Over an inch of rain fell during the two days prior to the meeting turning the ground to “soft, heavy in places,” and whilst stamina was to the fore and all race times were close to 7 minutes, the track rode very well. The weather was mild for February and dry on the day leading to a large crowd enjoying the competitive racing. With Revesby abandoned, Brocklesby will be the only point to point in Lincolnshire in 2024. The highlights of the meeting included riding doubles for Bradley Gibbs and Jack Andrews. In total, 37 runners contested the 7 races and the meeting.
Victory in the feature Baillie Haylage open race went to the 2023 Cheltenham Festival Challenge Cup Hunter Chase winner Premier Magic. Bringing his unbeaten sequence to seven straight wins, Premier Magic supplemented his victory at Sheriff Hutton last month making all the running to win going away from his two rivals by five lengths. Bradley Gibbs made a number of checks over his shoulder before pushing his mount clear on the run in. “I was hoping for someone to take me on a bit so he had to work a bit harder,” commented the winning rider who also trains the horse in Hertfordshire. “He will go straight to Cheltenham for another tilt at the Festival Hunter Chase now.” The second horse Salty Boy was 5 lengths away and ran very respectably having been off the track for 2 years, he was making his point debut for the Hutsby family. Manwell and Will Easterby were a further 10 lengths away in third.
The meeting opened with another intended Cheltenham Festival Hunter Chase runner, Just Your Type who also dominated from the front to win the Brocklesby and Lincolnshire Members, Subscribers and Farmers race sponsored by Grimsby Roofing Services. Owned by Neil and Louise O’ Hara, Neil grew up in Brocklesby country. “Neil always wanted to come back here but unfortunately has COVID so could not attend.” He explained. The Earl of Yarborough’s El Presente, trained close to the track by Sam Klug finished second, ridden by Brocklesby jockey Tom Broughton with last year’s winner Star Present, owned by John Cottingham and Mrs Cupan and ridden by Jack Teal in third. Just Your Type has form over extended trips of 4 miles and the Grimthorpe Gold Cup could be another race on his radar.
Bradley Gibbs completed his double in the DDM Agriculture Eight years old and over Conditions race (Level 3) on a spare ride; Farrants Way after Toby McCain- Mitchell was engaged at the subsequently called off Warwick. Tom Murray’s 10-year-old has often been let down by his jumping in the past and indeed there were a few errors, but the ground suited him well. “I’m usually riding him myself and it makes me more nervous watching Brad ride him. He is quirky and he will come on from the run.” Said the winning owner / trainer. Farrants Way may also make the journey from the Cotswolds for the Grimthorpe God Cup has he stays well. Will Thirlby’s Milan Native was second with the local horse, Mike Robinson’s Game Of War a respectable third on ground and over a trip that did not suit. He may be seen next in a Leicester Hunter Chase over a shorter distance next month.
The Clark Weightman PPORA Club Members Conditions race looked competitive on paper, but Latenightrumble came nine lengths clear for a decisive success. Owned by Pippa Ellis, Lightnightrumble was given a patient ride by Jack Andrews who held him up before gradually easing into the race taking up the lead at the last fence. “This is the Latenightpass family, and they are all late developers.” Explained winning trainer Tom Ellis. “His two siblings both won the intermediate final so I would like to aim for that because I don’t think three from the same family will ever have won it. We have a 3-year-old full brother to Latenightpass at home and Latenightfumble is in foal to Passing Glance.” He said. Samantha Coward’s Red Opium was second for Rosie Howarth with Lagan Valley and James King in 4 lengths further back in third.
Jack Andrews completed his double in the Brigg Office Supplies Restricted race with Champagne Glory defying a penalty to record his second win at this level. Owned by Mr and Mrs Latilla-Campbell, Stuart Morris trains the progressive 7-year-old. “He is a big horse and has benefitted from a wind op; he would not want the ground too fast“. he explained. Jack Andrews’ sister was 8 lengths away in second on Penniless, with Goleirihem in third.
The Jockey Club Maiden race for Mares and Fillies, sponsored by the Jockey Club and Daniel Charles Construction, went to John Dawson who owns, trains and rides That’ll Do Moss. The 5-year-old having just her second racecourse appearance scored by 4 lengths and looks an exciting prospect. Dawson is in fine form having ridden a double at the Sinnington and the hunter chase at Wetherby on Sine Nomine last weekend.
John Wallwin’s Grangeclare Diego landed the concluding Nunns Isuzu Ltd Maiden race under Paddy Barlow. Trained by Jonathan Barlow the 6-year-old was always prominent in the race and put 8 lengths between himself and the runner up, Tom Ellis’ Gabrielle De Balon and Gina Andrews. The Barlow team did not have a restricted race target in mind for the winner but will be looking for a galloping track and soft ground in the coming weeks.
The next point to point meeting in the Midlands area is the Cottesmore at Garthorpe on Sunday 25th February.