Preview: East Devon Point-to-Point, Bishops Court Ottery St Mary, Saturday 11th March 2017

Written by: Donna Harris
The location for next weekend’s Point-to-Point venue in the Devon & Cornwall Area is the pretty course at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary, on Saturday 11th March with the first race up at 12 noon. It will the the turn of the East Devon to host the area’s meeting with this track being a popular venue for picnics to be brimming to the full, with all soaking up the atmosphere and hopefully a dry spring weekend in store. Over 100 entries have been received.
Seven races are scheduled which include the Michael Pidsley Devon Straw Man-sponsored Mixed Open race which is a qualifier for the Timico-sponsored Mixed Open Final race to be held at Cheltenham on 5th May. Entries include recent Chaddesley Corbett winner Athreeothree for the Jack Barber team who also holds an entry for the meeting at Charlton Hawethorn the following day, this could leave the race open with the stunning grey horse Dicky Bob who holds an entry for trainer Verity Nicholls. Dicky Bob came home a clear winner at Buckfastleigh in February before being disqualified, connections will be hoping he will put on another bold run here. Entry Really Unique also catches they eye, after his Mens Open win at Howick on holding ground for team Kieren Price under jockey Byron Moorcroft.
The opening East Devon Associates-sponsored Members race has two hot entries from local trainer Ed Walker’s yard with Chaddesley Corbett winner Blazing Whale, and Kernal Victor, who scored four wins last season under jockey Josh Newman. Delta Borget is another who could go close for the Les Jefford ‘Here Come The Girls’ partnership, with a recent good run when second in a Hunter Chase at Taunton behind Monsieur Gibralter.
Cottam Horse Shoes-sponsor the Open Maiden race for four,five and six year olds, in which Ballyristeen for the Robert Chanin team and River Myth for Stuart Sampson catch the eye after their recent good seconds at Buckfastleigh and Chipley Park respectively.
In the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race the Dr Massini-sired Colorado Doc could figure, having recently held entry Inch Rock into a twelve length second at Chaddesley Corbett. Fishy Story is another looking progressive after her win at Milborn St Andrew for the Stuart Sampon team. Nicholasville looks to act on any going, with wins last season at Lydstep and Ystradowen under talented jockey Lorcan Williams for the Williams family.
Previous course winner Mic’s Delight relished the going here before when winning in 2015 and could repeat that form in the Ford Simey Solicitors-sponsored PPORA Novice Riders race for jockey Millie Wonnacott. They could come up against Karinger Dancer for the Laura Thomas yard, who was a late withdrawal at last weekends Black Forest Lodge meeting due to loosing a shoe, with also Blazing Whale and Dicky Bob holding entries in this race too, it could be a fabulous battle to the finishing line.
Harris Timber Products-sponsor the Restricted race in which Blazing Bouncer looks a likely runner and was impressive at both Chipley Park when winning, and runner up at Buckfastleigh for breeder/owner Rita Heard and trainer Kayley Woollacott. The Teresa Clark-trained Culverwell could be one of their main challengers after an impressive win when making most when winning at Great Trethew.
Finally up is the Otter Brewery-sponsored Open Maiden race for seven year-olds and upwards, in which the Jack Barber/ Will Biddick combination of Clenagh Castle should figure high in the betting along with Eastern Calm having finished a close third at the recent Buckfastleigh meeting for trainer Sarah Pidsley under jockey Will Gordon, and will hopefully improve for the run.
The course offers great track-side viewing with many trade stands, bookies, bar, hot food and refreshments. Entrance to the course is £10 car and driver, £20 car and one passenger, children under 16 free, pedestrians £10. Dogs on leads welcome.
Course is located at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1RJ