Norman Chanin has been a course builder for 30 years, which well qualifies him to be the current Clerk of the Course at Black Forest Lodge point to point track near Kenton, Exeter.
He has held this post for 14 years and admits that he could not do it without the generous help of his team of 10 volunteers.
Having had the experience of riding in 18 point to points, including his own bred-and-trained North Man and Holcombe Scar, he gained several seconds, but a race win eluded him. He also spent several days assisting his father John Chanin building the course at Lynch Farm, Thorverton, where many local point to point riders and trainers would turn out for a schooling session after racing, including international event rider Ginnie Leng (Holgate).
To get a point to point course up to scratch, work has to start at least six weeks before racing, when Norman, along with his team, spend five to six hours per day for a total of around 16 days preparing the fences and track.
Mike Mortimore does the birch cutting. “Birch is labour intensive,” states Norman, and added: “we have to pinch in the birch by hand, and re-do the fronts with greenery such as fir. There are also rails which need painting and the grass track is topped rolled and spiked.”
Lawrence Delve and hunt volunteers erect the running rails, paddock, number boards, car park ropes and road signs etc
At the end of the first meeting of this season at Black Forest Lodge, Norman was very pleased with the day and the going, saying: “We provided good going with a lovely grass cover, it helps with it not being grazed.”
Norman is also a course BHA course inspector at other tracks throughout the area, and will be busy back at BFL to get the course in tip top condition ready for the next meeting, a job which the whole team are passionate about.
“As Clerk of the Course I am a cog in a massive wheel. To put on a point to Point the following are crucial and the success of the day depends on them.”
GRANVILLE TAYLOR REPORTS ON THE CORNWALL HUNT CLUB POINT-TO-POINT AT WADEBRIDGE
There is always a convivial atmosphere at the pre-Christmas point-to-point on the Royal Cornwall Showground and this year’s renewal maintained the usual high standard.
The bookmakers, festive trade stands and food and drink all fit into the huge barn. Father Christmas was all at sea because there was no snow – just rain, wind, and more rain. Anyway the bookies brought a few generous gifts……
The seven runners had to contend with dreadful conditions. Heavy rain driven by a strong wind which faced the field in the home straight saw the ground softening by the minute. From what could be seen in the parade ring with the runners well rugged up, Byerley Bear looked sharp for his seasonal debut on a track he loves. The classy Gwanako eased out to 9-4 with the responsibility of giving 16-year-old Megan Nicholls her first ride over jumps as her family looked on. Money came for Vicky Wade’s mount King of Alcatraz who was sent off 5-4 favourite.
Jo Buck sent Byerley Bear to the front at the seventh fence and it was left to Gwanako to chase him home. The winner had scored twice at the showground in the early part of last season and is likely to re-appear at this venue at the North Cornwall meeting in January. “We might try hunter chasing later at a trip short of three miles,” said owner Roger Knowles.
Robert Chanin had saddled Byerley Bear and went on to complete a stable double when five-year-old Welstonedruid stayed on gamely to win the Restricted under Ian Chanin for owners Andrew and Sue Knox. “Soft going is the key to him as he stays and stays. He was tapped for toe when fourth at Black Forest Lodge,” reported the trainer who will be seeking out more early- season races for the Weld gelding I recall his dam winning at Flete Park a few years ago. The runner-up Minella Fifty (Will Biddick) has an interesting background. Now with Claire Hitch, the King’s Theatre gelding had changed hands in the past for £150,000 to a client of Jonjo O’Neill’s. He should win a Restricted….
Will Biddick opened his account for the season on the progressive mare Champagne Rosie in the Intermediate. The task of this likeable seven-year-old was made easier when odds-on favourite Theatre Queen (Mark Wall) gave away 30 lengths with a tardy start. Despite this, Theatre Queen showed in front entering the final circuit, but looked well held by the winner when blundering three fences from home. Sobre Tresor stayed on to snatch second place. Charlotte Davis trains Champagne Rosie at Sutton Montis, Somerset for her owner/breeder John Meaden who has his eyes on the TBA / Countryside Alliance mares race at Chipley Park. “She is genuine and tough and goes a relentless gallop,” enthused Will Biddick. “She came in bigger and stronger and works really hard,” according to her trainer. Definitely one for the note book.
