Written by: Donna Harris
The grand finale of the current season takes place this coming Saturday 15th June, where the Torrington Farmers stage their meeting at Umberleigh. Six races are on offer with a start time of 2pm. Followed by pony racing action, then the presentation of the national champion jockey’s.
Will Biddick has already won the gentleman’s title, and is neck and neck with Darren Edwards for the area championship. Darren Edwards is currently one point ahead and is booked to ride here on the Dean Summersby-trained Soul Kaliber in the opening Tattersalls Ireland-sponsored Conditions race. They could well follow up on their impressive 12-length win last weekend at Bratton Down when Soul Kaliber delighted his syndicate owners ‘The Little Acres Racing Club’ with their fourth win with him this season. The Les Jefford-trained Ryves Rockey holds an entry and is sure to go well for regular jockey Millie Wonnacott, who has already secured the Ladies area title along with the Lady novice title this season. The combination ran well when taking the Conditions race at Upcott Cross by a length ahead of Cloudy Music last month.
Local trainer Roy Smith has an interesting entry in the Kivells-sponsored Restricted race which follows with Baby Sherlock. He should be well fancied having run well when winning at the Exmoor meeting at Bratton Down under jockey Paul John. This may be a stiffer ask with recent Bratton winner Basher Brian (Byron Moorcroft) and the Getaway-sired gelding Tucks Bergin (Chris Williams) who ran second at the Exmoor Bratton meeting behind Lure des Pres, under the jockey on fire James King, who scored a treble at the Tiverton Staghounds meeting at Bratton last weekend, among the nine entries.
Neither Will Biddick nor Darren Edwards look yet to have a ride in the Men’s Open race which is sponsored by Baldwins Group. Entries in this include Bay To Go for area trainer Pat Armstrong, this veteran gelding is a previous dual Hunter Chase winner, but has yet to get his head in front this season. It looks a competitive race with two of the outside raiders standing out in Little Windsor and Kingston Blount Open winner Ramble On (Luke Price) ran a length second last weekend at Bratton, and another Luke Price entry Matt’s Legacy, who has progressed quickly this season winning three for Byron Moorcroft, although has be quirky.
Ramble On also holds an entry in the Pilton Auctions-sponsored Ladies race with Jodie Hughes booked to ride, they could improve on their length second at last weekends Bratton meeting. However there could be another party for owners ‘The Here Come The Girls Partnership’ if the Les Jefford-trained Purple N’ Gold makes it five straight wins under jockey Millie Wonnacott. Millie has already won the area Ladies title along with the Novice Ladies title, and is sure to be keen to follow up with another good run.
Ryves Rockey holds an entry in the Barum Stud-sponsored Intermediate race if not running in the earlier Conditions race. Either way it could give the soon to be crowned area Ladies Champion, Millie Wonnacott, a double on the day for the Jefford team. Although it looks to be a potentially hot race, with last weekends Bratton Restricted winner Airpur Debois(Gareth Moore) for James King, Holy Water (Luke Price) a dual season winner, Basher Brian(Byron Moorcroft) another Bratton winner, along with Lower Machen winner Ruperra Tom (Michael Bowen) who is another option ride for James King. James could give up either of his booked mounts to his boss Will Biddick as a possible spare ride which could clinch Will the area tittle if it’s a winner.
Finally up to close the season, is the Smallridge Bros-sponsored Open Maiden race. Entry Long Mile Road (Jason Warner) would be a worthy favourite having finished a close short head second at Lower Machen in May. Local entry Devon Redway for Stewart Reddaway wouldn’t have to travel far and could be in the frame if turning up here for jockey Darren Andrews.
There follows the Area pony racing finals which have been sponsored by Hatchmoor Vet Practice, R & S Ware and Mrs Tia Gillard.
This course has a fabulous atmosphere, with good track side viewing to get close to the action. Many trade stands will be in attendance offering a country show environment. Together with hot and cold locally sourced food and refreshments and a lively beer tent. Bookies will be in attendance offering value bets on the races. Entrance to the course is £10 per person to a max of £40 per car. Children under 16 free. Dogs only on leads welcome. The course is located on A377, 5m SE of Barnstaple – EX37 9EB.
Met Office 5 day forecast: Hiscott (2.2 miles)
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