Middleton Point to Point Preview

                This weekend, Sunday 2nd April the Middleton will hold their meeting at Sheriff Hutton by kind permission of Mick Easterby. A six race card is on display with 69 entries, with the feature race been the Grimthorpe Gold Cup which is run over 4m 1f. The first race is the Hunt Members race at 1pm, with two pony races prior to this. Sat Nav for the meeting isYO60 6TN.

                The first race is the Hunt Members race and has 5 entries, the leading contender could be Tom Cody who was a well held second behind Ask To Dance at the Hurworth previously, he has some of the stronger form on offer but would likely appreciate better ground. Cullin Hills could be next best, she has won twice this season at Alnwick, she should enjoy testing conditions and has already run well at this track in January. Game As A Pheasant doesn’t look the force of old and is burdened with a 10lb penalty, Red Opium is progressing nicely and any test of stamina would improve her chances, whilst Lifeisahighway was a winner at the Sinnington earlier in the year on good ground and if conditions dry up could be in the shake up.

Selection – Cullin Hills

                The second race is the Conditions race and southern competition could come from the progressive Itsallintheclouds for the Tom Ellis yard, the 7yo was an impressive winner last time and is now two from three in his career. Mount Mews was a very cosy winner last time at the Hurworth and has won his previous two races with plenty in hand and a 6lb penalty may not be enough to stop him, whilst Tom Cody could be the main threat if coping with the very testing conditions. Present Ranger was an impressive winner at the end of last season but has disappointed so far this year, however did start last season in similar fashion and is worth another chance. Red Opium stays extra well and is going in the right direction, whilst Mustmeetalady has bags of stamina but may find one too good here.

Selection – Mount Mews

                The Restricted has attracted 5 entries and despite the small field it is very competitive. Endless Adventure has been runner up the last twice, he looks to stay well and should appreciate conditions here, whereas Hollington was an impressive winner at Askham Bryan on a much sounder surface and could be seen to best effect on a sounder surface, however Star Present stayed on nicely behind a useful recruit last time at Charm Park and could be the one with least questions to answer. To Chase A Dream was an impressive winner of an Alnwick bumper, this will be his first start over fences but certainly looks to have plenty of ability, whilst Tom Flynne has been well held on his starts this season.

Selection – Star Present

                The Grimthorpe Gold Cup is the feature race of the day and it could yet again go to team Easterby who have won this numerous times with Monsieur Jourdain, this time they have recent Hurworth winner Ask To Dance, he didn’t seem to mind the testing conditions at the Hurworth where he pulled nicely clear of Tom Cody. Recent winners always hold a strong chance in this race and Clondaw Anchor bounced back to form at the Holderness, he loves soft ground and a stiff test of stamina. Exo’dela has the form in the book to play a hand, however has been very inconsistent and looks a risky proposition, whereas The Dubai Way is a winner this season and has been in good form including a close third at the earlier Sheriff Hutton meeting. Toryograph was a close second behind Dundrum Wood last time at Alnwick, that is strong form and is worth considering. Point The Way is a former winner of this race, however disappointed last time at Charm Park and will need to bounce back, whilst Ballyrath is also a former winner but has put in two poor runs since his return to pointing this season and looks a tough ask at the age of 13.

Selection – Ask To Dance

                The penultimate race is the Open Maiden race and has the largest number of entries for the day, Carriglux didn’t set the world alight under rules for David Brace but his form before that in Ireland would give him leading claims, Conscription was second in a point to point bumper behind an impressive winner who has gone on to be placed under rules, whilst Fly A While Johnny was second last time at Dalton Park and continues to improve with racing, so could take another step forward here. Paris Cercy looked a winner waiting to happen last season, however disappointed on his return at Sheriff Hutton so a precautionary look may be advised, Cherry Coward also has the option of Loughrask Poet who has also been disappointing after showing promise in Ireland, and unraced 7yo Greater Glory who is out of group 3 winner and French Oaks fourth Forces Of Darkness so isn’t lacking on pedigree. Tobshiba ran a promising race on debut for Jack Teal and should improve further, however Duke Account took a big step forward at the Hurworth to be narrowly beaten, he should relish these testing conditions and can improve further.

Selection – Duke Account

                The final race is a maiden run over 2m 4f, Admiral Fitz was running a respectable race on debut until coming to grief at the last, Conscription ran a good second behind a useful bumper winner, whilst Fly A While Johnny continues to improve. Endofconversation is brother to hurdle and bumper winner Leaderofthedance and is from the stable of Dale Peters who is capable of readying one on debut, whilst the yard could also saddle the promising Nothinelsematters who fell when in a close second behind the highly regarded and sales topper Touch Me Not. Jack Teal has the choice of two nicely bred debutants in Johara who is out of a listed placed mare, and Martin Plage who’s dam was the winner of a French hurdle. To Chase A Dream was the impressive winner of his bumper and makes his debut over fences here.

Selection – Nothinelsematters