Written by: Donna Harris
The Silverton Hunt are able to host their meeting at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary this coming Saturday 14th April, with the kind permission of landowners Andrew and Della Carter. It promises to be a fabulous family day out at this beautiful parkland setting. Not only will there be six races on offer, but the organisers have hired a large TV screen which will be set up in the Bishops Court Cafe on site for race goers to watch live coverage of the Aintree Grand National meeting. Over 70 entries have been received for the six races on track which start with a competitive Members race to kick off the action at 1pm.
Devon Fuels have sponsored the Silverton Members race with The Dapper Fox stands out having run a blinder at Milborne St Andrew when taking the Novice Riders race for owner/trainer/jockey Jack Veysey when winning by 15 lengths, they would look to be the likely favourite. Ballybruff also holds an entry here for the Les Jefford team, he could be in the mix having won a Maiden race recently at Buckfastleigh in March for owner Sue Trump, looks to relish the soft conditions, and has been placed on five of his seven starts to date.
In the Mole Valley Farmers-sponsored Open Maiden race Moonaro was narrowly denied a win at Kilworthy and could bounce back from his unlucky fall at Buckfastleigh. Ann Maries Reject is another to have gone close when runner up at Ston Easton, and look sure to progress from Maiden company soon for the Christine Gray team.
Local trainer Ed Walker’s horses are in good form and his entry Danseur du Large could add another win for the team if taking the Strutt & Parker-sponsored Restricted race. Another entry Point View Gale, for the Big Brooke Team and Claire Harris, won his Maiden at this track in November when sent off favourite that day. The yard is coming back into form and he could go close here.
Harris Timber & Cotton Horse Shoes-sponsor the Ladies Open race in which Foxcub, for the Racing Rabble Partnership, looks interesting having won a Hunter Chase at Fakenham on soft going in February, and previous seconds at Ampton & Cottenham. On that form he should be well respected if making the trip down to the area. Dicky Bob is entered in both the Ladies and Men’s Open races and is in good form having taken the Mixed Open race last weekend at Cherrybrook under jockey Rex Dingle. If staying fresh from that run could well turn up here where he has won on two previous occasions for owner/trainer Verity Nicholls.
If Dicky Bob runs in the Prydis-sponsored Men’s Open, he could have a new challenger to fend off in Different Gravey, another of the Ed Walker recruits. Different Gravey is on a score of two out of two in Point-to-Points under jockey Will Biddick. He showed some good form when running under rules for Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson with wins at Ascot. Another to consider is entry Saddlers Encore from trainer Chloe Newman’s yard, he won a Mixed Open at Barbury then followed that up with a second in a Hunter Chase at Lingfield. Saddlers Encore was unlucky then to fall at the third fence in the St James Foxhunter Challenge Cup race at Cheltenham in March, if recovered from that fall, this Presenting-sired gelding could be back in the winners enclosure again under jockey Josh Newman.
Finally up is the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race in which entries Emperor Renard and Wind Tor both won last weekend, Micky Stark, under plucky jockey Zoe Hawkins, had stayed on well when winning at Buckfastleigh through testing ground. Eastern Calm deserves a mention after winning her Restricted race at Kilworthy on soft going, also having won her maiden race at this track last season for trainer Stuart Sampson.
There will be a good on course party to look forward to in the Bishops Court Cafe which will have live coverage of the Grand National enabling race goers to enjoy their day without missing the action Aintree before heading home.
Entrance to the course is £10 per person to a maximum of £30 per car. Pedestrians £10 and Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. On course facilities include bar, hot and cold refreshments, bookies and a host of trade stands. The course is located at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary. Postcode EX11 1RJ
Met Office 5 day forecast: Ottery St Mary (1.1 miles)
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