Exmoor, Bratton Down Preview

Another bumper entry of over one hundred and twenty entries have been received for this weekend’s Point-to-Point fixture at Bratton Down on Exmoor this Sunday June 2nd, where two pony races starts the action at 1pm. The main seven race card includes prolific winners Shernally and Start Royal both entered in the Ladies Open.

Burges Salmon Solicitors sponsor the Hunt Members race in which the Charlotte Tizzard-trained Little Cornham should go close after season wins at Badbury Rings and Cothelstone and recent five length second to Bay To Go at Larkhill. Mister Moonax has a good record as this course with two wins and a second for the Hawkins family and won at Kingston St Mary staying on well to beat Just Amazing by a neck.

In the David Wallace sponsored Restricted Bradley Brook was an easy winner of a 15 runner Maiden at Little Windsor beating Lord Samson by eight lengths under jockey Darren Edwards. Rokshi from the Caroline Hobbs yard won her Maiden in a strong field at Chaddesly Corbett last month beating Glamorous GG by two lengths, and Ladfromhighworth was unlucky when disqualified after his win at Cothelstone when his jockey Vicky Wade was unable to weigh in and cannot be dismissed here for trainer Camilla Scott.

Bray Leino sponsor the Ladies Open in which Shernally under current leading AGA lady jockey Jane Williams could add to the mare’s tally of 13 Point wins. She is a previous course winner here but her recent third behind It Was Me at Dingley in May could leave the door open to challengers, of which Start Royal from the Alan Hill yard is another with Point wins in double figures and he may be excused when fifth behind Broughton Green at Charing may have cost his the race. Jopero from the inform Kayley Jones yard could be another to challenge after his recent win at Trebudannon.

In the Men Open the Kayley Jones yard is well represented with Checkerboard, Deb’s Dasher, Jopero and Parkam Jack all have creditable wins this season. Parkam Jack won the Mens Open at Upcott Cross last weekend ahead of only other finisher Swansbrook. The lightly raced Flanshan for the Barber/Biddick combination won the Mixed Open at Stafford Cross beating Checkerboard by six lengths and looks the likely favourite here with Ashclyst having run at Newton Abbot this week.

The family of the late Donna Kingdon sponsor the Intermediate, Stalbridgeswangsong under Will Biddick made virtually all at Holnicote before being headed two out and had to settle for second two lengths behind Roisini Bay, Ladfromhighworth and Little Cornham have claims if not running in the earlier races.

Two divisions of the Open Maiden conclude the day’s events; these have been sponsored by The Old Station Inn, Blackmoor Gate and Slee Blackwell Solicitors.

The course offers excellent viewing and views of Exmoor, bar, bookmakers, trade stands and hot refreshments. Entrance £20 per car and passenger’s, £10 car and driver.

Location 9m NE of Barnstaple on A399, 11m N of South Molton – EX31 4SG.

South Tetcott, Upcott Cross, Monday 27th May 2013 Report

The bookmakers at Upcott Cross took refuge by setting up in the beer tent as driving rain set in and swept across the track all afternoon. Seemingly half the crowd squeezed into the small tent together with the bookies in a decidedly rugby scrum atmosphere.

A total of 67 runners lined up for the seven race card with the incessant rain easing the going throughout the afternoon with race times getting progressively slower.

Lizzie Kelly and Josh Guerriero each rode doubles. The three runner AGA Ladies Open was quickly reduced to a match as the odds-on favourite King Of Alcatraz came down at the first. Lizzie Kelly soon had Rio Gael out in front and this useful ex-chaser was always holding Railway Vic and Bryony Frost. A winner on seven occasions under rules, Rio Gael was bought privately earlier this year out of Peter Bowen’s yard and is trained at Modbury by Sam Holdsworth for owner Charles Stanley.

Lizzie Kelly’s double was completed when 20-1 outsider Milburn got up on the line to snatch the closing Open Maiden at the expense of the 2-1 favourite Go On Henry (Josh Guerriero). The result may have been different had Will Biddick’s mount Third Chance not fallen at the last when holding a slight lead. “Would have won,” was Biddick’s succinct comment. The champion rider had enjoyed better luck with a point-to-point success in Ireland two days previously. Lizzie Kelly was partnering her eighth winner of the season on the sturdy seven-year-old Milburn, bought by his trainer Gail Haywood as a three-year-old. “He has been very backward,” commented the trainer who shares ownership with Romilly Stuart-Jervis.

