Preview: Eggesford Point-to-Point at Upcott Cross Sunday 10 April 2016


Written by: Donna Harris

Upcott Cross near Halwill junction is the venue for next weekends Point-to-Point horse racing fixture in the Devon & Cornwall Area. With racegoers still in party mode from the Grand National the day before, they can extend their passion for horse racing by joining in on the atmosphere of the eight race card on offer here which commences at 1pm. Over 100 entries have been received with the Open Maiden race already divided.

The feature race of the day looks to be the Eggesford Champion Mixed Open race sponsored by Simpkins Edwards, with an increase of prize money to £850 this race has attracted some quality entries which include the highly rated Chapoturgeon from the Jack Barber team. Chapoturgeon has won over £120,000 in prize money when running under rules, and was recently unlucky to fall at Cheltenham when running in the Foxhunter Chase, Will Biddick should be back on board this time and will be sent off the likely favorites. Blazing Whale from Devon trainer Ed Walker’s team will be looking to take the spoils, already on a hat-trick of wins this season, which include wins at Wadebridge, Bishops Court and Great Trethew, they could prove the main challengers.

The Nigel Cant Planning-sponsored Members race opens the event in which Follow The Paint for the Heard family would be a popular winner at the family owned track. Follow The Paint has already won two of her four starts so far this season when progressing at the Wadebridge meetings under jockey Jo Buck. Fishy Story from the Stuart Sampson team could figure, having run well at the Buckfastleigh meeting before fading two out finishing fourth that day.

The Exeter Racecourse sponsored Intermediate race looks a competitive affair with many of the 15 entered having clocked up wins this season including The Flying Doc for trainer Ed Walker with a win at Didmarton and a second at Larkhill, In The Tub for Bloodstock agent Tom Malone with wins at Larkhilll and Buckfastleigh, Upto Ollie for the Sarah Pidsley team with wins at Bishops Court and Kilworthy. Sonoftheking from the Nicola Martin yard has been runner up in three Intermediates this season and is another suggestion for the short list who could go close and snatch this.

David Pipe sponsors the Open Maiden for 4,5 and 6 year olds in which the Somerset trainer Patrick Bryant’s Pyleigh Brae could run well after his second at Ston Eston,  the Jill Dennis team will be hoping County Road can improve for his third at Buckfastleigh. The Karyn Heard-trained Daylami Days is an interesting debutante with the booking of Will Biddick to ride.

The Restricted race is sponsored by TT Buildings and catching the eye is  Athreeothree from the Jack Barber team, having been knocking on the door of progressing from Maiden company and obliging by winning at Charlton Horethorne last month. Forrardon Xmoor would also look to be one of the bookies favorites, having run second at this meeting last season and was a recent Maiden winner at Buckfastleigh for the Jilly Baskerville team under jockey Vicky Wade.

The Open Maiden race for seven year olds and over has been divided with 17 entries in each. The first division sponsored by Dave Phillips bookmakers, could go the way of the Karyn Heard-trained Back In June or the Frost family’s home-bred Robin Longstride. In the second division Driving Well showed promise at the Wadebridge meetings, and Classical Milano is another debutante from the Jack Barber team who should not be overlooked. Ashgrove Kitchens have kindly sponsored the second division of the Open Maiden.

Finally closing the event is the Chris Hodgson Engineering-sponsored Confined race in which Delphi Mountain for trainer and jockey Emma Watson could follow up on their win at Ston Eston last month, with Commanche Conflict from the Alice Plume team is another to consider having won the Intermediate at the February Black Forest Lodge meeting.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands.Entrance to course is £10 per person up to max £30 per car. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome.

Course is located 2m South of Halwill junction off A3079 Postcode EX21 5AE

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Halwill Junction (1.6 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

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