All posts by Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Area Website

The Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point area ranges from Trebudannon in Cornwall in the West to Bratton Down on Exmoor in the East, and has the longest season in the country with Bishops Court often hosting a meeting on the opening weekend and the area hosting the traditional season finale at Umberleigh in June, often with one or more national or area championships decided on the day. There is a Devon & Cornwall meeting on most weekends during the season, so there is always plenty of good racing to see nearby, with both small and large local training yards often competing against visitors from Wessex, Wales and the Midlands. Pointing is a great day out for a family with free entry for children under 16 and most courses welcome dogs on leads 'The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged.' Ovid For more information see: pointingdc.co.uk

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – TORRINGTON FARMERS

A full array of 11 bookies lined up on the crest of the Umberleigh hill ready for the final showdown of the 22 area fixtures held this season.

Mahler Style was backed into 4-5 in the six race opener but came to grief before half way leaving the door open for the game Eric The Third who had been well supported from 9-2 into 3-1.   Eric was not for stopping and readily held off Keiran Burke’s 6-1 chance Golden Poet (Alice Procter) in receipt of 4 lbs. John Heard announced afterwards that Eric The Third has now earned honourable retirement.

I went to back Benny’s Miracle in Captain Tim Forster’s memorial Restricted race but missed the odds and wouldn’t take the shade of odds-on (5-6). I could have bought her for the cash I have spent backing her all season. You can guess she won so I will say no more  about it.

The next three races attracted small or non-existent fields. The “outsider” I’m Wiser Now (2-1) beat Highway One O One (2-5 to 1-3) in the Mixed Open before Monsieur Gibraltar was gifted a walk over in the Ladies’.

The Welsh challenger Hitdroadjack (6-5) is a model of consistency and stayed on to head the favourite Ninth Wave (8-13) at the second last in the hands of James King.

And so to the last race of the season. Once again I was slow out of the stalls and missed the cream of the odds about the winner Businessman (11-10 fav at the off) He had run well in a decent Maiden at Bratton last week and a positive Darren Edwards ride did the rest. The placed horses Local Drama (13-2) and Kesa Great (4-1) will have to wait for a few months before trying again.

I was a bit surprised that a few layers I spoke with said they had lost on the day. I wouldn’t have too much sympathy though. I didn’t see any of them thumbing a lift on the way home.

Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo credit: Jill Hurst

REPORT: TORRINGTON FARMERS POINT-TO-POINT AT UMBERLEIGH ON SATURDAY 11th JUNE 2022

“Parting is such sweet sorrow”

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

Don’t worry Will. I know the season has ended but it is only a few months until the next one.

THE Torrington Farmers brought down the curtain on the 2021-22 British point-to-point season on Saturday (11 June). This fixture has taken place at Umberleigh for the past 51 years and has held the closing slot of the season since 1975.

Most of the National championships had been settled, but the Novice Male Riders’ title, sponsored by Highflyer Bloodstock, was still in the balance with Charlie Sprake and 16-year-old Freddy Gordon entering the day on 12 winners each.

It was 19-year-old Sprake who came out best on the day, securing a double to add the National novice title to this year’s Devon & Cornwall area award. The local title has been won in recent years by such as Liam Harrison, Bryan Carver and Rex Dingle, all now making their mark under rules, which will be the next career step for the young Somerset jockey.

“I will be going to Alan King’s stable in late July and turning conditional,” said the rider, who has had the benefit of working under the wing of seven times champion point-to-point jockey Will Biddick.

Charlie Sprake’s Umberleigh double was set up when Benny’s Miracle won the Tim Forster Memorial Restricted sponsored by Kivells, and completed with a Men’s Open success on I’m Wiser Now.

Eight-year-old mare Benny’s Miracle has had a frustrating time since winning a Bratton Down Maiden a year ago, but was left clear here when Polly Sans pulled up sharply before the open ditch. The winner is trained on the Quantocks by Teresa Honeyball for owner Michael Rowe who farms at Cannington near Bridgwater. The mare had been bought privately in Ireland as a five-year-old from Benny Walsh, hence her name.

