All posts by dcareapro

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – DUNSMORE CLUB, SILVERTON 14 NOVEMBER 2021

It was good to see the line of bookmakers  back in full swing for the opening Devon & Cornwall meeting of the season at Dunsmore, with plenty to smile about as the first four favourites went down the pan.

It was such a mild, sunny day that it was almost a pleasure to add to the bookies profits. I gave a generous contribution as Captain Westie (4-5 fav) just failed to last home in the opening Maiden. Will Biddick sent him three lengths clear on the bottom bend, but he fluffed the last and Park This One (4’s to 9-2) swept past him under Josh Newman close home. Captain Westie’s Thurles bumper form with subsequent winners all around him looked solid and I thought  justified a good bet, but the winner is a nice staying type, won on merit, and can only improve further.

So it became a more cautious betting day. Thumb Stone Blues had won his last four points last season but was saddled with a 10 lbs penalty in the Conditions race. He drifted from 4-6 to 11-10 in the face of good money for both In Arrears (6’s to 7-2) and Inch Rock (6’s to 4’s). The latter pair fought out the finish with the mare In Arrears just prevailing in the hands of Darren Edwards. She enjoys soft ground and can win again. Inch Rock ran a brave race in defeat, but third placed The Roestone (9-4 to 2’s), a previous course winner, never really threatened.

The former Gigginstown horse Moratorium (5’s to 2’s) was bought by current connections only recently. The eight-year-old winning hurdler was picked up for £10,000 at Goffs UK Doncaster sales last month having lost his form a bit in Ireland. He gave a first winning ride to Nathan Green in the Conditions race reserved for Veteran and Novice Riders. The Heythrop gelding won very easily and trainer Myles Osborne has his eye on hunter chases. Runner up Guerrilla Tactics (4-1) is proving a good schoolmaster for Finn Muirhead and ran up to his form to finish second. Broadclyst  (2’s to 15-8 fav) has had a spell under rules and ran better than his nine lengths third suggests. Bridge of Spies was friendless from evens out to 3’s and will be better for the race. He was doing his best work at the finish.

In the three runner Mixed Open (with a new sponsor INEOS Grenadier), the early prices chalked up for Southfield Theatre (evens) and Chameron (1-2) were off putting, but when the market settled Southfield Theatre could be backed at 6-4 and 7-4. Chameron eased to evens and these two useful pointers had the race between them as Static Jack (6’s to 3’s) dropped away. It was the game veteran Southfield Theatre who took the prize, making all and jumping well for Lily Bradstock to fend off Chameron’s efforts. The final of this new series is at Cheltenham in May.

All six entries went to post for the Restricted which saw a successful late gamble on the South Wales traveller Accordini at all prices down from 5-2 to evens. Well done to the Welsh boys who collected bundles after a very confident ride from the reigning champion James King. Eole D’un Regard (6-1) has a funny head carriage but kept on gamely under Barnaby Treneer to finish second with Will Biddick steering Thomas Crown (7-1) into third. I backed Clever Des Assence (5-1) who looked really fit and chased the leaders but found little where it mattered.

On all known form Truckers Pass (4-6 to 4-9) was a certainty in the getting out stakes and duly delivered with the minimum of fuss. Will Biddick’s hardest task was to pull him up afterwards.  Evron (9-2) got to within four lengths of the winner and is a sure Maiden winner. Da Vinci Rock (4-1) is giving his novice rider useful experience and can pick up a race before long.

I am told that the live streaming from Dunsmore proved a great success. Dave Phillips was taking phone bets from the armchair punters. 

