Written by: Donna Harris
The first of three scheduled meetings to take place at the stunning course known as Bratton Down, will be on next Sunday May 19th, where the Dulverton West host their event. Seven races are on offer with a start time of 2pm. Over 90 entries have been received.
The feature race of the day is the Brend’s Hotel-sponsored 4m Mixed Oen race with a prize fund of £400 to the winner. We could see recent dual Flete course winner There’s No Panic for the Mike Biddick team and young jockey Ella Orrtewell out to set the pace, looking to add to the veteran geldings impressive career between the flags, having spent a number of years previously competing in National Hunt races when in training with Paul Nicholls. Local trainer Claire Hitch has Im All Set entered, although the gelding is also entered at Newton Abbot mid week and could be a likely non-runner, but if turning up here, could well follow up on his impressive Hunter Chase win at Taunton in April. Ramble On for trainer Luke Price could make the trip down, and is one to note having taken the Men’s Open at Little Windsor when sent off odds on favourite under regular jockey Byron Moorcroft.
Two gentleman jockeys who are heading up the area title at the moment are Darren Edwards and Will Biddick. Both have had excellent results so far this season, and with only a few points between the two with Darren Edwards leading after his treble last weekend. Will Biddick has his sight firmly fixed on regaining the Fullers National Gentleman’s title and has a few point lead over his nearest rival Alex Edwards. It will be a competitive end to the season which is only five weeks away. Darren has rides booked here including one on the Dean Summersby trained entry Clondaw Bunny who should run well for the team, they are in good form at the moment and celebrating a yard treble last weekend, the combination are entered in both the Phillip & Sarah Hobbs-sponsored Conditions race and the James Pryce-sponsored Intermediate. Also in the Intermediate race is Syracuse’s Dream for the Deborah Treener family. Having taken time to mature, Syracuse’s Dream could be ready to step up into this company and be one of the ten entered to challenge Clondaw Bunny.
Whilst Will Biddick’s booking to ride Tuff Nano in the Conditions race should be respected, the mare being unbeaten in her three starts to date with wins at Charlton Horethorne, Kilworthy and Stafford Cross for the Teresa Clark team. Sixteen Letters for the Big Brook team ran a neck second to Tuff Nano at Kilworthy and could go close again here. Skinflint (Gerry Supple) won on good to firm at Vauterhill under Bryan Carver and is another for the short list.
In the opening Open Maiden race for 4,5 &6-yr olds A Tipple Or Two looks interesting after her four length second at Stafford Cross for trainer Caroline Keevil, and should be in the winners enclosure soon. Hereditary Rule (Francesca Nimmo) also catches the eye after his two length second at the Kimble meeting last month, and could figure if turning up here.
Sylvies Dance is trained and ridden by Will Biddick and they looked impressive when winning on debut at the Flete Park meeting, she is entered in the Brewer, Harding & Rowe-sponsored Restricted Race. Ichifoot (Patrick-Picton-Warlow) could follow up on his impressive 30 length win at Vauterhill earlier this month under Merv Woodward. Ballyjim (Jade Barber) is starting to impress and could improve on his win at Little Windsor when battling on to win by a neck. Also Fetah for the Michael Bown team is among the entries and should go well if following up on his third place to Pink Eyed Pedro at Chepstow last month.
A Tipple Or Two and Hereditary Rule both mentioned earlier are entered in the Bob Pittard-sponsored Open Maiden race. Willaldo(Les Jefford) could make the most of her mares weight allowance and improve on her six lengths second at Vauterhill.
In the PPORA Members race for Novice riders, The Last But One (Tom Malone) holds an entry here, but could run at Cothelstone earlier in the week. He is currently lying second in the PPORA Young Horse Award and has put up some impressive performances this season with wins at Wadebridge, Stafford Cross and Flete Park. Young jockey Nathan Vergne looks to be booked to ride here and the combination won the Mixed Open at Stafford Cross in April. Entry High Hatton (Jonathan Tudor) for son Jack to ride, has won eight Points to date and looks to act on any going, along with Apples Queen (Sally Alner) with six wins to date has the booking of talented novice rider Liam Harrison, both should figure high in the betting arena.
The course offers a fabulous picnic location with stunning views of Exmoor. Hot and cold refreshments, bar, bookies and a number of trade stands compliment the racing action on offer. Entrance to the course is £10 per person to a max of £40 per car load, with children under 16 free. Dogs only on leads welcome. Location is Bratton Fleming, 9m NE of Barnstaple on A399. EX31 4SG.
Met Office 5 day forecast: Arlington Court (3.5 miles)
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