2016-17 Devon & Cornwall Area – Jockey Championship latest standings

Updated up to the latest meeting so far – 19th March 2017 – Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers meeting

Darren Edwards 52 points
Will Biddick 40 points
Byron Moorcroft 27 points
Josh Newman 27 points
Jamie Thomas 24 points
Bryony Frost 14 points
Vicky Wade 12 points
Hannah Welch 10 points
Claire Hardwick 8 points
Leanda Tickle 7 points
Jack Veysey 13 points
Rex Dingle 9 points
Ben Godfrey 8 points
Charlie O’Shea 5 points
Zoe Hawkins 5 points
Emma Watson 5 points
Millie Wonnacott 5 points
Chloe Emsley 4 points
Abbie Hughes 4 points
Kiana James-Thomas 4 points
Isabel Marshall 4 points
Jodie Perry 4 points

Preview: Lamerton Point-to-Point at Kilworthy Saturday April 1, 2017

Written by: Donna Harris

The re-arranged Lamerton Point-to-Point fixture will take place this coming Saturday 1st April at Kilworthy on the edge of Dartmoor.  With the stunning back drop of Brentor this is an ideal venue to enjoy the spring sunshine. There are six scheduled races with the first due off at 1pm. Over 100 entries have been received.

The feature race of the day will be the Condy Mathias-sponsored Mixed Open race, which is a qualifier for the Timico Mixed Open finals to be held at Cheltenham on Friday 5th May. Local trainer Dean Summersby has Robin de Souza entered who could well follow up on his Men’s open win at Black Forest Lodge eaarlier this month. Kirkleigh from the Robert Chanin team ran a good second at Bishops Court and  looks to be coming back to his best form. Master Baker won at Milborne St Andrew last weekend and may well skip this meeting.  With previous Welsh Grand National runner up Benvolio, having run fourth in a Hunter Chase at Chepstow last week and is another who could now miss this meeting.

The Pannell Commercials-sponsored Members race opens the day with two Dean Summersby entries Robin de Souza and Rockinrollldixie standing out with the yard in flying form. This could be Rockinrollindixies race if connections target Robin de Souze for the Mixed Open.

With 26 entered in the Open Maiden race this is likely to be divided on the day, Emperor Renard ran at Ston Eston instead last weekend and won impressively, leaving the race tricky to predict, but could go the way of Gold Relief for the Martin Sweetland team having gone close in runner up places last season.

Chosen Lucky is another of the Summersby team entries which stands out in the A C Worth-sponsored Confined race having clocked up four straight wins so far this season, he looks hard to oppose under regular jockey Darren Edwards.

The Restricted race also holds key entries likely to be high in the betting arena with Air Glider, Eastern Calm and Micky Stark having progressed from maiden company. Ballyristeen a recent winner at Buckfastleigh  could turn up here for local owners Tony and Eileen Worth and should put up another bold show, having had an extra week to recover from that race.

Finally up is  the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race in which Master Tradesman and Silver By Design are entered  and must be respected having both clocked up impressive recent wins for outside raiders Richard Mitford-Slade who trains at Pontispool, and Peter Mason.

Course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a number of trade stands. Great viewing staging a fabulous amphitheater to watch the races from. Entrance is £10 per person maximum £30 per car. Children under 16 free, dogs on leads welcome.

Location is at Kilworthy, nr Brentor, Tavistock PL19 0JX.


Buckfastleigh racecourse is full of history. Holidaymakers travelling down the A38 may notice the old derelict grandstand, a bit of a wreck and camouflaged by vegetation, overlooking the course.

In his book A Long Time Gone, author Chris Pitt describes the old grandstand as “A Mary Celeste ; a reminder of days long gone, even though the racecourse it once served has been brought back to life.”

That racecourse has been brought back to life for point-to-points after a chequered history. It was first used as a National Hunt course in June 1883 until its closure in August 1960. Point-to-point racing then took place between 1963 and 1977 when it closed again. A re-birth took place in 1998 which leads us to the present day. The whole history of Buckfastleigh and South Brent Races is wonderfully described by my good friend, the late Peter Wakeham in his book of that name.