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Preview: Dunsmore Racing Club Point-to-Point at Dunsmore, Silverton Devon on Sunday 14th November 2021

Written By: Donna Harris

The INEOS Grenadier – sponsored Mixed Open race is the feature of the day at this weekends fixture, to be held at The Dunsmore Club, Silverton meeting this coming Sunday. Being a Cheltenham Foxhunter qualifier it has attracted top rated entries, which include Thumb Stone Blues for last seasons  point-to-point National winning jockey James King, and Chameron who is equally rated for trainer Sam Loxton, with the booking of jockey Ben Sutton to ride. Southfield Theatre is another who could go well for trainer Sara Bradstock, with the family yard already saddling a winner this season.

This meeting offers quality over quantity of entries and the day starts at 12 noon, with The Goffs UK – sponsored Maiden race for four, five & six year old’s, where the Tom Malone-trained Captain Westie could start his maiden career here with Will Biddick booked to ride. They could come up against Park This One who looks to be the ride for Josh Newman and will be looking to improve on their third at Cothelstone in May for trainer Neil Mclean.

In the first Conditions race  entry Thumb Stone Blues should go close if connections choose this race over the Mixed Open. He could come up against Ridgeway Flyer, who had some decent form under rules when with Paul Nicholls, and could be freshened up in the Pointing field and is now in training with Chloe Newman.

In the second Conditions race, which is sponsored by Angela Prouse Mortgage advisors, Bridge Of Spies could go well if defying top weight for the George Beilby team to follow-up on his Flete Park and Bratton Down wins. The Roestone for team Chanin won at this course two seasons ago, and Broadclyst for the Les Jefford team could be another close at the finish.

The Restricted race looks another exciting race with Clever des Assence having won his maiden race at Cothelstone last season for trainer Laura Jones, and has the booking of regular jockey Natalie Parker booked to ride. They could have the Treneer family trained Eole D’un Regard tracking them hoping to steal the race at the finish and improve on their decent place form last season.

The final race of the day is for Maiden horses of seven year & over in which the highly rated Truckers Pass for the Tom Malone/Will Biddick combination setting the standard with his consistent place form under rules when in training with Philip Hobbs. Kahaleesi looks an interesting entry for the Alan Hill team, with her mares weight allowance and the booking of Izzy Marshall to ride.

On course facilities include hot and cold food and refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands. Live streaming will again take place headed by Cornelious Lysaght. This can be accessed via Live Streaming costs are £12 per view (plus a small Eventbrite admin fee) for the full action packed day of horse racing in Devon and Cornwall and can be seen on your phone or computer after purchasing tickets with the link: pointingdc.co.uk/Live

A special offer for 40 tickets to view all the broadcasts throughout the season at a discounted total cost of £75 is being promoted at the beginning of the season from https://pointingdc.eventbrite.com and this offer is expected to be taken up quickly. 

Off course betting is available via Dave Phillips directly on 07810775119. If you do want a bet at this meeting, the following applies.

  • A deposit of £50, must be in my Pay Pal account, at the latest 11.0am on Sunday.
  • I will pay any commissions due.
  • All payments will be returned, i.e. winnings and deposits, within 24 hours.
  • My Pay Pal account can be reached via my telephone at 07810775119
  • Dave Phillips

Entrance to the course is £15  Card or cash on the gate, per person which includes a free racecard. Under 16’s Free. Course is located at Dunsmore, Silverton EX5 4DU.

The entries can be seen in full at: https://www.pointtopoint.co.uk/events/6870

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

A sneak preview of our Christmas Holiday Auction
The Devon and Cornwall Area Livestream Team have been hard at work …
Preview: Cornwall Club Point-to-Point at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge on Sunday 5th December 2021
The Cornwall Hunt Club hosts the first of two meetings which are …
We’re in the news!  Following on from our Dunsmore Livestream we’ve been attracting media attention
“Devon and Cornwall lead the way as livestream takes off” was the …
#BettingPeople: FRANK YEO – https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk
#BettingPeople: FRANK YEO – https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk — Read on http://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/bettingpeople-frank-yeo/

POSTPONED Preview: East Devon Point-To-Point at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary – Saturday 30th October 2021

UPDATE: 20th October 2021 at 09:21

Sadly East Devon’s point to point races, due to be held at Ottery St Mary on Saturday, has had to be postponed due to flooding.

