Provisional fixture list published for 2022-23
A provisional fixture list for next season's Point-to-Point calendar has been issued, with a total of 145 fixtures over 31 weeks, starting in early November and concluding at the beginning of June. The trend begun several years ago toward pre-Christmas and midwinter fixtures has continued to match a horse population that peaks in February.
No day will stage more than 5 fixtures, excepting Easter Monday and the classic races remain unchanged in their venues. The Avon Vale remains the second fixture at Larkhill on Sunday December 18th, sandwiched between the Hursley Hambledon on November 27th and Larkhill Racing Club on New Year's Day. Seven fixtures are planned to be staged at Larkhill.
One notable change is that the championships - owner, trainer & rider - will conclude at Stratford's Hunters' evening on Friday May 26th next year, allowing a more public presentation of the awards that accompany them. Stratford's Pertemps Network Stratford Foxhunter Chase is the final of the three major Foxhunter chases that punctuate the season, the others of course, being the Cheltenham Foxhunters on Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup day, and the Randox Foxhunter at the Aintree Grand National the following month.
The horse population continues to be under stress both under Rules and between the flags, exacerbated in the former by the dry weather. That hasn't stopped Milton Harris' Macuna from notching a quick hat-trick of juvenile wins, the latest being a facile 22l victory on Sunday at Newton Abbot over David Pipe's Free Chakarte. Harris is making the best of the small fields at present to make hay.
The same Newton Abbot fixture produced a single finisher in the week's most eventful race. One by one, the four other runners in the 5 runner Pat & Maurice Vinicombe Handicap Chase fell by the wayside leaving rectory Oak, ridden by Brendan Powell, to finish alone. In a parallel of Ten Green Bottles, Arizone Glory unseated rider at the 10th, leaving four, then Lure des Pres was pulled up a fence later, leaving just three to fight it out. Mister Allegro blundered 2 out when in contention pitching Rex Dingle out of the plate, whilst the lead was handed to Dindin from the Pipe stable, who could be forgiven for thinking the race was in the bag. Instead, Dindin, having been left clear, blundered and fell at the last, leaving rectory Oak for the Tizzard team to canter home. "It was never really in doubt" chuckled jockey Brendan Powell on one of his luckier winners.