Double Fun, Merv Woodward

Preview: Torrington Farmers Point to Point at Umberleigh on Saturday 11th June 2022

The venue at Umberleigh for the Torrington Farmers Pointing fixture this Saturday hosts the finale of the Point-to-Point season where the area Champions will be crowned along with any remaining National Championship contest are decided. Not only will the picnics be flowing, but all the hard work, dedication and loyalty of all the owners, trainers, staff, jockeys and racecourse teams will be appreciated as keeping this fabulous sport going after the previous Covid lockdown restrictions. Most of the jockey’s titles have been decided, however there is one still to be decided among young gentlemen novice jockeys Charlie Sprake and Freddie Gordon.

The opening Torrington Arms sponsored-Condition race looks competitive with equally rated Say About It, a Hunter Chase winner at Stratford, Eric The Third for Devon trainer John Heard, Mahler Style for trainer Alan Walter, and Golden Poet for the Keiran Burke team are all favoured on this seasons consistent form.

The following Kivells-sponsored Restricted race looks one for Benny’s Miracle for novice gentleman jockey Charlie Sprake to seal the championship. He is among many of the young jockeys who have successfully progressed through the Will Biddick training yard. Polly Sans is another to note having run well under leading trainer Luke Price’s guidance, and maybe a ride for leading gentleman jockey James King to ride.

There are 15 entries in the Azets-sponsored Men’s Open with the Neil Mclean-trained Sixteen Letters setting the standard with five wins this season but would need to defy top weight, he could give Josh Newman another success here. Jockey Freddie Gordon looks to have the option of three rides here, any of which could help him in his bid for the Novice Gentleman’s title on Captain Bucks, Highway One O One and Commanche Red, with Captain Bucks looking his likely ride here against his closest rival Charlie Sprake .

The Pilton Auction House-sponsored Ladies Open holds entries with Monsieur Gibraltar and Virak which could be options for Olive Nicholls to ride, with Monsieur Gibraltar running and winning last weekend, it is likely we could see Virak, a four time Hunter Chase winner and six Point-to-Points out at this meeting to give the leading female Novice Jockey Olive Nicholls a winning end to her first pointing season. Jack Dillinger is an entry who was an eye catching ten length winner at the Bratton Down meeting last weekend, that day under James King, but could see Natalie Parker ride him here.

The following Intermediate race which is sponsored by Claire Howarth Barum Stud, could see Ninth Wave, who finished a close second at Bratton Down last weekend, progress here for Will Biddick under his training title, for jockey Charlie Sprake to end the season on another winner and lead the Novice Men’s jockey’s title race. They could come up against Hitheroadjack who is already on a treble for the season, the latest of which includes an Intermediate race at Trecoed last weekend.

Finally up is the Small Ridge-sponsored Maiden race which holds twelve entries, these include Huriel for outside raider Steve Wynne having run four-lengths second last weekend at Garthorpe, Stopbeatingyourgums for the Luke Price/James King combination and Kates Lane for the Elizabeth Scott team looking to improve on their third at Holnicote last month.

The course is located on the A377, 5m South East of Barnstaple. Postcode EX37 9EB. On course facilities are bar, hot and cold food and refreshments, bookies trade stands. Entrance to the course is £15 per person including a racecard. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

Best selling Children’s Author Interested in journalism, novel writing. Currently PRO Devon & Cornwall Point to Point.