Welcome to this weeks Pointing To Winners. The first horse of note this weekend is the Steve Gollings-trained Definitly Red. I’ve made no secret of just how highly I regard this horse and he followed up his promising bumper season with a second listed bumper success (a third in all) at Cheltenham two weeks ago. The son of Definite Article makes his hurdling debut over two miles six furlongs up at Newcastle and given his proven liking for soft ground and the stamina he showed to win his point-to-point he will take all the beating in here.
The form of Childrens List’s maiden win at Belharbour in early February is working out well, unusually for a point-to-point victory that came over two and a half miles with the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding easily quickening away from his rivals, which included subsequent winner As Jussiniere on ground officially described as soft. He is unlikely to be much of a price for his scheduled bumper debut on Sunday but is one to note with a view to the future.
Siobhans Beauty holds an engagement for shrewd handler Jamie Snowden in the opening novices hurdle at Plumpton on Monday. The six year old son of Cloudings made his hurdles debut early last month at Tipperary when finishing runner-up behind Fruits of Molly over the minimum trip. Again this six year old is unlikely to be a betting opportunity due to the heavy underfoot conditions (the grey having pulled up at Bandon on his only start on heavy back in March) but looks likely to be winning races under rules when conditions dry up.
Pops Well disappointed when well supported for a two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Thurles earlier this month. The daughter of Dr Massini hadn’t run since taking a banks race at Athlacca on yielding ground back in May and she dropped out tamely when pressed. Paul O’Flynn’s mare is worth giving a final chance to in Thursday’s two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Clonmel having won a competitive mares hunter chase at Cork back in April.
The concluding event on that Clonmel card could see the rules debut of unbeaten pointer Venitien De Mai. The five year old son of Network went unbeaten in four starts for Jim Dreaper between the flags last season including when taking a Winner Of Three contest at Dromahane at the end of April. He marked himself out as a potentially useful stayer with his earlier victories and it will be interesting to see how he fares for his owners the Potts’ should he make his rules debut in this concluding two and a half mile maiden hurdle.
Weststreet was beaten a length by Missed Approach on his pointing debut at Dawstown in early May. The son of Westerner staying on well having been held up towards the rear of the eight runner field on that occasion. The drop in trip to the extended two miles two furlongs proved no inconvenience to the son of Westerner at Fontwell three weeks ago as he saw off ten rivals by an easy thirteen lengths under Leighton Aspell. Oliver Sherwood trained him for that outing and he looks another useful recruit for the Upper Lambourn trainer and can get off the mark at the first attempt over hurdles in the opening race at Leicester on Thursday.
Scarlet Fire is entered up in a 0-120 handicap chase at Market Rasen this coming Thursday. The gelding scored four times in Open company under Joey Richards last season including with cut and on a staying track at Mosshouses in early May. The seven year old also registered successes at Overton, Tranwell, Dalston (in a Members) and at Balcormo Mains in his first season pointing and can come back to rules racing with a victory in what looks a competitive affair.
The British pointing season gets underway this Sunday with meetings at Black Forest Lodge (South of Exeter) and Cottenham (North of Cambridge). Both courses look set to stage competitive racing and this feature will be back next week with some pointers for the coming months from the pointing field.