Heavy overnight rain has led to water lying on large parts of the course.

It is hoped the races can be rearranged for a later date – watch this feed for news.

With Pointing getting underway on it’s annual Autumnal start this Saturday, the East Devon host their Point-To-Point meeting at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary. This track offers a stunning parkland view, offering a fabulous way for the whole family to enjoy the seven races on offer, which commence at 12 noon. Although the entries are reduced, the quality should provide some competitive racing.

The opening Harris Timber Products members race could see trainer Les Jefford saddle the winner with Broadclyst,  with jockey Conor Houlihan to ride and follow up on the five-lengths second in a Handicap Chase at Warwick last season for Chris Down. Inch Rock could be his main rival here, now trained by Robin Gundry, looks to have the booking of jockey Pippa Glanville to ride and they would be looking to improve on their second place at this track previously.

Mount Vets sponsor the Open Maiden race for four and five year-olds. Captain Westie looks to be a likely favourite having run second in an Irish NH race and is in ownership for Bloodstock Owner/trainer Tom Malone with the booking of Will Biddick to ride. Hey Soul Sister looks a promising young horse for trainer Chris Barber running off a low weight, and So They Say is an entry for local trainer Ed Walker, another who could be one to follow for the future.

In the Micheal Pidsley & Son limited-sponsored Men’s Open race could be a dual finish between Where’s Wilma under jockey Matt Hampton for trainer Michael Watson having run well in second at this meeting last season, and The Mulcair for trainer Camilla Scott who could follow up on their win at Bratton Down last season.

The Paul Whitfield-sponsored Ladies Open entry Cousin Pascal won the Foxhunter Chase in April at Aintree for the Joseph O’Shea team and should be likely favourite here, Hawkhurst is another showing consistency last season and would be expected to run well for the Alan Hill team and notch an early season win for jockey Izzy Marshall.  Copain Des Classe is an entry for owner/ trainer Sam Loxton and this gelding could be one to follow in the pointing field for the future and give his lady jockey’s and connections some successful pointing days out in the future.

Trainwreck holds the highest rating in the Woolfeden-sponsored PPORA Club Conditions race for the Francesca Poste team having previously scored in Ireland under NH rules as a dual hurdle winner, however this could be a race for entry Copain Des Classe’s connections to challenge in this rather than the previous  race.

Envious Editor stands out in the Valley Constructions Restricted race for the Joe O’Shea team having had some decent Irish hurdle place form, Sergeant Brody ran a creditable second at Hexham in May and Schiap Hill is another who will be high in the betting arena having run well in runner-up places at this venue and Wadebridge previously. 

Finally up is the R Greenslade-sponsored Maiden race for six year olds and over, in which Truckers Pass for team Malone with jockey Will Biddick looking to set the standard and Dock Of The Bay for team Jefford  and the Otis partnership, being another who could run well on debut this season.

Entrance to the course is by cash only at £15 per head including a racecard, children under 16 free and Dogs on leads welcome. Live streaming will be available through www.eventbrite.co.uk at £12 per viewing plus a small admin fee. Check out the pointingdc website and pointingdc.eventbrite are offering a seasons package at £75. Betting is available via Dave Phillips 07810775119. The course is located at Bishops Court Postcode EX11 1RJ.

Live Streaming of the Point to Point fixtures will continue to be developed in the Devon and Cornwall this season with the first 3 meetings until the end of this year now fixed and followed by most if not all of the remaining fixtures through until next June. Cornelius Lysaght and Robert Cooper, both nationally known horse racing broadcasters will lead the presentations and interviews, betting information from Simon Nott and race form and tips from racing correspondent Donna Harris.