Cock of the Rock was a well backed favourite to follow up his recent win at Black Forest. Bradley Gibbs was content to bide his time on the Welsh challenger before setting him alight four out. Former Coral Cup winner Spirit River looked a big threat crossing the next, but Cock of the Rock battled on gamely up the final climb to score by three lengths. The winner’s owner David Brace had missed his gelding’s success on the opening day of the season, and the pull of holidaying in Barbados also kept him away from Wadebridge. Assistant trainer Robbie Llewellyn confirmed that the winner, “had not done a lot since Black Forest. He spends a lot of time in the field and has been in the sea,” said Robbie.
Working Title had finished a promising third behind Cock of the Rock at Black Forest and gave his 17-year-old rider Joe Drinkwater his first winner here. This was a family success since the former Nicky Henderson trained gelding is now handled by the young jockey’s brother Sam, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday. “It is a family effort and our mother Karen deserves a lot of credit. She rides out and does a lot of the work in the yard,” said Sam who rode 11 pointing winners last season but is currently sidelined with a broken foot.
DIV 1 (Paul & Craig Osborne)
The winner Romassor could have a big future. Bought for 38,000 euros at Fairyhouse as a three-year-old, this rangy five-year-old dictated the pace from the seventh fence and was not hard pressed to hold King Killer, also a promising type. Chloe Roddick trains Romassor, whose previous two racecourse appearances had resulted in finishing last over hurdles in France and second in his first point-to-point at Chaddesley Corbett in April.. “He has a lovely big stride but Tom (David) said he didn’t handle the sharp bends round here. It was a rush to get him fit for the Chaddesley race when he came from France in the spring and he is a nice prospect,” added Chloe.
DIV 2 (Tim Osborne)
This concluding 11 runner Maiden was run in gathering gloom and produced a surprise winner in 20-1 outsider My Friend Riquet. Owned and trained by Dave Roberts near Shrewsbury, the six-year-old Laveron gelding fought off Sutton Storm and The Copper Jug under Alex Edwards. “I got him at Ascot sales 18 months ago and he works well at home,” said the Shropshire trainer.
IT’S A FACT
59 of the 75 entries (78%) ran. No point in wasting entry fees nowadays.
Betting on the Novice Riders’ race centred on only two runners, The winner Working Title varied between 7-4 and 5-2 with former high class chaser Rebel Du Maquis easing slightly to 4-7 and 4-6 from early 2-1 on.
The favourite Cock of the Rock obliged in the Men’s Open after being backed from 7-4 into 5-4. The gamble in this event went astray as Googoobarabajagal (14-1 into 7-2) faded to finish fourth.
There was good money for Upto Ollie at around 4-1 and Tiger Wild (5-1 to 5-2) in the first section of the maiden won by the favourite Romassor. Jo Buck’s mount Coombeshead Lass was also a springer in this race from 20’s into 7’s but could only finish sixth.
Bookmaker David Phillips asserts that the layers generally had a losing day but got some respite in the last race as the virtually unbacked My Friend Riquet came to their rescue at fancy odds. A few “faces” nibbled at The Copper Jug from the in- form Chloe Roddick yard (7’s into 4’s). This Milan gelding could be a winner in waiting.
THE Cornwall Club hosts Point to Point horse racing this Sunday December 15, at The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge. It promises to be an action packed day with seven races(including a split Open Maiden) on offer, with the first race off at 12 noon.