Anyway, after that potted history lesson, here is the consequence of last Sunday’s jousting between 16 bookies and an army of punters at Buckfastleigh:-

Score draw: PUNTERS 4 BOOKIES 4

The old enemy soon got the favourite beaten in the first of three maidens. The Frost’s Robin Longstride (5-2 to 2’a) was the surprising market choice considering how many chances he has had. Biddick’s mount Wallabrook drifted from 7-4 to 9-4 and just failed to cope with the Welsh gelding Bracho who was friendless from 10’s out to 16’s. This 5-year-old is another product of the Brace stallion Dr Massini and had evidently benefited from his run in the Barbury bumper. 

Tom Chanin achieved his 50th winner in the saddle when Ballyristeen (4-5 out to 6-4 fav) put his string of placings behind him in the second maiden. Runner-up Tavira (12’s to 6’s) caught the eye on her second racecourse appearance. She is sure to progress for the Dennis family.

The In Thing (3’s out to 5’s) made his four-year-old weight concession pay in the third and final Maiden in a tight finish with Troed Y Mellin (7-4 to 9-4 fav) and newcomer Wind Tor, who was not wanted on his debut ( 9’s / 10’s), but is worth noting for a similar race, Steeltown took a walk in the market for the Men’s Open (9-4 out to 4’s), as money came for the useful mare Miss Gotaway (6-4 fav from 2’s) Will Biddick rode a canny race on the mare, delaying his effort until the home straight until overhauling front running Steeltown.

Roseyroo (evens out to 6-4 fav) looked well before the Intermediate, but never looked like getting to grips with Dunraven Royal (7-2 touched 4’s) or Fishy Story (5-2 to 2’s), who had a contretemps on the final bend. This coming together resulted in Fishy Story ending up just inside the marker with her disqualification from first place inevitable.

The Ladies’ Open was a more sedate affair with Dicky Bob (1-2 fav, opened 4-6 in a place). comfortably holding his main pursuer Skylander (solid 5’s).

Odds-on chances continued to thrive thanks to Fly West (4-7 to 1-2) in the Subaru qualifier, but Railway Storm (evens to 1-3) could only manage second place in the getting out stakes despite the assistance of the in-form Bryany Frost. Beuvron (6-4) won this event for the second year in succession under the talented Hannah Welch.



“O wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822

There was quite a stiff breeze on a cloudy afternoon in the superb setting of Buckfastleigh racecourse.  Will Biddick and Byron Moorcroft each scored doubles.

Biddick’s patient ride on Miss Gotaway paid off in the Men’s Open as the champion jockey swooped on long time leader Steeltown after jumping the last. Jamie Thomas had tried to make all on Steeltown, but the weight concession to the mare proved just too much. Biddick said, “It was a hard race and she fought hard. I needed every inch of her to win.” Miss Gotaway, by Midnight Legend, is trained by Ed Walker for her owner Audrey Goodwin, who said, “She is home bred and has now won three times at Buckfastleigh. She will stay pointing now.”

Fly West also came out of the Ed Walker yard to give Will Biddick his 17th winner of the season in the Subaru Restricted qualifier. The winner jumped into the lead at the final ditch and managed to shake off the sustained challenge of recent course winner She’s Dapper after the penultimate fence. Fly West was bought in Ireland after finishing runner up in three Maidens there. The Westerner gelding opened his account in this country after a year on the sidelines two weeks ago at Didmarton.

Bracho was the first leg of Byron Moorcroft’s double in the first of three divisions of the Open Maiden run over 2 miles and 5 furlongs. This was yet another Devon and Cornwall area winner for the David Brace yard. The home bred five-year-old Dr Massini gelding took over approaching the second last and shook off the challenge of runner-up Wallabrook round the final bend. “I think he is better than his half brother Bringinthebranston, who won five point-to-points for us,” said the Pyle, near Bridgend based owner/trainer.

