The popular course of Chipley Park near Wellington, Somerset is the location for this weekend’s rearranged Devon & Cornwall Area Point-to-Point racing on Saturday February 2nd. With a bumper total of over 150 entries, many horses have been ready for a run however with the recent wet spell resulting in several meetings being cancelled we could be in for some exciting action, seeing the Devon & Cornwall area horses fending off the outside raiders.
The Stags Hunt Members race heads up the action at 12 noon and of the entries the Mary Sanderson trained Blinding Lights won this race last season when sent off the 5-2 favorite for jockey Keiren Edgar. Turthen is a previous treble Ladies Open winner when ridden by Charlotte Tizzard and could find old form to challenge.
Next up is the Maiden Conditions race for sponsored horses only, and of the 12 entered the Sarah McQueen trained Abo Dreamer had a run in December at Chaddesley Corbett, running a promising second.
The Mixed Open carries a total prize fund of five hundred and fifty pounds and no surprises that it contains a classy field of 21 entries, The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Final winner Doctor Kingsley, ridden by Pete Mann, has eight Points to his credit and finished the season getting up to beat Books Review by one and a half lengths at Cheltenham. Books Review, a previous course winner here, seemed to lose his way after that defeat and may have needed the break. Carrickmines, trained by George Belby, is another interesting entry on his pointing debut having won six chases and two hurdle races.
The Intermediate is sponsored by Exeter Racecourse. All runners qualify for the 3m Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Point-to-Point Series Final Hunter Chase on Tuesday May 7. This race could see Indiana Bay take the spoils for trainer Jill Dennis; he is on a hat-trick having destroyed an eight runner field at Upcott Cross giving Josh Guerriero a 25 length win and would relish the drying ground.
Following on is the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members race for novice riders; the Richard Barber trained course specialist Barneys Mate won this race last year for Conor Smith and may have needed the run when beaten evens favourite at Barbury Castle recently when coming in fifth, Oakfield Legend had to settle for second behind Timeshift at Black Forest Lodge in December while Just Amazing will need to find decent brakes on the downhill back straight having run out at Wadebridge.
Next up is the Restricted and of the 26 entries the Andrew Pollard trained Little Cornham only just missed out on a win at Larkhill for Darren Edwards when the Will Biddick ridden Mendip Express outpaced him in the final 100 yards.
The Open Maiden wraps up the day’s racing and the entries have already been divided with 26 in each division, the bookies will have their skills tested choosing the favorites of these.
The course is situated 3 miles NE of Wellington on the B3187. Postcode TA21 OQU. Entry to the course is £20 per car load or £10 per car and single driver. On course bar, bookies, hot refreshments and trade stands are on offer.