THE wait is over for Point-to-Point enthusiast as the first meeting of the new season takes place at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary this coming Sunday 19th November. Owners of the course, Andrew & Delia Carter, came to the rescue in providing their land as an alternative venue to the Black Forest Lodge track, which was sold late this summer. The meeting is hosted by The Bishops Court Racing Club.
Six races are scheduled with a start time of 12 noon. 80 entries have been received. The Gingerland Livery-sponsored Open Maiden race for four, five and six-year-olds kicks off the action, and has attracted 18 entries. These include Danseur du Large for local trainer Ed Walker who has a good record here, added to the booking of champion jockey Will Biddick, they look the ones to catch. They could come up against Kintamini, from the Sam Holdsworth yard, and is another with a light weight who could follow up on decent form last season. No Tommy No could be high in the betting, out of the Fred Hutsby team in Warwickshire, is quietly fancied to do well this season by his owners.
Following on is the The Best Western Tiverton Hotel-sponsored Bishops Court Conditions race, and of the fourteen entries, course specialist Mic’s Delight stands out for owner/ trainer/ jockey Jennifer Davenport. Mic’s Delight won at this course in 2016. He then followed that up with a three-quarter length second to Dicky Bob last season here, when ridden by Millie Wonnacott. He loves the soft going and could fly the flag for the area, although with outside raiders, the David Brace-trained Colorado Doc and Always A Chance from trainer Georgina Howell’s yard based in the South East among the entries, Mic’s Delight will need to produce his best form.
David Brace often makes the trip down from Wales early season, and his entry Doc Cody in the Ladies Of Hunt-sponsored Restricted race should be respected after his second here last season behind Awesome Tunes. Loveyoutothemoon from the Lynn Redman team, and the Robert Chanin-trained Minella Mojo also catch the eye and are likely to be high in the betting arena. Talent young jockey Christopher Barber looks to be taking the ride on the Simon Jones-trained Cardinal Tom who is the highest rated, but the going could be a leading factor with his best form coming on ground described as ‘Good and Good to Firm’.
The Heltor-sponsored Mixed Open race has attracted twenty quality entries including the highly rated The Wealerdealer from the Ian Chanin team. The Wealerdealer ran impressively in the Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup Hunter Chase Final at Cheltenham in May when a short head second. Connections will be hoping he can start his season’s campaign well here. This race is again a qualifier for next years Timico Mixed Open Final at Cheltenham in May and also the Skinners’s Ladies Open Race to be held at Stratford-on-Avon next June. Last season’s leading area trainer Kayley Woollacott has entered Keltus, an ex inmate of 10 times Champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls. This striking grey horse Keltus, could be one to take The Wealerdealer on here.
Druid Spitfire and Ruby Fool catch the eye in the A & S Paving-sponsored Open Maiden race which follows, having both show decent place form previously. Finally up is the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race which has six entered. This could prove a thrilling battle between last season’s National Champion gentleman jockey Will Biddick who looks to have the ride on the Jonathan Lean-trained Moreece, and our area Champion jockey Darren Edwards, who has the ride on the Nicola Martin-trained The Lizard King.
This track offers a stunning location, providing a fabulous day out for all the family to enjoy the start of the new season. On course facilities include bar offering cask ale provided by Exe Valley Brewery, homemade food including burgers and sausages from Silverton Butchers, bookies, and many trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per person up to a maximum of £30 per car. Pedestrians £10, Children under 16 free.
Location is at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary (EX11 1RJ). Check out pointingdc.co.uk website and Facebook page for up to date going and weather.