DULVERTON WEST AT BRATTON DOWN 15TH MAY 2022

“Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.”

From a poem by Christina Rossetti 1830 – 1894

The wind was certainly “passing by” at Bratton Down. In fact it was whistling straight across the moor drying up the ground even further.

It was firm ground that kept down field sizes for the Dulverton West meeting with three of the six races reduced to a match.

Warwickshire based James King is working hard to retain his National Men’s Championship and was successful on all three of his rides, each saddled by Welshman Luke Price. 

Six-year-old  Luckello started the ball rolling for the King / Price treble with a comfortable 10 lengths success in the seven-runner  Maidensponsored by Mardon Recycling Machinery .  The mare jumped to the front at the 12th fence and drew right away from her field after the penultimate. “We got her through James King’s connection with Olly Murphy,” said the trainer whose 140 miles trip from Pontypridd to North Devon was to prove so successful. Backed from 9-4 into 7-4 favourite, the good looking mare failed to trouble the judge in eight starts under rules but looks an ideal pointing type.

That grand stalwart Spencer Moon won for the fourth time in the last four weeks when beating Potters Approach in a match for the BrendsHotels Mixed Open over an extended four miles. James King sent the 14-year-old into the lead entering the final circuit and drew clear of his sole rival after the final ditch. “This is his 14th point-to-point win. We tried to retire him but he wouldn’t have it and we use him as a lead horse at home now,” remarked the trainer.

The Mahler seven-year-old Captain MC rounded off the Welsh raiders treble when drawing right away from Don’t Ask Us to win the James PryceTractors Intermediate to take James King to the 47 winner mark for the season, now just two behind Will Biddick. Luke Price reported, “This horse wants a sound surface. He was bought privately out of Noel Meade’s yard and will keep going until the end of the season. ”

The most competitive race of the day was theEastleigh Care Home Restricted won by Ninth Wave. This gelding’s trainer Will Biddick took an away day to ride a winner at Edgcote, leaving his protégé Charlie Sprake to take the winning ride. Six of the nine runners were in contention at the third last, but it was left to Ninth Wave and Golly Its Molly (Jake Bament) to battle it out up the punishing final climb. Charlie Sprake is also seeking title honours and his 11th winner of the season put him in pole position for the HighflyerNational novice riders title. The winner runs in the colours of Peter Musgrave who said, “He has not been the easiest horse to train. He had a bruised  foot after Dunsmore  and we were keen to get a run into him. Will was confident to let Charlie take the ride.”

19 year old James Shaw rode his first winner on his own Lapford Lad on only his fourth ride in the Sandhill Racing (Philip Hobbs) sponsored Conditions race. His sole rival Steel Brush was pulled up after the 15th fence leaving the Lucy Gardner trained 10-year-old to complete the course solo. “My home is near Exeter and I have been riding out for Lucy six days a week  for 18 months. I have done a lot of eventing but now just want to race ride.” said the young rider. Sue Gardner was on duty on behalf of her daughter who was away in Jersey for the weekend.  Sue was immediately on the phone to the Channel Islands to report on how well James had ridden.

The eventual winner Bistouri D’Honore, saddled by Mike Felton, and Mister Dick (Geoff Barfoot- Saunt) raced stride for stride until the home straight in their match for the PPORA Conditions race sponsored by Coxleigh Barton and the Wright Property for 9-year-olds and over. Despite hanging right up the hill, Hollie Greene’s mount, in the colours of her grandmother Jill Miller, was well on top reaching the judge. The 21-year-old rider, who once broke her back in a car accident, has recently completed her studies in history at Oxford Brookes University and said, “ I ride out regularly for Alan and Lawney Hill. “I have had 29 rides including a dead heat at Larkhill four years ago.”

Preview: Exmoor Point-to-Point at Bratton Down on Sunday 22nd May 2022

Its the turn of The Exmoor Foxhounds to host their event at the stunning Bratton Down course this Sunday 22nd May. Six races are on offer with a start time of 2pm. With both a Ladies and Men’s Open race this event has attracted some hot entries from around the country, with the championships becoming very competitive. A total of 77 entries have been received.

