KINGSTON BLOUNT RACING CLUB PREVIEW – SATURDAY 8TH MARCH 2014

 

By Andrew Norman

 

South Midlands Point-to-Point action returns this Saturday with the Kingston Blount Racing Club hosting a competitive seven-race card.

Connolly’s Red Mills Trainers Championship joint-leader Alan Hill will be hoping to nudge clear of Robert Chanin courtesy of unraced six-year-old Packermac Jack, a half-brother to multiple chase winners, in the 2m 5f Open Maiden. My Nosy Rosey was only denied by a neck on her Pointing debut at Cottenham last month while the Heather Kemp-trained Darsis Well was placed twice in Irish maidens this winter. Repeat Business and Stoney Silence are two six-year-olds who have joined successful Pointing yards after showing promise in bumpers but disappointing over hurdles.

The Tom Ellis-trained My Alfie was leading before running out at the third last when sent off favourite at Garthorpe last Sunday and could gain compensation in the 3m Open Maiden if turned out again. Opposition includes the ex-Irish Rise Before Dawn, who looks an interesting recruit for Mick Kehoe after a good second in a 16-runner maiden last month.

A conversation at Howick last Sunday persuaded Assistant Clerk of the Course Jake Exelby to lease Alpha Native from trainer Alan Hill for the day in an attempt to claim the Bullingdon Cup - awarded to the first horse owned by a graduate of Oxford University to past the post in the Club Members Conditions race. The ten-year-old son of Alflora is bidding to go one better after finishing runner-up in last year’s renewal of the race. Caulkin, third that day, reopposes his old foe with prolific Point scorers Nipper John and Silver Story forming a raiding party from the Llangeinor Hunt. Course winner Sizing America is another to consider.

Dual course winner Start Royal suffered a surprise reverse when second at Higham on Sunday but may reappear quickly for the Ladies Open race. Rossmore Lad was thrashed by Alan Hill’s charge in January but should not be dismissed in a rematch here while Stratford Stroller continued the good form of Alastair Ralph’s yard in a Club Members at Larkhill recently.

Ralph is double handed in the Mens Open with last-time-out winners Following Dreams and Melt The Silver both possibles. The former finished strongly to officially deny the useful Dante’s Storm by a short-head at Barbury last month and sets the standard. The Ed Walker-trained Hameldown Tor is a tough, consistent stayer who has been placed in two high-class Opens this term. while the aforementioned Silver Story holds an entry here also. The prolific Freddies Return and King’s Legacy, who has found his opposition too warm of late, have engagements elsewhere on Sunday. 

James Tudor is associated with having winners supplied from the Alan Hill yard at Kingston Blount but his cousin, Jonathan, has a leading chance in a competitive Restricted with Tiger Rag. Course winner Classic Destiny lost little in defeat to the improving Sharp Suit at Cottenham last month while the form of Amithereyet has been boosted since finishing second at Thorpe Lodge. Tony, hailing from the in-form Sheila Crow stable, showed promise at Didmarton last year. The consistent Big Georgie isanother potential improver.

Last year’s Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate was won by Harbour Court, who went on to win the Series Final and is a leading fancy for the CGA Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham next week. This year’s renewal has attracted no fewer than six course winners.

Tim Sage’s Perfect Willing, eligible to run here without a penalty despite landing two Club Members contests last term, went close to winning a similar race at Larkhill in January before being sent off favourite when unseating his rider early at Didmarton last Saturday.

Tempered Steel broke her Maiden on last year’s card while Horatio Caine took the Restricted at that fixture. Their form looks below the standard of fellow course scorers Commanche Conflict andMoroman however, the latter particularly impressive when taking his Restricted here in May.

Level Spirit upgrades from a Restricted success at Black Forest Lodge and Proximo can improve on his disappointing fourth at Brocklesby but Sharp Suit is quickly building a reputation after two likeable Cottenham victories and rates a danger to all.

Clerk of the Course Stewart Nash reports the going to be Good to Soft. The first race is due off at 1pm.

Car parking (admits driver and all passengers) ranges from £15 to £25 with a £5 discount for single occupants.

Kingston Blount Racecourse can be found just off the B4009 Chinnor to Watlington road (two miles from Junction 6 of the M40). Postcode code for Sat Nav: OX39 4SG.