The team includes Videographers plus technical students from the Falmouth University’s in-house creative agency Mayn Creative who supported the initial programme last year plus Pearce’s Public Address specialists who are supplying robotic wireless cameras around the course, along with a dedicated broadcast van, tailored graphics and video editing software for sale of race recordings on the day, director’s comms and audio requirements this season.

Live Streaming costs are £12 per view (plus a small Eventbrite admin fee) for the full action packed day of horse racing in Devon and Cornwall and can be seen on your Iphone or computer with the link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/east-devon-point-to-point-livestream-tickets-161608831365

A special offer for 40 tickets to view all the broadcasts throughout the season at a discounted total cost of £75 is being promoted at the beginning of the season from https://pointingdc.eventbrite.com and this offer is expected to be taken up quickly.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

A sneak preview of our Christmas Holiday Auction
The Devon and Cornwall Area Livestream Team have been hard at work …
Preview: Cornwall Club Point-to-Point at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge on Sunday 5th December 2021
The Cornwall Hunt Club hosts the first of two meetings which are …
We’re in the news!  Following on from our Dunsmore Livestream we’ve been attracting media attention
“Devon and Cornwall lead the way as livestream takes off” was the …
#BettingPeople: FRANK YEO – https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk
#BettingPeople: FRANK YEO – https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk — Read on http://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/bettingpeople-frank-yeo/

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EXMOOR AT BRATTON DOWN on 29th June 2021

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EXMOOR

There was a good line of nine bookies at Bratton Down on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend, and it was also nice to see spectators allowed to return, although limited in number. It was also a relief to get a proper race card at Bratton Down instead of the sheets of paper which are virtually impossible to work with- well done to the organisers.

The Hunt race at Bratton looked a simple puzzle so I piled in on Hadmeathello (try saying it) to justify 1-2/ 4-7. He had impressed me when winning at Dingley but Chloe Emsley never seemed really happy on the beast on this occasion , neither was I. He was well held on the run in by The Mulcair (7-4 to 13-8) giving Blumndell’s schoolboy Finn Muirhead his first winner.

They went 4-1 joint favourites Florrie Webb and Thewinnertakeitall in the 11-runner Maiden. Darren Edwards took a crashing fall from the latter, but Florrie did the job well, setting Conor Houlihan off on his weekend five winner spree. I did some each way thieving on Minella Beag (5-1) who had caught the eye at the previous fixture here. She finished third. The Dartmoor Rose (12’s to 8’s) was nearly brought down at the 10th and this run can be ignored.

Weston-Super-Mare rider/ trainer Lucy Mager is a much under rated jockey and gave Moscow Prices (6-4 to 11-8) a perfect waiting ride to win the Ladies’. If you think I am talking through my pocket, no, I did not have a bet.

The Men’s Open featured a re-match of the Trebudannon Open between the useful mare River Myth and the big imposing gelding Los Alamos (who won that day). It was a bit like Little and Large. River Myth proved an uneasy favourite here (1-2 to 8-13) with Los Alamos clipped in from 3’s to 11-4 to atone for his poor Holnicote run last time. I don’t suppose that Coolmore had Bratton Down in mind when they bred this son of Galileo, but he is a classy pointer, now with leading owner Jason Warner, and readily drew clear up the hill.

The first division of the Conditions race produced the finish of the season. Conor Houlihan on Bridge of Spies (6-1) and Matt Hampton on Where’s Wilma (drifted to 9-4) charged up the hill locked together and were still inseparable at the post. Neither deserved to lose and a dead heat was a fitting result. Crown of Thorns (3-1) ran his usual solid race to finish third and fourth placed Beau Sancy (10’s to 8’s) was well there until the final fence.

Blairs Cove (2-1) made all and won the second division easily under James King, who is about to be crowned National champion jockey for the first time. Runner up Rolling Dylan (2’s to 7-4 fav) had a BHA rating of 143 in his prime, but is not the force he was. He is a fine schoolmaster though.

