Written by: Donna Harris
The Moore Scarrott Accountants-sponsored Men’s Open race looks to be the feature of the day at Bratton Down this coming Sunday 2nd June, having attracted 20 quality entries. These include the two Luke Price-trained stable stars, Spencer Moon a previous Hunter Chase winner at Fontwell and subsequent 20 length winner at Monmouth in February. Also Ramble On, who under Byron Moorcroft won the Mixed Open last weekend at Kingston Blount. Jonathan Tudor is another outside raider who holds two entries in the Men’s Open with Desert Roe who defied top weight to beat Jack Snipe at Cothelstone last weekend, also entry High Hatton who under Jack Tudor took the Members Conditions race here at the last meeting. Fly West (Ed Walker) could fly the flag for the area, with a cut in the ground and could improve on his nose second to Hawkhurst at Bitterly.
A total of 82 entries have been received for this meeting where it’s the turn of the Exmoor Hunt to host. Pony racing heads up the action with the Exmoor Conditions race sponsored by Teapes Tyres at 12 noon. Followed by The Fergal O’Brien & Treehouse Sporting Colours-sponsored Pony Championship finals. The main six race card follows at 2pm.
The opening B Thorne & Son Agric Eng-sponsored Members race has only a few entries, Kapricorne (Rebecca Branton) a 15 length winner at Trebudannon in April, and won at this course last June when coming home the 70 length winner. Debutant entry Miss Tiggy Winkle may be in need of the run, whilst Gunner Vic has failed to complete this season and was a distance behind Kapricorne last season when the two met.
13 are entered for the Bray Lino-sponsored Ladies race which could be another thriller on the day with dual Flete winner There’s No Panic for Ella Orrtewell, and a winner of three straight wins this season is Purple’N Gold under Millie Wonnacott heading the field. The two young jockeys have had an excellent season so far, both enjoying the winners enclosure and not afraid to set the pace.
Vincs Vinnie (Ed Walker) for leading National gentleman jockey Will Biddick, looks to be the likely favourite in the Rosettes Direct-sponsored Restricted race, having battled on well to win at Trebudannon. Gerties Garter is another entry from the Ed Walker team and could go well if following up on his seconds at Ston Eston and Bishops Court. Lure de Pres looks an interesting entry, having won his maiden by a neck at Badbury under jockey Nick Lawton, following up that win with a head second to Goldbury at Flete Park under Bryan Carver for the Mike Vanstone team.
Kernal Victor and Lawsons Thorns catch the eye among the 26 entered for the Conditions race which is sponsored by the Kingdon Family in memory of Donna Kingdon. Kernal Victor won impressively at Cherrybrook coming home the eight length winner that day and then a 10 length victor at Upcott Cross. A cut in the ground could help him bounce back from his defeat at Trebudannon. Lawsons Thorns came home the ten length winner at the last meeting here and could be another winning combination for trainer Mike Vanstone and jockey Bryan Carver. Outside previous winning raiders Blazing Tom and Desert Roe for team Tudor, should both figure high in the betting if turning up here, also the Luke Price entry Holy Water after his wins at Pyle and Lydstep under Byron Moorcroft.
Finally in the Open Maiden race which is sponsored by The Old Station House Inn at Blackmoor Gate, the Getaway-sired gelding Long Mile Road (Jason Warner) could battle out the finish with the Joe Tickle-trained Markmyword who have both finished runner up in recent meetings. Any market support for Quite Remarkable and Little Brian should also be respected.
The course offers a lovely picturesque backdrop view of Exmoor, together with many trade stands which offer items such as antique trinkets to country clothing and art décor. A large beer tent, together with hot and cold food and refreshments. Plenty of bookies offering value bets on the day, and an Ice cream van to enjoy an afternoon treat in the summer sunshine. Entrance to the course is £10 per person to a max of £40 per car. Children under 16 free and dogs on leads welcome. Location is Bratton Fleming 9m NE of Barnstaple on A399, 11m North of South Molton- EX31 4SG. Check out the pony racing website ponyracingauthority.co.uk for further information.
Met Office 5 day forecast: Arlington Court (3.5 miles)
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