This Friday see's one of the biggest fixtures in the point-to-point diary with the annual Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening meeting. The current top point-to-point horses get a chance to perform on the biggest stage in the game, with the evening always a memorable occasion giving amateur jockeys a taste of the illustrious venue and races boasting large prize money. We have four horses entered on the evening, with declarations yet to be made. We have been incredibly lucky in the past at this meeting, with victories from Bon Accord in the Hiscox Intermediate Final in 2007, Quinz in the Bonhams Mens Open Final in 2015 and Harbour Court in the United Hunts Hunter Chase the same year.
This year we are hoping for similar success! Prolific and established pointer Broken Eagle is entered in the opening race of the evening, the Brian Babbage Memorial Open Hunters' Chase which is a 2 mile contest. The gelding will only be declared if the ground is the fast side of good as the quirky horse doesn't react well in ground any softer. You would struggle to find someone more eager for a high profile win than his part-owner Jake Exelby!
Velvet Cognac has qualified for the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Point-To-Point Championship Final Hunters' Chase over a distance of 3m2f which is very exciting and would be excellent to repeat the form of Bon Accord some 11 years later! A decision will be made over the next couple of days as the ground is a large factor with this horse, who will always try his hardest so deserves optimal conditions.
Our next runner entered is handy hunter chaser Supreme Danehill, who looked to have put the previous troubles of this season behind him on his last outing at Kingston Blount, with an impressive triumph in the 4 mile Southern Grand National. He is aimed for both the feature race of the meeting, the Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup Final Hunters' Chase over 3m2f, and the 4m
Cheltenham Club Open Hunters' Chase. Again, the trainer is in discussion with the Sunday Night Partnership and yet to make a final decision as to which contest the gelding will be declared for, but the horse will definitely run as he is versatile when it comes to ground.
Our final entry and hope of a victory on the big stage is another representative for the Sunday Night Partnership Pride Of Parish, who currently looks unlikely to run as the race is shaping up to be a hot one and we don't want to run him in a contest a class above, as confidence is key. He may be kept for another day, potentially a point-to-point fixture on the weekend.
We are very much looking forward to the evening meeting, not only for the yard runners and to watch the classiest performances our sport will provide this season, but it's also great to have the whole point-to-point community at the heart of horse racing for one evening! Following Friday we have a busy bank-holiday weekend, with dozens of entries at multiple meetings over the three days; Hackwood, Aldington, Dingley and Mollington are all a possibility for a winner over the weekend, as well as entries in Wales and Herefordshire for Broken Eagle should he not run on Friday. We wish everyone a fun, safe and most definitely sunny long bank-holiday weekend!