from any other mixed open contest, will qualify for the £10,000 INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open Hunters’ Chase final, to be run at Cheltenham on Friday, 29th April.

Shropshire Trainer Philip Rowley, who has won Cheltenham’s Mixed Open Hunters’ Chase three times, said: “Most sports need a bit of a lift after disruptions caused by Covid, and for a company like INEOS to come in is great news.  I’m hoping we have a horse good enough to run in the final and Salvatore might be the one.  His owners are Point to Point people through and through, and he’s a horse who wants a bit of decent ground, which we should get at Cheltenham in April.”

Reservations are open and prospective customers can start to see what their Grenadier will look like by configuring features, options accessories and colours. 
For more information, visit https://ineosgrenadier.com/en/gb/

For more media information or images about the INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open Series, contact
Jennifer Cranford, Holdsworth PR: 01903 892060 / 07850 017587 or
jennifer@holdsworthpr.co.uk



Big Dance race will rival Melbourne Cup to challenge British leadership of world racing

A perennial discussion rumbles on in the UK about prize money for races under Rules. In a world that seems to be getting smaller by the minute, other jurisdictions are overtaking the UK by offering tempting financial returns. Small wonder therefore that trainers under both codes are viewing a combination of more travel overseas, or full blown emigration. 

The winter is now punctuated by a robust programme of well endowed races on the All-Weather surfaces in the Arabian peninsula, from the $20m Saudi Cup last month to Meydan’s Dubai World Cup, and the more modest series of $50,000 handicaps in Bahrain, all of which make our own winter programme look lightweight. 

The French National Hunt programme has also found favour with trainers opting either to send teams over under a temporary licence, like Tom George last winter and this, or going the whole hog. Nick Williams is the latest trainer to up sticks and move altogether to France, planned for later this year, in search of a better return from racing. You can be assured he won’t be the last.

Meantime, the small world of Point-to-Point racing operates within its own little bubble, focused more on the popularity of the event and the development of young horses or riders. But we too are not immune to the costs of purchasing, training and running a  horse.

Over on the other side of the world, Jumping has its own problems with the closure of Oakbank in Victoria,  and Jump racing is increasingly marginalized. That hasn’t prevented Flat racing from mushrooming and organisers say a new $2 million race, to be held on the day of the Melbourne Cup at Royal Randwick, will not take the shine off the list of group 1 horse races in Flemington. The Managing Director of Racing NSW, Peter V’landys,  will do everything possible to have the race run shortly after Australia’s most famous horse race to attract huge bets. 

Racing NSW has finally scheduled a big race to coincide with the Melbourne Cup. V’landys and chairman Russell Balding announced that the “Big Dance” would be held for horses competing in any of the 25 Country Cups throughout the NSW region. 

The move was part of a further $25 million increase in annual prize money – including the introduction of The Five Diamonds, a $2 million 5-year-old race over 1800 meters, to be held on November 5 – and a $6 million upgrade to Warwick Farm Racecourse itself. Similar work will also be done at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick. The combination of effort here is bound to raise interest in the northern hemisphere too at the expense of good quality horses who might go hurdling instead. 

While the introduction of mega-races such as the $15 million Everest and $8 million Golden Eagle is a direct attack on Victoria’s traditional spring carnival, Melbourne Cup Day has never been a priority for Racing NSW.

“This is not intended to hurt the Melbourne Cup,” V’landys said. “We had a year where we were completely inundated with scratch tickets, and that made me think, ‘Wait, if we run some good races, this could really be a goldmine for betting, and it gives punters another good product to bet on, kind of like The Everest and the Caulfield Cup.

“We don’t want to relegate the Melbourne Cup to the back burner, but simply complement it. It’s positive for the industry in New South Wales. It’s the best state we’ve ever been to.”

Because The Big Dance is worth $2 million, Racing NSW can charge bookmakers higher betting taxes for stakes in all races at Royal Randwick on Melbourne Cup day, meaning the new race practically pays for itself.

V’landys will strive to have the race run about 30 minutes after the Melbourne Cup, the biggest betting race of the year, to ensure that bettors who win the cup can reinvest in NSW’s latest multi-million dollar event.

The Big Dance’s announcement did not immediately anger our Victorian colleagues at V’landys.

“We have the best racing industry in the country, we have the most iconic spring carnival, we have all the big events, and I think it’s a testament to our strength and a testament to the nature of our calendar that other jurisdictions want what we have,” said Victorian racing minister Martin Pakula. “But they won’t get what we have.”

While V’landys downplayed any threat the latest move might pose to the Melbourne Cup, New South Wales’ attack on the Victoria Derby was not ignored after the Spring Champion Stakes was increased to $2 million and the race was postponed by two weeks, so it will only be held a week before Flemington’s Blue Riband race.

The Spring Champion Stakes will also be run on the same day as the Cox Plate, which Moonee Valley officials particularly like the prospect of hosting three-year-old horses, and the Moonee Valley Vase, a traditional Derby prep race.

It all sounds pie in the sky to those of us following the winter game over here, but perhaps it’s us that’s out of kilter. One wonders how long we can rely on the heritage of British racing to sustain a level of leadership of the sport, when others have so clearly found the wherewithal to grow the prize funds in order to attract new owners and new investment.