Spectators could have an extra attraction of sixteen year old Megan Nicholls riding in her first Point to Point. The daughter of National Hunt Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, may get the leg up on Gwanako in the Ladies Open. Gwanako is owned by the Stewart family and has won over £240,000 in his racing career. Megan has come up through the pony racing ranks, and has ridden in flat races through the summer. Trevarthens sponsor this race which is also a qualifier for the Aga Ladies’ Open Point to Point Championship final at Stratford in May. Fiulin could also go well for champion lady novice rider Bryony Frost. Byerley Bear won this race last season for Jo Buck and another entry King of Alcatraz trained by Roy Smith won the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Final Hunter Chase last season, could also challenge.
Home Furnishings, Wadebridge sponsor the Cornwall Hunt Members (Nov Riders) race. The David Brace trained Cock Of The Rock won the Members race by 12 lengths at Black Forest Lodge two weeks ago, and will be a prime contender if travelling down from Wales. Rebel Du Maquis jointly owned by Kathy Stuart and Paul Nicholls also has strong claims in this race, having beaten off Palypso De Creek in a Hunter Chase in May. Now trained by Chloe Roddick, the gelding could make his Point debut here.
The Men’s Open is sponsored by Moores of St.Wenn. David Brace has two entered and could choose to run Hoopy, who battled on gamely to win the Mens Open at Lower Machen in May. The Sarah Pidsley trained Turtle Tim has three Point wins to his credit, and Song Sung Blue out of the Charlotte Davis yard could see champion jockey Will Biddick get the leg up to defend his title. Previously trained by the Tizzard’s, Song Sung Blue gained three Chase wins and looks sure to be the main threat here.
In the Nare Hotel sponsored Restricted, Welstonedruid ran well under Ian Chanin at Black Forest Lodge and could come on well for the run. Hugo Where Igo is a previous course winner here under Josh Guerriero, but may look to prefer softer ground, and the Becky Kennen trained My Rebel was consistently in the frame last season so could figure here.
Of the eight entered in the Hutchinson’s sponsored Intermediate race, Champagne Rosie, who took the Mares Maiden title last season for trainer Charlotte Davis should be one of the favourites if champion Will Biddick is on board. The combination will need to fend off the Mark Wall trained Theatre Queen, who having completed a hat-trick in April could be difficult to beat.
In the first Division of the Open Maiden, sponsored by Paul,Craig and Tim Osbourne, Romassor, under jockey Tom David, set a good pace at Chaddesley Corbet in his only run to date, before being headed, and had to settle for second behind Lumpys Gold.
In the second Division, What About Will showed promise when second at Trebudannon for jockey Vicky Wade, and Sutton Storm could be another for the Davis/Biddick team worth following.
The venue offers great viewing for spectators, with the opportunity to see some top class racehorses from all over the South West and beyond. There is a large covered barn containing hot food, bookies, bar and a host of trade stands, giving an ideal opportunity to combine Christmas shopping with the fun and thrills of racing.
Course is located off the A39 West of Wadebridge. Post Code PL27 7JE
Entrance is £10 car and driver, £5 per passenger, children under sixteen free, dogs welcome on leads.
Met Office 5 day forecast: Wadebridge, 1.3 miles from PL27 7JE
Nikki Frost runs the Frost family point to point yard, situated on the edge of Dartmoor near Buckfastleigh, South Devon and says that their training philosophy is “get them fit and well schooled and to educate the young horses well so they can reach their full potential. We also have to pay attention to detail and be flexible with our plans and realistic! ”
Nikki and daughter Bryony share the work list with husband NH trainer Jimmy busy at his yard a mile away.
She said: “We have two muckers and two riders, and rely on friends to ride out. Ben Robarts comes in at least once a week, Trudy comes in the afternoon grooming and clipping. Dan (Frost) does the tractor work and looks after youngstock and broodmares.”
Nikki is totally dedicated to running the yard adding: “We are really looking forward to this season, it’s a great time of year, hoping the maidens start their racing career off successfully and the reliable older horses continue to keep running well and enjoying themselves.”
Some of their horses for this season are:
Great Gusto – Winner under rules, joined the yard this summer, the Frosts look forward to running him in Ladies’ races.
