Preview: Black Forest Club Point-to-Point, Black Forest Lodge, Sunday 27th November 2016

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Written by: Donna Harris

The wait is over!  Next weekend will see the start of the new Point-to-Point horse racing season which begins at the picturesque course of Black Forest Lodge near Kenton, Exeter on Sunday 27th November, commencing at 12 noon. Over eighty entries have been received for the six race card which have attracted many of the top horses and jockeys’ from around the country.

The Black Forest Club hosts this meeting with its feature race looking to be the Strutt & Parker Mixed Open race. This is a qualifying race for the Timico Mixed Open Finals to be held at Cheltenham in May and has attracted good quality entries. Course specialist Welstonedruid will hold the hopes of starting the season with a win for local trainer Robert Chanin. This could be a stiff ask with entries such as Cheltenham Intermediate Hunter Chase runner up Doctor Braveheart for the David Brace team, who has a good strike rate at this track. Benvolio is another catching the eye, out of the Paul Nicholls yard, the gelding has three Chase wins and two Hurdle wins under rules, and looks to be a notable addition to the Charles Levinson team for his son Gus, who was crowned leading novice rider last season.

The Prydis-sponsored Open Maiden two miles-four furlong race is the first race up, with the Teresa Clark‘s Culverwell looking to improve on his third at Great Trethew. Doc Cody from the David Brace team could improve for his two runs last season, and Bogoss du Perret has been working well at home reports trainer Nikki Frost, and will have jockey Bryony Frost on board.

The Black Forest Club Members race has attracted eighteen entries, notably last years leading horse Premier Portrait which is another from the Levinson team, who won eight of his starts last season. Jepeck holds an entry in both the Members and the Mixed open for the Kayley Woollacott team, a winner of four of his six starts last season, he will be expected to put on another bold show. Mic’s Delight now trained by Claire Wonnacott for the newly formed ‘Bottoms Up’ club syndicate, ran second here last season and will now be ridden by Millie Wonnacott. Doctor Henry, another Dr Massini sired entry of which there are several entered here, ran well last season for owner/trainer/jockey Bronwyn Buttery winning two and runner up in this race last season to Premier Portrait.

Three to note for the Heltor-sponsored Restricted Race are Boygojumping from the Martin Peaty team having put up a good performance when winning his maiden last April on good to firm going. Pink Eyed Pedro could be a danger being another out of the David Brace team, as could Dark Gesture who won his maiden at this track last season under Josh Newman, and could well be in the mix for the Keith Cumings yard.

In the A&S sponsored Open Maiden race, much will depend on the day with the ground conditions, but those that had shown promise in their maiden races last season are Desert Roe, Come On Joey and Miss Weld.

To end the days event Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate race, which is a qualifying race for the Exeter Intermediate Point-to-Point Hunter Chase Final to be held in May. This race could see champion jockey Will Biddick score here on Key People which he won a Restricted race on last season. Porlock Bay for owner/trainer Luke Harvey is another entry and a possible ride for Darren Edwards, which could provide a good battle between the two top jockeys.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies, trade stands and ringside parking for the disabled. Excellent viewing for all to enjoy offering a great family day out. Entrance fee £10 per head max £30 per car. Children under 16 free, dogs on leads welcome.

Course location is at Kenton, nr Exeter (off A380) 8HR

For a free fixture list send and SAE to Claire Hitch, Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD.

Useful Information:

Met Office 5 day forecast: Exe Estuary, 2.7 miles from EX6 8HR at the same altitude

BBC Travel News: Devon

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