Charlie Sprake had already edged one ahead of his novice title challenger thanks to Benny’s Miracle, and sealed the issue when the two young jockeys came head to head in a match for the  Azets Business Advisors Men’s Open. Although Freddy Gordon’s mount Highway One O One started 1-3 favourite, he gradually lost tabs on Sprake’s mount I’m Wise Now climbing the hill and was eight lengths adrift at the judge. Jake Slatter’s charge had won a couple of Stratford hunter chases last season before disappointing in that sphere at Cheltenham and Stratford recently. He found the drop in class at Umberleigh a shade easier.

Charlie Sprake’s day was not all sweetness and light. He took a nasty fall from Mahler Style when leading in the opening Conditions race before finishing on the wrong end of a match when odds-on favourite Ninth Wave just failed to cope with sole rival Hitdroadjack  in the Intermediate.

 Warwickshire based James King had already sealed the National jockeys’ title and went on to partner his 62nd winner of the season on the aptly named nine-year-old Hitdroadjack in the Barum Stud Intermediate. John Mathias trains the winner at Manorbier near Tenby .  After his 200 miles journey from Pembrokeshire,  Malcolm Price explained that his joint owner Trevor Nicholas is the trainer’s grandfather. “He is 99 years old and couldn’t make the trip today, but it would be nice if he could celebrate his 100th birthday seeing his horse win next season.”

The Torrington Arms sponsored Conditions race went to the veteran pointer  Eric The Third, giving Darren Andrews his 14th point-to- point winner of the season to add to his two hunter chase successes. Eric The Third was left in the lead when Mahler Style fell and gamely shook off the sustained challenge of runner up Golden Poet (Alice Procter).  John Heard trains the winner near Okehampton for a small local syndicate and said, “I put him away after Upcott Cross (May 28th) and he was out for three nights. Anyway he has come here and we took the blinkers off and put cheek pieces on which seems to have rejuvenated him. He will be retired now.”

Monsieur Gibraltar walked over for the Pilton Auctions Ladies’ Open under 16-year-old Olive Nicholls, who had already clinched the Highflyer Bloodstock National Lady Novice Rider’s title. Joint owners Paul Nicholls and John Bolton promptly donated the winner’s £400 prize to the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.

The Smallridge Brothers Ltd Maiden brought the British season to a close as Businessman and Darren Edwards readily saw off their five opponents. Runner up Local Drama threatened briefly at the third last, but the winner went away up the hill to score by 12 lengths. Businessman was giving Payhembury near Honiton trainer Leslie Jefford his ninth winner of the campaign.  The Milan eight-year-old is owned jointly by Amanda Hill and Axe Vale point-to-point secretary Shirley Cork who said, “ He had been placed a few times but has been frustrating. The tongue tie helped today.” Jefford also saddled third placed Kesa Great in this race on whom Anna Johnston clinched the area lady novice title.

So that was it for another season apart from presentation of some of the area awards and the traditional end of season Umberleigh parties which seemingly never end.

Granville Taylor

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

Cover photo credit: Jill Hurst

RESULTS – TORRINGTON FARMERS

GOING FIRM, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES

AREA CONDITIONS – SPONSOR TORRINGTON ARMS

1 ERIC THE THIRD (DARREN ANDREWS) 3-1 left in lead 8th, ran on strongly
2 GOLDEN POET (ALICE PROCTER) 6-1 left 2nd at 8th, outpaced two out
3 LAPFORD LAD (JAMES SHAW) 5-1 bhd from 11th, t o

6 RAN; 1 3/4L; DIST; 6M 19S

RESTRICTED – CAPT TIM FORSTER MEMORIAL – KIVELLS

1 BENNY’S MIRACLE (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 5-6 FAV chased ldr, left clear two out
2 BANFF (VINNY WEBSTER) 16-1 bhd from 13th, t o

4 RAN, ONLY TWO FINISHED; WON BY A DISTANCE; 6M 30S

MEN’S OPEN – AZETS BUSINESS ADVISORS

1 I’M WISER NOW (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 2-1 chased lder, led three out, pushed clear
2 HIGHWAY ONE O ONE (FREDDY GORDON) 1-3 FAV led 2nd til three out, no extra

2 RAN; 8L; 6M 11S

LADIES’ OPEN – PILTON AUCTIONS

1 MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR (OLIVE NICHOLLS)

WALKED OVER

INTERMEDIATE – BARUM STUD

1 HITDROADJACK (JAMES KING) 6-5 led two out, comf
2 NINTH WAVE (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 8-13 FAV led til two out, no extra

