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 – EXMOOR 22ND MAY 2022

It was all plain sailing for favourite backers in the first four races at Bratton Down, but nothing is forever and results went the way of the bookies in the last two.

I was tempted to back the favourite in the first. The recent Holnicote winner Rowley Park (4-7 to 2-5) looked a stand out against his three opponents. He won alright, but he was always a two miler under rules and I thought that the Bratton hill might be his undoing. I was wrong and Vinny Webster got him home after a patient ride. The runner up Peloric (11-2) ran a career best for his novice rider, but Home Maid (12’s to 17-2) was reluctant to go down and was never at the races.

It was time to jump in and last week’s course winner Luckello (1-2 fav from 4-6 )duly obliged under James King in the Restricted. She was fairly hopeless under rules, but had jumped really well at the Dulverton West and stepped up again on that form. Runner up Bennys Miracle stayed on well. She had won a Maiden on the track last year and acts well on fast ground. Catch The Monarch (4’s to 7-2) was a bit one paced, but is only young and is in a good yard.

The bet of the day came in the Ladies’. This was the classy Monsieur Gibraltar against three opponents. I don’t normally like 4-9 shots, but this was a gift with promising youngster Olive Nicholls in the saddle. Even the bookie paid out with a knowing smile. I can’t recall a faster time at Bratton than his 5 mins 36 secs. In the circumstances runner up Mahler Style (10’s to 8’s) ran well. She acts on firm and can pick up a late season race if avoiding the stars.

I considered re-investing on ImogensThunder (8-15 fav) in the Men’s Open, but his sole opponent Ramble On (11-10 / evens) was saddled by the all conquering Luke Price who could win with a donkey at the moment. As it happened Ramble On was collared by young Charlie Sprake’smount up the hill.

It was time to give the layers a chance and the next jolly, Dr Rhythm (6-4 to evens) crashed to earth at half way bringing down Halloween Harry (11-2). Guess who sent out the winner – yes that Pontypridd star man Luke Price. This was Rose Island (4’s to 7-2) who just held off Ninth Wave (9-2 to 3’s). Steel Express (9’s out to 14’s) could not find a friend in the ring, but caught the eye and seems to like fast ground.

I was pleased to swerve the lucky last. I looked at Kesa Great who was backed from 8’s to 9-2 but there were other contenders. Alkademon (9-2) is improving; Will Biddick’s mount Skilful Lord was gambled on from 2’s to 5-4 fav; and Polly Sans was strong at 2’s and 15-8. It was KayleyWoollacott’s recent sales purchase Donny’s Fortune (100-8 to 100-7) who came from last to first to scoop the prize with a sound staying performance, sending the bookies home with a profit.

Preview: The South Tetcott Point-to-Point at Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction, on Saturday 28th May 2022

Pointing in the West Country heads back to the fast flat track at Upcott Cross this coming Saturday 28th May with The South Tetcott hosting their event. Two Pony races head up the action at 12.30, with the main six race card commencing at 2pm. 77  entries have been received.

There are two competitive Mixed Open races, the first which is sponsored by Simpkins Edwards, has Famous Clermont being the highest rated at 125 for the Chris Barber team, Sixteen Letters a winner of six Points for Neil McLean and rated 117, then Virak (Sam Loxton) 115 a winner of eight points and 6 Hunter Chase wins along with Sykes another at 115. Captain Bucks for jockey Freddie Gordon, is also entered and rates at 115 but also holds an entry in the Mixed Open for Novice riders which follows. With the Stratford Hunter Chase meeting on the Friday evening before, it is difficult to predict which will go where, but this is will definitely be a race to enjoy which holds eighteen interesting entries.

There is also a Mixed Open for Novice riders which is sponsored by Dunbia, and has attracted young jockey stars of the future in Olive Nicholls on Rhythm Is A Dancer, a horse which rated 142 under rules, and one of the horses to have given the opportunity to follow in the family tradition, with both Olive’s parents Paul and Georgie having won and progressed in the Pointing field, which Olive has excelled well in her first six months of competing. Another promising young jockey born into the saddle is Freddie Gordon, who has the ride here on Captain Bucks, rated 132 under rules, and the young jockey also has the option of Highway One O One already on a treble for the season for Jenny Gordon and is another for the short list. among the eleven entries.

