Middleton Point to Point Preview
This Sunday the 3rd April the Middleton will hold their meeting at Sheriff Hutton by kind permission of Mick Easterby, it is the second of two meetings at the track and is set to be an excellent days racing. The meeting plays host to the prestigous Grimthorpe Gold Cup and will likely see last years winner Cup Final attempt to retain his crown. The first race is the Members race and gets the meeting under way at 1pm, there is also two pony races beginning at 12pm, entry is £12.50pp and under 12’s are free, the post code for Sat Nav users is YO60 6TN.
The opening race is the Hunt Members race and with 10 entries Cherry Coward looks to have the bulk of the entries and no doubt anyone will likely take the beating. Path To Freedom and Tom Cody look the smarter recruits from the Coward yard, with Path To Freedom making his pointing return last week at the Hurworth to finish a close second, whilst Tom Cody made it three on the bounce this season and is on the upgrade, the same can be said for Ballydonagh Boy. Rossderrin is in good form this year but this could be his toughest task yet, whilst likely winner could be Roycano, he won in easy style at the Holderness and no doubt Steph Easterby will be keen to notch a winner at their local track. Super Lunar was placed in this race last year but would need a big turn around in form to take it now.
Selection – Roycano
The second race is a level 2 Conditions race, recent Hurworth winner Ask To Dance looks on the upgrade and a 3lb penalty shouldn’t stop him running well here, Ballydonagh Boy was a close second to Cooking Fat last time who has since gone on to win again and he should be on the premises, whilst Braavos forced the pace for a long way at the Holderness and only tired late on and could show up well again, along with stablemates Hi Murphy and His Excellency. Global Racing is a course winner and has competed twice in hunter chases this season and unseated both times, however he looked set for second when unseating at the last at Wetherby and that form would see him take this. Vinnie Lewis has been a bit inconsistent since his win early in the season and walked over on his last start.
Selection – Global Racing
The Restricted has only eight entries, Barrack Hill stayed on well behind Courting Flow at the Holderness but has yet to score between the flags on these shores. Bravantina put up a better effort last time when a close second but there looks a couple better than her here, whilst Canizay was another to put up a better effort when fourth at Askham Bryan recently. Cullin Hills was an impressive winner of her maiden at Charm Park and has been removed from her engagement at Ascot sales this week so will no doubt take her chances. Francesco du Clos was an easy winner of a maiden at Garthorpe on his last start and looks on the upgrade for the powerful Philip Rowley yard.
Selection – Francesco du Clos
The feature race on the card is the Grimthorpe Gold Cup and former winner Cup Final has been prepared to defend his crown with a close second recently at the Holderness, he could improve for that effort and will certainly be in the shake up. Minella Friend has competed over extreme distances and may make the frame, whilst Mr Pepperpot will most certainly stay the trip and although his form may not quite be as good as some of the others, he could rise to the occasion. Point The Way was runner up in this race to Cup Final last year, he has been impressive in his wins this term but pulled up in the Cheltenham Hunter Chase last time and that effort may have left its mark. Stellar Notion was an effortless winner of his Members race at Dalton Park and he may strip fitter for that run and is an interesting contender. The Mobile Man and Path To Freedom could run well but neither looks like they are crying out for 4 miles. Barrack Hill could be a lively outsider. he looks to stay well and this trip could bring out further improvement.
Selection – Cup Final
The Open Maiden is run over 3 miles and holds 11 entries, Desjay hasn’t been seen since a dissapointing fourth at Duncombe Park and it can be expected he is better than that, whilst Cherry Coward holds a strong hand with Direct Drilling who was second to the Socialiser and had Imperial Imp behind in third (was subsequently disqualified) who has gone on to win since. Cowards also have the option of Fascinating Rhythm who was only just denied at the Hurworth but looks as though a win is iminent. Miss Buttons was running a nice race on her debut at the Hurworth and she could be one to note for the future, along with Lepashe who is out of a bumper winner and brother to winning hurdle and chase winner Theatre Mill. Red Opium has finished runner up on two occasions this season and if her breeding is anything to go by will apreciate a stamina test.
Selection – Direct Drilling
The Oriental Club owner-trainer Conditions race looks a perfect opportunity for course winner Vent d’Automne to make it three for the season, a winner at the first Sheriff Hutton meeting under trail blazing tactics, it is hard to see him getting beat if repeating that effort, his recent Members win also looks the best form on offer. Rossderrin is in good form, whilst Braavos could pester the favourite for the lead if employing the sme tactics as last time. Last Encounter finished a long way behind the useful Latenightpass and could have a say if reproducing that effort.
Selection – Vent d’Automne
The final race is a 2m 4f Maiden race and it has attracted the attention of the Francesca Poste team and 4yo Also Known As, this son of Presnting was a £32,000 purchase at last years Goffs May store sale and is full brother to point and hurdle winner Hard To Call. Fascinating Rhythm may be more suited to this shrter trip with his flat pedigree been by Bobbys Kitten, whilst Macavity is another with a rather flat orientated pedigree and was a long way behind Hoe Joly Smoke at Charm Park on his debut.Paris Cercy was sent off favourite for his debut in a race won by Cullin Hills a Charm Park but could never land a blow and more may be expected from him, whilst Rebel Monarch showed up well for a long way at the Hurworth and it can be expected another improved effort will be expected.
Selection – Also Known As