Byron Moorcroft also wore the Brace colours to complete his double in the Connolly’s Red Mills qualifying Intermediate. This time it was not all plain sailing since his mount Dunraven Royal passed the post four lengths behind Fishy Story (Matt Hampton). The original winner and runner-up had fought side by side down the hill after the second last, and were still locked together when Fishy Story ran out of room and went just inside the marker on the final bend. “It was a shame about that,” reflected the winning owner, who was obviously reluctant to gain a prize in these circumstances. He added, “my horse had sore shins last year but wants quicker ground. He could go to the Cheltenham Final.”

Dicky Bob made no mistake in the Skinner’s Ladies’ Open, galloping clear of Skylander in the testing ground to score by 20 lengths. Winning jockey Jo Buck had no qualms about her mounts stamina and said, “It was hard work but he just keeps galloping.” Owner/ trainer Verity Nicholls has her eye on the Members’ at Cherrybrook which he won last year and said. “He could go to Spooners’ (at Cherrybrook) and then a hunter chase. It was like watching a silent movie today because there was no sound from the loudspeakers where I was.”    

Tom Chanin clocked up his half century in the saddle when getting Ballyristeen home in the second Open Maiden. “He is a lovely young horse who came from Ireland. He stays well but will need better ground,” reported the rider, whose weekend had started with a winner at Cothelstone on the previous day. “He ran too freely really but will learn to settle. He might run at Kilworthy next Sunday.” said Tom’s father Robert who trains the five-year-old for owners Tony and Eileen Worth.

19-year-old Henry Morshead, who works for Kim Bailey, is chasing Lorcan Williams for the National Novice title and enjoyed a rare Devon & Cornwall area success on The In Thing in the third Open Maiden. The four-year-old is owned jointly by Francesca Nimmo and Charlie Poste, and trained by Francesca at Ettinger near Stratford –Upon-Avon, who said, “We have always liked him since we bought him at the Derby sale in Ireland last June. He is for sale.

The Hunt race went to course specialist Beuvron (Hannah Welch) who stayed on well to beat Railway Storm, just denying Bryony Frost with a follow up to her Cheltenham Foxhunter success. The winner is trained by Sam Holdsworth for owner Charles Stanley who operates Stanley Carpets.  19-year-old Hannah Welch works for the Sophie Leech yard whilst her mount has made a good recovery from an injury sustained at Flete Park last April. Well done to 65-year-old Mark Smith, who rode his own Nudge and Nurdle (eventually pulled up) to raise money for charity in this race exactly 50 years after his last ride as a 15-year-old in this same Buckfastleigh race.  


Going: Soft becoming holding

Open Maiden  2m 5f

Division 1 (Sponsor Winston Pincombe, Chulmleigh)

1 Bracho (Byron Moorcroft ) 16-1 stdy hdwy to lead two out, ran on well

2Wallabrook (Will Biddick) 9-4 imprvd 13th challd under press two out, no extra flat

3 Doctor Wong (Noel George) 5-1 effort two out, kept on

11 ran; 2 3/4l; 1 3/4l;  5m 58s

Owner; David Brace; Trainer; David Brace;


Division 2 (WBW Solicitors)

1 Ballyristeen (Tom Chanin) 6-4 fav led 5th, hard pressed from two out, dnv out

2 Tavira (Sean Houlihan) 6-1 closing when mstk two out, kept on well

3 Dunraven Doc (Byron Moorcroft) 4-1 went 2nd 13th, challd two out, every ch last ,no extra flat

8 ran; 2l; head; 6m 0s

Owner; Tony & Eileen Worth; Trainer; Robert Chanin


Division 3 (Barton Sawmills Ltd)

1 The In Thing (Henry Morshead) 5-1 alwys handy, close 2nd two out, led flat

2 Troed Y Mellin (Darren Edwards) 9-4 fav prom, led 13th, looked wnr til blnd last

3 Wind Tor (Will Biddick) 10-1 hdwy 13th, 3rd from 13th, kept on

11 ran; 1 1/2l; 1l;  6m 4s

Owner; Francesca Nimmo & Charlie Poste; Trainer; Francesca Nimmo


Men’s Open (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company)

