Champion Gina Andrews will continue her quest to break the record number of winners by a lady rider in a season at Saturday’s North Warwickshire Point-to-Point meeting at Mollington on Saturday.
After a treble at Kingston Blount last weekend, Andrews lies just nine victories behind the marker of 40 set by Polly Curling in 1995. She emulated Curling by riding five winners on the same card at this venue in 2017 and Celtic Silver – who took the opener that day – is her likely mount in the NFU Mutual Conditions (2m 4f).
Opposition includes the long-absent Cheltenham Mati. The seven-year-old mare won this in 2017 and represents in-form handler Tim Underwood, who has saddled an impressive ten winners from his last 20 runners.
Another course winner – She’s Real – bounced back to form at Garthorpe last month and should go well again. Consistent duo Storm Lantern and Western Diva can reward each-way support, but the distance could suit Abricot De L’Oasis, who landed a sub-three-mile Stratford Hunter Chase last year but has failed to last the trip in 2019.
James Henderson’s charge finished second to Cousin Pete last time, who looks the standout selection for the Hatton Arms Mens Open. Last season’s Cheltenham Foxhunter third was looked after when beaten in this year’s renewal and will be odds-on to regain the winning thread here.
Bibury trainer Dibby Brown has been bullish about stablemate Mankala and rider Nick Phillips has a realistic chance of a double if the nine-year-old contends the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate. The Flemensfirth gelding has rattled off a recent hat-trick but faces tough competition in what could turn out to be a key trial for the Series Final at Cheltenham next month.
Leading trainer Tom Ellis saddles King of the Clothe, who is unbeaten on British soil and created a fine impression when jumping his rivals silly at Brafield last month, while the surprise package could be the Helen Connors-trained Smoke Man. The progressive six-year-old went under the radar when scoring stylishly at Dalton Park and can’t be dismissed.
Chris and Fran Marriott’s prolific Dabinett Moon will bid to repeat her 2016 success in the William Powell Ladies Open.
The eleven-year-old overcame the re-opposing Brackloon High at Kingston Blount in March before having to be pulled up after the reins snapped at Siddington last time. Gina Andrews partners either Kalabaloo or Samarnni – both unbeaten in 2019 – but may struggle to contend with Brafield victor Diamond King. The former Cheltenham Festival winner looked a class apart on his debut between the flags under Phine Banks.
Purchased for just £8,000 after three starts in Ireland last year, Worthapunt could live up to his name in the JLD Driver Training Restricted. The Cottenham winner has not been seen since December but may progress.
Fred Hutsby’s Kalinite bids to bounce back from a disappointment at Garthorpe, with last-time-out scorers Hot To Trot and Order In Court likely to be popular.
The closing Lodders Solicitors Maiden precedes the Randox Health Grand National (5.15pm), which will be shown live on the big screen after racing.
The first race is due off at 1.45pm, with gates opening 12 noon. Admission £10 per person. Under 16s free. Reserved car parking spots (including all occupants) available in advance for £60.
For more information, visit mollingtonhorseraces.co.uk or ‘MollingtonRaces’ on Facebook.