By Andrew Norman


Local owner/trainer Robert Waley-Cohen is set to unleash a powerful squad of horses at the Warwickshire Hunt Point-to-Point at Mollington this Bank Holiday Monday.

In Punchestown this week with former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run and Aintree Fox Hunters’ Chase victor Warne, team Waley-Cohen have four possible engagements including former Grand National runner-up Oscar Time. The 13-year-old was last seen when fourth in last year’s renewal of the Aintree showpiece and is a fascinating contender for the Confined (14:35).

Stuart Morris may opt to swerve this assignment with progressive French recruit Katkolys in favour of a return to Dingley the previous day. However, a trio of last season’s course winners, plus six further rivals with solid winning form this term, give the look of a very competitive renewal.

The consistent John Daniell, a winner of five of his last seven starts, could make the trip up from Devon to contest the Mixed Open (15:50). The Ollie Bush-trained nine-year-old will have to put in a career best to see off last year’s winner Rumbavu, though. The Waley-Cohen’s likeable son of Overbury has never failed to make the frame throughout his Point-to-Point career and arrives here on the back of a creditable third in the Lady Dudley Cup. Veteran Noakarad De Verzee is entitled to respect having won his last two starts but Horsham Lad is unbeaten in two previous visits to the track. However, the fly in the ointment could be impressive Upcott Cross scorer Driftashore. Trainer Sally Randell is yet to decide on the destination for her exciting seven-year-old with the South Shropshire an alternative.


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Alan Hill will look to Alpha Native to reverse Kimble form with Goodnight Vienna to increase his advantage at the head of the Connolly’s Red Mills Trainers Championship. A win for the Alflora gelding in the PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders (17:30) would also take Tom Kindleyside to the summit of the Novice Riders Area Championship. Recent Hackwood Park victor Darby’s Turn is another for the shortlist.

The Gunner Brady, who would have been second to Darby’s Turn that day but for unseating at the last, should appreciate the return to Restricted (16:25) company. Opponents include the Sylvia Edmunds-trained mare Grand Exit, who may bid for compensation after being denied by just half a length here last month. Rider Sam Davies-Thomas is snapping at the heels of reigning Champion Area Rider Tom Ellis and with his rival set for a good book of rides, needs to make every opportunity count.

The first race, due off at 2pm, is the 2m5f Open Maiden. Five-year-old Storm Lantern has been expensive to follow this year having found one too good on no less than four occasions. Glassawine, Packermac Jack and The De Thaix should all appreciate the drop in trip.

It could be wise to focus upon three newcomers in the 3m Open Maiden (17:00). The Wifes Delight, trained by Fred Hutsby, is a six-year-old son of Tamure who is half-brother to useful chaser Midnight Sail while Twilight Fox is a five-year-old daughter of Midnight Legend hailing from the Jane Williams yard. However, the most exciting is six-year-old Mr Simpkins, a full brother to Graded Chase winner Rajdhani Express, bred at Upton Viva Stud by Robert Waley-Cohen.

Clerk of the course Ken Hutsby can choose from either multiple Hunter Chase winner Rash Move or Restricted scorer Mister Teddy, both trained by son Fred, in the Hunt Members race (15:15).

The going (Thursday) is good to soft. Racecards will include jockey silks printed in full colour.

Admission: Cars £10 for single occupants / £20 for two persons / £30 for three or more persons.

Mollington Racecourse can be found on the A423, five miles south of Banbury. Post Code for Sat Nav: OX17 1JP.

For more information visit or contact Ilona Barnett on 07774 692242.