There is a stellar entry for one of the feature races at Sunday’s Heythrop Hunt Club point-to-point meeting at Cocklebarrow.
New sponsors Skinner’s stage the third of their 20 qualifiers in their Ladies Open series, which culminates at Stratford in June.
Sunday’s heat is over the extended distance of three miles four furlongs and has attracted a high quality entry of 18, including pointing stalwarts Start Royal, a winner of 24 races, and Dabinett Moon with ten wins.
Vasco De Mee, a winner of the four-miler at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase meeting last year, former Hennessy Gold Cup winner Carruthers, an ex-Lady Dudley Cup winner in the shape of Sybarite and the improving Master Baker are also entered.
Centrepiece of the meeting is the Harrison, James & Hardie Lord Ashton of Hyde’s Cup Mens Open Race over three miles, six and a half furlongs, so staying will again be of the essence.
This race – the first of the four point-to-point ‘classics’ – has a long and illustrious history and looks as competitive as ever with 18 entries.
Pembrokeshire raider Rosies Peacock has won a remarkable 35 races, although he is 14 now and often needs his first run of the season.
One who does go best fresh is Martin Weston’s quirky Ice Cool Benny, while John Bryan’s Templebraden and Green Winter are others with chances.
There is likely to be plenty of pace in the closing Wurzel High Speed Broadband PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders.
They include Tommy Morgan’s speedster Lough Inch. The ten-year old has won 13 of his 17 starts in points, six round Cottenham, so the flat track should suit him well.
He faces stiff competition from the likes of Francesca Nimmo’s Current Exchange – who has useful form between the flags both here and in Ireland – decent National Hunt recruits Kashmir Peak and Silver Roque, dual Hunter Chase winner Delta Borget, who will appreciate the shorter trip, and the progressive Itchymei’mscratch who was fourth when favourite for the Subaru Restricted Final last May.
However, most interest from the general public on Sunday is likely to be in former Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton – still to open her account in points – if she takes the mount on her Vesperal Dream, who ran a good race when second to Lough Inch at Cottenham recently.
The course is located at Cocklebarrow Farm, Aldsworth GL54 3PP, approximately one and a half miles south of the A40.
Entry is £20 per car and £10 for single occupancy. First race is 12pm.