Preview: Dulverton West Point-to-Point at Bratton Down Sunday 21 May 2017

Written by: Donna Harris 
This coming weekend will see the first of three Point-to-Point meetings to be held at the popular Bratton Down Course on Sunday 21st May. Race-goers not only enjoy the stunning location of the course which has a backdrop view of Exmoor to boast, but also some exciting racing with seven races on offer which start at 2pm. Three pony races, which are sponsored by Victor and Gerald Dartnall precede the main race card which head up the action at 12.45pm. It will be the turn of the Dulverton West to host the first meeting, with over one hundred and twenty entries received. The Bratton Down committee wish to express their gratitude to each and every person involved in staging these events, as without their help they would not be possible. 

The four-mile Brands Hotel-sponsored Mixed 0pen race looks to be the feature of the day, with the first two Ladies past the post being qualifiers for the Skinner’s Ladies Open Final Race to be held at Stratford-on-Avon on Friday 9th June. The Rose Loxton-trained entry Join Together is a previous course winner here when ridden by Megan Nicholls, and could have the booking of Bryony Frost to ride who is currently leading the Ladies area title. They could be up against Jepeck from the Kayley Woollacott team who is equally rated. The two met recently in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham when finishing third and fourth respectively, and the Loxton team will be looking to reverse the placing’s here having had to settle for one and a quarter lengths fourth that day.

The Uncanstore.com-sponsored Restricted race opens the main card and among the 25 entries is River Myth from the Stuart Sampson team, who was unlucky to be brought down at the second fence last weekend at Trebudannon when ridden by Darren Andrews. The team will be looking for better luck here, the main danger could come from the Ed Walker-trained Santini after his 15- length win at Didmartin. Steel Brush is another catching the eye, having stayed on well to win at Holnicote for the Keith Cumings team.

The open maiden race follows, which is sponsored by Bob Pittard Bookmakers, in which the Alan Hill-trained Big Time Frank catches the eye. He ran a recent second at Kingston Blount, having made most of the running that day. But the two Jack Barber-trained debutants Hugo Horse and Stradivarious Davis must be respected and should go well here if ground suits.

In the Phiilp & Sarah Hobbs-sponsored Club Members Condition race Athreeothree stands out having bounced back to form with a win at the Axe Vale meeting having fallen at the Cotley meeting in April, also Ballybough Gorta is a suggestion having run a recent neck second at Little Windsor earlier this month for the Henderson family.

Then follows a really hot PPORA Members riders Conditions race in which eight of the 23 entries are rated 100 or over, including Athreeothree, Chosen Lucky, Flying Eagle, Mic’s Delight and Tom Barton. The vote could go to Chosen Lucky if bouncing back from his disappointing Hunter Chase run at Cheltenham, he had previously won all of his six starts to date for team Summersby. Flying Eagle could be the main danger, from the Michael Bowen team for son James to ride, the combination are already on a season’s hat-trick with wins at Chaddesley Corbett, Lydstep and Pyle. Jepeck also holds an entry in this race and should run well here for the Wollacott team. This race has kindly been sponsored by Nancekivel & Co Estate Agents.

In the James Pryce Tractors-sponsored Intermediate race Deadly Move is a suggestion being another on a season’s hat-trick for the Michael Bowen team, although he could come up against Carrignapple in this race. Carrignapple is out of the Dean Summersby yard and was impressive when he scored a 20 length win at Flete Park under leading area jockey Darren Edwards. The Robert Chanin-trained Norman Conquest looks to be progressive and should go close.

Finally up it’s the Brewer Harding & Rowe-sponsored Club Members mares and fillies race in which Posh Totty stands out, she was running well off the pace when catching up fast to finish a two lengths second at the Axe Vale meeting. Miss Gotaway looks her main danger, she has won or been placed in all eight of her point starts to date, is game and acts on any going.

This has to offer a superb family day out, with trade stands, hot food and refreshments, bar and on course bookies. Entrance is £10 per person to a max of £30 per car. Buses welcome at £10 per person. Children under 16 free. Only dogs on leads welcome. Early bird discount e-tickets can be obtained via the website http://www.pointingdc.co.uk

Course is located at Bratton Fleming 9m NE of Barnstaple on A399, 11m N of Sth Molton-EX31 4SG.