2 RAN; 5L; 6M 46S

MAIDEN – SMALLRIDGE BROS LTD

1 BUSINESSMAN (DARREN EDWARDS) 11-10 FAV led 12th, clear from two out

2 LOCAL DRAMA (DARREN ANDREWS) 13-2 effort three out, wknd next

3 KESA GREAT (ANNA JOHNSTON) 4-1 outpaced 13th, stayed on closing stages

6 RAN; 12L; 2 1/2L; 6M 16S

Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo credit: Jill Hurst

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA AWARDS AND JOCKEYS TITLES 2022 STANDINGS AFTER TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS 5 JUNE 2022

Rules as at p31 of planner 2021/22;

Hunt qualification with Devon & Cornwall packs mandatory for awards 4 points win, 2 points 2nd, 1 point 3rd.

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDER – PETER PEARN MEMORIAL CHALLENGE CUP

  1. Will Biddick 112 points
  2. Darren Edwards 106 points
  3. Josh Newman 77 points
  4. Darren Andrews 50 points
  5. Charlie Sprake 44 points
  6. Jake Bament 43 points
  7. Martin McIntyre 37 points

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G KELLOCK MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CHALLENGE TROPHY

  1. Chloe Emsley 26 points
  2. Anna Johnston 18 points
  3. Olive Nicholls 14 points
  4. Ella Orttewell 10 points
  5. Amy Bennalick 9 points
  6. Anna Hylands 9 points

LEADING NOVICE GENTLEMAN RIDER

  1. Charlie Sprake 44 points
  2. Vinny Webster 37 points
  3. Arron Butterfield 15 points
  4. Otis Morgan 13 points

LEADING NOVICE LADY RIDER

  1. Anna Johnston 18 points
  2. Olive Nicholls 14 points
  3. Ella Orttewell 10 points
  4. Amy Bennalick 9 points
  5. Anna Hylands 9points

LEADING TRAINER: MORE THAN FIVE HORSES

  1.  Dean Summersby  74 Points
  2. Neil McLean  33 points
  3. Leslie Jefford  30 points

FIVE HORSES OR LESSH J Widdicombe Memorial Challenge Trophy

  1. John Heard  26 points
  2. Jill Dennis,Nicky Martin, Mary Sanderson, Susan Darke, Helen Bament  14 points

LEADING OWNER – G K Probert Perpetual Challenge Cup

  1. Tom Malone 20 points
  2. John & Sonia Gardene16 points
  3. Jill Dennis, Mary Sanderson, Sue Trump, Bradley Partnership, Helen & Peter Bament, Edward & Susan Darke 14 points

OWNER / RIDER MOST POINTS ONE HORSE- Silver Ransome Perpetual Challenge Cup

  1. Anna Hylands Nikki Steel 9 points
  2. Ella Herbert Field Exhibition, James Shaw Lapford Lad  6 points

LEADING VETERAN RIDER – Orchard Perpetual Challenge Cup

  • Darren Edwards

OWNER OF LEADING HORSE- Axminster Carpets Perpetual Challenge Cup

  1. Transition Period 16 points
  2. Sykes 15 points
  3.  Minimalistic 14 points
  4. Broadclyst, Say About It, 13 points
  5. Eric The Third 12 points

OWNER OF LEADING NOVICE HORSE- Little Vanity Perpetual Challenge Cup

  1. Transition Period 16 points
  2. Say About It 13 points
  3. Honest Opinion 11 points

OWNER OF LEADING MARE – Cornish Princess Perpetual Challenge Cup

  1. Honest Opinion 11 points
  2. Golly Its Molly, Walkin out 8 points
  3. River Myth 7 points
  4. Singapore sage 7 points

OWNER OF LEADING VETERAN HORSE (12 YEARS & OVER) – Anjuba Perpetual Challenge Trophy

  1. Sykes 15 points
  2. Eric The Third 12 points
  3. Nikki Steel 9 points
  4. Alternatif 8 points

OWNER / BREEDER OF LEADING HORSE BRED IN THE AREA- Seal Marine Perpetual Challenge Trophy

  • No Claims received but Golly Its Molly , Mrs Sarah Prouse has 8 points, Mr & Mrs Nigel Faulks  Amore Alato 5 points