1 Miss Gotaway (Will Biddick) 6-4 fav chased leader, led after last, soon clear

2 Steeltown (Jamie Thomas) 4-1 led until headed flat

3 Daymar Bay (Christopher Barber) 15-2 stayed on well without trblg leaders

7 ran; 3l; 5l;  7m 3s

Owner; Mrs Audrey Goodwin; Trainer; Ed Walker


Intermediate (Connolly’s Red Mills)

1 Dunraven Royal (Byron Moorcroft) 7-2 led two out, hard pressed apprg last & headed, finished 2nd, awarded race

2 Roseyroo (Darren Andrews) 6-4 fav held in 3rd from two out, promoted to 2nd

3 Sucker Punch (Will Biddick) 5-1 led til three out, faded, finished 4th, promoted

6 ran; Fishy Story was first past the post but was disqualified for missing a marker

Original distances; 4l; 20l;  7m 10s

Owner; David Brace; Trainer; David Brace


Ladies’ Open (Skinner’s Pet Foods)

1 Dicky Bob (Jo Buck) 1-2 fav  drew clear 12th , v easily

2 Skylander (Thomasina Eyston) 5-1 chased wnr from 11th, no impression from three out

3 Midnight Appeal (Charlotte Hawker) 4-1 3rd from 12th, not reach ldrs

5 ran; 20l; 4l;  7m 5s

Owner; Verity Nicholls; Trainer; Verity Nicholls


Restricted (Subaru – Ashburton Motor Works Ltd)

1 Fly West (Will Biddick) 1-2 fav led 14th, drew clr apprg last

2 She’s Dapper (Matt Hampton) 9-2 prog to close 2nd four out, wknd apprg last

3 Mr Jaggers (Charlie O’Shea) 4-1 midfield, nearest at finish

8 ran; 20l; 12l;  7m 12s

Owner; Ed & Polly Walker, Francis Read; Trainer; Ed Walker


Members’ Kath Bond Memorial – John Bond)

1 Beuvron (Hannah Welch) 6-4 led / disputed 12 th til jpd into lead last

2 Railway Storm (Bryony Frost) 1-3 fav  slight lead & hard pressed two out, headed last

3 Railway Vic (Anna Hylands) 12-1 close up til two out

5 ran; 1 3/4l; 15l;  7m 18s

Owner; Charles Stanley; Trainer; Sam Holdsworth


It was ladies’ day at Ottery St Mary.

No, not the posh dresses and fancy hats like the contrived “ladies’ days” that seemingly every racecourse must hold nowadays.

The ladies’ day at Ottery means lots of ladies’ riding and training winners in the traditional Bishops Court mud.

Emma Watson set the ball rolling in the opening Hunt race. She rode and trained Delphi Mountain (8’s and 7’s) to a 15 lengths success. This 12-year-old Oscar gelding has been a grand campaigner ever since Charlie Swan rode him to win his first race over six years ago. He has now given Emma four winning rides. Another game old warrior, Kirkleigh (9-4 to 7-4) , chased the winner home, but the favourite Blazing Whale (odds-on from an opening show of 2-5 into 1-2) was beaten when pulled up

Local jockey, 21-year-old Zoe Hawkins, not only rode the winner of the young horse Maiden on Micky Stark (5’s to 9-2), but in doing so got the better of the six-times champion jockey Will Biddick on the run-in. Biddick’s mount Journey Juice (5’s to 3’s) who made an eye catching debut “will improve a lot mentally”, according to the champion. Zoe Hawkins also trains family owned Micky Stark, and is in her second year of training at her small yard near Honiton

One of Zoe’s near neighbours, Sarah Pidsley, trained Eastern Calm (backed into 3’s), to win the older horses Maiden by five lengths. This ex-National Hunt mare had run promisingly at Buckfastleigh after a lay off, and drew away from the Barber horse Clenagh Castle in the home straight under the up and coming Will Gordon. The layers couldn’t give away Clenagh Castle, who eased from a tight opening show of 1-2 to evens with 5-4 being called in a place as they lined up.