In the opening Brian Thorne & Son & RSM Beares- sponsored Members race, recent Holnicote winner Rowley Park for trainer Lisa Smale could be among the favourites, along with Badbury Rings maiden winner Cuzzicombe for the Ed Walker team.

Next up is the Rosette Direct-sponsored Restricted race which looks very competitive, with another of the Walker team entries Nova Vita, having won a maiden at Larkhill, looks one for the short list. They could come up against Walkin Out for trainer Les Jefford and jockey Martin McIntyre, already on three wins for the season with a dual win at Trebudannon, and a Fillies and Mares Novice race at Woodford. The Luke Price entries could be feared here if making the trip down, with Fubar a recent winner at Lydstep, and last weekends winner here Luckello being possible rides for Champion Gentleman jockey James King. Jetmeoutofhere for team Summersby could be another to join in the finish if following up on his impressive Maiden win at the Dunsmore meeting under Darren Edwards.

The Bray Leino-sponsored Ladies race also holds some good entries which include Monsieur Gibraltar for young Novice jockey Olive Nicholls, the combination have won three points this season including a 20-length win at Barbury, and a win here could help seal the Novice Ladies National Title for Olive. They could be taken on by leading lady jockey Gina Andrews aboard Misstree Song, who catches the eye, also have a trio of wins being at the Barbury, Lockinge and Cothelstone meetings, and have the benefit of a mares weight allowance. Board Of Trade for the Ed Walker team always runs a brave race and could again put up a good performance based on his win at Flete Park last month under Chloe Emsley.

The Riverside Caravan & Camping Park-sponsored Men’s Open race looks equally competitive with jockey’s James King and Will Biddick tussling for the Gentleman’s National title. James King could have the ride on Spencer Moon a winner at this track last weekend for the Luke Price team, with Will Biddick looking to have the option of either Danseur Du Large or Monsieur Gibraltar who is also entered in the Men’s race. Sixteen Letters looks the one they will need to beat, having won six this season including a Hunter Chase at Wincanton under Josh Newman.

The following Kingdon Family sponsored – Conditions race, which is run in the memory of Donna Kingdon, could see Dr Rhythm bounce back after the unlucky unseat at Upcott Cross, when ridden by Josh Newman. Bistouri D’Honore could be back to follow up on his win last weekend for the Michael Felton team, and Misstree Song could be switched to this race for Gina Andrews to ride if missing the earlier Ladies race. Ninth Wave is an entry for tWill Biddick in his training capacity, who could turn up to quickly progress on his win at this track last weekend when ridden by progressive young Novice jockey Charlie Sprake.

Finally up is the ALX Commercials-sponsored Maiden race, and with those showing form are the consistently placed Hold Me Tight for the Ed Walker team, Acaras for trainer Luke Price ran second at Lly Ddu, and Shilful Lord who ran second at Cothelstone are a few to mention out of the 18 entries.

The course offers a fabulous day pout for all the family with on course facilities hot and cold food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a host of trade stands. Entrance is £15 per person which includes a racecard. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. Course is located at Bratton Fleming EX31 4SG.