RIDER GAINING MOST POINTS AT A SINGLE MEETING –Prideaux Horse Perpetual Challenge Trophy

  1. Will Biddick 18 points
  2. Darren Edwards, Darren Andrews, Jake Bament  14 points

RIDER OF WINNER WITH LONGEST SP – Devon & Cornwall Bookmakers Perpetual Challenge Trophy

  • Chad Bament 25-1 Mustmeetforapint @ Tiverton Staghounds

WESTERN MORNING NEWS TROPHY

  • To be announced

Any queries of scores to Awards Co-ordinator, or volunteers to take the scoring job on, please contact Granville Taylor

Granville Taylor

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

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

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

TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS POINT-TO-POINT AT BRATTON DOWN REPORT AND RESULTS FROM 5TH JUNE 2022

“If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.”

A brief line from the popular Kate Bush song Running up that hill

There is a lot of running up the hill to be done at Bratton Down.  The stiff climb has to be tackled three times in each race. It is the final time to the judge which seems the most testing.

The penultimate fixture of the season took place on Sunday (June 5th) on an increasingly wet afternoon, with angry looking dark clouds scudding across the Exmoor landscape.

The rain had not arrived in time to get into the ground, so a good proportion of 27 runners from the 50 entries was a satisfactory  outcome and led to entertaining racing with some close finishes on fast ground.

Josh Newman was on the right side of two consecutive photo finishes. After lifting the favourite No Risk With Lou home by a short head in the Riverside Caravan Park Open Maiden, the judge was again clicking the camera to confirm that Dr Rhythm had just held the rallying Ninth Wave by a head in the Exmoor Hay & Straw Ltd sponsored Intermediate.

Newman rode an ultra patient ride on five-year-old No Risk With Lou, dropping his mount out the back as Darren Edwards and Businessman made the running. Christopher Barber’s four-year-old debutant Andy du Pierre took over on the climb for home, but the winner’s strong finishing effort saw his head in front in the last few strides. The winner’s owner Kayley Woollacott explained that having bought the French bred gelding at Doncaster as a three-year-old, “It was the intention to run him as a four-year-old but he couldn’t run due to covid.”. “He can be very keen and would make a deadly hurdler,” said the jockey, whose mount had shown promise in his two previous runs over jumps at Great Trethew and Cothelstone.

Newman quickly followed up on Dr Rhythm to reach his 20th winner of the season in the Intermediate as the mist descended, but his win was not without a scare. Travelling strongly in the lead, the Keith Cumings trained nine-year-old slipped rounding the straw bales on the last bend, nearly falling and causing the rider to lose an iron. “I tried to kick the other one out but got to the last fence with it jammed in. We got over it somehow.” Not only did he get over it, he was soon battling out the finish with Ninth Wave and got the head verdict. The runner up also had his hard luck story having stood still at the start forfeiting 20 lengths.

Charlie Sprake, level with Freddie Gordon on the 12 winner mark for the Highflyer Bloodstock national novice riders title, had been on the wrong end of the two close finishes. He also had to settle for a place as Bennys Miracle could only finish third as Mustmeetforapint and Champions Hill fought out the finish of the Witheridge Garage Restricted. It was 19-year-old Chad Bament who just came out on top to secure his second career success on the 10-year-old family horse trained by his mother Helen at Torrington. Chad works in the Anthony Honeyball yard and his mount started at 25-1, the longest priced winner in the area this season and could run again at Umberleigh.

Will Biddick gave up all his booked rides at Bratton, having conceded the national men’s title to James King, who went on to ride his 63rd winner of the season on Jack Dillinger in the Men’s Open sponsored by South Molton company ucanstore.com. Freddie Gordon’s hopes of a winner disappeared in this race as Highway One O One departed at the seventh fence which is situated out of sight behind a tall hedge. It was a rapid follow up to Wednesday evening’s Garthorpe success for the Luke Price trained winner. Owner Jason Rees said, “He only had a canter at Garthorpe and that’s why we ran him here to support James. We bought him out of Ireland a year ago from Joseph O’Brien.”

Danni Kenealy sent out Skilful Lord to win the Winston Pincombe Land Rovers Hunt race in the colours of the hunt chairman Brian Palfrey, who farms sheep  at Stoodleigh near Tiverton. The ex- David Pipe gelding headed Broughtons Rhythm inside the last 200 yards to give 28-year-old Vinny Webster his eighth winner of the season.