Darren Edwards took another heavy fall in the getting out stakes as Jimmy Tew (2-1) over jumped at the ninth and brought down Spivey Cove (9-1). Best to Come (3’s to 4’s) came from well off the pace under Conor Houlihan to claim the prize. Runner up Golly its Molly (20-1) showed her first worthwhile form and can only improve further, but Evron (7-2 to 3’s) folded quickly after leading from half way.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

STEWART PIKE

IT is with regret that we have to relate the death of the well liked and much respected Stewart Pike. Stewart was the breeder, owner and trainer of a number of top class WestCountry  point- to- pointers and steeplechasers, particularly during the 1990’s.

Based at Sidbury, Devon, he regularly produced from his mare Roman Lilly the likes of Winters Lane, Synderborough Lad (named after his farm), Proud Sun, Sweatshirt and the mare Front Cover who were all prolific winners. 

It was Proud Sun who was the best horse he trained and gave him the most success. Unbeaten in his first four points he was narrowly beaten by What a Hand at Larkhill in February 1995 before then notching up four Hunter Chase victories that season culminating in a triumph in the John Corbet Cup at Stratford when beating the Richard Barber trained Cherrynut.  In all of these Hunter Chase victories he was ridden by Mike Felton. Jim Culloty was the rider when Proud Sun triumphed the next season at Stratford, this time in the prestigious Horse and Hound Cup. Seamus Durack took over the reins when he returned to action in 1998 and showed all his class in the race of the season with  Cheltenham Foxhunters winner Fantus at Larkhill in January, but sadly that was his swansong as he took a fatal fall on his next outing at Wetherby.

I am lucky enough to count myself as a personal friend.  I have a strong recollection of a day over 30 years ago when Stewart, Monique and me travelled from Devon to Leicester races together for a Maiden Hunter Chase with their pointer Sidbury Hill in the trailer. With Jim Wilson in the saddle the horse won at odds of 7-2. That same horse was later placed in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and ran in the Grand National. I think that Stewart  thought him a good thing at Leicester !

Stewart and his wife Monique continued to be regular attendees at point to points after he retired from training and they were a very popular couple at both Devon and Cornwall and Wessex meetings until ill health intervened. Sincere condolences are sent to Monique and all of Stewart’s friends and family.

GRANVILLE TAYLOR

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

RESULTS- SOUTH TETCOTT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON 31ST MAY 2021

GOING: GOOD, GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES

CONDITIONS (SPONSOR RACE HILL GARAGE)

  1. Definite Dilemma (Conor Houlihan) evens fav prom, led two out, stayed on well
  2. Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 9-4 disputed lead til two out, no extra flat
  3. Anolysee Moriniere (Isaac Buncle) 50-1 prog 14th, went 3rd two out, kept on

12 ran; 8l; 1 1/2l; 6m 31s

RESTRICTED (COODES SOLICITORS)

  1. Twig (Beau Morgan) 3-1 well in touch, led apprg last, ran on well
  2. Russian Invasion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav led til apprg last, no extra flat
  3. Aclassagold (Conor Houlihan) 3-1 every chance three out, gradually wknd

9 ran; 4 1/2l;;10l; 6m 35s

MIXED OPEN (SIMPKINS EDWARDS)

  1. Honest Deed (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav made most, stayed on gamely
  2. Eric The Third (Darren Andrews) 6-1 effort three out, kept on
  3. Master Dancer (Chloe Emsley) 11-4 3rd from three out, alwys held

5 ran; 1 3/4l; 10l; 6m 37s

MIXED OPEN NOVICE RIDERS (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY)

  1. Gentleman Farmer (Conor Houlihan) 7-2 made all, unchallenged
  2. Always on the Run (Conor Baker) 25-1 well held from three out, snatched 2nd on line
  3. Static Jack (Michael Treneer) evens fav hdwy 14th, short lived effort three out, no extra

