Cotswold Vale Farmers @ Andoversford
VISITORS to Andoversford on Sunday will need plenty of stamina, with the Country Fair (and its host of trade stands) commencing at 10.30am, followed by pony racing at 12.30pm before the first of seven point-to-point races start a hour and a half later at 2pm.
This meeting is unique on the British pointing scene because the majority of the card is devoted to races confined to novice and veteran Riders.
Those people who support the horses for course theory will no doubt be focusing their attentions on four horses that finished in the runners-up spot at last year's meeting.
It is disappointing that Silver Man is still a maiden after his performance 12 months ago, but trainer Steve Flook would not be bringing him all the way from Shobdon in Herefordshire for the fresh air.
Brimham Boy was another who finished in the runners-up spot last year. He has proved a good schoolmaster for Archie Bellamy. His jumping is normally faultless so the fences down the back straight will be in his favour and enable him to get clear and withstand the challenges of his rivals up the final hill in the Men's Open.
In the Ladies' Open follow Skyhawk whose record over this course is exemplary. He showed his well being by finishing strongly to claim second place at this venue recently.
The PPORA Members is probably the most difficult race to predict with a majority of the runners of equal ability. Footy Facts and Join Together are the pick on current form.
Local stables hold a strong hand in the concluding Conditions race. Woodlark Island looked a certain winner when he finished second at Didmarton earlier in the season, but he is still waiting that elusive success – it’s doubtful if he will get a better opportunity.
The course can be found at GL54 4LQ and entrance is £10 for adults with children and parking free.