Brocklesby point-to-point survives equine flu racing suspension

Racing at Brocklesby Park has become a popular staple in the point-to-point calendar Picture: Nico Morgan EMN-191202-084533002
Racing at Brocklesby Park has become a popular staple in the point-to-point calendar Picture: Nico Morgan EMN-191202-084533002

The popular Brocklesby point-to-point races will take place on Saturday after the BHA suspension of racing, due to the equine flu outbreak, was lifted in time.

The annual meeting takes place at Brocklesby Park, by kind permission of the Earl and Countess of Yarborough, with 127 entries taken for the seven-race card.

The feature race, the Mixed Open, has attracted 22 entries, including some quality horses, and is a qualifier for the Skinners Ladies’ Open Final Hunter Chase and the Timico Mixed Open Final Hunter Chase.

The forecast good ground will suit Wither Or Not, who missed last season, but was unbeaten during the 2017 campaign with six straight wins to his name.

The nine-year-old has already finished second in January and Dale Peters has started the season well.

Will Easterby has the choice of Greensalt or Monsieur Jourdain, and top-rated Haymount is the mount of leading lady Gina Andrews.

Many of the Mixed Open horses also have the option of running in the earlier Conditions race where Philip Rowley’s Salvatore may line up and could take some beating.

Local rider Tom Strawson may have a busy afternoon, and could ride Streets of Milan in this race for Chris Pimlott, while Ballinahow Bill is another for the shortlist.

This race is an opportunity for any novice riders to score points for the PPORA awards and qualify for the £1,000 PPORA Novice Riders’ Mixed Open Final.

George Chatterton is a Midlands novice rider to watch out for after a good start to his racing career, and he may ride Distime in this race.

Richard Russell’s Easythingsarebest could run in the Conditions race or the later Intermediate race.

The nine-year-old missed last season, but could run well on his seasonal debut.

Kings Lodge and Mydor are others to consider for the Intermediate which is a qualifier for the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham.

The opening Brocklesby Members race, which kicks the racing off at noon, will have the most interest for local racegoers with five Brocklesby-qualified horses entered.

Strawson has Somethingwonderful as his likely mount for his father, Paul.

Runner-up last year, Somethingwonderful scored in this race in both 2017 and 2016, and may be able to return to the winners’ enclosure once more.

Thorpe Maiden winner Thomas Shelby can step up to the next grade in the Restricted race for Gerald Bailey and Alex Vaughan-Jones.

Racing concludes with two Maiden races, with the first one restricted to mares as part of the Jockey Club series of Mares races.

The five-year-old African Belle could be the one here, while in the concluding Open Maiden, which goes off at 3.30pm, Strawson may be able to end on a high with the ex-Irish Classical Daytime.

Brocklesby races are a great opportunity for a family day out.

There will be bookmakers, trade stands, food outlets and a licenced bar.

E-tickets are £13 each, or on-the-gate admission is £15.

For E-tickets and further information, visit www.midlandspointing.com.