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Chaddesley launches West Mercian pointing season

28-November-2023 16:26
in General
by Andrew King
It's good to be back! The West Mercian Area belatedly stages their first meeting of the current point to point season this Sunday December 3rd when Chaddesley Corbett hosts the Wheatland and the meeting has attracted a very healthy 123 entries.
Not surprisingly, given the rain that has fallen recently, ground conditions are officially described as "Good to Soft and Soft around the 2m 4f start and on Lambs Hill" with first contest scheduled for 11.00am.
And what a card awaits racegoers with the likes of, arguably the best pointer in the country, One For Rosie being given a choice of three engagements, and the up and coming Time Leader also among the classy array of entries.
The ground dependent One For Rosie appears to have conditions very much in his favour and is unbeaten in three runs since joining Jason Maguire, who trains the 10-year-old for his wife Lauren. However, the trainer was very much of the mind to keep all options open for his charge saying: "There are no other races for a horse like him unless you want to travel quite a way so the chances are he will run on Sunday.
"As things stand I am just favouring the Conditions Race for Novice Riders as it would give Ryan Alderman, who works for me in the yard at home, a nice chance of a of a good spin around."
But Maguire emphasised that it was not an open and shut case of the horse running in that particular race. He added: "He has two other entries and a decision will be made closer to the time. He will run in the race where he has the best chance on the day."
The Mixed Open appears at the mercy of Time Leader if One For Rosie bypasses the race as he already has his name on the scoresheet this term after hacking up at Badbury Rings three weeks ago. He signed off last Spring by winning a couple of hunter chases at Kelso and Cartmel - and the latter form was well franked recently when runner-up Gaboriot, scored under Rules at Kempton and Doncaster recently.
The nine-year-old is now trained by Hannah Roach, who took over the reins from her long-time mentor, the flamboyant Joe O'Shea, during the summer months.
However it may not be plain sailing for Time Leader as he could be opposed by the likes of Deise Aba, now in the care of Francesca Posteand Forest Chimes, who rattled off a four-timer last season.
Luke Harvey intends taking a rare day off from his busy TV presenting duties to saddle Notre Pari for the Conditions (Level 3) contest over 2m 4f in what is considered a retrieval mission. The nine-year-old was travelling with plenty of purpose at the head of affairs a month ago at Dunsmore when disaster struck and he had to be pulled up with a slipped saddle.
Groans of dismay from punters ruing their luck after backing the well supported 6-5 favourite could be heard echoing around the Devon countryside on that occasion and connections will be hoping there is no repeat drama  this time around.
Harvey said:" I thought he was going to hack up as he wasn't out of second gear at the time from what I could make out. He remains in very good form and will take his chance all being well on Sunday."
Yippee Ki Yay was progressive last term and, although this represents a step up the ladder, he could again run well and might prove a bit of value.
The 2m 4f maiden which opens the card features entries from the usual suspects for this type of contest and it will be a game of following the money when it comes to finding the winner.
At entry time Tom Ellis is double handed with the unraced pair - Doesn't Sting and Just A Rose - while Fran Poste relies on Country Mile and Clive Boultbee-Brooks may introduce Razzle Basil.
The Restricted has a very open look with many horses in with a chance on their best form and it may pay to side with those who have had a run as they may have a fitness edge.
Alan Hill's Learntalot won the Open Maiden at Dunsmore in battling style and will not be inconvenienced by any softening of underfoot conditions. Iskandar Pecos has been sent off favourite on his last five starts (winning twice) and is likely to be popular with punters again as he hails from the very shrewd Hannah Roach yard.
The concluding Maiden for 5-y-o and upwards has drawn an entry of 33 so may well be a prime candidate for dividing on the day.
Largy Pearl is now in the care of Dale Peters after finishing runner-up in an Irish point last Spring and definitely comes into the equation with that outing in the bag.
Another one to keep on the right side is Mexican Boy, yet another fancied inmate for the Roach team, who has shown enough to warrant respect.

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4m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)


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