5 ran; distance; short head; 6m 30s

MAIDEN CONDITIONS (PRJ ENGINEERING)

  1. Elusive Intentions (Darren Andrews) 10-1 led from 7th, held on well
  2. Honest Opinion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav sustained chall from three out, no extra nr finish
  3. Riding Shotgun (Natalie Parker) 4-1 good hdwy 15th, effort three out, grad wknd

11 ran; 2 3/4l; 5l; 6m 34s

OPEN MAIDEN 2M 4F (FC CLEANING SYSTEMS)

  1. Bon Calvados (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav led from 6th, keen hold, mistakes, ran on
  2. Roc the Boat (Vinny Webster) 11-4 chased wnr bad mstk two out, no extra
  3. Midnight Jitterbug (Finn Lambert) 8-1 hdwy 15th, wknd two out

7 ran; 10l; 6l; 5m 28s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

Preview: Tiverton Staghounds POINT-TO-POINT AT Bratton Down ON Sunday, 6TH June 2021

The final meeting of the Devon & Cornwall 2020-2021 Point-to-Point season takes place this coming Sunday when the Tiverton Staghounds stage their meeting at the Bratton Down track, which boasts a stunning backdrop view of Exmoor.

Over 110 entries have been received for the six races on offer, and with 27 entered in the open maiden, this race could well be divided on the day.

Both the Greenslade Taylor Hunt-sponsored Ladies Open and the Men’s Open races have received top entries from around the country. These include Moscow Prices (Lucy Mager), Board Of Trade (Ed Walker), Fox Valley (Tom Ellis) and Summer Sounds for the Fran Nimmo team,  all holding claims in the Ladies race. Whilst in the Men’s Open recent winner Thumb Stone Blues another from the Fran Nimmo team could provide another thrilling battle between him under jockey James King and Chameron for either Jack Andrews or Ben Sutton to ride, With the previous two mentioned also holding entries at the Garthorpe meeting on Saturday, this could leave the race open for Bridge of Spies  to follow up on his impressive win at last Saturday’s meeting under top Novice jockey Conor Houlihan.

The Covid Race tgether with DSSH-sponsored opening Members race could go the way of  Alternative for young Otis Morgan to ride and follow up on their second at Cothelstone.  Broughton’s Rythm looks to be another who could run well here and improve on his third at the meeting last weekend for trainer Bronwen Hurley.

Those catching the eye in the Totnes & Bridgetown-sponsored Restricted race are Fan Club Aulmer after his win at Mollington, The Kitchen Mechanic (Teresa Clark) and Lucky Lucarno for the Martin Wanless team.

Whilst the Exmoor Hay and Straw-sponsored Intermediate race could see Imogen’s Thunder reproduce his form from the previous meeting here when running a close second under promising young jockey Charlie Sprake. Another catching the eye is Largy Mountain, having won three on the bounce for the Fran Nimmo team and is an option for leading gentleman jockey James King.

The maiden race holds 27 entries and could well be divided on the day. Just some of those having shown promise are Businessman, Craven Bay, Eastern Promise, Honest Opinion and What A Bug. Hat’s off to all the trainers together with their teams who have produced these horses in tip top condition, also owners who have stood by these stunning animals during strict Covid lockdown conditions to compete at the course.

The action starts at 2pm. Tickets can only be obtained prior to the event, via SPECTATOR TICKETS or the Point-to-Point Racing Co website. Children under 16 go free but must apply for ticket online. On course facilities are Bar, bookies hot food and refreshments and trade stands.

There will also be a Tiverton Staghounds live-stream, tickets for which can be bought through eventbrite.

Betting can be accessed by phoning either Richard Pittard 07711298746 or Dave Phillips on 07810775119.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

REPORT: SOUTH TETCOTT AT UPCOTT CROSS on 31st May 2021

Conor Houlihan added a double to his Bratton Down treble at the South Tetcott Bank Holiday fixture at Upcott Cross to elevate himself to the nine winner mark and into the lead for the National Novice Riders’ Championship.

