Preview; The Western Point-to-Point Wadebridge Sunday 7th February 2016


Written by: Donna Harris

It is the turn of the Western Hunt to host their Point-to-Point meeting at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge this coming Sunday February 7th. 60 entries have received for the six race card, with the Green Waste Co-sponsored Confined race heading up the action at 12 noon. The  Sue Popham trained Iron Chancellor won here in January, ten lengths ahead of the field under jockey Sean Houlihan, connections will be looking to score a hat-trick at this course by winning the Confined race, adding to his previous Hunter Chase win at Newton Abbot. Kings Bench from the Marie McGuinness yard could figure if finding some old form, but may be in need of the run.

The Savills-sponsored Ladies Open will attract much attention on the day, with Olympic gold medal cyclist Victoria Pendleton seeking her first winner in a point-to-point, she holds an entry here with previous course winner Working Title who has won four times in the past three years at this track. Victoria came within a head of her first ever win at last weekends meeting at Milborne St Andrew, on her planned Cheltenham mount Pacha Du Polder. The Jackie du Plessis-trained Ray Diamond may be the one to deny her a win here. Partnered by jockey Olivia Hutchings, Ray Diamond has won twice here this season, leaving the Chloe Roddick-trained and ridden Rebel du Maquis having to settle for second on both occasions. They too are entered and will be seeking to improve on that form.

Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate race in which Robin de Souza stands out having quickly progressed this season. The 6 year-old is trained in Lifton by Dean Summersby, and won his maiden at this track followed quickly by his Restricted win at Black Forest Lodge both under jockey Darren Edwards. Applesolutely from the Richard Mitford-Slade team in Pontispool, also catches the eye having won her restricted here in December, making the most of her mares weight allowance under jockey Sean Houlihan. The Flying Doc is another which could go well, coming from the in form Ed Walker team.

The Open Maiden race is sponsored by Stimson & Tieken with Berties Way being a suggestion having scored a second behind Sutton Storm at this track last month.  Driving Well out of the Francis Daniels yard is another to consider, having also run well here when two and a half lengths second behind Robin de Souza at the December meeting. With 17 entries received and a safety factor of 14 this race could well be divided on the day. If divided the second division will be sponsored by the Old Inn, St Breward.

In the Men’s Open race Doctor Braveheart has become something of a course specialist. Travelling down from the David Brace yard in Wales, and ridden by jockey Byron Moorcroft the combination have won twice here this season. This looks a stiffer task with entries such as Blazing Whale from the in form Ed Walker yard entered. Blazing Whale took the winners only Mixed Open race at Buckfastleigh last season on soft going and could be dangerous. Previous Hunter Chase winner Double Bank trained by Emma Oliver is the highest rated, he is a previous course winner here and won a Hunter Chase at Taunton last February. His only outing so far this season was when he pulled up at Chipley Park when carrying top weight, he may have needed the run and could be in the mix if defying his weight penalty.

The Hutchinsons-sponsored Restricted race looks equally competitive, entry Creative Inerta won his maiden at the second time of asking 30 lengths ahead of Whatastormnorm at Black Forest Lodge. Entry North George won his maiden for trainer Jonathan Tudor in November at Black Forest Lodge and followed up with a third in a Restricted race here in December. Polo The Mumm caught the eye at Chipley Park when second under jockey Hannah Welch, behind winner Stony Road in a competitive 13 runner race. Follow The Paint won her Maiden here impressively by 20 lengths in January and goes well for jockey Jo Buck who looks to have the ride again. Sutton Storm is another to have clocked up a Maiden win at this course, looks a really genuine type who would relish soft going.

There is a huge covered barn containing on course facilities such as hot food, refreshments, bar, bookies, trade stands, and a big screen which is sponsored by Reg Hamble & Cole and Rayment & White for those wishing to watch the racing close up. With pre-parade paddock and great track side viewing only a few yards away for fresh air fans. There are excellent disabled facilities.

Entrance to the course is £10 per adult up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free.

The course is located off A39 West of Wadebridge. Post code PL27 7JE. For entries and form check out the Devon & Cornwall Point-to-Point website

Useful Information:

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

BBC Travel News: Cornwall and Devon

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