The Verity Nicholls owned and trained Dicky Bob (4-9 to 2-5) looked a certainty dropped in class to the Novice Riders’ contest, but made hard work of it to fend off grand ex-chaser Mic’s Delight (6’s to 8’s). Young Millie Wonnacott did little wrong on Mic’s Delight, but consolation lay in wait for Dicky Bob and Rex Dingle, who made up for his Buckfastleigh lapse on the hot pot jolly.

Sue Popham saddled Iron Chancellor (solid 10-1) to gain a long overdue victory in a disappointing four-runner field for the Mixed Open. Lee Drowne got some really spectacular leaps out of the winner, who had the 1-2 favourite Athreeothree chasing shadows over the last half mile.

Colorado Doc (6-4 to 5-4 fav) looked a really smart prospect when beating Inch Rock at Chaddesley Corbett last month, and confirmed that impression here in the Intermediate with a similar margin of victory over this longer trip. Inch Rock was easy to back out from evens to 2’s before 6-4 ruled at the off. He will gain consolation, but I would not oppose Colorado Doc when he is upped in class. Apart from Dicky Bob, the Doc was the only winning favourite on the card.

Colorado Doc’s stable companion Doc Cody (11-4 into 5-2) had every chance in the Restricted, but had to give best to Awesome Tunes (Lorcan Williams), who landed a nice gamble (4’s at the off) in the Restricted. Ian Chanin handles this seven-year-old Milan gelding, bought out of David Pipe’s yard. Despite a long absence, Just Imagine It was sent off 2-1 favourite (from 5-2), but could only finish fifth.

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New hunter chase for progressive point-to-pointers

Conditions to a long established hunter chase staged at Taunton Racecourse have been changed to enable an easier progression for point-to-pointers that have never won under Rules to take part without competing against highly rated ex-chasers.

The race is the brain child of Richard Mitford-Slade who has sponsored a hunter chase at Taunton for more than 15 years, now called the Pontispool Equine Sports Centre Maiden Hunter Chase for the Mitford-Slade Trophy. He decided to change the conditions to give point-to-pointers the chance to go hunter chasing on a more even playing field.

“There is very little for progressive point-to-pointers in National Hunt racing as more often than not, when they go hunter chasing they will be against former highly rated horses  so we thought we’d change this race, but we do need people to support it for it to take place annually.  We are hoping it will be popular,” he said.

The race is staged on April 6 with a prize fund of £3,500 over a distance of 2m7f.

Entries: Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Point-To-Point at Buckfastleigh on Sunday 19th March 2017

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 13:00 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
2nd 13:35 Open Maiden Race, Division 2
3rd 14:10 Open Maiden Race, Division 3
4th 14:45 Mens Open Race
5th 15:30 Intermediate Race
6th 16:05 Ladies Open Race
7th 16:40 Restricted Race
8th 17:15 Members Race

Course Updates:

Thursday 16th March 2017

Thursday, 16 March: Nice dry day again and the work parties have been busy on the course again and it’s looking really good for racing on Sunday. No change today to Wednesday’s Going report;will post again tomorrow. Eileen Ashby, PtP Secretary for Buckfastleigh

Thursday 16th March 2017

Preview extract:

A trip back to the historic racecourse at Buckfastleigh is on offer, where the Dart Vale & South Pool Harriers will be hosting next weekends Point-to-Point fixture on Sunday 19th March.

Pony racing starts the day with two pony races commencing at 12 noon, followed by the main eight race card, with the open maiden race having already been divided before the day, commencing at 1pm. 105 entries have been received.

The course offers fantastic viewing, with on course facilities hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a host of trade stands. Entry to the course is £10 car and driver, £10 per passenger up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome.

