There will be card of a minimum of 7 highly competitive races, with the first at 1.30pm. The action ‘between the flags’ will be followed by 2 Pony Races, and there will be the usual bars, stalls and children’s amusements that always make Bitterley one of the best attended meetings of the season.
With a dry week in prospect, it is hopeful that the going will be perfect for an exciting afternoon of racing.
Entrance to the course is £10 per person, accompanied under 16’s free.
Local trainer, Victoria Collins has entered 4 of the 11 hopefuls for the Hunt race, and fixture secretary, Sarah Dawson will be crossing her fingers that her top-rated Gauvain will be able to go one better than his recent second at Eyeton-on Severn. However, there is plenty of strong opposition, notably in Midnight’s Mischief, Union De Chenet, Neighbour’s Lady and the gallant Upton Centurion, though the drying ground may see some horses find better form.
There are 11 entered for the Confined race, and Sheila Crow is double-handed with Abbeyview and Irish Anthem, the latter having suffered 2 narrow defeats recently, and looks due for a victory. However, Gareth Thomas’ Hazy Tom has 2 recent placings in Ludlow Hunter ‘chases, albeit over a shorter distance. Swift Council has 2 early-season placings, while Midnight’s Mischief, runner up on her both appearances so far, may choose this option.
The Subaru Restricted race has attracted 27 entries, several of which are recent Maiden winners, but a few, including the impressive Colarado Doc and Late Romantic were over two and a half miles rather than the three needed here. Big Bad Barry won on his only appearance in December for Axelle Wall’s stable, and may have been waiting for better ground. Flea The Bar was an impressive winner at Upton-on-Severn recently in the mud, while Upton Kaddy defied sticky conditions at Eyeton-on-Severn to stay on well. The tough little mare, Brown Revel, trounced opposition recently at Hereford Racecourse in slightly better conditions.
The Men’s Open over two and a half miles has attracted some distinguished performers among the 22 entries. The Waley-Cohen’s Warne recently won unchallenged at Dingeley, Fruit Fayre is a class act from the Crow stable who has mostly won over 3 miles, but did win her Maiden over this distance, and Green Winter from John Bryan’s yard has not been out of the first 2 in five runs this year. Hazy Tom may prefer this distance, which Black Banjo won over at Cothelstone. Tim’s Crusader and Coolna Shuil have both recently won over 3 miles, but have both had placings over two and a half in their careers.
The AGA Ladies Open has some awesome performers amongst the 21 entries- 11 of them are rated over 103, and it really looks as if it may be a clash of the Titans. Arthurs Secret, Awesome George and Hazel Hill were all classy winners at Brampton Bryan recently, while All Great N Theory has not yet been unplaced this year……practically ALL have good form, but Arthurs Secret is the real eye-catcher.
There are 36 entries for the Open Maiden, so there may be a possibility of it being split on the day. There are several with form, including Alphamar, who was 8L 2nd in a Club Member’s at Siddington recently, Dewi’s Mate who has a couple of good 2nd’s to his credit and Delineate, who has three placings in 2016, but the eyecatcher is Richard Lee’s Herefordshire, who was recently only a length and a half 2nd in a Restricted at Hereford Racecourse.
There are 33 horses listed for the ‘Young Horse’ Maiden over two and a half miles. Philip Rowley has entered two who have good placings, Follow The Bear and Round Robin. Kelly Morgan’s 4 year old charge, Extreme Appeal has an attractive weight allowance and unseated late on while well in contention last time out. Gareth Moore’s Bleu et Or also holds appeal with consistent placings.
The point-to-point races will be followed by 2 competitive Pony Races, with valuable points towards the Area Championships.