THE village of Paxford near Chipping Campden plays host to the annual North Cotswold point-to-point on Easter Monday afternoon (April 21).
Scenic Route sometimes lives up to his name around the racecourse but Paxford should play to his strengths and Kim Smyly’s Stanton-trained gelding is expected to go close in the Members'.
Coolykereen Castle and Woodlark Island both ran at Andoversford recently and will take advantage if Scenic Route’s jumping is not up to scratch.
Novice Riders' races are gaining in popularity and Power Pack Jack, Smugglers Run, Stonemaster and Working Title have all proved useful schoolmasters for their young riders – it is difficult to choose between them. Working Title gets the nod and should provide another winner for Joe Drinkwater who is attached to Graham McPherson's yard at Stow-on-the-Wold.
A small but select field is expected for the Men's Open, where Forget Bob could go close with a clear round.
Noakarade De Verzee and The Magherally Man have both enjoyed success in recent weeks, but David Maxwell’s mount may just have too much experience for his rival.
The Magherally Mans stable will seek compensation in the Restricted with Bamboleo, but Cold Knight, Maybe Plenty, Pillbox, What a Bluff, The Winking Prawn and The Gunner Brady set the standard and all are capable of taking a hand in the finish.
Cold Knight was reportedly short of a gallop when beaten at Andoversford two weeks ago but at full fitness should be able to land this prize for Tom Weston’s all-conquering stable.
Kilbeggan Knight and Radharc Nahabhainn offer their supporters hope of salvation in the Young Horse Maiden, but this is the type of event that Tom Lacey's Chipping Norton yard specialises in.
Love Manhattan is sure to have been well schooled and as a four-year-old will receive all the allowances.
Such is Lacey’s reputation the horse is sure to start favourite on his racecourse debut, but the trainer has more hits than misses in these races so bookmakers beware.
First race: 1pm; post code: GL55 6XS.