Preview : Axe Vale Point-to-Point, Stafford Cross, Sunday 26 April 2015

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Written by: Donna Harris

Hameldown Tor could be out looking for his fourth win of the season, for owners the Otter Club, in the Lee Clifford Engineering-sponsored Mixed Open at Stafford Cross this weekend. It is the turn of the Axe Vale to host their Point-to-Point meeting, near Seaton, Exeter, on Sunday 26th April. Local trainer Ed Walker scored a double last weekend, with Hameldown Tor taking the Mixed Open at Flete Park, and Level Spirit, another for the Otter Club, took the Confined race. Both are entered again here, and either are options for Robbie Henderson to ride. The challengers could be from the in-form Jack Barber team, with both Posh Totty and Subtle Sovereign having won recently under Will Biddick.

With pony racing heading up the action at 12 noon, this promises to be a great day out for all the family. Nearly 100 entries have been received for the main seven race card, which kicks off with the Beviss & Beckingsale-sponsored Members race at 1.30pm. Hameldown Tor also holds an entry in the members race, without him in the equation, Tandori is one to consider, from the Paul Phillips team, a previous course winner here, and ran a good second at Hackwood Park last month.

J & FJ Baker sponsor the Confined race in which Kostaquarta, another from the Barber team, could run well and follow up on his win at Milborne St Andrew. Louis Pasteur would need to improve on his recent second at Charlton Horethorne, Steeltown and Fiulin both ran well in a Hunter Chase at Exeter on Monday and could figure here if turning out again.

The Intermediate race has been sponsored by Martin Diplock Estate Agents, entry Cold Knight catches the eye, he is progressive and could go one better than his recent second at Andoversford, when sent off favourite that day. Sonoftheking is another to consider, also having run second in an Intermediate race, is also progressing well for the Nicola Martin team.

Harry Cobden won a Handicap Chase at Wincanton, whilst riding Ulck Du Lin for Paul Nicholls last weekend, he then made it to Littlewindsor the same afternoon to win on Cock Of The Rock. Harry’s possible mount in the Lentells Accountants-sponsored Novice Riders race is Silver Token, having clocked up four wins so far this season they are the likely favourites. Loose Preformer has been impressive, owned/trained and ridden by farrier Hedley Webb, they have won all three of their starts so should go close. Mic’s Delight for owner/trainer jockey Jennifer Davenport is likely to set the pace, and will put up a bold show.

The Restricted race is sponsored by Subaru, this could go the way of another Ed Walker trained entry On Your Max, having run close seconds in two restricted races this season. Both Royalzaro and Angleforcharlie could improve on their recent maiden wins and be in the mix. Gleannacreim from the Charlotte Hawker team, and Sparkling Miss from the Michael Miller team are other entries to note if the going stays on the good side.

The Scott Rowe Solicitors-sponsored Open Maiden race could go the way of the Milan sired San Satiro from the Barber team, the four-year old is yet to make his debut run. He is a half brother to The Eaglehaslanded, who took this race last season, and is owned by champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, he could be another horse for the future. Whatastormnorm ran well at both Great Trethew meetings, clocking up a second and third. Queens Law looked to find the going to testing when third at Upcott Cross, and is another who could appreciate the drier ground.

On course facilities include bar, hot refreshments, bookies and a number of trade stands. Entrance is £10 car & driver, £25 car load, pedestrians £10.

Location is Stafford Cross, nr Seaton (off A3052, 20m from M5 Junction 30 – EX24 6HZ)

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Beer Youth Hostel (1.3 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

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