RESULTS: DULVERTON WEST POINT-TO-POINT AT BRATTON DOWN ON SUNDAY 15th MAY 2022

GOING; FIRM, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES

RESTRICTED – SPONSOR EASTLEIGH CARE HOMES

1 NINTH WAVE (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 2-1 FAV handy, imprvd two out, led nr finish

2 GOLLY ITS MOLLY (JAKE BAMENT) 3-1 led 16th til no extra last 75 yds

3 ROC THE BOAT (VINNY WEBSTER) 11-4 hdwy16th, challd last, no extra flat

9 ran; 1l; 8;  5m 46s

MAIDEN – MARDON RECYCLING MACHINERY

1 LUCKELLO (JAMES KING) 7-4 FAV led 12th, clear two out, easily

2 ALKADEMON (HENRY MOORE) 14-1 prog to 2nd two out, kept on

3 FLASH GORCOMBE (JOSH NEWMAN) 2-1 held up, went 3rd two out, kept on

7 ran; 10l;  1l;  5m 58s

CONDITIONS – SANDHILL RACING, PJ HOBBS

1 LAPFORD LAD (JAMES SHAW) 6-4 prom, led 12th, left solo 15th

2 ran; finished alone 6m 29s

MIXED OPEN 4M 1F; BRENDS HOTELS

1 SPENCER MOON (JAMES KING) 1-8 FAV led 21st, clear four out, comf

2 POTTERS APPROACH (CHLOE EMSLEY) 9-4 led til 21st, held from three out

2 ran; 8l;  8m 56s

PPORA CONDITIONS 9 YO PLUS – COXLEIGH BARTON

1 BISTOURI D’HONORE (HOLLIE GREENE) 5-4 disputed lead til asserted flat

2 MISTER DICK (GEOFF BARFOOT-SAUNT) 1-2 FAV disputed lead til no extra flat

2 ran; 2 1/2l;  5m 51s

INTERMEDIATE – JAMES PRYCE TRACTORS

1 CAPTAIN MC (JAMES KING) EVENS FAV made all, clear 14th, unchallenged

2 DON’T ASK US (JOSH NEWMAN) 13-8 mstk9th, chased wnr, bad mstk two out

3 ran; only two finished; won by a distance 5m 42s

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8th MAY 2022

There wasn’t a lot of big money around the ring at Upcott Cross according to the dozen bookmakers. It proved to be a bit of an up and down day for the serious punters.

At least The Big Sting (4-6 into 1-2) put us on the right track by winning the opener. Port O’Clock (6-4) had won the Intermediate hunter chase final at Exeter, but his front running tactics were foiled this time as Biddick pinched the inside and the decisive lead at the 12th fence as his rival jumped out to the left.

The form book will show that Jabbea (6-1) was the only one of the four runners to finish in the Intermediate, but this will not reveal the full story. Will Biddick’s mount Knockmoylan (6-4) set the pace jumping well until a bad blunder at the 13th jump had his rider hanging out of the saddle. As I saw it, Biddick’s attempt to defy gravity, as he came unstuck from his stumbling mount, led him to grab for a life raft and he found one alongside in fellow jockey’s Josh Newman’s arm. Both eventually capsized to the turf, much to the rider of Dr Rhythm’s (11-8 fav) understandable displeasure.

Punters could not separate Liberty Rock (7-2 to 5-2) and Mount Oscar (5-2) at the head of the market in the 14-runner Maiden. They had the race to themselves from the top bend with Liberty Rock getting on top at the last. Liberty Rock will progress to better class and Mount Oscar is also one for the note book. The obvious eye catcher in this race was third placed Firefly Lane who had no friends at 25-1, but stepped up markedly from some modest efforts under rules. Mykonos Ammos (8-1) had disgraced himself at Trebudannon but ran well here whilst four-year-old previously unraced Onward Soldier (8’s to 9-2) showed a bit of promise.
I thought that novice rider Ella Herbison gave Pyleigh Court (5-2) a fine waiting ride to win the Restricted to nail 5-4 fav Jetmeoutofhere. Don’t write off non finisher Quintin’s Man (3’s to 5-2) who still has plenty of potential, but Highland Legend (5’s to 4’s) disappointed after showing such promise at Kilworthy.

Controversy arose again in the lucky last (lucky for some). Chad Bament and Eric The Third (5-2) set a cracking pace and held on well to beat Imogen’s Thunder (evens to 4-6 fav), but Chad’s weight cloth came off at half way leading to disqualification at weighing in. After the amended result was announced backers of the winner who had discarded their tickets caused amusement by forming a loose scrum before frantically diving into the waste paper bins to find them.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

REPORT: EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8TH MAY 2022

“Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life, The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!“

Lord Byron, 1788-1824, from the book The Bride of Abydos

The Eggesford featured riding doubles at Upcott Cross for Will Biddick and Charlie Sprake, sprinkled with a fair amount of controversy at this excellently maintainedDevon track.