Josh Guerriero had returned from the Anglo/Irish challenge weekend in Ireland empty handed from his two rides, but his Upcott Cross double took him to the 21 winner mark for the season. Parkam Jack, owned by John and Floss Symes, and stabled with Kayley Jones, initiated the Devon rider’s double in the Mens Open. This improving seven-year-old was left clear of the favourite Swansbrook after Parazar had fallen when leading at the penultimate fence.

Guerriero completed his double when the perennial runner-up Lord Samson finally got his head in front in the first section of the Open Maiden. On this occasion he could not be faulted as he stuck to his task well to hold the sustained challenge of Storm Shadow.

There was controversy following the Novice Riders contest when the clear cut winner Fiulin was disqualified after a lengthy enquiry. It transpired that Bryony Frost had weighed in 9lbs short of the required 12 stone due to having been weighed out at the incorrect weight. The stewards had little option but to disqualify Ross Oliver’s “winner” at the expense of runner up Clew Bay Cove, with Harriet Skinner becoming the beneficiary with her first winner.

Like Clew Bay Cove, Knoxhill Archie has proved to be a sound schoolmaster this season and duly gave his owner/trainer Penny Lay her initial success when winning the Confined. “I bought him privately from Pam Wright and the Dawsons in Yorkshire and he really needs firm ground,” reported 26-year-old Penny who breaks and schools horses at St Mawgan in Cornwall.

Ed Barrett came fresh from a Kingston Blount success on the previous day to steer the Leslie Jefford trained Dancing Olga to victory in the 17 runner Restricted. The mare was sent off at 20-1 having turned in a couple of modest runs since beating Lord Samson at the Taunton Vale. Dancing Olga was bred by her owner Tigger Pudd from the winning hurdler Polly Leach.


Post Race AGA Ladies race interview with Lizzie Kelly

Post Race interview with Lizzie Kelly following her win on RIO GAEL in the last AGA Ladies race of the season at Upcott Cross on the 27th May 2013, before the series final at Stratford.

Shared from the AGA Point-to-Point Racing YouTube Channel

South Tetcott, Upcott Cross Preview

The popular course of Upcott Cross is the venue for this Monday Bank Holiday’s South Tetcott Point-to-Point meeting where over 120 entries have been received for the seven race card – in addition to the two pony races which start the day’s action at 1pm.

Penbode Vet Group sponsor the Confined race, in which Bon Viveur could go one better than second at the course last time. Ned White won his Maiden here last season and had been runner-up in many Restricted races before finally winning at Trebudannon earlier this month on good to firm ground. Print The Money won at Bratton Down last weekend and is a previous course winner here for the Jill Dennis team.

A host of talent could line up in the Simpkins Edwards-sponsored Mens Open including the Kayley Jones-trained Checkerboard who could follow up on his win at Trebudannon. Richard Barber‘s Mustangsallyrally who scored an open win this season at Little Windsor and the Sue Popham-trained Swansbrook who has four point-to-point wins this season and has strong claims.

In the AGA Ladies Open, Alexandra Dunn‘s Double Mead is a Ladies Open specialist and also has three Hunter Chase wins to add to her seasons tally. His main challenger could be in the form of King Of Alcatraz, who won the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate final when beating Blinding Lights into second for jockey Vicky Wade. Rio Gael is an interesting addition to Sam Holdsworth’s yard and gave owner Charles Stanley a win first time out at Holnicote when beating Quedillac into second.

The Restricted has attracted a massive 32 entries and local jockey Michael Heard would be a popular winner here. He rode both All But Grey and Suesacomin to win their Maidens at Trebudannon and if this race is divided he may well retain both rides. Roxy Doodles, trained by his father John, could be another option so should not be dismissed. Gospel Preacher from the Kayley Jones team won his Maiden in fine style here at the Upcott meeting when sent off 2-1 favourite.

