Preview: Exmoor Point-To-Point, Bratton Down, 22nd May 2016



Written by: Donna Harris
A trip back to the stunning Point-to-Point location of Bratton Down is a must for all horse racing enthusiasts where the Exmoor Foxhounds will be hosting their meeting on Sunday May 22nd. With the fabulous back drop of Exmoor, this is one of the most scenic settings in the Devon & Cornwall area. Pony racing heads up the action at 1pm with two pony races sponsored by Teapes Tyres, followed by the main six race card commencing at 2pm. 110 entries have been received, offering what promises to be a superb day’s racing.
The opening RSM Beares in conjunction with B Thorne & Son Agricultural Engineers-sponsored  Members race includes an entry from the aptly named Forrardon Xmoor, although his only win to date has come on holding ground and with rainfall difficult to predict then the vote would go to entry Bernshaw.  A winner here for the previous three years, Bernshaw  could again come up trumps for local trainer Claire Hitch. The Keith Cumings-trained The Mystro won this race last season for owners The Duckers & Divers Club and could find his top form to snatch this.
Rosettes Direct sponsor the Restricted race in which Athreeothree looks sure to progress from Restricted company soon for the Jack Barber/Will Biddick combination, as would Dunns River.  Another entry, Jonimo, was impressive when winning at the Axe Vale meeting for trainer Robert Pudd, whilst Grey Dream looks to like good to firm going and could follow up on Holnicote win for the Teresa Clark team. The eye is also drawn to Mad Money who under Byron Moorcroft was unlucky to unseat his rider when leading at the 13th fence at the Pyle course last weekend.
In the Moore Scarrott Accountants’-sponsored Men’s Open it could be difficult to choose between Queens Bay winner of two this season, Posh Totty, Moorland Sunset and Steeltown all on four wins this season, whilst Master Baker came back from a heavy fall at Great Trethew to win at Trebudannon for the Lisa Jefford team putting him on five out of six. Queens Bay looks to act on any and with Will Biddick on board could prove hard to beat.
The Bray Leino-sponsored Ladies Open race looks just as hot with season’s treble winner Aikideau, Flete and Howick winner Blazing Buck and Holnicote winner Top Chief from the Stuart Sampson team a possibility, this could be another thrilling finish. Queens Bay is also entered in this race for jockey Bryony Frost and if connections choose this race for Queens Bay over the Men’s Open then she would be the likely favourite.
Ashley Farrant and the Kingdon family sponsor the Intermediate race which is run in memory of Donna Kingdon. The Happy Chappy for the Jack Barber team, Le Clo De La Londe for Kayley Woollacott and Doyen Dynamo for the Ed Walker stable have all shown good progressive form this season and should be among the likely favorites.
The final race of the day is the Open Maiden sponsored by The Old Station House Inn at Blackmoor Gate, this race could go the way of the Ed Walker trained Rainbow Stripes or recent Vauterhill and Cothelstone runner up Kisha Lad.
The course offers hot food and refreshments for those not wishing to take their own picnics. Bar, bookies and a host of trade stands. Entrance is £10 per person upto a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free and only dogs on leads welcome. There is an earlybird e-ticket offer


Course is located at Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming (9m NE Barnstaple on A399, 11m N of South Molton EX31 4SG

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Arlington Court (3.5 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

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