It was a case of master and pupil sharing the highlights since 19-year-old Charlie Sprake works under the seven times champion jockey at Biddick’s  Alhampton, Somerset yard.

The progressive seven-year-old The Big Sting followed up his Bank Holiday Vauterhill success last Monday in the Chris Hodgson Engineering Conditions race. Recent Exeter hunter chase winner Port O’Clock was comfortably brushed aside in the final mile as Biddick eased his mount clear to score for the sixth time this season.

The Big Sting became young Mosterton, Crewkerne,  trainer Christopher Barber’s18th pointing winner of the season. Hishopes of adding to that disappeared at the 13th fence in the following Intermediate race run under the banner of Ashgrove andRangemoor Kitchens. Knockmoylan had been joined by Josh Newman’s mount Dr Rhythm when his monumental blunder left Biddick desperately trying to defy gravity. In doing so his flailing arm dislodged his fellow rider from the saddle, putting both on the floor and leaving Jabbea to finish alone under Charlie Sprake.

Jabbea was bought in Ireland as a three-year-old by his Tiverton  owner/trainer Mary Sanderson and has now won three times at Upcott Cross.

Biddick was in calmer waters in the Simpkins Edwards Mixed Open thanks to a walk over on Sixteen Letters. This gave him his 46th winner of the season, just three ahead of reigning title holder James King.

Charlie Sprake is also seeking championship honours and his double secured on Wendy Jarrett’s game Imogen’sThunder took him to the 10 winner markfor the season.  He narrowly heads the field for the Highflyer National Novice Riderstitle. The David Phillips Bookmakersponsored Novice Riders’ Conditions was another race to be shrouded in controversysince the John Heard trained Eric The Third, under Chas Bament, had to bedisqualified after passing the post a few lengths ahead of Imogen’s Thunder minus his vital weight cloth. 

Ella Herbison gained her second career winner as Pyleigh Court took the C and R Construction Restricted. The 19-year-old rider rode a patient race on the improving seven-year-old. “He was foot perfect and I didn’t want to get there too soon,” reported the rider who works for Philip Hobbs. The winner is owned and trained by Lydeard St Lawrence, near Taunton based Robert Pudd, who also bred his winner and her dam Pyleigh Lady.

Darren Edwards chased home PyleighCourt on 5-4 favourite Jetmeoutofhere, but went one better by winning the 14-runner Ford Fuels and Waie Inn Maiden on Liberty Rock. This six-year-old just got the better of the well backed Mount Oscar to give trainer Dean Summersby his 14th winner of the season, of which seven have come in the last two weeks. “We bought Liberty Rock privately in Ireland as a three-year-old andhe got a nasty puncture wound in a fetlock at Exeter last February. He is a class horse and was saved thanks to Hayden Webb of Equus Vets.” remarked the trainer.  

Once again significant watering had taken place to produce good going thanks to the team led by course owner John Heard.

Preview: The Dulverton West Point-to-Point at Bratton Down on Sunday 15th May 2022

Pointing action heads to the scenic Bratton Down venue this coming weekend, when its the turn of the Dulverton West to host the first of three meetings to be held at this stunning track. Pony racing heads up the action at 1pm, followed by the main race card which has six races on offer with a start time of 2pm. Over 50 entries have been received, many of which have already been in the winners enclosure this season, ensuring some competitive racing. 

The Eastleigh Care Homes-sponsored Restricted race opens the day event. Jockey Will Biddick will be looking to increase his lead in the champion jockey title and he could have the  option of three rides in this, one of which he also trains which is Ninth Wave a recent Cotley winner having run promisingly in second before progressing. He could also have the option of Young William for the Chris Barber team a recent three quarter length winner at Chilfrome meeting. There could be a few snapping at his heels having run well this season which includes Golly It’s Molly (Sarah Prouse) have run second at the Vauterhill meeting for jockey Jake Bament.