My Minds Maid, trained by Harry Fry, has been running well with wins at Little Windsor and Badbury Rings and could see Dean McNamara get the leg-up this time in the Club Members race for Novice Riders. Caspian Piper has been progressing well and led throughout to win at Holnicote in a strong race under Mathew Barber and the prolific winner Southwestern came out of retirement this season and gave 19-year-old Laura Scott a win at Cothelstone two weeks ago.

The Open Maiden has been divided with 19 entered in each division; these have been sponsored by Kivells and TC Cleaning Services inc Cleanmart.

On course facilities include; bookmaker’s, bar, catering, and trade stands. Entrance is £20 per car and £10 for car and driver only.

Dulverton West, Bratton Down, Sunday 19th May 2013 Report

A total of 76 runners in seven races made for competitive racing with going described by jockeys as “near perfect” at Bratton Down.

The afternoon featured a first and last race training double for Ed Walker’s Ottery St Mary stable, and a treble for leading trainer Richard Barber, who had sent five runners from his Dorset yard.

Punter Friendly showed a clean pair of hooves to his fourteen opponents when living up to his name in the opening Restricted. Backed from 7-1 to 5-1, Ed Barretts ‘s mount surged clear of front running Bernshaw after jumping the last to score by four lengths.
“We bought him at Doncaster sales last August and he has grown up a lot. He had been wound up a bit in Ireland,” commented Sylvia Francome, who shares ownership with her husband Richard. The five-year-old looks a useful stayer in the making and was following up his recent Flete Park victory.

Thinkaboutthat just got the better of a prolonged battle with Supreme Duke to complete the Walker stable double in the Confined. This time Robbie Henderson was in the plate and just snatched a neck verdict over Supreme Duke with a late thrust. A progressive seven-year-old who was scoring his fourth successive win, the rangy gelding was acquired from his previous owner Mike Daniell last autumn on behalf of retired farmer Raymond Targett and his wife Evelyn (each into their 80’s if they don’t mind me saying).

Richard Barber saddled an exciting newcomer called V Neck to win his division of the Open Maiden before following up with Bellsinni Ron in the Mixed Open and Barneys Mate in the Novice Riders.
“A bit green,” was how winning jockey Will Biddick described V Neck, who sprinted clear up the hill after coming from well off the pace. The four-year-old, from the family of Hennessy Gold Cup winner Diamond Harry, cost owners Paul Nicholls and Ian Fogg €28,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby sale last June.

Bellsinni Ron cost a lot less than that when offered at Brightwells Cheltenham sales last month, but turned in a convincing staying performance in Richard Barber’s own colours to beat the useful Lucette Annie in the Mixed Open run over the extended four miles. Phine Banks was still in the lead on Horsham Lad when he ran out at the last, leaving Lucette Annie ahead. Jack Barber had been creeping ever closer however on his grandfather’s Dr Massini gelding who headed Lucette Annie on the brow of the hill to win by three lengths.

Barneys Mate, running for the Axe Valley Racing Club, completed the stable treble in the PPORA Novice Riders race run in memory of much missed bookmaker Bob Pittard. 23-year-old Martin McIntyre, who works in the Seaborough yard, maintained his lead for the National Novice Riders title and the Harley Racing Novice Riders award with a patient ride on Barneys Mate.
“The only danger was if he slipped round the bends,” remarked the jockey who now has nine successes to his credit this season. Thirteen-year-old Barneys Mate has now won 18 Point-to- Points plus three under rules and enjoys being turned out in a small paddock for a bit of relaxation.

17-year-old Joe Ponting combines riding with training and took the Intermediate on Robin Butterworth’s well backed Skating Home. “He was never really travelling but gave his all,” remarked Joe, based at Hillsley near Badminton.

In contrast the first division Maiden winner My Rebel travelled like a dream under Leanda Tickle who was partnering her fifth winner of the season. This six-year-old Milan gelding had caught the eye at Trebudannon on Easter Monday and produced a powerful staying performance to win unchallenged. He is trained by Becky Kennen for joint owners Tessa Lake and Alison Schwalm, and had been sourced from Jim Culloty in Ireland.


