Preview: Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Point-To-Point, Buckfastleigh, Sunday 15th March 2015

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Blazing Whale can follow up on his Point-to-Point win last month, when he took the West Country Champion Chase at the popular course at Buckfastleigh, where the Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers host their meeting this Sunday March 15. The feature race looks to be the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Mixed Open. Devon based trainer Ed Walker has two entered, Blazing Whale, who relished the soft going under jockey Robbie Henderson to win by a neck at the last meeting in a thrilling finish. Hameldown Tor also from the Walker yard, could be their preferred runner, having recently run second when well fancied at the Badbury Rings meeting. The Mythologist also entered, came back to form two weeks ago when winning at Cothelstone another under Robbie Henderson, the horse is now trained by current national leading trainer Jack Barber, It will be interesting to see which horse Henderson gets the leg up on.

Pony racing heads up the action at 12 noon, with the main race card commencing at 1 pm. There are seven races on offer, with over 100 entries received. Spending Mother’s day at the races can provide a lovely day out for all the family, with the first fifty through the gate paying to park, being offered a free box of chocolates as they arrive.

The Kath Bond Memorial Members race, kindly sponsored by John Bond heads up the action, in which French import Beuvron for local owner Charlie Stanley, looks hard to appose having taken two Ladies Opens under novice jockey Hannah Welch. Beuvron’s trainer Sam Holdsworth clocked up a double last weekend at the Great Trethew meeting. Also entered is Grand Award, he won this race last season for young trainer Imogen Darke under jockey Alice Mills, they look the likely challengers.

Two divisions of the Open Maiden follow, the first is sponsored by Winston Pincombe of Chulmleigh. Suggestions could be Road To Success who under trainer/jockey Ben Clarke ran a good second to Bishops Court at Cothelstone two weeks ago. Flood Tide is another entry to consider after his third here at the last meeting for the Dean Summersby team. The second division of the Open Maiden is sponsored by Barton Sawmills, this race could go the way of the Jack Barber-trained Just Imagine It, having scored a half length second at the Chipley Park meeting in January under Will Biddick. Miss Weld also entered, could put up a challenge for local jockey Pippa Glanville, after her creditable second at the Bishops Court meeting.

In the Connolly’s Red Mills sponsored Intermediate race, Dicky Bob has won his last two starts for trainer Verity Nicholls, including a win here at the February meeting under Tom Chanin, that day holding Peterbrook to an eight-length second. Nicola Martin is frequently turning out winners and her entry in this, Infamous Grouse, won here also at the February meeting and should be in the mix.

Luscombe Maye sponsor the Countryside Alliance club members race for novice riders. This looks very competitive between local jockey’s Hannah Welch with either Beuvron if not running in the earlier race, Ladyvie or Jopero, and Jennifer Davenport with Mic’s Delight, both jockeys looking to follow up on their recent wins. The main danger could be Silver Token, who under Harry Cobden took the novice riders race at Badbury Rings, having stayed on well for trainer Rachael Green.

The Restricted race which is sponsored by WBW Solicitors, Newton Abbot, could see the impressive Montecito from the Jack Barber team turn up to steel this. The horse made virtually all under current leading national champion jockey Will Biddick, to take his Maiden at the recent Badbury Rings meeting. Ziggerson Hill from the Jackie du Plessis team had stayed on well when taking the Mares Maiden race here last month, under Olivia Hutchings. Polo The Mumm ran last weekend and literally hacked up when well fancied to take his maiden at Great Trethew, giving jockey Hannah Welch a pleasing ride,they could well be out for another pipe opener at this meeting.

The course offers excellent viewing and amenities, including great hot and cold food, bar with real ale, bookies, and a host of trade stands.

The course is located 1m south of Buckfastleigh alongside the A38. Postcode TQ11 0LT.

Entrance £10 per person to £25 per car maximum. Under 16’s free.

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Buckfastleigh, 1 mile from TQ11 OLT

BBC Travel News: Devon; CornwallSomerset;

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