Preview: Rescheduled Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Point-to-Point at Buckfastleigh Saturday 31 March 2018

Written by: Donna Harris

The re-arranged Dart Vale & South Pool Hunt Point-to-Point meeting at Buckfastleigh will take place this Easter Saturday at the popular old Historic course on March 31st. Seven races will be on offer starting at 1pm, proceeded by pony racing which kicks of the action at 12 noon. The entries still stand, and with only a few horses having run at last weekends meetings there should be a good percentage of the 79 entered declare on the day.

The Totnes and Bridgetown Racing company sponsor the Men’s Open race in which the winner will qualify for the Timico Mixed Open final at Cheltenham in May. This could see the Keith Cumings-trained Whenharrymetsally and jockey Matt Hampton follow up on their recent neck second at Great Trethew last month. The mare has wins in double figures and is sure to be high in the betting. Robin de Souza could be another to run well here, a winner of nine Points to date, he could bounce back from a disappointing run at Great Trethew for team Summersby and jockey Darren Edwards.

The Ladies race looks equally competitive, and is also a qualifying race for the Timico Mixed Open Final at Cheltenham and also the Skinner’s Ladies Open Hunter Chase Final to be held at Stratford-upon-Avon in June. Master Baker could run well for jockey Jo Supple and is a previous winner at this track for trainer Lisa Jefford. Silver Commander is an interesting entry for local owner/trainer/jockey Bronwyn Buttery, the horse had won a Chase under Rules when in training with Phillip Hobbs and was last seen when coming home second in a Chase under rules at Taunton in December 2016.

Connolly’s Red Mills sponsor the Intermediate race which has also drawn some good entries with Larkhill Restricted winner It Has To Be entered for the Guy Henderson team, and V Neck after his second at Larkhill for the Stuart Sampson team also likely to be high among the betting if turning up here. Ballybane ran and won for the Big Brooke team at Kilworthy last weekend, in which case Awesome Tunes for owner Ross Oliver could go close, having won two of his starts last season and looks to act on any going.

In the Kath Bond memorial-sponsored  Members race Beuvron, for the Sam Holdsworth team, could follow up on his second here at the previous meeting for young jockey Hannah Welsh. Moonaro is also entered in the Members race and was only just denied a win at the Kilworthy meeting last weekend, if fresh from that race may get his head in front here for local owner Edward Darke.

Ashburton Motor Works sponsor the Restricted Race in which Blazing Bouncer is another to have finished runner up at this course and could oblige for breeder/owner Rita Heard. Entry Eastern Calm ran and won at Kilworthy last weekend, with Wind Tor in second that day and are likely non-runners. Raloo Rocket could be a main challenger here for team Summersby, having had a month to recover from his third at Great Trethew and had previously won his maiden impressively early in February at Wadebridge in a 13-runner race.

The Open Maiden Race is sponsored by Winston Pincombe of Chumleigh and has already been divided with 12 in each division, those with place form in the first division are St Erney and Gask Ridge, whilst the second division could go the way of Dragon de La Tour or maybe Gorcombe Rascal. The second division of the Open Maiden has been sponsored by WBW Solicitors of Exeter. The committee would also like to thank Medland Sanders and Twose who have also provided sponsorship for the day.

The location of the course offers a backdrop view of Dartmoor and is an ideal location for all the family to spend a spring day in the fresh air.On course facilities are large catering tent offering hot food and refreshments, real ale bar, bookies and a host of trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per person with children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. The track is located off  A38 at Lower Dean (TQ11 OLT).

Going & course updates

Saturday 31st March 2018, 08:36

official confirmation: I’ve spoken to the Buckfastleigh secretary and the inspection was passed and racing is definitely ON.

Friday 30th March 2018, 13:28

There has been an inspection of the course today by local BHA Inspector, Claire Wonnacott,  Chief Steward, Terry Hamlin & Clerk of the Course John Bond, who have confirmed they are happy for racing to go ahead and that the Going is Heavy.  Note: The way-out from lorry park has been re-organised for ease of exit.  Buckfastleigh is on!

Wednesday, 28 March: posted at 4.15pm

“The Clerk of the Course at Buckfastleigh reports that the Going today remains unchanged at Soft, Heavy in Places.”

Tuesday, 27 March: Posted 3.30pm

The Clerk of the Course reports from Buckfastleigh that the Going there is Soft, Heavy in Places. The Course is looking good and our work-parties are ready for racing to go ahead this Saturday. A further update will follow tomorrow.

Friday 24 March, received 23.37pm

The PtP Secretary for Buckfastleigh reports that arrangements for their re-scheduled meeting on Easter Saturday, 31 March, are now well in hand and it’s all systems go for racing to go ahead there next weekend.  Regular Going reports will be posted during the coming week

Monday 19 March, posted 20.13pm

The Dart Vale postponed fixture will be run on next Saturday 31st March (Easter Saturday) with entries standing.

Friday 16 March, posted 14.36pm

The Dart Vale and Haldon Harriers fixture on this Sunday 18th March is postponed due to access to the lorry park and for services on the course. They are seeking to run on an alternative date.

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Buckfastleigh, 1 mile from TQ11 OLT

BBC Travel News: Devon; CornwallSomerset;

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