The Mardons Recycling-sponsored Maiden race follows, with plenty in this looking to progress. Hold Me Tight for the Ed Walker/Chole Emsley combination ran a close second at the Flete Park meeting although holds an entry at Cothelstone this week. Flash Gorcome for the Nikki Frost team looks as if things are coming right for him having finished second at Southhill. Henry’s Regime could go well having also gone close when finishing second at Vauterhill for owner/trainer and jockey Merv Woodward.

Sykes stands out among the three entered in the following  P J Hobbs-sponsored Conditions race having won four this season, including a win by three and a half lengths at Southhill under Darren Edwards for trainer Nicky Martin. 

In the P J Brend and Saunton Sands-sponsored 4m Mixed Open race there are several outside raiders looking to snatch this, they include the prolific winning gelding Southfield Theatre for the Sara Bradstock team. This veteran gelding, Southfield Theatre is just one of the ex- National Hunt horses proving their worth in the Pointing field for the progression of young jockey’s, having given Lily Bradstock a total of 14 Point-to-Point wins, and has been a legend for his owner and breeder Mrs Angela Yeoman.  Mrs Yeoman must be proud of his form having won eight races under rules whilst with Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, including the rising Stars Novice Chase Grade 2 at Wincanton, and also finished second in the RSA at the festival. He is now at 14 years of age he could well be retiring soon. Spencer Moon another 14-year old is an unbeaten winner of three this season for the Luke Price and James King combination and could be one to tackle the favourite.  Hawkhurst for the Alan Hill team can’t be left out of the equation having having an impressive sixteen wins to his credit, and could bounce back after his second to Captain Bucks at Mollington for Izzy Marshall. The 9 year-old Flemensfirth-sired gelding Don’t Ask Us could be defending the area for the Keith Cumings team having won recently at the Vauterhill meeting.

Nobodydoesitbetter looks to be one of the likely favourites in the following Coxleigh Barton and The Wright Property-sponsored Members Conditions race for trainer Andrew Jackson after his wins at Cothelstone and Buckfastleigh under champ  Will Biddick, they could be taken on by recent Cotley winner Mr Dick who looks to enjoy the faster ground for the Jason Warner team, but would need to defy top weight.

Finally up is the James Price Tractors-sponsored Intermediate race, with Dr Rythm’s connections hoping he will be luckier here after his unfortunate unseat at last weekends meeting at Upcott Cross. Clever Des Assence could go close here for the Laura Jones team with jockey Natalie Parker looking to follow-up on their win at the Vauterhill course. 

This venue offers a stunning backdrop of Exmoor making it one of the most popular picnic spots for all the family to enjoy. On course facilities are hot and cold food and refreshments, beer tent, bookies and a host of trade-stands. Entrance to the course is £15 per person which includes a racecard. Children under 16 free. The course is located at Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming Postcode EX31 4SG.

RESULTS: EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8th MAY 2022

GOING GOOD (WATERED)

