Report: Modbury Harriers Point-to-Point at Flete Park Saturday 6th May 2017


Written by: Donna Harris 

The light spring rain didn’t put off Point-to-Point enthusiasts last Saturday where a good crowd were treated to a fabulous day of racing at Flete Park, Ermington.

It was the turn of the Modbury Harriers to host the day, and locals were able to cheer home 20 year-old Millie Wonnacott, who rode her first winner Mic’s Delight in the The Brewin Dolphin-sponsored Novice Riders race. Millie had ridden Mic’s Delight making all in his preferred front running fashion, fending off a brief challenge from The Dapper Fox over the final ditch, with Millie kicking on down the final hill to win by five lengths. Trainer mum Claire Wonnacott, who is also Honorary Secretary of the fixture and has herself previously ridden three winners at the track, had set up the Bottom Up Syndicate club to fund the horses training whilst Mic’s owner veterinary surgeon Jennifer Davenport had moved to Switzerland. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of Anne Kane who rides out with me.” explained Claire. Millie, who now works for Neil Mullholland, was delighted to ride her first winner and added “I owe it to Mum and Anne for getting him fit, Jenny for leaving Mic with us and Whithouse Farms Haylage who sponsor me.”

It was another first winner on the day, this time for 54 year-old Alex Muirhead in the Meadowside & St Francis Care Centre-sponsored- Confined Race, when outsider Weston Lodge made all of the running and held favourite Beuvron into second. Alex who is a candle maker, started riding when he was 51 and has ridden in over twenty Point-to-Points before finally riding a winner. “My horse was brilliant this time; he has always been a great schoolmaster for me.” Trainer Mike Vanstone who is based at Rackenford added “We originally bought the horse for Alex as he only wanted one ride, Weston Lodge is a safe jumper. They both deserve the win and we have already sourced another horse for Alex to ride next season.”

The day had opened with a competitive Open Maiden race sponsored by Tony Glynn Scaffolding. Eight had set off with Wind Tor the bookies favourite at 5/4. It turned into a thrilling battle with three in a line over the final fence, but the spoils went to jockey Rex Dingle on the Pauling Geering-trained Eddie’s Pearl, giving the jockey his sixth win of the season. Owned by the Pearl Partnership spokesman Phil Bentley explained “She came out of Ireland from Katy Price, and it’s our second season with her, she ran well here last time and it’s her preferred ground.” Jockey Rex Dingle who works for David Pipe added “She can be quite keen but jumps well.”

Subaru Plymouth sponsored the restricted race which saw another stable inmate of trainer Dean Summersby, who is in incredible form this season, sent off favourite in Carrignagapple. The horse under regular stable jockey Darren Edwards, did not disappoint favourite backers, nor owners The Little Acres Racing Club who have enjoyed a 4/4 strike rate with the yard. It was a strong field with previous course winner (although disqualified before on a weight issue) Carumba set off in the lead under Hannah Welch. But Edwards rode a good tactical race and stayed with the leader until the three fences from home, kicking on Carrignagapple and leading well over the last. Syracuse’s Dream under Barnaby Treneer stayed on well but was unable to make an in print on the winners twenty length lead up the home straight. “He won as he liked, it wasn’t an ideal track for him but the course team have done a tremendous job of watering.” stated the jockey

There were only four horses contesting the Totnes & Bridgetown Ladies Open four-mile race, with the pack being well grouped throughout. The race unfolded on the final circuit with the two front running pair Before The War and Little Cornham closely matched, until Le Clo De La Londe under jockey Emma Watson joined in the party over the last to snatch the win by a neck leaving Little Cornham in second. Trainer Stuart Sampson was thrilled with the win stating “He is a bit one paced, but gives all and Emma gave him a very nice ride, owner John Gardener bought him from Ireland a couple of years ago.”

Local trainer Nikki Frost was in the winner’s enclosure again when daughter Bryony Frost, who is currently area leading lady jockey, rode Archie Rice to score in the Marchand Petit-sponsored Club Members Conditions race.  Bryony who is pupil assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls, rode a superb race to take the win by a distance, having stalked the pace setter Molland Gayle, finding top gear down the final hill leaving the chasing pack well behind her. “We ran Archie on Monday when I was chasing the National Title, he ran well in third, and after a family meeting we decided to run him again here. The team have done a superb job watering the course and he loved the ground. The Flete team are also to be credited in staging races to allow good horses to compete on fair weight terms.” Explained the jockey

Team Chanin were fresh from saddling a winner at Cheltenham the day before and were delighted that their new recruit Minella Mojo came home the winner of the Stanley Carpets-sponsored Open Maiden race for four-five and six years old. Under jockey Tom Chanin, Minella Mojo made the most of the steady pace of the four runners and was able to take the race by three and a half lengths ahead of Burning Desire. Trainer Robert Chanin stated “We bought the horse from agent Aiden Kennedy to replace owner Jacqui Elliot’s horse Trouble Shot who has been retired from racing as a hunter. We like him a lot, he is a nice young horse, we didn’t realise what he could do.”