Dulverton West, Bratton Down Preview

A grand view of Exmoor is the backdrop where the Dulverton Foxhounds host this weekend’s Point-to-Point action at Bratton Down on Sunday May 19, and the organisers are delighted to welcome back the feature race a four mile one furlong Bratton Mixed Open sponsored by Brend’s Hotels.

With two pony races, incorporating the Racetech novice rider’s race commencing the action at 11:45am, this meeting promises to be full of thrills with the main six racecard commencing at 1pm in which the Restricted sponsored by James Pryce Tractors is first up attracting 27 entries.

The Richard Barber-trained Kostaquarta and Redlynch Rock both have strong claims with the latter scoring an easy Maiden win at Little Windsor for Jack Barber. Punter Friendly under jockey Ed Barrett won at Flete when sent off 6-4 favourite on good to soft two and a half lengths ahead of Talland Bay.

Next up is the Open Maiden which has already been divided, in division one Dizzy Delights for trainer Camilla Baylis was unlucky when leading and falling at the last in a Maiden at Larkhill in April. William Percival under in-form jockey Michael Heard for the Gordon Chamber’s team ran a good second at Axe Vale where a mistake at the last may have cost him the race when finishing two and a half lengths behind Devon General. In the second division of the Open Maiden, Raffa could make amends for unseating jockey Josh Guerriero at Trebudannon last weekend, whilst Tallanstown Boy has been in the frame on all three of his starts this season and looks sure to win soon.

Lucette Annie scored an easy win at Buckfastleigh when twenty lengths ahead of Indiana Bay for trainer Simon Partridge and should find the four mile one furlong Mixed Open race to her liking if some rain arrives to soften the going, she also won a Hunter Chase at Exeter seven lengths ahead of Blazing Whale. Her challengers could be Bellsinni Ron for the Barber team who has only been beaten once from four runs this season when having to settle for second only a neck behind the impressive Kirkleigh at Little Windsor. Threapwood is another to note from the Ollie Greenall yard after his impressive Intermediate win at Brampton Bryan.

The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate could see the lightly raced Blazing Whale from Ed Walker’s yard follow up on his second to Ruapehu at Buckfastleigh and his second at Exeter in a Hunter Chase when coming home seven lengths behind Lucette Annie.

Martin McIntyre has been sharing the lead in the Novice Riders title and could see him score here in the PPORA Novice Riders race on Barneys Mate the combination having enjoyed four wins so far this season. Joint leader Bryony Frost will be keen to add to her points and may see Wee Fly turn out after her win at Flete Park when coming home half a length ahead of John Daniel, Southwestern for Laura Scott ran well to lead Barneys Mate up the final hill at Little Windsor before having to settle for second and will be looking to reverse the placings.

The final race of the day is the Confined sponsored by BMW Westerly in which Thinkaboutthat under Robbie Henderson has strong claims having quickly progressed to win an Intermediate at Larkhill in April. Supreme Duke for the Philip Hobbs team won last weekend at Holnicote when sent off odds on favourite.

Course is located nine miles east of Barnstaple on the A399 & 11 miles north of South Molton Postcode EX31 4SG.

On course bookmakers, trade stands, bar and catering. Entrance £20 per car load £10 car and driver.

Four Burrow, Trebudannon, Sunday 12th May 2013 Report

P2PDC_PRO_Ball-003-WebTHE Four Burrow meeting provided an action replay for jockeys Robbie Henderson and Michael Heard, who each repeated their doubles at Upcott Cross just six days earlier. Morning rain gave way to drizzle and low cloud as the afternoon progressed on this popular Cornish track.

Henderson’s day had started on the wrong foot when his mount in the opener, Secret Meeting, slipped and deposited him on the ground on the bend entering the final circuit. The 23-year-old rider soon bounced back however , when Checkerboard, owned by his parents and trained by Kayley Jones took the PPORA Club race for ten-year-olds and over.

12 of the 13 entries faced the starter in this competitive event, but Checkerboard took command at the third last and just held the late thrust of Yufo (Vicky Wade), with Knoxhill Archie just denying 2-1 favourite Wee Fly of third spot.

