FARMERS BLOODHOUNDS PREVIEW – SATURDAY 26TH APRIL 2014

 

By Andrew Norman

 

Saturday’s Farmers Bloodhounds Point-to-Point at Whitfield Racecourse has received the largest entry of all five meetings to be held in Britain on that day.

The going (Tuesday evening) is reported as ‘good’ with watering set to take place as necessary throughout the week to enable the best possible racing conditions.

Reigning National Champion Lady Rider Jacqueline Coward, currently lying joint-second in this season’s title race, is set for three mounts. Three-time Cheltenham winner Amicelli was retired last year after suffering a broken pelvis but has returned to action aged 15 and is a contender for the AGA Ladies Open.

The campaign’s winning-most trainer Alan Hill has hunter chase winner Ravethebrave in opposition, which also includes five course winners.

However, the most competitive race of the day looks to be the Restricted. A case can be made for many but the selection is Red Mile, who came home unchallenged at Cothelstone earlier this month. Formerly with Emma Lavelle under rules, the Laura Thomas-trained nine-year-old could prove progressive in this sphere. The Barbury Castle trainer saddled last year’s runner-up Tucumcari, who is also engaged here.

Tom Weston, who rode his 100th winner between the flags on Saturday, can increase his seasonal tally of 19 victories courtesy of Star Of Massini in the Intermediate.

Weston, who also trains the gelding, has saddled an impressive 12 winners this term and the seven-year-old did not come off the bridle when breezing past Popaway at Clifton a fortnight ago. The biggest threat to Weston’s charge could be the hat-trick seeking Minella For Party. Seven-year-old son of Flemensfirth, trained by Tor Collins, built on his Parham triumph at Bitterley and has more to offer in this grade.

Collins is represented in the Open Maiden by newcomer Little Mead, a full sister to multiple winning chaser Double Mead.

A double at Pyle on Saturday saw Sean Bowen reach the summit of the Gentleman Novice Riders standings and one of his two winners, Cock Of The Rock, could be turned out again in the PPORA Club Members for Novice Riders by owner/trainer David Brace.

The first of seven races, the Hunt Members race, is due off at 2pm with the Bronwen Hurley-trained mare Ilongue bidding to retain her trophy.

The Point-to-Point action is preceded by Pony Racing.

Admission is £20 per car (£10 for single occupants). Whitfield Racecourse can be found two miles north-east of Brackley, just off the A43. Postcode code for Sat Nav: NN13 5TQ.