 Monsieur Gibraltar, (Ella Orttewell)  looked to have a simple task against solitary opponent Court In Flight (Annabel Duman) in the Greenslade Taylor Hunt Ladies’ Open at odds of 1-10. After sauntering along well in command in the lead he found his opponent having the temerity to draw alongside at the brow of the hill 200 yards out. The hot favourite soon asserted however to follow up his recent course win, and his fourth of the season. The successful 22-year-old jockey works for the winner’s trainer Will Biddick at his Alhampton yard and was enjoying her fifth career success. “The instructions were to give him an easy race as he might run again at Umberleigh,” said Paul Nicholls, who shares ownership with John Bolton. Paul’s 16-year-old  daughter Olive missed her usual ride on the 11-year-old after injuring a leg in an eventing fall at Newcastle on the previous day.

Results

GOING FIRM

HUNT – SPONSOR WINSTON PINCOMBE LAND ROVERS

1 SKILFUL LORD (VINNY WEBSTER) 5-2 effort two out, led last 200 yds

2 BROUGHTONS RHYTHM (FIONN SUMMERS) 5-2 led 3rd til headed flat

3 AMORE ALATO (HOLLY PENNELLS) 8-11 FAV every chance til not qckn two out

3 RAN; 2L; 3/4L;  6M 14S

OPEN MAIDEN – RIVERSIDE CARAVAN PARK

1 NO RISK WITH LOU (JOSH NEWMAN) 5-4 FAV  held up bhd, strong late run to lead nr finish

2 ANDY DU PIERRES (CHARLIE SPRAKE)    7-2 effort two out, lkd wnr til caught nr finish

3 BUSINESSMAN  (DARREN EDWARDS) 12-1 led til headed flat

7 RAN; SHORT HEAD; 7L;  5M 49S

INTERMEDIATE – SAUL KIDSTON, EXMOOR HAY & STRAW LTD

1 DR RHYTHM (JOSH NEWMAN) 6-4  prom, led when slipped badly last bend, rallied to lead again last 150 yards

2 NINTH WAVE (CHARLIE SPRAKE) EVENS FAV slowly away, prog four out, led apprg last til 150 yards out, rallied nr post

3 ROWLEY PARK (JAKE BAMENT) 9-2 bhd from 13th, kept on without trblg ldrs

5 RAN; HEAD; 8L;  5M 59S

MENS OPEN – UCANSTORE.COM

1 JACK DILLINGER (JAMES KING) 10-11 FAV went well clear three out unchallenged

2 LAPFORD LAD (JAMES SHAW) 4-1  outpaced three out, 4th at last, kept on to 2nd nr finish

3 MISTER DICK (GEOFF BARFOOT-SAUNT) 20-1  outpaced three out, snatched 2nd nr finish

5 RAN; 10L;; HEAD;  6M 8S

LADIES OPEN – GREENSLADE TAYLOR HUNT

1 MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR (ELLA ORTTEWELL ) 1-10 FAV led 2nd, going easily, joined 200 yards out, soon asserted

2 COURT IN FLIGHT (ANNABEL DUMAN ) 4-1 led 1st, chased wnr from next, effort & drew level 200 yards out, soon outpaced

2 RAN; 3L;  6M 10S

RESTRICTED – WITHERIDGE GARAGE

1 MUSTMEETFORAPINT (CHAD BAMENT) 25-1  hdwy after three out, closed steadily, took lead last 100 yards

2 CHAMPIONS HILL (CONOR HOILIHAN) 4-1 clear three out, lead reduced after next, headed last 100 yards

3 BENNYS MIRACLE (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 2-1 chased ldrs, went 3rd two out, stayed on strongly closing stages

5 RAN; 2L; NECK;  5M 51S

Granville Taylor

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

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – SOUTH TETCOTT POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SATURDAY 28TH MAY 2022

HOT FAVOURITES 5  OUTSIDERS 1

The bookies took a bit of a pounding at UpcottCross where five of the six favourites went in – all of the odds-on variety. Minimalistic ( 4-7 to 2-5) has had a good season and was the form horse in the opening Conditions race. He could be excused for a recent below par run at Cheltenham and was not hard pressed to win this. Runner up Five Gold Bars (5’s out to 8’s) had been off the course for some time and ran well in the circumstances

Liberty Rock (4-6 to 4-7) has signified that he is one of the smartest novices in the area and duly landed the Restricted. He looks a future Open horse . Whotheman (2’s to 7-4) was prominent until pulling up sharply on the top bend so it was left to King’s Quay (6’s to 8’s) to chase home the winner.