Henderson completed his double with a positive ride on Jopero who made all the running to win the Mixed Open. The well backed Searree looked a big danger at the penultimate fence, but Jopero was in no mood for being beaten and held off his challenger to win by a neck at the lucrative odds of 25-1. Eight-year-old Jopero, who was opening his account for the season, is jointly owned by Royston Britton, Peter Wade and John Gardener. Jopero is also in the Kayley Jones yard, but the trainer missed seeing her double as she was away saddling her runners at Holnicote. Responding to a stewards inquiry about apparent improvement in form, John Gardener stated that Jopero had, “not had the ground all year and had appreciated the firmer ground conditions.”

Front running tactics also paid off for Michael Heard who took All But Grey into a long lead in the two and a half miles Maiden and never looked like being caught. The cutely named winner is actually a roan gelding , owned by Pilton based Robert Napper and his daughter Gemma and trained by Christine Gray. All But Grey is home bred from the point-to-point mare Butleigh Rose. “All But Grey was a bit unlucky at our local Mendip Farmers meeting when he finished second to a subsequent bumper runner up,” commented the owner.

Michael Heard completed his double with an emphatic pillar to post success on Suesacomin in the three miles Open Maiden. This late developing Teofilio grey mare started favourite on the strength of her good recent second at Flete Park and drew right away from Mr Bachster in the closing stages. The winner was bred locally by Mary Gliddon and is one of only two pointers in the Lamerton yard of Tony Boon who trains her for a local syndicate. “We have tried lots of different headgear and took it all off today,” said Tony, who doubles up his training with running a dairy herd after, “hunting hounds for 35 years.”

It was a day for front runners and Youwouldtoo continued the trend under James Ridley in the Mares and Fillies Maiden, just holding Robbie Henderson’s late challenge on Ratline Rosie. The winner had travelled from Zoe Hammond’s Worcestershire base with connections paying a first visit to the Trebudannon track. Youwouldtoo is owned by her breeder Don Constable who commented, “we were delighted to see the rain today. She has a lovely attitude and got a soft lead.” Her jockey James Ridley, 24 last week, was partnering his sixth winner of the season and reported, “she was a bit green and hanging across to the other horse on the run-in.”

Ned White was also in command from flag fall in the closing Restricted and kept on gamely under Tom Chanin as Miss Cupcake threw down her challenge in the home straight. Jacqui Elliott’s habitual front runner, trained by Robert Chanin, had finished runner-up on his last three outings and rewarded his faithful supporters when justifying 2-1 favouritism on this occasion.


Four Burrow, Trebudannon Preview

Trebudannon near St Columb Major is the location for this weekend’s Point-to-Point action on Sunday May 12th – the course offers excellent viewing and with six races attracting nearly one hundred entries so a great days racing is in store.

The racing kicks off at 2pm with the Open Maiden for horses and geldings two miles four furlongs sponsored by Stephen Scow. Raffa for the Kayley Jones yard could follow up on his second at Flete Park behind Jennys Layla when a mistake at the last may have lost him the race and the Christine Gray-trained All But Grey has hints of ability when second at Ston Eston behind Blue Button and the yard is inform having saddled Gingers Reflection to win at Upcott Cross last weekend.

Roberts Of Trevarthen sponsor the Club Members race, in which Checkerboard could follow up on his Mens Open win at Wadebridge for jockey Robbie Henderson and then scored a second behind the Barber-trained Flanshan at Stafford Cross. Oedipe under Rhys Jenkins outstayed his rivals in the home straight to win at Maismore Park and is another with strong claims.

The PPORA Club Members Mares Maiden 2m4f could see Reves D’Armour for trainer Ed Walker come home in front having run a good second behind West End at Flete Park last weekend. She also ran a creditable second behind Jasper Jazz at Kingston St Mary last month, although this race may suit Stir On The Sea for trainer Nikki Frost. The mare ran well under daughter Bryony at Flete Park in April before fading three out and is sure to come on for that run.

Brewin Dolphin sponsor the Mixed Open, with both Blazing Whale and King Of Alcatraz having Hunter Chase entries this week so are unlikely runners. However, this still leaves a strong field in which the Emma Oliver-trained King Cyrus who goes well for jockey Merv Woodward and if his connections decide to switch him to Pointing he could be the one to follow here. He won a Chase at Taunton last season having made all and kept on gamely and ran third at Taunton this season behind Benedictus. Jayne’s Crusader is another to consider having been sent off even money favourite at Larkhill and only just failed to score when half a length behind Bedrock Fred and could challenge here if travelling down from Sally Alners yard at Okeford Fitzpatrick. Rush’N’Roll is also worth noting after his impressive seven length win for the Legg family at Stafford Cross.

