Tedworth Point to Point and Pony Racing

5th April 2020

Pre Season Press Report

WITH the Vine & Craven relinquishing a fixture to focus on their Sunday 9th February slot at Barbury, the Sandhurst Area will stage three meetings this season. Organisers have introduced a new initiative that day with a charity race for stable staff riding their employer's horses, which is expected to prove highly popular.

Kingston Blount welcome the Kimblewick on Sunday 29th March when the feature race is the Philip Scouller Memorial Home Counties Grand National Mixed Open. Haymount won last season's renewal of the four-mile contest for the champion team of trainer Tom Ellis and his jockey-wife, Gina Andrews.

The Tedworth at Barbury on Sunday 5th April completes the area's trio of meetings with the card including the Tedworth Gold Cup, won last term by Pithivier for trainer-rider Peter Mason, from Ablington, near Bibury.

Tim Underwood struck six times at the four Sandhurst meetings last season on the way to claiming two national titles. The evergreen handler, who is based at Beedon, near Newbury, was crowned Tattersalls Leading Owner with 22 winners and took the Foran Equine Trainers Championship for keepers with seven or fewer horses with 21 triumphs. The ill-fated Timmie Roe provided eight of those wins, while Streets Of London, who notched seven successes, has been sold to Surrey trainer Nigel Benstead - with the prolific pair just missing out on adding to Underwood's haul of national titles.

For this season, he believes he has a more-balanced string with Tempelpirate and Presenting Beara back from injury to join Cheltenham Mati and Miss Massey plus new recruits Kates Lane, Sandycove Island and Tinnehinch from Ireland.

Underwood said: "I think I have got a better mix of horses this year which could pick up races. They are all pretty much the same, but I think the most exciting one might be Cheltenham Mati."