CONDITIONS – SPONSOR CHRIS HODGSON ENGINEERING

1 THE BIG STING (WILL BIDDICK) 1-2 FAV led after 12th, clear four out, easily

2 PORT O’CLOCK (DARREN EDWARDS) 6-4 led til 12th, ridden four out, one pace

4 RAN; ONLY TWO FINISHED 22L;  6M 33S

INTERMEDIATE – ASHGROVE & RANGEMOOR KITCHENS

1 JABBEA (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 6-1 in toch, left solo 13th

4 RAN; FINISHED ALONE; 6M 31S

MAIDEN- FORD FUELS & WAIE INN ZEAL MONACHORUM

1 LIBERTY ROCK (DARREN EDWARDS) 5-2 JT FAV alwys prom, left in lead 9th, clear last, pushed out

2 MOUNT OSCAR (MARTIN McINTYRE) 5-2 JT FAV hdwy 12th, effort three out, every chance til no extra last

3 FIREFLY LANE (JOSH NEWMAN) 25-1 hdwy 12th, stayed on, fair effort

14 RAN; 3L; 20L;   6M 39S

MIXED OPEN- SIMPKINS EDWARDS

1 SIXTEEN LETTERS (WILL BIDDICK)

WALKED OVER

RESTRICTED- C AND R CONSTRUCTION

1 PYLEIGH COURT (ELLA HERBISON) 5-2 in touch, effort three out, led last, comf

2 JETMEOUTOFHERE (DARREN EDWARDS) 5-4 FAV led til headed & no extra apprg last

4 RAN; ONLY TWO FINISHED 15L; 6M 34S

NOVICE RIDERS CONDITIONS- DAVID PHILLIPS BOOKMAKER

1 IMOGENS THUNDER (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 4-6 FAV raced in 2nd off pace, kept on but not reach leader, promoted

2 AMORE ALATO (HOLLY PENNELLS) 9-1  raced in 3rd off pace, never threatened

3 NIKKI STEEL (ANNA HYLANDS) 5-1 alwys behind

4 RAN; ERIC THE THIRD (CHAD BAMENT) FINISHED FIRST BUT WAS DISQUALIFIED FOLLOWING AN OBJECTION BY THE CLERK OF THE SCALES. ORIGINAL DISTS 3 1/2L; 2 1/2L;  6M 27S

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA JOCKEYS TITLES 2022  STANDINGS AFTER STEVENSTONE  MEETING  2ND  MAY

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDER – PETER PEARN MEMORIAL CHALLENGE CUP

  1. Will Biddick 92 points
  2. Darren Edwards 90 points
  3. Darren Andrews 50 points
  4. Josh Newman 50 points
  5. Jake Bament 40 points
  6. Martin McIntyre 34 points

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G KELLOCK MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CHALLENGE TROPHY

  1. Chloe Emsley 23 points
  2. Anna Johnston 18 points
  3. Amy Bennallick 9 points

LEADING NOVICE GENTLEMAN RIDER

  1. Vinny Webster 27 points
  2. Charlie Sprake 22 points
  3. Arron Butterfield 15 points
  4. Otis Morgan 13 points

LEADING NOVICE LADY RIDER

  1. Anna Johnston 18 points
  2. Amy Bennallick 9 points
  3. Anna Hylands 8 points
  4. Olive Nicholls 8 points

Please refer any queries to Granville Taylor

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

GRANVILLE’S BANK HOLIDAY BETTING GOSSIP

TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES CO LTD – FLETE PARK

The opening Maiden with 8 runners was the best betting race as another large crowd gathered at Flete Park.

Hold Me Tight was backed from 9-2 to 9-4 fav but never looked like getting to grips with Call Simon (3-1). Gunner Vic (4’s from 9-2) was knocking at the door again in third, but my bet Miltown Bridge (7-2) could only finish fourth.

The 11-10 favourite Champions Hill failed to follow up his course win in the Restricted, running out of steam at the bottom of the hill as Say About It (6-4) showed the benefit of his Axe Vale outing.

Finances were restored in the Ladies’ thanks to Virak (1-2 to 4-9), but the next jolly, Dry Ol’ Party (6-4) was out with the washing behind the free running front runner Field Exhibition (3-1)

Alternatif (4-6 fav) strolled home in the Novice Riders’ under the promising Otis Morgan before Board of Trade (4-6) added to the bookies woes in the lucky last.

STEVENSTONE AT VAUTERHILL

Talking of the bookies woes, there was more grief to come on Bank Holiday Monday when all six favourites obliged.

The opener looked tricky, but Little Billy Boy (4-5 to 4-6) did his job well under Josh Cameron.

I fancied Highland Legend (3’s to 5-2) in the Restricted, but she struggled behind easy winner Clever Des Assence (2’s to 13-8), amazingly led up by the rider’s sister with a broken collar bone.

It was time to get stuck in, so the first of three successive winning bets came as The Big Sting (1-2 to 1-3) saw off sole rival Eric The Third (13-8) in the Open. The only concern came just after the winning post when the gelding spooked and dislodged Will Biddick.