Next up is the open maiden which is sponsored by Chris and Sarita Perkins whose Porloe Alvin finished 24th at Badminton at the weekend.

The final race of the day is the restricted and those to consider include Bradley Brook who has has strong claims having won a 15 runner maiden at Little Windsor in April beating Lord Samson by eight lengths; Gontdevon who was just denied a restricted win when second by half a length to Ann’s Lottery and Jennys Layla who won her maiden at Flete beating Raffa by a length.

The course is located at St Columb Major (signed off A30 & A39) postcode TRP 4LP. Entrance £20 per car load £10 car and driver and all on course facilities bar, bookmakers and hot refreshments are available.

Eggesford, Upcott Cross, Monday 6th May 2013 Report

The postponed Eggesford meeting attracted a good sized crowd in warm sunshine at Upcott Cross with the ground drying out by the minute.

The card was expanded to eight races with a division on the day of the first Maiden. A total of 51 runners was a commendable turn out for a re-arranged fixture.

Print The Money started a well backed 6-4 favourite for the four miles Devon National. Josh Guerriero’s mount shared the lead for the first three miles with River Indus, who had won over this extended distance in very different snowy conditions at Treborough Hill in March. The pair soon had plenty of challengers and as the race warmed up Roll On Rose threatened the favourite for the lead as River Indus gave way.

It was Joaaci however who stayed on the stronger in the home straight, striding clear of Print The Money to score by six lengths. The winner is owned by Duncan Odgers and trained at Looe by his partner Pat Shaw. Jockey Mikey Ennis seems to have specialised in Nationals this year. Based with David Pipe, the 31-year-old had ridden the winner of the Midlands National at Uttoxeter and finished runner up in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr last month. “Joaaci jumps really well and stays. I hit the front with him too soon in a four miler at Cheltenham last year and wanted to be more patient this time,” said the rider who expects to turn conditional in the near future.

Michael Heard and Robbie Henderson each scored doubles. Heard kicked off his successful day on his home track by taking the Hunt race on Faasel, and completed his double when the five-year-old mare Roxy Doodles won her division of the Open Maiden. The Heard family are great supporters of pointing and Michael’s father John Heard was certainly multi tasking in his role as trainer of Faasel and Roxy Doodles; clerk of the course and land owner of the Upcott Cross course. Roxy Doodles was bought for only £900 at Ascot sales last July and is owned jointly by the trainer and John Gardener.

Robbie Henderson’s double came courtesy of Kudu Shine and Gospel Preacher. Kudu Shine is unbeaten in his three runs this season, but his owner Audrey Goodwin missed this success having got lost in the Devon lanes en route. Trainer Kayley Jones was given the go ahead to run Kudu Shine by the owner however and said afterwards, “He will be turned away now and maybe run under rules in due course.”

Kayley went on to saddle her sixteenth point-to-point winner of the season when Gospel Preacher completed Robbie Henderson’s double in the final Maiden. This big Kayf Tara eight-year-old was bought at Doncaster sales last November after showing promise from the Alan King yard. He is owned by an enthusiastic group of eight under the name of The Passion8 Pointers Syndicate. The passion, I am told, is entirely directed to point-to-pointing.

The other Open Maiden winner Gingers Reflection came to Christine Gray’s yard via the Ascot Derby sales last summer after a few runs under rules for Henrietta Knight. The seven-year-old is jointly owned by the trainer together with keen West country point-to-point follower David Gadian. “He has masses of ability,” enthused the trainer after her charge had just got the better of front running Lord Samson. Winning jockey John Park is based with Kevin Bishop and plans to turn conditional at the end of the season.

Jockey Alistair Harvey enjoyed a weekend to remember. After celebrating his 21st birthday on the day before, the Cirencester student won the Novice Riders’ contest on his grandmother Sue Trump’s Tamatown. “He is very keen and does well as this is the only horse he rides,” commented trainer Leslie Jefford.