The opening Conditions race, which is sponsored by Race Hill Garage,  previous course winner Minimalistic under Josh Newman will be looking to score again for the Darke family team and follow up on wins at Flete Park and Buckfastleigh. Ask The Lady was an impressive 22-length winner at South Hill for Dean Summersby/Darren Edwards combination and should go well again.

In the Giffords Chartered Accountants- sponsored Restricted could see the Mary Sanderson-trained Grove Ash improve on his recent one-length second to Rowley Park at Holnicote and could be another winner for leading Novice Gentleman jockey Charlie Sprake. Liberty Rock could repeat his win here two weeks ago for team Summersby and jockey Darren Edwards, and outside raider Villanesque looks to have the benefit of a mares weight allowance, and with the Luke Price/James King combination should provide a competitive finish.

In the Maiden Conditions race which is sponsored by PRJ Engineering, Kates Lane ran three lengths third at Holnicote for the Elizabeth Scott team and has the benefit of mares weight allowance. Lucky Lara is another running a close third and also has a mares weight allowance and should go well for jockey Josh Newman.

Finally up is the  FC Cleaning Systems-sponsored Maiden race in which Talkingtothemoon would be likely favourite for the Chris Barber team and be another winner for jockey Will Biddick having run a close second at the Stafford Cross meeting. Both Kates Lane and Lucky Lara mentioned before should run well if switched to this race and both of the Nikki Frost entries Flash Gorcombe and Firefly Lane could improve on their place form..

The course offers a fabulous day out for all the family with hot and cold food and refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands. Entrance to the course is £15 per person which includes a race card. Children under 16 are free. Dogs on leads welcome. The course is located 2m South of Halwill junction, off A3079 – Postcode EX21 5AE. Check out the http://www.pointingdc website and Weatherbys Point-to-Point for further details. There is live streaming at this event with Cornelius Lysaght presenting the event which can also be accessed through eventbrite and purchased at pointingdc/live.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

REPORT: EXMOOR POINT-TO-POINT AT BRATTON DOWN ON SUNDAY 22ND MAY 2022

Just endure the uphill battle,
Even if it takes forever;
Aim to reach the summit,
No reason to wane or waver

From a poem by Bernard F Asuncion.

There have been numerous uphill battles on the historic Bratton Down racecourse where point to points have been held since 1925.The course is now laid out on the side of a hill more or less in triangular shape with sharp bends and the characteristic stiff uphill  finish.  Viewing of the racing is not as good as it used to be because  a bank with bushes on top has been growing higher over the past few years obscuring part of the course to spectators. The breathtaking scenic view across the moor remains unchanged, I am pleased to say.

THE race for the National jockeys’ championship took another twist at the Exmoor fixture at Bratton Down.

Not only did James King edge ahead of Will Biddick in his bid to retain the title, he also reached his half century of winners for the seasonas Luckello followed up last week’s course victory in the Rosettes Direct Restricted. The mare jumped well and strode clear of Biddick’s mount Bennys Miracle from the third last “We were a bit concerned because it was a hotter race and quicker pace than when she ran before,” remarked owner Jason Rees. “She was a bit green in front,” said the jockey as in form trainer Luke Price confirmed that an Intermediate will be an early target.

King went on to extend his championship lead to two (51 to 49) in the eight-years- old and over Conditions race which was run in memory of Donna Kingdon, when Rose Island, yet another saddled by Luke Price, just had enough in hand of Ninth Wave after another positive ride from the reigning title holder.  Biddick again had to be content with the runner up spot on last week’s course winner.  The Fame and Glory mare Rose Island has now won four times this season for Marita  Warner-King, whose mother Sue King confirmed that Rose Island was the last horse bought by her late partner Jason Warner. It was a poignant reminder that Jason had enjoyed a double in his colours at this corresponding fixture last year.  

Charlie Sprake has evidently learnt his trade well working in Will Biddick’s Alhampton, Somerset yard, and the 19-year-old is seeking a national title of his own. This is the Highflyer Bloodstockleading male novice riders’ trophy for which he strengthened his chance by winning the two runner Men’s Open sponsored by Riverside Caravan & Camping Park on Imogens Thunder. Sprake now has 12 winners this season, two ahead of Freddie Gordon. This time his sole opponent James King seemed to be trying harder than his blinkered mount Ramble On, as this battle hardened veteran had little to offer when headed on the finishing climb.

Wendy Jarrett’s 11-year-old Imogens Thunder has now won his last four races and nine point-to-points in all since he was acquired in Ireland in 2018.  “ He has had ulcers. We have used Gastroguard  on him and he has yogurt for breakfast every day. We will rough him off now,” said Blandford, Dorset  based trainer Mary Tory.

Yet another National title could find its way to the West country thanks to Monsieur Gibraltar’s Bray Leino sponsored Ladies’ Open success, strengthening the hand of 16-year-old Olive Nicholls in her quest for the ladies novice award. The odds on favourite fended off a brave effort from Mahler Style (Ella Orttewell), and showedno ill effects from his heavy fall at Parham last month. His time of 5 mins 36 secs is the fastest time I have ever known at Bratton Down in recent years.“That was awesome. He took a bit of a hold today and it was a help to have Ella alongside,”reported the young rider. Paul Nicholls, joint owner with John Bolton, remarked that, “Will Biddick (trainer) did a great job getting him back after his previous fall. I would love to see him at Umberleigh where he would enjoy the hills.”

Josh Newman had taken a nasty fall from the favourite Dr Rhythm, bringing down Halloween Harry in the Conditions race, but bounced back to win the ALX Commercials Maiden on KayleyWoollacott’s five-year-old Donnys Fortune. Newman was content to drop his mount out early but made stealthy headway at the final ditch. James King made the running on Polly Sans, but ran out of steam on the run in as the winner stormed up the hill to give his rider his 16thwinner of the season. The giant sized Soldier of Fortune gelding is a half brother to Tim Vaughan’s useful chaser Madera Mist and looks a shrewd buy for £8,000 at last month’s TattersallsAscot sales. “We are still getting to know him and his jumping is not polished yet,” remarked the jockey.

Rowley Park added to his recent Holnicote win when landing odds of 2-5 in the RSM Beares and Brian Thorne & Son Hunt race. County Kilkenny born rider Vinny Webster is one of the leading novice riders in the area this year and eased his mount to the front at the penultimate for his sixth winner of the season. Better known as a two miler under rules, the nine-year-old was passed on to Umberleigh owner/trainer Lisa Smale by 91-years old local Blackmore Gate farmer Humphrey Bray who was present to see the race.

DEVON AND CORNWALL AREA AWARDS 2022 UP TO AND INC 15TH MAY

In accordance with p31 of PPRC Planner 2021/22

Horses Qualification with Devon & Cornwall packs is mandatory for all awards. 4 points win, 2 points for 2nd, 1 point for 3rd

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G Kellock Memorial Challenge Tropy

Miss C Emsley 25 points

Miss A Johnston 18 points

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDERPeter Pearn Memorial Challenge Cup

W Biddick 100 points

D Edwards 98 points

LEADING NOVICE RIDERS:

LADY

Miss A Johnston 18 points

Miss A Bennalick, Miss A Hylands 9 points

GENTLEMAN

C Sprake 34 points

V Webster 28 points

LEADING TRAINER: MORE THAN FIVE HORSES

Dean Summersby 69 points

Christopher Barber 31 points

Neil McLean 31 points

Leslie Jefford 29 points

FIVE HORSES OR LESSH J Widdicombe Memorial Challenge Trophy

John Heard 26 points

Jill Dennis, Mary Sanderson, Sue Trump, Bradley partnership 14 points

LEADING OWNER – G K Probert Perpetual Challenge Cup

Tom Malone 22 points

John & Sonia Gardner 16 points

Jill Dennis, Mary Sanderson, Sue Trump, Bradley partnership 14 points

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

Anna Hylands 9 points

Ella Herbert Field Exhibition 6 points

LEADING VETERAN RIDER – Orchard Perpetual Challenge Cup

Darren Edwards 98 points

OWNER OF LEADING HORSE- Axminster Carpets Perpetual Challenge Cup

Transition Period 16 points

Sykes 14 points

Broadclyst , Say About It 13 points

Eric The Third 12 points

OWNER OF LEADING NOVICE HORSE- Little Vanity Perpetual Challenge Cup

Transition Period 16 points

Say About It 13 points

Honest Opinion 11 points

OWNER OF LEADING MARE – Cornish Princess Perpetual Challenge Cup

Honest Opinion 11 points

Golly Its Molly, Walkin Out 8 points

Singapore Saga 7 points

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

Sykes 14 points

Eric The Third 12 points

Nikki Steel 9 points

Alternatif 8 points

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

No Claims

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

Will Biddick 18 points

Darren Andrews, Darren Edwards, Jake Bament 14 points

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

Zoe Hawkins, Martin McIntyre, Vinny Webster all 16-1 SP winners

WESTERN MORNING NEWS TROPHY

To be announced

Any queries to Awards Co-ordinator Granville Taylor

DEVON  & CORNWALL AREA AWARDS 2022 UP TO & INC 15TH MAY

In accordance with p31 of PPRC Planner 2021/22

Horses Qualification with Devon & Cornwall packs is mandatory for all awards. 4 points win, 2 points for 2nd, 1 point for 3rd

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G Kellock Memorial Challenge Tropy

Miss C Emsley 25 points

Miss A Johnston 18 points

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDERPeter Pearn Memorial Challenge Cup

W Biddick 100 points

D Edwards 98 points

LEADING NOVICE RIDERS:

LADY

Miss A Johnston 18 points

Miss A Bennalick, Miss A Hylands 9 points

GENTLEMAN

C Sprake 34 points

V Webster 28 points

LEADING TRAINER: MORE THAN FIVE HORSES

Dean Summersby 69 points

Christopher Barber 31 points

Neil McLean 31 points

Leslie Jefford 29 points

FIVE HORSES OR LESSH J Widdicombe Memorial Challenge Trophy

John Heard 26 points

Jill Dennis, Mary Sanderson, Sue Trump, Bradley partnership 14 points

LEADING OWNER – G K Probert Perpetual Challenge Cup

Tom Malone 22 points

John & Sonia Gardner 16 points

Jill Dennis, Mary Sanderson, Sue Trump, Bradley partnership 14 points

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

Anna Hylands 9 points

Ella Herbert Field Exhibition 6 points

LEADING VETERAN RIDER – Orchard Perpetual Challenge Cup

Darren Edwards 98 points

OWNER OF LEADING HORSE- Axminster Carpets Perpetual Challenge Cup

Transition Period 16 points

Sykes 14 points

Broadclyst , Say About It 13 points

Eric The Third 12 points

OWNER OF LEADING NOVICE HORSE- Little Vanity Perpetual Challenge Cup

Transition Period 16 points

Say About It 13 points

Honest Opinion 11 points

OWNER OF LEADING MARE – Cornish Princess Perpetual Challenge Cup

Honest Opinion 11 points

Golly Its Molly, Walkin Out 8 points

Singapore Saga 7 points

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

Sykes 14 points

Eric The Third 12 points

Nikki Steel 9 points

Alternatif 8 points

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

No Claims

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

Will Biddick 18 points

Darren Andrews, Darren Edwards, Jake Bament 14 points

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

Zoe Hawkins, Martin McIntyre, Vinny Webster all 16-1 SP winners

WESTERN MORNING NEWS TROPHY

To be announced

Any queries to Awards Co-ordinator Granville Taylor

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – DULVERTON WEST 15 MAY

Only 25 runners contested the six races at Bratton Down. The lack of watering meant predominantly fast ground which kept away the majority of the original entries.

The opener was the most competitive race on the card with nine runners. Coming up the finishing hill it became a dual between the eventual winner Ninth Wave (9-4 to 2’s) and Golly Its Molly (4’s to 3’s) with Charlie Sprake driving Ninth Wave ahead near the line. They finished clear of recent Vauterhill winner Roc The Boat (4’s to 11-4). The others were well strung out.

The first of three Luke Price trained winners to make the trip from Pontypridd was Luckello (9-4 to 7-4 fav) who dominated the Maiden despite arriving at this race with a CV of eight duck eggs under rules. James King will rarely have an easier ride (apart from a two horse race later in the day). Not surprisingly all the other six runners drifted.

Runner up Alkademon (100-7) showed a modicum of promise for his young rider. Second fav Flash Gorcombe (2-1) was doing his best work at the finish. He comes from a shrewd yard and is young enough to improve.
The first of three disappointing matches saw the outside of the pair Lapford Lad (never better than 6-4) come home alone to give James Shaw his first winner.

Not many punters would have been tempted by 1-8 about Spencer Moon in a match for the four miles plus Mixed Open but this sprightly veteran pointer won untroubled.

The next match saw a slight upset as Bistouri D’Honote (evens out to 6-4) upset the jolly Mister Dick (1-2) but normal service was resumed in the closing Intermediate as Captain MC (evens fav) completed the Welsh hat trick against two opponents.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

RESULTS: EXMOOR POINT-TO-POINT AT BRATTON DOWN ON SUNDAY 22nd MAY 2022

GOING FIRM

HUNT –SPONSOR  RSM BEARES & BRIAN THORNE & SON

1 ROWLEY PARK (VINNY WEBSTER) 2-5 FAV  hdwy 15th, led two out, pushed out

2 PANORIC (TANISHA LITTLE) 11-2  in touch, effort last, kept on  well flat

3 DARSI’S PASS (MERVYN WOODWARD) 7-2  led til headed two out wknd

4 ran;  1 1/4l;  7l;  6m 27s

RESTRICTED – ROSETTES DIRECT

1 LUCKELLO (JAMES KING) 1-2 FAV  prom til led 16th, clear two out, pushed out

2 BENNYS MIRACLE (WILL BIDDICK) 5-2  alwys handy, led 12th, headed 16th, outpaced next

3 CATCH THE MONARCH (DARREN EDWARDS) 7-2 chased leaders, kept on same pace

5 ran; 8l; 5l;  5m 42s

LADIES’ OPEN – BRAY LEINO

1 MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR (OLIVE NICHOLLS) 4-9 FAV  led 12th, clear three out, v easily

2 MAHLER STYLE (ELLA ORTTEWELL) 8-1 slight lead til 12th, outpaced after 16th

3 BOARD OF TRADE (CHLOE EMSLEY) 5-1  behind from 10th, tailed off

4 ran; 15l; distance;  5m 36s

MEN’S OPEN – RIVERSIDE CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK

1 IMOGENS THUNDER (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 8-15 FAV   tracked leader, strong run to lead flat, gamely

2 RAMBLE ON (JAMES KING) EVENS   led, rousted along, headed flat, no extra

2 ran;  1 1/4l;   5m 44s

CONDITIONS 8YO & OVER – THE KINGDON FAMILY IN MEMORY OF DONNA KINGDON

1 ROSE ISLAND (JAMES KING) 7-2   held up in touch, led two out, edged left flat, held on well

2 NINTH WAVE (WILL BIDDICK) 3-1 made most til two out, kept on well near finish

3 STEEL EXPRESS (MARTIN McINTYRE) 14-1  well in touch, every chance three out, faded

7 ran;  1l; distance  5m 41s

OPEN MAIDEN – ALX COMMERCIALS

1 DONNY’S FORTUNE (JOSH NEWMAN) 14-1  held up in rear, steady hdwy 16th, chall’d last, stayed on strongly flat

2 ALKADEMON (HENRY MOORE) 9-2 improved three out, went 2nd flat, kept on

3 POLLY SANS (JAMES KING0  15-8 led til headed after last, soon no extra

8 ran; 10l;  neck;  5m 48s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

DULVERTON WEST AT BRATTON DOWN 15TH MAY 2022

“Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.”

From a poem by Christina Rossetti 1830 – 1894

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOING; FIRM, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES

RESTRICTED – SPONSOR EASTLEIGH CARE HOMES

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

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

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

9 ran; 1l; 8;  5m 46s

MAIDEN – MARDON RECYCLING MACHINERY

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

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

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

7 ran; 10l;  1l;  5m 58s

CONDITIONS – SANDHILL RACING, PJ HOBBS

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

2 ran; finished alone 6m 29s

MIXED OPEN 4M 1F; BRENDS HOTELS

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

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

2 ran; 8l;  8m 56s

PPORA CONDITIONS 9 YO PLUS – COXLEIGH BARTON

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

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

2 ran; 2 1/2l;  5m 51s

INTERMEDIATE – JAMES PRYCE TRACTORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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