A RECORD number of 176 Bank Holiday entries will be taking part in Monday’s Albrighton & Woodland (South) Point-to-Point at Chaddesley Corbett near Kidderminster.
The course management team at the Worcestershire venue will be keen to end the season on a high note with numerous Area accolades still to be decided including the new instigated Higgs & Sons Solicitors West Midland Open Race Championship.
Several of the leading contenders for the £1,000 prize offered by the Brierley Hill based law firm are likely to be in action in the Mens or Ladies Open, but there are so many permutations it is impossible to predict the winner.
Dandan and Ice Cool Benny are tied for the lead so if one or both were successful their rivals would find it impossible to overhaul them, but the situation changes if they are placed. A successful rival would then be in a position to stake their claim for the prize.
One More Tune and Templebraden fall into this category but success for any of them cannot be guaranteed with Flicka’s Witness, Gunmoney, Rosies Peacock, Stone and Warne all potential rivals.
The Ladies Open provides a chance for The Hollinwell or What A Bluff to put in their bid for the Higgs prize money, but there is a wealth of talent in this contest including All Great ‘N Theory, Get It On, Patricktom Boru, Start Royal and Trueflyingcolours.
With Get Off My Cloud resting on his laurels, Fergal O’Brien’s Allerton needs to finish in first or second place of his selected race to claim the Leading Horse Award, while Royal Riviera needs to better his rivals achievements.
Both horses are entered in the Novice Riders race, but face a tough task against Premier Portrait who has won eight races this season. Others to note include Jetnova and Baths Well.
Success for Allerton would help Lilly Pinchin secure her first Area Title, but she is being hotly pursued by Sarah Bowen who needs Get It On to win the Ladies to stand any chance of overturning Pinchin’s advantage.
Hindlip Martin Weston seems to have the Trainers Title in the palms of this hands and success for Western Climate in the Conditions would seal his rival’s fate.
Several runners have higher ratings but Western Climate has speed to burn and seems to have ironed out the jumping problems which hampered his progression earlier in the season – that may prove crucial as this race is sure to be run at a fast pace.
The opposition is likely to include De Forgotten Man, Nobby Kivambo, Shakalakaboomboom and Twister Mix.
The entries for the Restricted are all of equal ability so you could run the race ten times and get ten different results. Big Bad Barry won on his racecourse debut before finishing third at Woodford and falling at Bredwardine.
He has more potential than most in this contest but may have most to fear from the West Country raider Vards.
The Mares Maiden provides a winning opportunity for the retiring Jane Williams. Twilight Fox does not race that often by finished runner up last time out which indicates she is progressing in the right direction.
Questionmarc and Skateaway both come from stables that have had winners in recent weeks, but that is the only point in their favour.
The Open Maiden brings down the curtain on yet another successful season for West Midland based horses. John Bryans Cradley yard has two potential representatives Allaghaun and Well Said. The latter has run twice and been prominent during the early stages on both occasions before fading out of contention. His efforts have to be channelled more effectively to stand any chance of success.
Delgany Devil is a consistent sort who could reap the benefits against moderate opposition, while Jack’s Ranger seems to have one way of running and that is from the front.
That served him well on his debut when he finished second at Bitterley and he looked likely to go one better until getting rid of Mark Wilesmith at the 15th over course and distance at the beginning of May.
Connections have won at this meeting in the past so Wilesmith knows what is required and may just need to control his mounts exuberance for a little bit longer.