Horse racing event returns after five-year absence

The Vine & Craven Hunt point-to-point will take place at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor, on Sunday, April 7, at 1pm.

Previously hosted at the now-closed Barbury Racecourse, the race has not taken place since 2019 due to complications including Storm Ciara and the pandemic.

Organisers expressed their excitement over the return of the event and said they have received 64 entries for the six-race card.

This Sunday’s event is just the first of the three to be held at Kingston Blount this spring, with the other two scheduled for May 12 and 26.

Although the conditions on Tuesday were declared as ‘Good to Soft’, the fourth fence will be skipped due to a soggy field.

A total of 11 entries have been received for the Savills Auctions Mixed Open, which spans 2m 5f.

Gina Ellis has two top-rated horses involved – I’m Spellbound and Loughan.

Ms Ellis opted out of Monday’s Lockinge with I’m Spellbound due to the horse’s impressive performance at Larkhill before taking a tumble at the last hurdle.

Owner-trainer James Henderson also has a participant lined up for the race.

His horse Frisson Collonges missed Lockinge because “he was stung by a bee”.

Mr Henderson added: “He is all right now, but he wasn’t able to do anything for a few days.”

Alan Hill is keeping his fingers crossed that less testing conditions will see Learntalot in a better light under Izzie Marshall after the eight-year-old was well beaten at Brafield-on-the-Green.

He said: “He ran very well on soft ground under rules, and I just got it into my head that is what we should be doing. 

“He went and won first time out on soft ground, but watching him run last time at Brafield, and talking to Izzie after the race, I think I am barking up the wrong tree.”

Mr Hill is still contemplating whether Back Bar will take part.

Max Comley, this season’s leading trainer has entries Ryans Fancy and Monday’s Paxford winner Burtown taking part.

Tim Underwood will be participating with Kyler Kane and Echo Gate in the Simpsons Subaru Six Years Old and Over Maiden race.

In the J Passey & Son Ltd Conditions (Level 1) for Novice Riders, Count Simon and For Rita are participants to look forward to.

Gates for the event open at 11am and the admission fee is £13 for advance bookings, £15 on the day, while under 16s can enter for free.

The course is roughly two miles from Junction 6 of the M40 towards Chinnor.

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