Famous Clermont (4-6 to 1-2) rounded off his successful season beating Sixteen Letters (2’s touched 9-4) and Sykes (drifted to 4’s) in the Mixed Open. A bet of £1.200 to win £800 was struck on the winner (not me) .

Rhythm is a Dancer (4-5 to 4-7) was expected to continue the punters bonanza in the novice riders’ event but was a bit out of tune on this occasion and young Olive Nicholls  just failed to get him to last home. It was Beau du Brizais (friendless at 100-8) who hit the front where it mattered to win by a neck under Molly Landau. 

The Maiden Conditions looked a tricky affair with 11 runners lining up. The favourite prevailed however as the mare Lucky Lara (5 -2 to 9-4), given a patient ride by Josh Newman, held a spirited effort from Full Spes (8-1) and Heidi Lewis.

There was no respite for the layers in the last as trainer Christopher Barber and jockey Will Biddick completed their double with the promising four-year-old Talkingtothemoon (10-11 to 4-6). Jimmy Cole did his best to get No Escape (3’sto 5-2) home on his retirement ride but the mare couldn’t quite see out the trip.

REPORT – SOUTH TETCOTT POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SATURDAY 28TH MAY 2022


“The rose and black draws clear of the ruck,
And the murmur swells to a roar,
As the brave old colours that never were struck,
Are seen with the lead once more.
Six lengths in front she scours along,
She’s bringing the field to trouble;
She’s tailing them off, she’s running strong,
She shakes her head and pulls double.”

From a poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon 1833 – 1870

Will Biddick reached his half century for the season with a short priced double at the South Tetcott on Saturday. This put him level momentarily with James King on the 51 winner mark in the race for the National jockeys’ championship. King however edged ahead again with a single success at Kingston Blount on the following day.

Somerset based Josh Newman was also in double form thanks to Minimalistic and Lucky Lara, whilst the Novice Riders’ race featured a first point to point success for Molly Landau on Beau du Brizais.

The progressive seven-year-old Famous Clermont added to his Exeter hunter chase win with a smooth performance in the Simpkins Edwards Mixed Open. Will Biddick settled his mount in the slip stream of Sixteen Letters and Sykes and showed those rivals a clean pair of hooves when quickening clear in the finishing straight. Famous Clermont was winning for the fourth time this season. “ Not bad for a £5,000 purchase and the owners have been brilliant. They turned down a good offer after Exeter. We chose this race instead of Stratford and it was a good confidence booster for him,” explained trainer Christopher Barber.

The seven-times champion jockey completed his double on Talkingtothemoon in the two and a half miles Maiden sponsored by FC Cleaning Systems. Making only his second racecourse appearance, the four-year-old caught front running No Escape (Jimmy Cole) at the penultimate and had seven lengths in hand on reaching the judge. “His jumping was good and he will improve a lot,” said the jockey. The winner became the 25th winner of the season saddled by Christopher Barber. “We ran him here because they do such a good job with the ground. He was weak and raw first time out. I bought a half share to train him along with Yorton Stud because my grandfather (Richard Barber) won with his dam Blue Buttons. He is by the Yorton stallion Pether’s Moon. He will be on the market now.

Edward and Sue Darke’s Minimalistic gave Josh Newman his 17th winner of the season with an authoritative display in the Race Hill Garage Area Conditions race. The useful 10-year-old made virtually all the running to beat Five Gold Bars. “He jumps for fun and stays well. We do all the work on the farm. He has now won three times this year and he wasn’t at his best when he ran at Cheltenham. It was a nightmare journey there and he had got cast in his box the day before,” reported 80 years old Edward Darke, who shares ownership with his wife Sue and regularly rides out his prize possession.

A field of 11 faced the starter in the PRJ Engineering Maiden Conditions event won by Lucky Lara. This time Newman rode a waiting race, asking his mount for maximum effort to fend off Full Spes and Jimmy Tew on the home run. “She is still green and had a good look round. She will learn a lot from that,” said the jockey. The Mahler mare now runs in the colours of Terry Hamlin who often fills the role of senior steward in the area. She was bought privately after a couple of optimistic runs in hunter chases for her previous connections.

