THE new point-to-point season has started with the first West Midland meeting at Worcestershire venue Chaddesley Corbett on Friday.
Owners, trainers and riders will spend hours of their time and considerable amounts of money in the search for success.
Condicote handlers Andrew Campbell and James Richardson and Naunton’s Richard Bevis are among those going for glory. Charles Bruce’s four-mile Hunter Chase win at Cheltenham’s evening meeting last May set a high bar for the Campbells.
His previous form was uninspiring so his seasonal debut at Black Forest Lodge, near Exeter, will be interesting.
Campbell’s wife Alice is busy qualifying Jack The Lad, who heads to Devon after his frontrunning tactics proved successful in a Whitfield Restricted.
They expected big things from Barbury winner Knockdhu but he slipped a tendon off his hocks. A gift horse to connections after the injury, he unfortunately suffered an unrelated problem recently, which led to his demise. Their yard also have several youngsters that won’t be out until the spring.
The Campbells invested in extra boxes and facilities over the summer to cope with the extra demand.
With jockey Charlie Deutsch now conditional, Jamie Bargary or Freddie Tett are likely to step up. For Bevis, Wild Tonto is for sale after three summer runs under rules, while it is difficult to know what to make of Sands Of Fortune. Formerly trained by Michael Stoute, he had one run in August 2012.
Corredor Sun provided young Brad Catton with an ideal start to his racing career 12 months ago and could shine. Ringaround was bred by Bevis but has had just one run.
Richardson has a host of unnamed youngsters who could make their debuts between the flags and run under rules. The Snickett will definitely tackle point-to-points.
Local meetings this season include Didmarton on March 1, Maisemore Park on March 30 and May 5, Andoversford on April 6 and 13, Paxford on April 21 and Woodford on April 26.