The next fixture on the Midlands Area calendar is the Quorn meeting at Garthorpe, this Saturday, 30th April, with the first race starting at 2pm.
Garthorpe is a few miles East of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, on the B676. The satnav postcode is LE14 2RS and What 3 Words is slings.elect.panics.
For this meeting all admission is on the gate with no e-tickets. Adult admission will be £15 (cash please, as mobile signal is poor) while under 16s are admitted free of charge. There is a family discount for two adults with at least one child at £25.
The ground at Garthorpe is being watered to produce good safe racing ground, using one of the best irrigation systems on an amateur racecourse. Trainers are asked not to walk until Friday to ensure they get an accurate impression of the ground.
In addition to the six horse races to look forward to there is also an organised dog show which starts before racing at 1pm, with pedigree and family fun classes for all. Prizes for the dog show are sponsored by Welland Valley Feeds. There will be 30 trade stands and catering units on site, terrier racing, children’s amusements and a licensed bar which will have live music after racing.
The first race of the day is a conditions race for horses of five years old and upwards, which has 14 entries in the racecard. Charlie and Francesca Poste have Largy Mountain entered in this one, the highest rated horse in the race, but there is plenty of capable competition. The Turners bring Aigle de La See from their Suffolk yard, winner last time out at Higham, while Alan Hill has both Majestic Touch and Tidal Flow, the latter an open winner this season. Dale Peters trains and rides The Unmentionable, a two-time winner this season, most recently as part of his treble at Dingley. Loughan is trained by Tom Ellis, ridden by Gina Andrews and includes the Garthorpe Clerk of the Course among his owners.
The second race is the Mixed Open and our feature race of the afternoon. Form watchers will be drawn to a number of these entries which have won recently, the most consistent of which is Southfield Theatre, unbeaten in seven races since November. Steely Addition has won his last three outings too, and will probably appreciate this ground. Rebel Dawn Rising has been a useful campaigner for David Kemp, winning a Hunter Chase at Leicester on his last trip. Another challenger from Suffolk will be the James Owen-trained Just Cause, a three-time winner this season to date. Badbad Leroy Brown won on Easter Monday for Stephen Wiles, and is very consistent and reliable between the flags, as is How To Get Away, another trained by David Kemp and ridden here by Dale Peters, the Midlands Area's leading rider. A fascinating race in prospect.
Following the Mixed Open there is a Restricted race, for horses which have only won one race in point-to-point races so far. Ballinagore and Salute The King won on their last time out and so this is there first attempt against better opposition. Caballo Diablo and Design Plan were second in their most recent races, while local jockey Phoebe Taylor will be trying to improve on her second here at Garthorpe in March on Idee de Garde.
Horses in the Conditions Race for 8 year-old horses and older will be carrying a little more weight than usual, at 12stone 5lb. This one looks like it could be a contest between the Tom Ellis-trained Killinkere (Gina Andrews) and Clara Sorrento, trained by David Kemp and ridden by Rupert Stearn. Electron Bleu comes to the meeting after a career as a chaser under rules.
The Maiden race is next up, for horses still looking for their first win between the flags. Several of those entered here would be making their debut on a track while Diamon des Flos, Doctor Tom (trained up the road by Kelly Morgan), Friary Land, Tom Creen and Lift Me Up have all shown promise in their early careers.
The last race on this card is a Ladies race for horses of seven years-old and over. Braavos is entered here as well as in two earlier conditions races, so may or may not choose this one. Venetia Williams-trained Tango de Juillley is the one to beat in this one, but Fergal O'Brien trains the accomplished pointed Lip Service, a winner already this season and sure to provide a good contest. Others to watch her include Summer Sounds, trained by Francesca Poste and ridden by Alice Stevens; No Hassle Hoff for the Turners and Santon for the in-form local trainer Kelly Morgan. Gina Andrews has two possible rides in this race: Longhouse Sale for her Father, Simon, or Loughan, for husband Tom. Both have other entries on this card, too.
We will continue to share going reports as watering starts on Tuesday 26th and look forward to your company on Saturday. Bring a picnic, enjoy the fair weather forecast and start your Bank Holiday weekend with a day out at the races!