The Irishman, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall, began with a hard fought success in the opening Race Hill Garage sponsored Conditions event. His mount Definite Dilemma, trained by his boss Will Biddick, runs in the colours of his father Martin, who was able to watch the action in County Waterford via the popular live streaming. He would have seen Conor shake off Darren Edwards on Party Tunes after a sustained battle in the home straight.

Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

A further success for the Irish jockey followed as Gentleman Farmer made all the running to win the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company Novice Riders’ Mixed Open. Home bred by Richard Hawker, the lightly raced nine-year-old strolled home to win unchallenged.

Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It is not all plain sailing at this game and a fall on Safe Harbour in the FC Cleaning Systems Maiden literally brought Houlihan back down to earth. The winner Bon Calvados proved anything but an armchair ride for Darren Edwards, racing keenly, and hanging and jumping erratically, but reaching the judge with eight lengths to spare over Roc the Boat. A half brother to Saint Calvados, who was narrowly beaten by Min in last year’s Ryanair Chase, Bon Calvados had been placed in a Market Rasen bumper for Olly Murphy, and is now in the care of Alan Hill for the Cross Channel Racing Club.

Edwards himself had been in the wars two days previously at Bratton Down when two heavy falls put his participation for this meeting in doubt. The Devon & Cornwall champion jockey bounced back however in typically determined fashion, and two winners and three seconds from five rides was his reward.

His win on the game veteran Honest Deed in the Simpkins Edwards Mixed Open was particularly apt, since it was announced afterwards that the Dean Summersby trained gelding had gone into honourable retirement after taking his career wins into double figures for his quartet of local owners.

Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards.
Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

16-year-old Beau Morgan gave a polished performance to score on the Matt Hampton trained Twig in the Coodes Solicitors Restricted, beating Darren Edwards on 2-1 favourite Russian Invasion into second place. “This is my second point-to-point winner. I have just left school and plan to ride in Jersey in the summer to gain experience,” said the young rider, who lives near Bath and judging by the cheering had brought his fan club with him to Devon.

Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan
Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It was the turn of Darren Andrews as Elusive Intentions just outstayed the Darren Edwards ridden Honest Opinion in the PRJ Engineering Maiden Conditions race. The winner is trained at Mappowder, near Sturminster Newton, by Harriet Brown for owner Shirley Prideaux who bought the well bred seven -year-old at Tattersalls Ascot sales two years ago.. “He is a big horse and has had a lot of niggles,” explained the trainer who was enjoying her first winner of this truncated season.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography

REPORT: EXMOOR AT BRATTON DOWN on 29th May 2021

“MAY is a pious fraud of the almanac. A ghastly parody of the real Spring”

From Under the Willows by
James Russell Lovell , 1819-1891, American poet

I couldn’t agree more Mr Lovell. The month of May is not supposed to be cold and wet in England. Even the Exmoor point-to-point had to be postponed for six days, but at least we finally got some action in front of a crowd enjoying ice cream weather for the second of the traditional three late season fixtures at Bratton Down.

A first time treble for jockey Conor Houlihan, and a double for the champion elect James King were the highlights of the Exmoor fixture on a day when motorway hold -ups caused delays, late arrivals, and in the case of some horse boxes no shows.

Restricted winner Florrie Webb (centre), ridden by Conor Houlihan
Restricted winner Florrie Webb (centre), ridden by Conor Houlihan. Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021

Conor Houlihan is set to land his first Devon & Cornwall Novice riders’ title, and the 23-year-old from Dungarvan, County Waterford, who works in Will Biddick’s Somerset yard, kicked off with a five lengths success on the Biddick trained Florrie Webb in the Rosettes Direct Restricted. With his boss and mentor on crutches after breaking an ankle, the tall Irishman proved an able substitute in the saddle, sending seven-year-old Florrie Webb clear after jumping the last.

