Sadly, there will only be one point-to-point fixture at the popular riverside venue of Brampton Bryan (SY7 0JU). Due to rising costs, The Teme Valley Hunt & United Pack have combined to run a meeting this Sunday (10th) and have attracted a very respectable entry of 140 horses for the 7-race card.
Clerk-of-the-course, Wayne Tuffin and his team are renowned for providing the best possible ground, and have been hard at work for weeks on the riparian turf.
Entrance to the scenic venue –the longest established course in the Welsh Borders – is £10 per person, under 16’s and car parking free.
The point-to-point action will be preceded by 2 hotly contested Pony Races at 12.30pm with the first point-to-point event at 1.30, and the final race will be followed by a Hunt Scurry over a shortened course.
There are 20 classy entries for the Confined race.
The French-bred 6 year-old, Arthurs Secret, from the in-form stable of Martin Weston, has already won on both starts this season, the latest by a cool 30 L. But Hazel Hill has also won 3 from 3 starts, scoring on his seasonal debut at Sandon recently. Oscar Delta was a good Garnons winner last outing, from the flying stable of Clive Price, and Namako, handled by Phillip Rowley was an Oakley Maiden winner. Lucy Turner’s Spit had an unlucky run at Hereford, being carried out when going well, and was only touched off a nose at Maisemore prior to that. And previous course winner, Upton Centurion has had a couple of dour seconds this time and can never be written off.
There are 17 hopefuls for the Restricted race, of which Sheila Crow handles two, and whichever she chooses must be respected. The handsome Againn Dul Aghaidh won a two-and-a-half mile Maiden at Garnons very easily, and Ring Ben has been a runner up on the last 2 occasions. However, Chris Hooley’s powerful grey charge, Frosty Heights has won two races at Garnons, and certainly looks set for better things. Upton Kaddy was a winner at Eyeton-on-Severn recently.
The Mens Open over two and a half miles is a new initiative for Brampton Bryan, and several of the 16 entries have form over this distance. The locally trained Hazy Tom is the highest rated, having been 3rd in a recent Ludlow Hunter ‘Chase over 2 miles 7f. But Decade Player seems versatile over any distance, ad was 3rd in a 2 mile hunter ‘chase in February. Repeat Business, who was runner up at Cheltenham in the Connolley’s Red Mills Intermediate Final is not without claims, and both Cold Knight and Theodore Lamb have recent placings to their credit.
There are 25 entries for the PPORA Members Race for Novice Riders, and Arthurs Secret is likely to be favourite if this is the option chosen. Heavenstown cantered home in a similar race at Garnons recently, and Be Definite prevailed by a nose at Maisemore over 2 mile 5f. Many of the others have form, while Irish Anthem is highly rated but has not visited the winner’s circle this season yet. If this option is chosen for Upton Centurion, he is sure to grind his way into contention.
The 12 entered for the Ladies Open are a class bunch. Awesome George tops the ratings, and having won his last 2 outings, is unlikely to find his 4lbs extra too much of a burden. Horsham Lad was a Sandon victor, Sagalyrique and Well Mett have been recently placed, Diamond Dolly won an Intermediate at Bangor and the consistent Petit Lord is rarely out of the reckoning, 3rd on his last appearance at Maisemore. Midnight Haze is a course specialist here and must not be discounted, while Hazel Hill must be respected if this is the option chosen.
There are several with recent form among the 30 entries for the Open Maiden race. The most eye-catching being Richard Lee’s Herefordshire, who stayed on well to be runner up at Hereford Racecourse last week. Johnathon Tudor’s charge An Cor has been bridesmaid a couple of times, while Dawn Woolf’s entry Dreamisi, who was 2nd at Garnons last time out may appreciate better ground. Gabe Mahon’s Another Coalition was a distant 3rd on his debut, and will be wiser for the run.
Midnight Bliss, from the Robert Luke stable looks the pick of the 21 entries for the Jockey Club Mares Only Maiden, having been a recent 2nd at Lydstep But Sheila Crow’s charge Sweet Belle was a recent 3rd at Eyeton-on-Severn, while Richard Evans’ Hurricane’s Girl is a consistent sort.
The Hunt Scurry will follow this race, at approximately 4.45pm.