The second running of the Barbury International Racing Club meeting at Barbury Racecourse is now only nine days away, so this bulletin gives you advance information on the arrangements.
This fixture is the only one to draw together riders and horses from the UK and overseas on a UK Point-to-Point course. Races are open to licensed trainers, provided horses have not run under Rules for 50 days and have a Hunter Certificate. The event also stages the first in a series of six Point-to-Point Flat Races in the 2017/2018 season, sponsored by the JRL Group.
Going and Weather Prospects
Clerk of the Course John White confirmed on Thursday evening (11th January) that the going is currently Good to Soft and that the racing line, and all the fences, have been moved to fresh ground since the last meeting and that the course is in very good condition.
The advanced forecast between now and the end of next week is for the weather to stay dull and cold, with occasional showers.
I will update the going and weather prospects on the run-up to the meeting, particularly if there is any significant change to the forecast.
A reminder that entries close to the Point-to-Point Racing Company at 12.30pm on Monday 15th January – by telephone on 01933 308040 or online at www.pointtopointentries.co.uk - and that the deadline for Hunter Certificate registrations is Friday 12th January at noon.
For any enquiries relating to entries, please contact Meeting Secretary Ilona Barnett on [email protected] or 01789 267949.
More information can be found on page 164 of the Planner.
Four complimentary tickets will be sent per horse entered and one free racecard will be given to the person declaring each horse at the time of declaration.
There are seven races on the card. Three are Maidens – one for four to six-year-olds over two-and-a-half miles (sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland), one for four to six-year-old mares over the same distance (Goffs UK & The Jockey Club), and a three mile Open Maiden (Albert Bartlett). The other three races over fences are all run over three miles – a Mixed Open (Weatherbys Hamilton), Novice Riders race (Highflyer Bloodstock) and Veterans race for ten-year-olds plus (Greatwood Trophy). The meeting concludes with the JRL Group Point-to-Point Flat race, over a distance of two miles for four and five-year-olds only.
In addition to the individual race prizes, awards will be presented by Equine Products Ltd to the Leading Trainer on the day, and by Dubarry for the Outstanding Performance.
All races are open to Irish-qualified horses and riders and to horses trained professionally in the UK who meet Point-to-Point eligibility criteria. A £75 allowance will be given to any horse travelling more than 200 miles to run at the meeting.
In addition to the Point-to-Point races, the BIRC card stages the concluding leg of the Gentlemen's League, in association with Connolly's Red Mills. This is a six-part challenge for European Amateur Riders that started last spring and has included legs in France, Ireland and Jersey so far. Three riders are in contention for overall victory at Barbury – well-known Yorkshire rider William Easterby, Guillaume Viel from France and Dean Sinott from Ireland.
Barbury racecourse is also especially pleased to welcome Irish Thoroughbred Marketing to Barbury for the first time. ITM will be hosting a reception all day in the Members Bar, now under the guidance of The Pheasant Inn, Lambourn and would be delighted to offer owners refreshments to keep out the cold. All you need to do is bring your owners ticket to the Members Bar and introduce yourself to the team.
Committee Member and Head of Sponsorship Peter McNeile said earlier this week, "The Barbury International Point-to-Point is Britain's most valuable Point-to-Point programme and a showcase for young and emerging talent, from Britain and Ireland. Interest in this dynamic concept has been very encouraging since our first meeting last year, and we're looking forward to some intense competition on January 20th – we believe that Shark Hanlon, who supported it last year, will be bringing several horses over from Ireland again. The sport has a great opportunity to demonstrate its worth in the UK as a nursery for horses as much as riders, as Poetic Rhythm's recent Grade I Challow Hurdle win has illustrated."
A Day at the Races
Point-to-Point horse racing is a great family day out. There will be a number of trade stands and dogs are welcome (but please keep them on leads). You can picnic at your car or choose your own spot, and there is a bar and several food and drink outlets.
Entry is £10 per adult on the day (children under 18 go free). Advance tickets can be bought for £8 up until 6pm on 19th January by visiting www.barburyraces.co.uk
Racegoers can also take advantage of the "Barbury Brunch" – an informal two-course hot meal with wines, beers and soft drinks from the bar – at £68 per person or £500 for a table of eight.
Travel and Course Details
Barbury racecourse – a gently undulating oblong downland course, set in a natural amphitheatre on a chalk base – is located 3 miles NW of Marlborough (10 miles from Exits 15 & 16 of the M4). The main entrance is off the Marlborough to Broad Hinton road. SN8 1RS
For more information, including accommodation for long-distance travellers, visit www.barburyraces.co.uk or find us on Facebook @barburyinternational
We hope you will join us whether as an owner, trainer or racegoer.