A dead heat on Bridge of Spies in the Bielby colours in the first division of the Kingdon family sponsored Conditions race saw Houlihan force his mount up to share the spoils with the favourite Where’s Wilma (Matt Hampton). This pair swooped on Crown of Thorns and Beau Sancy at the foot of the hill and battled it out all the way up the climb to the line. “We were both flat out and happy to share a dead heat,” remarked Matt Hampton.

Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where's Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn't be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict
Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where’s Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn’t be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict

A chance ride on Tattersalls Leading Owner Jason Warner’s eight-year-old Best to Come rounded off Houlihan’s successful day in the Totnes & Bridgetown Open Maiden. James King handed over this ride due to a sore ankle, but had earlier lifted his season’s tally to 28 thanks to Los Alamos and Blairs Cove.

Los Alamos mastered odds-on favourite River Myth jumping the last in the Moore Scarrott Men’s Open to add to his Trebudannon win. “He got stuck in the mud at Holnicote last time and the drier ground helped here,” reported the jockey.

Men's Open winner Los Alamos (James King) pulls away from River Myth (Darren Andrews)
Men’s Open winner Los Alamos (James King) pulls away from River Myth (Darren Andrews). Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021 photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Forcing tactics paid off for King as Jason Warner’s Blairs Cove led all the way to take the Wedgewood Buildings Ltd Conditions Race Division Two at the expense of the favourite Rolling Dylan (Isaac Buncle).

It was a memorable day for 17-year-old Finn Muirhead, who partnered his first point-to-point winner on the Camilla Scott trained The Mulcair in the colours of his father Alex in the RSM Beares & Brian Thorne & Son sponsored Hunt Race. The Mulcair pulled clear of Hadmeathello up the finishing climb under his promising teenage rider, who is a pony racing graduate and nephew of Jamie Osborne, who is currently studying for A levels at Blundell’s School, Tiverton.

Hunt Members winner The Mulcair, ridden by Finn Muirhead
Hunt Members winner The Mulcair, ridden by Finn Muirhead. Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021

After her successful ride at Stratford upon Avon on the previous evening, Chloe Emsley, who is looking sure to lift her first Devon & Cornwall ladies’ title this year, had to settle for the runner up spot behind The Mulcair on Hadmeathello in the Hunt Race.

She occupied the same spot on Inch Rock in the Bray Leino Ladies’ Open, where Moscow Prices was a stylish seven lengths winner. Lucy Mager, who shares ownership of 11-year-old Moscow Prices with Kim Tripp, trains the gelding at Weston-Super-Mare. “He was my second winner of the season and we might come back to Bratton next week,” remarked Lucy.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

JOCKEYS TITLES LATEST STANDINGS 2021 DEVON & CORNWALL AREA

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA JOCKEYS TITLES 2021
STANDINGS AFTER DULVERTON WEST MEETING (3 meetings left)

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDER – PETER PEARN MEMORIAL CHALLENGE CUP

Darren Edwards

Will Biddick

Conor Houlihan

Josh Newman

Darren Andrews

Matt Hampton

47 points

40 points

25 points

21 points

19 points

13 points

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G KELLOCK MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CHALLENGE TROPHY

Chloe Emsley

Charlotte Summersby

Megan Bevan

Natalie Parker

Hollie-Anne Drowne

24 points

13 points

6 points

5 points

3 points

LEADING NOVICE GENTLEMAN RIDER

Conor Houlihan

Charlie Sprake

Fionn Summers

Isaac Buncle

Otis Morgan

Barnaby Treneer

Michael Treneer

25 points

8 points

8 points

7 points

6 points

6 points

4 points

LEADING NOVICE LADY RIDER

Charlotte Summersby

Megan Bevan

Holly-Anne Drowne

13 points

6 points

3 points

2 riders with 2 points

Please refer any queries to Granville Taylor

Cover Photo Credit: Megan Cobley Photography