What can I expect at Andoversford Point-to-Point races?

Point-to-Point racing is the amateur version of what you see each week on ITV Racing, or at Cheltenham, Aintree, Stratford or Hereford. It's a nursery ground for young horses and for young riders, where older horses no longer fast enough for professional racing, can extend their careers teaching young men and women the art of race riding. 

 

The programme is made up of six steeplechases over a distance of 3 miles, for Thoroughbreds. There is a relevance to this distance, being the average distance between points during a day's hunting. Indeed, whilst the connection of the sport to hunting is more distant than at any time since its creation, the sport owes its development to racing fans within individual hunts across the UK, Ireland and France, where the annual Point-to-Point is both a significant fund-raising activity and a memorable social occasion. Races are ridden by amateur riders, many of whom work for professional racehorse trainers, or who own their own horses to ride. Until the sport came under the control of the National Hunt committee, now the British Horseracing Authority, races were open to any horse, and a few of these types of races still exist, providing a still more colourful aspect to the sport.

 

There are no grandstands. The course is laid out and spectators are held back from the course by temporary railings. Tents and marquees furnish the event with structures to house the Weighing Area, changing rooms, bars and all the trappings of an outdoor event. It is the ultimate pop-up event, reverting to pasture days after the fixture. This temporary feel gives the event a carnival or circus atmosphere, despite the competition being delivered at a very professional level. Be in no doubt that the standard of races can be very high; in the past 3 years, Andoversford winners have included a subsequent winner of the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury, and a Maiden winner sold to the airline tycoon Michael O'Leary for a six figure sum.  

Many is the young rider who has launched a career after a season "between the flags", including from within Gloucestershire, leading professional riders Sam Twiston-Davies, educated at Cotswold School, Tom Scudamore (Cheltenham College) and Olly McPhail, now taking the story of racing and its career opportunities into schools across the UK. Preceding the steeplechases are at least two pony races, where riders from 9 - 16 can start their journey to see whether the sport remains just for fun or develops into a professional career. Andoversford, among 100 other Point-to-Point courses in the UK, is the starting point for a new generation of young jockeys.

No race meeting would be the same without betting. Andoversford's bookmakers provide a market largely for small stakes bettors, so your £1 each way will not be out of place, alongside some larger wagers on occasion. There's no Tote, so the price you see when you strike the bet is your return on your investment. And whilst exchange betting is now a mainstream wagering choice on the high street, internet or on the racecourse proper, it's yet to make its entry at Point-to-Point level. Meantime you can find the best betting exchange in the UK at Freebets and make the most of horse racing by having total control over the bets you make, including setting odds as per your choice, and not what is listed by the bookie. 

And like all the best country events, where there are horses, dogs abound! A dog agility competition runs alongside the races, and there is a hound parade where children and adults alike can meet the hounds and huntsmen which are the origin of the sport. Shops, bars and entertainments for children make up the eclectic mix that is Andoversford Races - a great day out for the whole family.

 

Event details

When?

 

See the results of our photography competition with Cheltenham Camera Club! Click here to view

 

Sunday April 10th 2022

Gates open 1030. Pony racing 12 noon, Steeplechases from 2.00pm

Going: Good to Firm, good in places (Sunday) To be updated Thursday 

Buy a Season Ticket to enjoy the best Point-to-Point racing across seven counties around Gloucestershir

Where?

Andoversford Races is 6m east of Cheltenham near Dowdeswell Manor. Follow signs from the reservoir out of Cheltenham on the A40, or from the A436.

Buy your tickets now

Latest News

20-06-2022 17:13:27 in General by Peter McNeile
The traditional curtain fall of the season, at Umberleigh in early June since time immemorial, is set to change to Stratford's Hunters' evening at the end of May from 2023, a sensible collaboration that should bolster the sport's most prestigious set of hunter chases and the last of the three Foxhunter chases.  The Midlands once again proved itself top of the pops, producing the leading gent...

Read more...

13-06-2022 21:11:07 in General by Peter McNeile
It's curious how one adjusts one's horizons to the success of those horsemen around us so quickly. Only a few years ago, Fergal O'Brien was a middle-ranking trainer from a less than perfect premises off the Fosse Way. A new landlord and new premises at Ravenswell Farm transformed the business to put him in the top five of UK trainers. Last summer was akin to a new Marttin Pipe on the blocks: winne...

Read more...

30-05-2022 18:04:08 in General by Peter McNeile
David Christie was kingpin at Stratford on Friday night, capturing two of the sport's most prestigious prizes for the Point-to-Point community on the country's most valuable night of hunter chases. The County Fermanagh trainer showed a clean pair of heels to his British counterparts in the last of the three British Foxhunter chases and the Novice Championship. As if to re-inforce the fixture...

Read more...

09-05-2022 10:58:16 in General by Peter McNeile
There are relatively few horseracing events which attract worldwide media attention and substantial crowds. We're lucky enough to be near one such event in the Cheltenham Festival, but in May, it's Kentucky that holds sway for the annual Run for the Roses. Over 147,000 spectators crammed into Churchill Downs to enjoy this year's renewal.  The 148th edition of the Kentucky Derby saw a shock a...

Read more...

Our Sponsors