PREVIEW: Spooners & West Dartmoor Point-to-Point at Cherrybrook ON 3RD April 2021 [BEHIND CLOSED DOORS}

Written by: Donna Harris

With over 110 entries received for the Cherrybrook Point-to-Point meeting, the wait is now over for racing to return to this popular track in the Devon & Cornwall area, which will commence on Saturday 3rd April. Although this meeting will be held behind closed doors, with no public access, due to the current Covid restrictions, the Spooners & West Dartmoor team have worked hard to ensure the meeting will run smoothly.

Live streaming of the races with race commentary and all day presentation with interviews of participants led by former BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght and former top jockey Lizzie Kelly is on offer for the eight races, with a start time of 1.30pm with the first of the divided Open Maidens.

Those catching the eye in the first division of the Condy Mathias-sponsored Open Maiden, are Artic Milly who has some good previous place form for the Les Jefford team,  Master Sam Bellamy who achieved a distant fourth place in a Hunter Chase at Leicester in February and has had the benefit of an outing for trainer Chloe Boxhall, and Wandering Soul could run well on debut for trainer Christopher Barber.

In the second division of the Open Maiden sponsored by the Dartmoor Community, the Teresa Clark entry Jasmin Des Bordes has a second place at Larkhill in December to his credit, along with the booking of previous champion jockey and now Cheltenham winning trainer Will Biddick aboard, should go off the likely favourites. Say About It for the Roy Smith team could come on for his fourth at Wadebridge in December, along with This’ll Do for the Les Jefford team who could make amends for his fall at Wadebridge and give talented young jockey Conor Houlihan a good each way chance here.

Totnes & Bridgetown Racing Company have kindly sponsored both the Men’s and Ladies Open races here, which hold top class entries. In the Ladies race entry Chosen Lucky has won an impressive 14 out of 21 starts to date, finishing second or third in the remaining seven, he could well snatch this for team Summersby and follow up on his second at Wadebridge in December under Charlotte Summersby, who has to be a lady jockey to watch for the future.  Purple ‘N Gold for the Les Jefford team is another with a good record when ridden by Millie Wonnacott who has now graduated to National Hunt winning form, he could be a main contender here under jockey Jo Supple who has ridden him before.

In the Men’s Open,  Unioniste stands out, previously in training with Paul Nicholls for David Maxwell has three Hunter Chase wins to his credit which includes a Wincanton win under jockey Lorcan Williams. Trainer Polly Gundry holds an entry with dual Larkhill winner Different Gravey which could be another option for jockey Will Biddick to ride. Dual Larkhill winner Blackwater Bramble and veteran ex National Hunt Chase winner Sausalito Sunrise are two entries from the Alexandra Dunn team who have travelled to Devon before, and could prove threatening if competing at this meeting.

The Dapper Fox holds an entry in the Conditions race which is sponsored by Devon Hampers. He looks to set the standard with good win and place form and should put up another brave performance under owner/trainer/jockey Jack Veysey. Tippinawaynow is an interesting ex Irish recruit for trainer Liam Cocoran and could be supported in the betting market, along with previous winners It’s A Steal, and Spookydooky could re kindle their form and be in the mix at the finish here.

Print Concerns sponsor the Restricted race in which all entry money is donated to the NHS. Famous Clermont is the highest rated having won at Larkhill in December under Will Biddick for trainer Christopher Barber. Earthstorm is another to note, looks to act on any going and this Getaway-sired gelding could repeat his form when winning at Cothelstone last March for the Tracey Williams team.

Penbode Vets sponsor the Intermediate race and those catching the eye are Cloudy Music for team Summersby, with solid win and place form and the benefit of a light weight under young jockey Charlotte Summersby. The Robert Chanin trained The Roestone has the booking of Robert Hawker aboard, who could re-produce the course winning form of his maiden win here in April 2019.

Finally up is the Members race which has been sponsored jointly by Tyre Marks of Tavistock and Bill Lane, this race could be a preferred option for The Dapper Fox or The Roestone mentioned earlier, however an interesting entry is the ex National Hunt winner Talk Of The South, now in training with Gordon Chambers, could well produce his previous dual Chase winning form when under rules, and ran second in a Mixed Open at Great Trethew in March 2020.

There is a fee of £10 to view the race meeting’s livestream, which is the same cost as if you attended as a spectator, and the sport needs the income from live streaming to ensure its future.

For those spectators wanting to place a bet, the contact numbers to register are 07711 298746 for Richard Pittard and 07810 775119 for Dave Phillips. The deadline to register for bets at this event is one hour before racing commences.