Written by: Donna Harris
The first of three meetings scheduled to take place at the popular Buckfastleigh course this coming weekend is where the Modbury Harriers will host their meeting on Sunday 19th January. It is by kind permission of landowners Richard & Robert Cooper and the Dart Vale & South Pool Hunt, that the Modbury Harriers have been able to relocate at this popular track.
There are six races on offer with a start time of 12 noon, they have attracted over 120 quality entries.
The feature race of the day will be the Totnes & Bridgetown-sponsored Mixed Open race which has an entry from in-form trainer Rose Loxton with Caid Du Berlais, a winner of all of his six Points to date and a Hunter Chase winner at Punchestown for the past two seasons, he sets the standard here if by passing the Larkhill meeting the day before. Local trainer Claire Wonnacott will be hoping her entry Heaney will go well for daughter Millie to ride. Millie Wonnacott will still be on a high from her win on Fingerontheswitch at Kempton Park last weekend. She has previously won a Hunter Chase at Exeter on Heaney, the combination have won four of his nine starts in Points and placed second or third in the remaining five. Crown of Thorns out of the Sarah Pidsley yard won his Restricted race at this course last season, he looks again to have the booking of reigning champion Will Biddick aboard and could be considered. Silsol has decent form under rules having won over 128k and is a ride here for Ella Orttewell, who was a winning combination with There’s No Panic last season. Silsol looks to have potential to get her back in the winners enclosure again. Marcle Ridge is another to catch the eye having won a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham in May although is another to hold an entry at Larkhill on Saturday, and the entry of multiple point winner Soul Kaliber for Darren Edwards and team Summersby who are also in form should make this race one not to be missed.
The Opening Maiden race is sponsored by Tony Glynn Scaffolding and could well be divided on the day with 27 entered. Entry Artic Millie looks to be another ride for jockey Millie Wonnacott here and could be competitive with previous place form, they may be taken on by entry Song Of The Hunter under Will Biddick for Trainer and Bloodstock Agent Tom Malone, the horse had place form before heading over from Ireland. Young O’Leary ran second at the Barbury course in December for the Ian Prichard team and holds the highest rating, whilst Baigngard for Fergus Gilllard, Outonparole(John Heard) also look interesting debutants, and Suzie Suzie Staples is a worthy each way bet on previous place form when second at the Flete Park meeting for trainer Stuart Sampson.
In the Stanley Carpets-sponsored Restricted race Gio’s Girl stands out for Ottery based-trainer Ed Walker having won her maiden at Flete Park under Will Biddick and has already clocked up a creditable second at Wadebridge behind Neetside first time out this season in December. Oscar Mor((Jade Barber) clocked up a two length second to Earth Leader at Little Windsor also in December. The ex Irish import Nobodydoesitbetter won his maiden last season by a healthy 12 lengths for the Andrew Jackson team.
There is a race here sponsored by The Jockey Club and Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Horse Conditions race for older horses. This could be a battle between two popular greys, Dicky Bob, well known in the area and has won 14 of his starts to date, including a treble at this course for Dartmoor trainer Verity Nicholls. They could be taken on by another stylish winning grey Unioniste, now trained by Will Biddick to be ridden by Connor Houlihan. Unioniste is owned by David Maxwell and could again be targeted at Hunter Chases in which he has won three and finished runner up on four occasions. He has won over 176k under Rules when in training with champion trainer Paul Nicholls, which include a win at Cheltenham in 2012 when ridden by Paul’s nephew Harry Derham, who is now his assistant trainer.
The Open Maiden race for 7yrs and over is sponsored by The Favis of Salcombe, and has Barbury runner-up Clever des Assence for Minehead trainer Laura Parker entered, also third at Barbury The Minkle for trainer Antony Fear, and Chicago Lady who was eye catching until fading into fifth at Wadebridge in Dec for the Les Jefford team among the 20 entered.
Finally up is the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race, where Banco de Logo’s a winner of two last season at Trebudannon and Upcott Cross for team Summersby hold a strong claim here. Along with Dan’s Wee Man (Peter Mason) after his second at Ffos Las, and Magheral Express for trainer Julie Mansell an easy winner at Monmouth last February, all hold decent form among the 19 entries.
The course has two other major sponsors , MST and Ashburton Motor Works who also make the meeting possible along with many smaller local companies. The track is easily located alongside the A38 at Dean Prior TQ11 OLT. Fabulous track-side viewing is on offer along with a catering marquee, licensed bar with real ale,locally sourced food, trade stands and on course bookies to enjoy a flutter whilst spending a day in the country. Entry fee is £10 per person under 16’s free, Dogs on leads welcome.
A full fixture list for both Devon & Cornwall and Wessex area, can be obtained by sending a SAE to Claire Hitch Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD.
Met Office 5 day forecast: Buckfastleigh, 1 mile from TQ11 OLT
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