There was money for Reflex Action (7-4 to 13-8) in the next, but he kept jumping left, leaving Don’t Ask Us (4-7 touched 4-6) with an open goal.

Will Biddick’s treble came with Wise Garden (4-5 to 4-7) who trotted up in the Mares race.

Roc The Boat (2-1 fav from 3’s) fulfilled his promise in the last, just holding 8-1 chance Henry’s Regime as only four of the nine starters finished. A good punting day, but there’s never a last race and we will all be back for more at Upcott Cross.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

STEVENSTONE AT VAUTERHILL – BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 2nd MAY 2022

WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR

“Before we learned the story, writ down by racing feet, he taught us all the glory the long years would repeat”

William  H Ogilvie  1869 – 1963

Wii Biddick is fighting  hard for his eighth National jockeys title and reached a personal milestone of 500 career point-to-point winners at an overcast Vauterhill, North Devon,  on Bank Holiday Monday.

I have been lucky enough to see most of Will’s successes (and inevitably falls including his broken ankle at Upcott Cross last May) since his first winner on Let’s Fly at Stafford Cross in 2004. The form book for that year states that Ross Oliver’s horse , “receives useful assistance from the promising William Biddick.” I think we can say that he has fulfilled that promise.

It was Don’t Ask Us, trained by Keith Cumings at Bishops Nympton for long standing owner Peter Clarke, who brightened the day and took Will to the landmark. The trainers daughter Nicky explained, “ He is a late maturing type we bought in Ireland as a three-year-old .He doesn’t give a lot but jumps so well and will probably be kicking the lorry on the way home.”

Don’t Ask Us was the middle part of the rider’s treble, initiated when the Christopher Barber trained The Big Sting beat his sole opponent Eric The Third in the Kivells Mixed Open. The tall Scorpion gelding is not an easy ride and Biddick was niggling at his mount a long way from home. His jumping was sound however as he notched his fifth success of the season in the colours of Phil Fry. “He can be a bit idle,” said the jockey who was dumped out of the saddle as his mount spooked at a crossing just after the winning post. His young trainer said, “Plans to go summer jumping may be on hold as his owner is keen to keep him pointing to help Will.”

Wise Garden was a bit kinder to his jockey as he achieved a clear cut victory in the Jockey Club & Wades Mares & Fillies Maiden to complete the Alhampton based rider’s hat trick for the day on his third ride. The seven-year-old, who was saddled by Danni Kenealy, drew clear of the Cotswold challenger Somespring Special two out and may be seen over hurdles this summer.

The Penbode Vets & Hembury Castle Estate Restricted went to the Parker family’s nine-year-old Clever Des Assence. This steadily improving gelding runs in the colours of Tracy Parker, was ridden by her daughter Natalie, who works for Paul Nicholls, and is trained by Natalie’s sister Laura (Jones). It looked plain sailing for the winner, but he clouted the last but had enough in hand to fend off Golly Its Molly on reaching the judge.

Frome based Annie Bacon had saddled a winner at Flete Park two days previously, and followed up when Little Billy Boy won the five runner Hunt Conditions race under a positive ride by her partner Josh Cameron. “Annie rides him out at home and he likes his own way,” reported the rider.

The same yard’s Get Busy Livin (Otis Morgan) was backed from 16’s to 7’s in the concluding LAS Aerospace Ltd Maiden and was leading when running off the track entering the final circuit. This left Roc The Boat and Vinny Webster to become the sixth winning favourite of the afternoon as he mastered Henry’s Regime on the run in. In an incident packed race Businessman and Darsi’s Pass parted company with their riders on the bend at half way, taking out Roc The Motion in the process.

Jenny Boucher sent out the winner for the Horwood Racing Club and said, “He is by Graham Heal’s Vauterhill stallion Arvico out of our mare Applepie Lady, who gave me a winning ride a few years ago. I fit in riding him with my work at the local Horwood & Newton Tracey primary school.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN