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

REPORT: EAST CORNWALL POINT-TO-POINT – 27 FEB 2011

GRANVILLE TAYLOR GIVES HIS RACE-BY-RACE COMMENTS 

SHOWERS for the first part of the afternoon, plus a biting wind tested the most ardent of spectators at Great Trethew for the East Cornwall’s nine-race card. The going was soft with heavy patches, but became more testing with stamina very much an issue as the afternoon wore on.

Mixed Open (Sponsor – Roger Young Engineering)

Bishy Barnaby looked a good thing for this Open on form, and did not let his supporters down. Ridden for the first time by Richard Hawkins, the ten-year-old went to the front with a circuit to go and duly won by the length of the run-in. He got a bit tired up the final climb in the gluey conditions, but his rivals had only been playing for places from a long way out. In the end, Prince de Bersy just denied Paddy the Piper for the runner up spot. The winner started this season with a proud record of five wins from his six point-to-points. However he finished a disappointing sixth on his seasonal debut at ChipleyPark, and was fourth in a hunter chase at Taunton last week, when his saddle was reported to have slipped. “He will go hunter chasing now”, stated trainer Gordon Chambers.

Hunt Race (Cornish Times)

Quizzling followed up his recent Ideford Arch win, battling on well to hold Percy de Burrell and Bold Perk. “He had to dig deeper on this softer ground”, said Irish born jockey Micheal Nolan, who was enjoying his fifth career win and his second in England since he joined the Philip Hobbs yard. Quizzling’s trainer Christine Gray has done well to restore the veteran chaser to form. “This win means a lot to me”, she remarked. Her late father Basil had East Cornwall hunt connections stretching back over many years, and her sister Kate is the current point-to-point secretary.

Open Maiden 8-year-olds & over (Jamaica Inn, Bolventor)

James Best had his first ride back after a long absence through injury on Percy de Burrell in the Hunt race, and got his longed for winner in this event on Living The Dream. It has been a painful and frustrating ten months for the 20-year-old jockey, who had broken both his legs in a fall at Kingston St Mary last Easter, and endured various complications during his recovery. “I couldn’t wait to get back and it feels great since this is my local track”, said the Saltash rider. “I was booked for the ride on Friday through my boss Philip Hobbs”, he added. Living The Dream had taken a keen hold and was left in the lead when Greenock fell five out. The nine-year-old Double Trigger gelding began to wander approaching the second last, but the main danger evaporated at that fence when the pursuing Irish Mystery came down. JosiahBay eventually claimed second place at a respectable distance. He was the only other of the 13 runners to complete the course.

Open Maiden 2m 4f , 4 to 7 –year-olds only

Division 1 (Group Travel, Bodmin)

Geneva Lake (Will Biddick) and Blazing Bouncer (Richard Woollacott) fought out a stirring finish after newcomer Hilda Wild had fallen at the last when a close third. Biddick’s mount just prevailed where it mattered, but Blazing Bouncer looks sure to find a race. An attractive lightly raced six-year-old, GenevaLake was bred by his owners Stewart and Monique Pike, who have bred and turned out numerous winners from Synderborough. “She is so laid back and has a lovely temperament. She is related to several winners and is the last out of her dam Lady Geneva, so we will hopefully keep the line going with her”, said Monique.

Division 2 (Blight, Broad & Skinnard, Solicitors)

A few hail stones preceded this race, which made a change from the frequent rain showers. Even money favourite Sarika initiated Lizzie Kelly’s first ever double with a comfortable success. Ridden positively, Sarika led from the sixth and forged clear of his 12 rivals entering the final circuit. The Pasternak grey Colin’s Desire ran promisingly to finish second, and the previously unraced Tans Hill caught the eye doing good work towards the finish to secure third place. Sarika was not winning out of turn because he had run well at Wadebridge before finishing a creditable runner up at ChipleyPark when he probably should have won. “We bought Sarika as a yearling,” said owner/trainer Jane Williams. “He has run under rules but is a slow maturing type who will probably run in France eventually because the prize money is so much better there”. A very true statement.

Division 3 (Dawe, Hawken & Dodd, Accountants)

A good performance on his racecourse debut by four-year-old Weldesigned, who ran on gamely to defeat another newcomer in the shape of the Milan five-year-old Georgie Whale. Ian Chanin sent Weldesigned to the front four out and the rangy youngster kept on well despite getting tired and edging right after the final fence. This was the first leg of a double for jockey Ian Chanin who missed the whole of last season with a broken leg. Weldesigned is trained by the jockey’s father Robert Chanin for owners James and Debbie Siggs. “He was bought as a two-year-old and we broke him last June”, said the trainer. “He has impressed us all the way”, he added.

Division 4 (Rising Sun Nurseries, Harrowbarrow)

Wayward Frolic completed a double for his rider Lizzie Kelly and her mother Jane Williams. The 17 hands five-year-old came home in splendid isolation as his six rivals all pulled up in holding ground which had become extremely gruelling by this stage. The winner had given notice of his ability at Chipley, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that he will be a force to be reckoned with under rules in due course. “This is the best horse I own”, said Jane Williams who bought the Fairmix gelding for 11,500 euros at the Fairyhouse Derby sales in Ireland as a three-year-old. Your correspondent was at the sales that day. I must have missed out on that one!

Restricted (King’s Head Hotel, Altarnun)

This turned into a battle between 33-1 outsider Mayfair Lastchance and the well backed Knight In The City. The pair raced down the hill after the third last with little between them, but separated by the width of the course. “Mayfair” showed ahead jumping the penultimate, and went on to score despite veering left close home, with his rider Jimmy Cole giving his trademark victory salute passing the post. Jim’s celebrations continued unabated in the jockeys’ tent with a liberal spraying of champagne over his fellow jockeys. “This horse loves the course and only goes on wet ground”, reported the ebullient Tavistock based rider, adding that, “He had worked all over Holly Walk in the week”.

Confined (Peake GB Ltd, Liskeard)

The Ed Walker trained Dare Too Dream was another to revel in the going which by now resembled a tin of Golden Syrup. His dam Dubacilla would have been proud of him as he galloped his six opponents into the ground to give Ian Chanin his double. “We put the blinkers back on today and he loves this ground and keeps going”, said the successful trainer.

REPORT: A VERY COLD OPENING TO THE 2010 -11 POINT-TO-POINT SEASON AT BLACK FOREST LODGE – 28 NOV 2010

GRANVILLE TAYLOR REPORTS

After Sunday I know why they don’t have horse racing at the North Pole. Yes, they have sent us their arctic weather with snow and temperatures of minus this and minus that. Thank goodness the organisers of the first British point-to-point of the new season were prepared. It isn’t easy for racing to defeat sub-zero temperatures, but the organisers of the Black Forest Club meeting are a determined lot and somehow the show went on despite the icy blast.

Whoever thought of the innovation of utilising thick duvets around the jumps to afford frost protection should think of applying for a place on Dragons Den. Senior jockeys told me that on the racing line the ground was riding on the fast side of good.

A well muffled, reasonable sized crowd for a November point-to-point saw 80 horses from far and wide contest the nine races with some stirring finishes.

Black Forest Club Members’Novice Riders’ (Sponsor: Heltor Ltd)

Fully Loaded gained the first of his nine wins last season in this race ridden by Emma Pugsley. Andrew and Linda Pugsley’s ten-year-old gelding went on to take the National Leading Horse award with Emma and her sister Lucy taking the rides. Emma, now in her second year at Plymouth University, is still qualified as a novice rider and rode a confident race here to see off the late challenge of Paddy the Piper.

Emma’s grandfather Gerald Greenway had Fully Loaded looking fit and well for his seasonal debut and looks to be plotting a similar route to last season. “He will not be going hunter chasing and may run at Wadebridge next month”, said the trainer.Paddy the Piper ran his usual solid race under young Michael Heard and this combination look sure to gain consolation before long.

Mixed Open (Wilkinson Grant, Exeter)

Le Duc started a shade of odds-on, with former useful rules performer Simon and Huntingdon hunter chase winner Blaze Ahead the next market choices. Blaze Ahead and Cinaman set off in front, but outsider Surenaga took the race by the scruff of the neck coming off the top bend. The 12-1 chance strode clear at the third last, with Le Duc coming from well off the pace to finish runner up. The winner was astutely ridden by his trainer Sally Randell who is based near Bridgend. This good topped gelding, twice successful on good to firm ground when trained in Ireland was acquired recently. “He had got a bit stale in his previous yard. I wasn’t sure that he was ready but he started to freshen up this week” explained connections.

Open Maiden 4 & 5 -year-olds only. Two and a half miles

( Division 1 The Point-to-Point Authority and Brightwells Ltd)

The honour of winning the first race of the new season went to five-year-old Snope. Owned and trained at Chepstow by Michelle Harris, this small gelding was ridden by the owner’s 22-year-old son Josh Harris, who started his career with Richard Barber and now works in the Evan Williams yard. Snope took the lead from flag fall and despite jumping continually to the left kept in front until headed by Satisfied round the last bend. A great leap by Snope at the last fence saw him regain the lead, and he ran on gamely to hold off the late challenge of Hard to Tell. Snope has had a job to find a permanent home until now. He joined Nicky Henderson’s yard for £18,000 as a three-year-old and has since resided with Jamie Snowden and Polly Gundry. Current connections got him for £3,200 at Doncaster in August.

(Division 2 – Philip Saunders Building Contractors Ltd)

Son of Flame seemed to lack stamina in his races last season, but turned in an authoritative display here over this shorter distance. Richard Hawkins sent the five-yearold clear off the top of the hill to score comfortably despite fluffing the last. “He is a nice horse but pulled hard and would be better left-handed”, reported the 21-year-old jockey who partnered nine pointing winners last season. Trainer Keith Cumings has fond memories of the winners dam, Flame O’Frensi who won 24 times for the yard Son of Flame was the jockey’s first ride since a crashing fall at Cheltenham last month put him out of action. “I actually fractured two small bones in my neck when Cornish Sett fell, but rode out again this Thursday and passed the doctor two days ago”. These boys are tough.

Restricted

(Division 1 – Dyson Quaintance & Strange Financial Management, Newton Abbot)

The winner Timeshift looks to be a bright prospect. Looking very fit in the preliminaries, he was always travelling easily under David Mansell and won as he liked in the fastest time of the day. A sturdy six-year-old trained by Zoe Hammond in Worcestershire, he had won his Maiden by 20 lengths two seasons ago and has been runner up in two bumpers. “We got him originally from Roger McGrath in Cork”, said owner Don Constable who outlined a plan to go for the Red Mills Intermediate Final at Cheltenham.

(Division 2 – Gingerland Livery)

Jimmy Cole’s forcing tactics on his six-year-old Furmagiatt nearly paid off, but in the end he had to give best to 4-1 chance Busy Times. Winner of an Irish Maiden last year, Busy Times is trained at Ross on Wye by Glyn Watkins and was giving a first success to his owner Lorna Vaughan. Busy Times was ridden by 28-year-old Kevin O’Keefe who rode the first of his three pointing winners last year and rides out for Venetia Williams.

Open Maiden Three miles

(Division 1 – Bonhay & Eagle Propert Company Ltd)

I cannot imagine a worse name for a racehorse than The Slug. Anyway this six-year-old was anything but sluggish in the hands of his trainer Chloe Roddick and turned in the faster time of the three divisions. Tough Cookie made most of the running, but The Slug took over at the second last and went on to score readily. Ther winner’s form in Ireland was distinctly moderate, but at least current connections spotted his potential at Ascot sales in June where he was acquired for £2,300

(Division 2 – Hi-Line Contractors SW Ltd, Exeter)

The third Welsh trained winner of the afternoon came in the shape of Washed Out (a marginally better name than The Slug?). Patiently ridden by Isabel Tompsett in the early stages, Washed Out crept into contention half a mile out and took command at the penultimate fence to score comfortably from the favourite Ace High Blue. A stoutly bred gelding who once changed hands for 20,000 euros, the winner showed a glimmer of ability for Paul Nolan in Ireland before being bought by owner/trainer Kim Thomas who is based in the Rhondda Valley.

(Division 3 – The Farriers)

Lucy Gardner has not enjoyed the best of luck having suffered injuries which have curtailed her last two seasons. It was good to see her back on song here with a smooth success on Craig Brian’s Diamond Supreme. King Dick looked a big danger rounding the final bend, but Lucy got a good run out of her mount to win going away. The winner failed to sparkle for former trainer Henrietta Knight and was picked up for £3,000 at Brightwells sales in April.