March the target for Point to Point racing
- Credit: Archant
Following the national lockdown and suspension of Point to Point horse racing, the Devon & Cornwall Point to Point Secretaries Association is hoping that the sport will restart again in March.
The programme of fixtures came to a sudden halt last week after only two race meetings were run in the region at Ottery St Mary in October and at the Royal Cornwall showground in December. Two fixtures at the Royal Cornwall showground and another at Chipley Park, near Wellington, due to be held in January and early February, have been abandoned.
Depending on Covid regulations, the programme is provisionally being rescheduled and four or five fixtures at Buckfastleigh, Kilworthy and Cherrybrook near Tavistock plus Trebudannan, near Newquay have course-building teams standing by to erect the fences at short notice.
The hope is to run their race meetings between mid-March and mid-April, if permitted. After that, the fixture schedule will continue as normal.
The likelihood is that no crowds or owners will be allowed during the March and early April period and race meetings will be run under strict Covid regulations.
The British Horseracing Authority is supporting these fixtures with an enhanced grant if they are allowed to run and the sport’s racing authority is anxious to provide a limited programme throughout the country as soon as possible.
The Devon & Cornwall area is one of the most popular circuits, with 25 fixtures held from October through to June, including 175 races and around 300 horses and 35 jockeys competing for Open, Conditional and Maiden races.
Trainers are going through a period of uncertainty with horses already approaching peak racing condition now having to be ‘let down’ and when the season restarts, they will quickly need to build up to racing fitness again.
The Devon & Cornwall area will have their live streaming team with expert horse racing presenters at these fixtures to relay all the action to followers of the sport, with access on the area website www.d&cpointtopoint.com or through Facebook at a Pay Per View cost of £10 per fixture – betting can be made over the phone to a small team of bookmakers with a deposit.