Red Penny – New to the yard, owned by a great friend of Nikki’s, Margaret Sherrington, who hopes to breed from her after a racing career.
Oroktou – A gift horse from Phillip and Sarah Hobbs for Bryony to ride. “Should be great fun, he is a lovely horse,” says Nikki
Pauillac – Owned by Georgina Robarts and ridden by son Ben. “Sid is our stable stalwart. He consistently gets placed, and is great fun, sure to be back in the winners’ enclosure many more times this season.”
Wivannie – “Joined the yard in the summer has settled very well and we look forward to running her in mares maidens,” Nikki added.
They also hope to run five home-bred maidens, Monet Mo, Needleinahaystack, Annie Moon, Miss Leeman and an un-named filly which is a full sister to North London.
All are working well and schooling well. Their hope is that there will be one star among the five.
This season the Frost family have set up a racing club. Their main aim is to offer racing enthusiasts the opportunity to be involved with racehorse ownership. Members will have Pointers and National Hunt horses. Those joining will be invited to stable open days, National Hunt hospitality days, be involved as owners at Point to Points joining the team in the paddock and hospitality at the lorry.
For further details on the racing club contact Bryony Frost on 07861 814643.
NOTICE TO ALL POINT-TO-POINT RIDERS – CATEGORY “B” AMATEUR RIDERS COURSES
The cost of the “Category B Amateur Riders” 5 day course has risen (for various reasons) to £750 and is now combined with the Conditional Jockeys course. Recognising this is both costly and requires applicants to have to take a significant amount of time off work, the PPA and the AJA are working together to stage a new “upgrade” course so as to allow experienced riders who already hold a Category “A” Licence to attend a 3 day course at a lower cost of £450.
The pre-requisite is that, applicants will need to have 15 completed rides over obstacles under Rules or have had 20 placed point-to-point rides or a combination of these
The Category “B” course has been combined with the Conditionals course due to the lack of support it has received so in light of this, if the proposed less expensive 3 day course is to be staged there MUST be a minimum of 8 applicants, otherwise it won’t be feasible. Therefore this email is merely an enquiry, however if following it we receive enough interest then we will endeavour to arrange for the course to be held and will work with the AJA to do so in a timely fashion.
If you would be interested in attending such a course, please email Sarah Oliver firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible
The latest official updates for the meeting, including the going, will be available through Talkingpoint
From Linda Matthews, Cornwall Club Secretary
Update: 9 December 2013
Tim Dennis inspected the course yesterday and the going was good, good to soft in places. The weather forecast this week seems favourable to it staying the same.
Published: 4 December 2013
The Cornwall Club meeting is upon us and the course at Wadebridge is looking extremely good. The Clerk of the Course has reported today (Wednesday) that the going is good, good to soft in places, with a very good covering of grass. The fences are now all in situ ready for the first inspection.
Fences 2 and 6 have had completely new birch and the others are in very good condition.
There are plenty of Christmas shopping opportunities in the exhibition hall, with 15 trade stands and stalls. Farmers Friend and Chris Horrell will be selling country clothing and David Thorne is exhibiting his beautifully crafted hunting crops and other items. There are stalls selling vintage hunting accessories, handicrafts, toys, Christmas decorations and children’s clothes. These are all under cover near the bar, refreshments and bookmakers.
The course at Wadebridge has good viewing points and easy access to car parks via tarmac roads. Permanent toilets are also easily accessed.
Entrance is £10 per car and driver, £5 per passenger and children under 16 free.
If anyone travelling a long distance to Wadebridge needs overnight accommodation with stable please contact Mike & Elaine Biddick 01726 890214 or Linda Matthews 01736 761937.
Note: The HC registration deadline is 12 noon, Friday 6th December 2013, and the entries close at 12 noon on Monday 9th December 2013. Details of all the races can be viewed in page 108 of the 2014 planner, and the page for the December meetings can also be downloaded from here
Met Office 5 day forecast: Wadebridge, 1.3 miles from PL27 7JE