It is difficult to keep champion jockey Will Biddick off the score sheet and he followed up his Holnicote double on the previous day with his 34th success of the campaign when long odds-on chance Pamplona Run took the Restricted after a spirited battle with Reliable Richie. Biddick described the Graham Roach owned five-year-old as, “very green”, but it would be surprising if this well bred Richard Barber trained youngster did not go on to greater things.


Modbury Harriers, Flete Park, Saturday 4th May 2013 Report

Bryony Frost took a giant step towards achieving her ambition of capturing the National Novice Riders’ Championship for lady jockeys with her first ever double at Flete Park thanks to Railway Vic and Wee Fly.This double put the Devon youngster on the nine winner mark for the season, giving her a four win cushion over Brodie Hampson for the coveted title.

Once again the lovely Devon venue was blessed with pleasant sunshine and well filled car parks. Bryony initiated her double as Railway Vic followed up his recent course win in the Restricted, just outstaying Alysia’s Flame in a driving finish. Railway Vic, who was winning for the third time this season, is trained by Bryony’s mother Nikki, and is owned by Susan Roe who has been associated with the Frost yard for several years.

Wee Fly is one of the toughest and most consistent mares in the pointing field and duly showed her battling qualities when thwarting John Daniell’s bid for a seasonal treble in the four miles Ladies Open. Bryony Frost was content to bide her time on Wee Fly but Amanda Bush had John Daniell in a slight lead when her mount blundered badly at the final fence, Wee Fly and her determined 18-year-old rider did not need a second invitation and was not for denying once she had her head in front on the run-in.

“Wee Fly came into season yesterday but she has now won this race for the last four years,” said owner/ trainer Ross Oliver. Bryony’s double took her to the nine winner mark for the season, giving her a comfortable lead for the National title.

Ollie Bush had saddled the Ladies’ runner-up John Daniell, and quickly gained consolation as West End justified 2-1 favouritism for her yard in the two and a half miles Maiden. The Westerner gelding was given a perfect hold up ride by Josh Guerriero who picked his way through the field to lead inside the final quarter mile on the good looking six-year-old. “I had a job to pull him up. He likes quick ground but had been running freely in his races,” said the North Devon based jockey whose career is due to take a new shape when he joins rookie trainer Dan Skelton as assistant trainer in the summer.

Eight faced the starter for the three miles Open Maiden, but front running Talland Bay turned the race into a procession from a long way out, eventually scoring by six lengths under Geoff Barfoot-Saunt in a very commendable time. The home bred winner is owned by Marcella Baylis together with her parents Alan and Edna, and is trained by Marcella at St Veep near Lostwithiel. “Talland Bay is a lovely ride but can be a bit quirky. We moved down to Cornwall last winter from the Cotswolds (where she trained plenty of winners in that area). “I led up Earth Summit when he won the Grand National and was given him to hunt when he retired,” she confided.

All three Mens Open runners were in contention approaching the last, but Swansbrook is nothing if not game, and pulled out extra to hold Osric and odds-on Uncle Keef. Sue Popham handles Swansbrook on behalf of joint owners Peter Williams and David Meyrick. The ten-year-old was snapped up by the Pophams at Doncaster sales last May for £3,200 on the recommendation of Brendan Powell. “I think we will have to go back to Doncaster sales next week,” joked the trainer. “I have had six winners from four horses this year and they are all still in training. Swansbrook jumps point-to-point fences particularly well,” added Sue.

Robert Chanin’s Thorverton yard has also been amongst the winners and Molland Gayle became the trainer’s seventh pointing winner of the season to add to Kirkleigh’s two Hunter Chase successes when winning the Confined. Pauillac looked the likely winner at the top of the hill, but the patiently ridden winner took command after jumping the last to win going away. “They went too fast early on and I kept a bit in hand,” reported Leanda Tickle who was deputising for Molland Gayle’s regular rider Ian Chanin. “It is unusual for one of the boys (Ian or Tom) not to ride ours but Leanda did well,” commented Robert Chanin who trains the Dr Massini mare for a local syndicate. At least Ian had the satisfaction of riding a winner on the same day at the Tredegar Farmers meeting in South Wales.