Berkeley point-to-point meeting preview

Gazette Series: Action from last year’s Four and Five-Year-Old Open Maiden Race at the Berkeley point-to-point meeting Action from last year’s Four and Five-Year-Old Open Maiden Race at the Berkeley point-to-point meeting

NED the Post and Our Joycey finished first and second in last year’s Members Race and these two old stalwarts could renew their rivalry in the same event at the Berkeley Point-to-Point at Woodford on Saturday afternoon (first race 2pm), writes Peter Mansell.

Despite struggling to find his form this year and being well beaten last time out, Ned the Post can still go a good gallop so these two could be involved in the finish once again, which would allow his owner Roger Maggs to keep hold of the silverware.

Michael Muck would be a popular winner for Helen Hillard, while one major point in Peter Sent’s favour is that he is trained by Sophie George, the wife of Slad-based national hunt trainer Tom.

The two-mile four furlong maiden for four and five-year-olds, which opens the card, has proven to be a source of future winners in the past and both Richard Barber and Tom Lacey are renowned for producing horses that excel in this type of event.

It’s a Close Call or Vivant Poeme could travel up from Barber’s Dorset base, while Tom Lacey can do little wrong and the Chipping Norton trainer’s supporters will be hoping that Mr Dinosaur can follow in the footsteps of two of his stable mates who both recorded wins on their racecourse debuts last weekend.

High Priority and Auckland De Re are not without chances, while Mr Jalfrazy could prove too hot for his rivals to handle.

The form is likely to be more reliable in the following race, which is also a two mile four furlong maiden but for six and seven-year-olds.

Old Sodbury-based David Dando and his son Charlie are on a winning run and will be hoping that Mr Fezziwig has gained experience for his earlier runs this season, which he can put to good use in this contest.

Preparedepierre disappointed on his last run but could be fancied on two promising efforts prior to that and Mark Wall’s assistance is a major plus point.

Zara Phillips will not have to travel far from her stables at Gatcombe, but Calusa Comet is likely to face some useful opponents in the Restricted.

These include Ballinla (Dando’s), Gift of Dreams (Claire Hart), The Winking Prawn (Seanin McPherson) and What A Bluff (Jane Williams).

Ladies Opens are always cut and thrust affairs and with three confirmed front runners, this could easily turn out to be the fastest race of the day.

Double Mead’s last run was too bad to be true, while Moscow Blaze and Overlut will ensure there is a strong gallop.

The former fell in the race Horsham Lad won at Mollington and the strong pace will definitely help the latter’s cause and further rain would also be beneficial.

The Men’s Open has attracted a horse of the quality of Certain Flight, who has a Hunter Chase success to his credit, although his connections may prefer to wait for the evening meeting at Prestbury Park five days later.

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