Preview: North Cornwall Point-To-Point, Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge – Sunday Jan 10th 2016

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Written by: Donna Harris

Point-to-Point horse racing enthusiast will be heading to the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge this weekend to celebrate 30 years of racing at this course. There is sure to be a real party atmosphere after the Christmas and New Year break, when the organisers of the North Cornwall club will be hosting the meeting next Sunday January 10th, combining a display of memorabilia with what promises to be another thrilling day of racing.

An early start time of 11.30am for the eight race card which includes a Ladies Open race, with the Olympic cycling gold medalist, Victoria Pendleton holding an entry on the Alan Hill-trained According To Sarah, could see their first appearance on a track in Cornwall. Victoria rode According To Sarah in a point-to-point at Barbury Castle in December, running on really well until pulling up two fences from home. The Alan Hill team have also entered According To Sarah at the Ampton, Suffold meeting, but it would be a real treat if they were to head to the Wadebridge track. Ray Diamond is another entry in the Three Cornish Farriers-sponsored Ladies Open, having won at this course last month under jockey Olivia Hutchings for Cornwall trainer Jackie Du Plessis, they could again turn out to please the crowd, the horse having previously had a good following when running in National Hunt races.

The Moores of St Wenn-sponsored Members race heads up the days events with Way Before Dawn and Sedgemoor Top Bid looking to be the bookies favourites having won two of their starts last season. Way Before Dawn ran consistently well winning two of his seven starts on soft to heavy going, finishing last season with a second in an Intermediate race behind What About Will at Bratton Down for the Tickle family. Sedgemoor Top Bid also won two of his starts last season under jockey Jamie Thomas and could go well.

Hop Oils sponsor the PPORA Club Members race for Novice riders which has attracted fifteen entries. Working Title looks to stand out for the Drinkwater family, having nine point wins to date including one at this course last month in the Men’s Open. Also entered is last months Novice riders race winner Premier Portrait who will be well fancied having come home one and a half lengths ahead that day of Kirkleigh who also holds an entry. Kirkleigh from the Robert Chanin team was leading until after the last when Gus Levinson on Premier Portrait found an extra gear up the hill and won the race by one and a half lengths.

The Restricted race is sponsored by Ray Davies Foods, this could go the way of Sutton Storm having run second here in December under Micheal Legg for the Angela Davis team. Bob The Butcher could be the main danger, from the in form Welsh raider David Brace under talented jockey Byron Moorcroft. David Brace has a good strike rate at this course, however Bob The Butcher has been lightly raced over the past few seasons and may need the run.

Kivells sponsor the Men’s Open race which has attracted some familiar Hunter Chase winners Big Fella Thanks and Harbour Court. The 13-year old Big Fella Thanks relished the heavy ground at Chaddesley Corbett in December when taking the 13 runner Novice riders race for Noel George who was riding for his father who owns and trains the horse. The Alan Hill team are represented here by the prolific winning gelding Harbour Court, a winner of seven point to points and three Hunter Chases including two at Cheltenham. Harbour Court ran at the Barbury meeting in December under jockey Joe Hill, but had to settle for second that day behind the Jack Barber-trained Ghizao, but looks sure to come on for the run. Doctor Braveheart is another from the David Brace team which could go well and follow up on his recent wins at Black Forest Lodge and the last Wadebridge meeting when winning the Intermediate race. He looks progressive and ready to step up into Open company.

The Open Maiden race, with sponsorship coming from Stephen Scown Solicitors and The Old Inn, St Breward, attracted twenty entries and has been divided due to possible wet ground. My suggestions for recent form would be Sutton storm in Division one if connections decide not to run in the earlier Restricted race which he also holds an entry for, having run second here at the December meeting, and Miss Weld who has also had the benefit of a run when coming home fourth at the last meeting and showed some promise on when in the frame last season on soft and heavy conditions. In Division 2 my suggestions would be Driving well having been another to have run second  at the earlier December meeting at this track, and Follow The Paint having clocked up two seconds here last season and is a consistent sort who looks to act on any going.

The final race of the day is the Cornish Mutual-sponsored Confined race, in which Le Clo De La Londe for the Kayley Woollacott team, could come back to win after his unlucky fall here last month, when travelling well in second in a race won by Doctor Braveheart. Iron Chancellor also stands out among the entries for the Sue Popham team, a previous course winner here and has been in the frame on seven of his nine starts between the flags to date.

A large covered barn encloses hot food, bar, bookies, trade stands and a huge screen for those wishing to stay inside. There will be a display board for photos from when the course was first raced in 1986, for all to see and if anyone has photographs which they would like to display the organisers would be delighted to add them. The North Cornwall Point-to-Point committee would like to invite previous owners /trainers/ jockeys and staff to reminisce with them.

Entry is £10 per head max £30 per car up to five adults. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. Discounted tickets are available on-line until 8th January via link http//northcornwall.tickets.co.uk & via website www.wadebridgeracing.co.uk

The course is located off A39 west of Wadebridge – PL27 7JE

Useful Information:

Met Office 5 day forecast: Wadebridge, 1.3 miles from PL27 7JE

BBC Travel News: Cornwall and Devon

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