It was a memorable day for 17-year-old Molly Landau who rode her first point to point winner in the Dunbia West Devon sponsored Mixed Open for novice riders. Partnering the gallant grey Beau du Brizais, Molly galvanised her mount on the run in and just got up to catch odds-on favourite Rhythm Is a Dancer (Olive Nicholls) in the last few strides to win by a neck. Molly, a pony racing graduate, has ridden a flat winner and has had one success over hurdles. After a spell at Will Biddick’s yard she now works for Andrew Balding. “I have been at Kingsclere for five weeks and love it. My ambition is to be a professional jump jockey,” she told me, which would mean her following in the footsteps of her father Guy Landau who rode a Whitbread Gold Cup winner and was placed in the Grand National. Beau du Brizais is trained on the Quantocks by Teresa Honeyball for the six strong Notre Cheval Partnership headed by vet Phil Browne who said, “He is a bit quirky. I was a long serving vet for Philip Hobbs for 40 years and looked after this horse there for five years. Teresa works her heart out including taking the horses to Brean Sands beach.”

Darren Edwards and Will Biddick are having their usual close contest for the Devon & Cornwall Area title. Despite riding his 21st winner of the season on Liberty Rock in the Giffords Chartered Accountants Restricted, Edwards still has a few points to make up on his close rival in the final two area fixtures. Six-year-old Liberty Rock followed up his recent course win in good style at the expense of King’s Quay and Grove Ash. Owned by Nick Banks, John Gardener and Torbyn Hughes, the Dean Summersby trained gelding looks a fine prospect.

The popular Tavistock rider and trainer, 40-year-old Jimmy Cole, announced his retirement after racing. Jimmy has 18 winners to his credit in over 20 years race riding, invariably on cheaply bought horses. A highlight of his career was winning a hunter chase at Aintree in 2009 on his own mare Holly Walk who was bred by HM The Queen. Two years before that Holly Walk had given Jimmy his first success in a Wadebridge Maiden after nine years of trying. He was treated to a ducking in the water trough by fellow jockeys as a goodbye gesture.

Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Preview: Tiverton Staghounds Point-to-Point at Bratton Down on Sunday 5th June 2022

Its hot at the top! With our third trip to the stunning course at Bratton Down this coming Sunday 5th June, for the season’s penultimate point-to-point meeting, and both gentleman jockey’s James King and Will Biddick are neck and neck in the race for the championship. This looks again to be an excellent day out for all the family. Six races are on offer with a start time of 2pm, attracting 50 quality entries.

The Winston Pincombe-sponsored Members race heads up the action, in which Broughtons Rhythm for trainer Laura Hurley is the highest rated and could follow up on his second at this meeting last season under Fionn Summers. He could be taken on by the younger Grove Ash for the Mary Sanderson team, who ran a creditable one-length second to Rowley Park at Holnicote and third last weekend at Upcott Cross for leading male Novice jockey Charlie Sprake.

In the following Riverside Caravan Camping & Country Club-sponsored Maiden race Stopbeatingyourgums (Luke Price) who ran third at the Dingley meeting last weekend, could provide jockey James King with another winner, the jockey having scored a treble at last weekends meeting for trainer Luke Price. His opposition could be entry Alkademan (Mike Vanstone) who ran third to Donny’s Fortune at this track two weeks ago, and Holdmetight for the Ed Walker team who finished fourth that day under Chloe Emsley.

The Exmoor Hay & Straw-sponsored Intermediate race looks a hot race with Knockmoylan standing out for the Chris Barber team for Will Biddick to maintain his challenge for the title, after their treble of wins earlier in the season. Will Biddick has also entered his own-trained Ninth Wave, which could also be the one he could score on here or for jockey Charlie Sprake to ride and follow up on their win at this track last month.

Outside raider Luke Price has three horses entered in the Ucanstore-sponsored Men’s Open race as options for jockey James King to try and snatch the title, with course winner Spencer Moon unbeaten in all four races this season, Ramble On who ran one length second to Imogens Thunder at this track two weeks ago, and Jack Dillinger a winner two weeks ago at Bredwardine. At this stage it is difficult to predict which will be aimed at the Chaddlesley Corbett meeting mid week. Highway One O One is another entry catching the eye who has won four races this season, the latest being a Mixed Open at Kingston Blount for novice jockey Freddie Gordon last weekend.

