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New Point-to-Point Course

Date: 26th March 2015

Askham Bryan College is the newest venue on the Yorkshire point-to-point circuit and this weekend holds its first meeting for the Badsworth and Bramham Moor hunt.  

The land based college, based near York has strong equine links and already holds British Equestrian events, but this is their first foray into the racing world.   The college has invested in brand new fences and it is anticipated to be a good galloping track with a line of four fences in the back straight.  It is left handed and the field will jump 20 fences in all, including the open ditch twice.  Liz Philip, Executive Principal said, “we are delighted to be hosting the Badsworth and Bramham Moor point-to-point and are looking forward to a great day.  And we’ve just had the wonderful news that the Racing Foundation has given its support which is a terrific endorsement and we’re extremely grateful.”   The course is available for walking and spectators will be able to view from the middle of the course.

Racing starts at 1pm with the Confined race and is likely to go the way of Christine Drury’s Railway Dillon, “he’s in great form and desperate for a run,” reported his jockey Emma Todd.  The former Donald McCain inmate was fourth on his Yorkshire pointing debut and followed that up with two seconds in hunter chases and the drop back to Confined level will play in his favour.  The main danger could be Sposalizio who was third last time out but will want good going.  Another who likes fast ground is Pevensey and could go well on his seasonal debut.  “He’s really well,” reported Jacqueline Coward.  “He’ll like quick ground and is more than likely to run.  I’ve walked the track and I’m gutted that I won’t be able to ride at the new course.  It looks great and I’m sure it will be a good galloping track,” added Yorkshire’s champion jockey.

There are only seven entries for the restricted race but as has been seen in the Yorkshire area this season, the runners do tend to declare so a competitive race could be on the cards.  Barton Jubilee is likely to have come on for his run at the Derwent meeting earlier this month, “he pulled up two out at Charm Park but he badly needed the run and we have waited for the better ground with him.  We are hopeful of a good run,” said his rider Ollie Pimlott.  Oh So Serious has been second on his two outings so far this season and the 12 year old could be looking for an opportunity like this.  Burtredgipandgump was running with promise at Sheriff Hutton at the start of the season but pulled up on his next outing and more will be expected here.  Jacqueline Coward is hoping for a big run from The Ketchup Kid, “this is certainly his type of course and he should go well.  Cath Walton is coming down to ride for us,” she said.

In the Men’s Open, the versatile My Old Piano showed he still retains enthusiasm for the game when winning at the Derwent meeting last time out and will be going for his 27th point-to-point win.  Kings Lodge has been improving throughout the season for William Easterby and Topaze Collognes is another looking to follow up on his Brocklesby run but this is a step up in class.

In the Open Maiden, Anddante could be in the frame, he has run some good races in defeat this season and should be thereabouts.  Mr Mistopheles ran a nice race at the Hurworth meeting to finish third and is another who could figure.  Fairy Mix finished third in his hunt race last week and looks like a win is likely this season.  Game As A Pheasant made his debut at the Sinnington meeting where he finished seventh.  “The track will suit him and he’s really well.  I think he’s a nice horse and I’d really like him to qualify for the Aintree bumper,” said Jacqueline.  Road To Ruin is also likely to run for the Coward stable.  “A sharper track and better ground should bring about some improvement,” said Ollie Pimlott who is engaged to ride.  Mr Conductor is also likely to line up for Emma Todd, “he’s ready to run and I’ll be riding him,” said his trainer.

Beggar’s Velvet travels from the north in an attempt to take the Ladies Open race.  He won on his last start and seems in good heart.  Young Hurricane won well at the Derwent meeting and could go close again under Freya Brewer.  French Seventyfive put in a good effort at the Hurworth meeting and is another that could be in the shake up.   “He’s come out of Saturday’s race well and I’m looking forward to riding him again,” said Emma Todd.

The final race is the PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders.  Shantou Prince has won on both of his starts this year and has done so quite convincingly.  Scots Gaelic has improved with every race under his first season jockey Fionn McSharry and could go well in this type of race.  Locked Inthepocket was second to the useful Oscar Time when ridden by Henry Morshead at Wetherby towards the end of last season on Henry’s hunterchase debut.  He will have come on for his reappearance in a Towcester hunterchase a fortnight ago and could go close here.  “I’ve walked the track and loved it,” complimented Anthea Morshead, who is the clerk of the course at York racecourse.  “The team have done a fabulous job and the fences look lovely but we will need a bit of rain if we are going to run.  He will definitely have come on for the Towcester race but we really needed to get a run into him which is why we went there,” she added.  James Wyatt is also likely to line up for the Cowards.  “He will be ridden by Alice Petch who rode him brilliantly at Charm Park,” said Jacqueline.  “He seems fine and is an easy little horse who likes to be fresh.”

The meeting takes place on Sunday 29th January with the first race at 1pm and the postcode for satellite navigation is YO23 3FR.  Racegoers should follow signs for Askham Bryan College from the A64 and then follow signs to the point-to-point.  The main entrance will not be in use for racegoers, who should drive past this and take the first road on the left where they will be directed.  Admission is £10 per person.

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277