Written by: Donna Harris
The first of three Point-to-Point horse racing fixtures to be held at the picturesque course of Bratton Down near Bratton Fleming, North Devon will be held on this coming Sunday May 15th. With pony racing sponsored by Gerald and Victor Dartnall, heading up the action at 11.45am, the main seven race card starts at 1pm and with over 130 entries received some races may be divided giving a bumper day of racing.
The Brends Hotels-sponsored Mixed Open looks a feature race, in which the Rose Loxton-trained Join Together would be one of the bookies favourites, having won seven out of his eight starts between the flags to date, he also won a Hunter Chase at Wincanton in February and ran a good second in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham under his regular jockey Bryony Frost. Join Together also holds an entry in a Hunter Chase at Fontwell this week in which case previous course winner here Bellflower Boy could be the ride for Bryony Frost. Buck’s Bond could be a likely ride for current leading male jockey Will Biddick, whilst Supreme Danehill with the booking of jockey Joe Hill should go close.
The opening Ucanstore-sponsored Restricted race sees current leading trainer Jack Barber holding three of the 20 entries with Athreeothree, Brandevin and Well Travelled, recent maiden winners Trehan Cross, Urban Storm and Lantas Legacy look all to be progressive and are sure to be in the mix.
Rainbow Stripes for the Ed Walker team and Fountains Cloud for trainer Teresa Clark are suggestions among the 30 entries in the Open Maiden race which could well be divided on the day and is run in the memory of Bob Pittard. The divisions will be sponsored by the Pittard family and Brewer, Harding & Rowe Solicitors.
Sandhill Racing (Phillip & Sarah Hobbs)-sponsor the Club Members Conditions race in which the Ed Walker-trained The Flying Doc stands out being a course winner here last season and the mare ran a recent second in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham in April, she is another to hold an entry in a Hunter Chase at Fontwell this week therefore the vote could go the way of Ballydub from the Chloe Newman yard after his recent win at Littlewindsor having been off the since 2011.
Ballydub is also entered in the PPORA Club Members race, in which consideration must go to Vauterhill winner Cinevator for trainer/jockey Ella Pickard. Cinevator having stormed home to win impressively there. This could be a stiffer ask, with form horses such as the Levinson familys Premier Portrait unbeaten in his eight runs to date and only denied nine straight wins after a disqualification. Barbury and Maisemore Park winner Be Definate is another entry for the Levinson family who should go. With the Kayley Woollacott entry Steeltown could be the one they all have to catch after his impressive Hunter Chase win at Newton Abbot, Mixed Open wins at Cothelstone and Vauterhill. Sponsors of this race are AP & VA Maddox.
The Alan Hill-trained Velvet Cognac stands out among the entries in the Intermediate race having progressed quickly winning his Restricted at Kimblewick and then ran a head second in an Intermediate race at Whitfield. Back In June from the Karyn Heard team is another progressive type with wins at Vauterhill and Trebudannon, whilst Crackacan and Punter Friendly also having shown recent form.
Finally up is the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares and Fillies race in which Posh Totty is already on four straight wins and could snatch this with The Flying Doc looking her closest rival if not taking on the Fontwell Hunter Chase this week, or entering the earlier Members race here. Whenharrymetsally could prove the main danger being a previous course winner and could add to her win at Chipley Park this season for the Keith Cumings team.
On course facilities include a stunning location with a back drop of Exmoor providing a fabulous picnic spot, hot food and refreshments for those not packing their own, bar, bookies, and a number of trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per person up to a maximum of £30 per car, children under 16 free. Dogs only on leads welcome. There is an early bird E-ticket offer with discount at www.pointingdc.co.uk.
Course is located at Bratton Fleming (9m NE of Barnstaple on A399, 11m N of South Molton- EX31 4SG
Met Office 5 day forecast: Arlington Court (3.5 miles)
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