Course is located at Lower Dean, 1m SW of Buckfastleigh adjacent to A38 Postcode TQ11 0LT



f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner


NH = National Hunt
L = Length
Rest – Restricted
Nov = Novice
RT – Rating
PTP – Point to Point

An up to date form guide and synopsis of the horses entered at this meeting. Form figures for up to 6 outings appear. A dash(-) is used to separate 2015/16 form from 2014/15 form. Figures preceded by an oblique (/) represents 2013/14 form or earlier. Horses marked with an asterisk (*) indicates National Hunt form. The higher the rating the better the form. No responsibility can be accepted for any errors which may be considered to have occurred.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Preview : Dart Vale & Haldon HarriersPoint-to-Point, Buckfastleigh Sunday 19 March 2017

Written by: Donna Harris

A trip back to the historic racecourse at Buckfastleigh is on offer, where the Dart Vale & South Pool Harriers will be hosting next weekends Point-to-Point fixture on Sunday 19th March.

Pony racing starts the day with two pony races commencing at 12 noon, followed by the main eight race card, with the open maiden race having already been divided before the day, commencing at 1pm. 105 entries have been received.

The Open Maiden races have been divided with 16 entries in each. Many are new to the Point-to-Point field, but suggestions of those having shown some recent form are Moonara and Wallabrook in the first division. Ballyristeen out of the Robert Chanin yard ran second here at last months meeting along with Great Trethew runner up Ticket To Ride from the Ed Walker team being suggestions in the second division. The third division could go the way of locally trained Kintamini, out of the Sam Holdsworth yard after her second at Black Forest Lodge and fourth here previously, with River Myth and River Wye both with recent thirds in their form. The maiden races have been kindly sponsored by Winston Pincombe and WBW Solicitors.

Totnes & Bridgetown-sponsor the Men’s Open race and with the Kayley Woollacott team entry Jepeck a winner of the champion Mixed Open race here last month, and Dicky Bob another who loves this track and a winner at Ottery last weekend for trainer Verity Nicholls, it should provide another thrilling race. New sponsors Skinners Pet Food Ltd sponsor the Ladies Open race which is a qualifier for the Skinners Ladies Open Final to be held at Cheltenham on May 5th this is also full of talent, with Dicky Bob holding an entry in this also, could provide a winning ride for jockey Jo Buck. The prolific winning veteran Coombe Hill, now 16 years-old, will be the ride for jockey Millie Wonnacott and could be the one to put Dicky Bob under pressure, with Millie having had to settle for runner up spot at last weekends Ottery meeting when riding Mic’s Delight.

The Restricted race is sponsored by Subaru and will be supported on the day by Ashburton Motor Works. The first three horses past the post will qualify for the Subaru Restricted Point-to-Point Series Final to be held at Stratford-on Avon in June this year. Local jockey Hannah Welch will be hoping for a good run from Carumba to follow up on his win at Great Trethew, with the Jack Barber-trained entry Ballyknock Cloud being one of the main dangers after his recent impressive maiden win at Milbourne St Andrew when ridden by Will Biddick.

Connolly’s Red Mills sponsor the Intermediate race with the highest rated entry Roseyroo a consideration carrying a mares weight allowance, and previous form includes runner up in a Cheltenham mares Hunter Chase. This race is another qualifier for the Cheltenham meeting in May and could provide the Louise Cabble team with another entry if Roseyroo gets her head in front again. Fishy Story another with a mares weight allowance, could figure in the equation for the Stuart Sampson yard as could the David Brace entry Pink Eyed Pedro.

Finally up is the Kath Bond memorial Members race which is sponsored by John Bond in memory of his late wife. This race has attracted nine entries and could be another winning ride for local jockey Hannah Welch with previous course winner Beuvron.

The course offers fantastic viewing, with on course facilities hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a host of trade stands. Entry to the course is £10 car and driver, £10 per passenger up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome.

Course is located at Lower Dean, 1m SW of Buckfastleigh adjacent to A38 Postcode TQ11 0LT