In the Greenslade Taylor Hunt-sponsored Ladies Open we could see another thriller with multiple winner Southfield Theatre entered for the Sara Bradstock team with daughter Lily to  continue their impressive season. Also Monsieur Gibraltar entered for top novice jockey Olive Nicholls to ride, the combination having set a course record here at the last meeting.

Finally up is the Witheridge Garage-sponsored Restricted race which could go the way of Champions Hill for trainer George Beilby and jockey Conor Houlihan, along with Bennys Miracle who ran second at this meeting in May under Will Biddick. Jetmeoutofhere is another entry which could go well here for the Dean Summersby/Darren Edwards combination. Also the Dylan Thomas-sired mare Villanesque, is another out of the Luke Price yard which had shown a good turn of foot when winning her maiden at Bredwardine by a solid 23 lengths that day,  and could be another winning ride for James King.

This course has a stunning backdrop of Exmoor making it a fantastic picnic spot for all the family. On course facilities are hot and cold food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a host of country trade stands. The course is located at Bratton Fleming 9m North East of Barnstaple on A389 Postcode EX31 4SG. Entrance to the course is £15 per person including free racecard. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome.

Donna Harris

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

RESULTS: SOUTH TETCOTT POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SATURDAY 28TH MAY 2022

GOING; GOOD, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES

AREA CONDITIONS – SPONSOR RACE HILL GARAGE

1 MINIMALISTIC (JOSH NEWMAN) 2-5 led from 2nd, hard pressed two out, ran on strongly, comf

2 FIVE GOLD BARS (ROB HAWKER) 8-1 held up, hdwy four out, every chance two out, no extra

3 AMORE ALATO (HOLLY PENNELLS) 5-1 well in touch four out, outpaced next

4 ran; 10l; 1 1/2l;  6m 44s

RESTRICTED – GIFFORDS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

1 LIBERTY ROCK (DARREN EDWARDS) 4-7 FAV alwys prom, led 15th, dvn out

2 KING’S QUAY (MATT HAMPTON) 8-1 left 2nd apprg three out, effort next, no extra nr finish

3 GROVE ASH (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 8-1 chased ldrs, 3rd from three out, no impression

7 ran; 1 1/2l; 2l;  6m 40s

MIXED OPEN – SIMPKINS EDWARDS

1 FAMOUS CLERMONT (WILL BIDDICK) 1-2 FAV well in touch, drew clr three out, easily

2 SIXTEEN LETTERS (JOSH NEWMAN) 2-1 alwys prom, no extra from three out

3 SYKES (DARREN EDWARDS) 4-1 withldrs til 15th, grad wknd

4 ran;  10l;  20l;  6m 43s

MIXED OPEN – NOVICE RIDERS –DUNBIA WEST DEVON

1 BEAU DU BRIZAIS (MOLLY LANDAU) 12-1 tracked ldrs, strong run two out, led last few strides

2 RHYTHM IS A DANCER (OLIVE NICHOLLS) 4-7 FAV made most, lkd wnr tilheaded last few strides

3 RIVER MYTH (VINNY WEBSTER) 17-2 held up, every chance three out, no extra

6 Ran;  neck;;3l;  6m 37s

MAIDEN CONDITIONS – PRJ ENGINEERING

1 LUCKY LARA (JOSH NEWMAN) 9-4 FAV held up, hdwy 13th, led three out, dvn out

2 FULL SPES (HEIDI LEWIS) 8-1 alwyshandy, led 13th til three out, kept on

3 JIMMY TEW (DARREN EDWARDS0 8-1 prom, led 10th til 14th, outpaced next

11 ran;  3 1/2l;  3 1/2l ;   6m 41S

MAIDEN 2M 4F –FC CLEANING SYSTEMS

1 TALKINGTOTHEMOON (WILL BIDDICK) 4-6 FAV chased lder til led two out, comf

2 NO ESCAPE (JIMMY COLE) 5-2 led & soon clear, headed two out, kept on

3 FIREFLY LANE (JOSH NEWMAN) 4-1 hdwy 11th, rdn next, one pace

7 ran; 7l; 6l; 5m 27s