Category Archives: Granville Taylor


I don’t need a line of 15 bookmakers to lose money. I did it with only two at Cherrybrook, where point-to-pointing resumed after a four months gap with a tricky eight race card.

Anyway, well done to our bookie friends Dave Philips and Rich Pittard, two intrepid layers who stood like masked highwaymen behind the closed doors. It was a pity for my sake that the Cherrybrook doors weren’t locked.

Wandering Soul (evens – 4-5 fav) started the rot in the opener. Even Will Biddick couldn’t persuade this sturdy Irish beast to get out of third gear. Lightly raced King’s Quay (100-8) had been a bit unlucky in his previous two races, but the Matt Hampton trained and ridden six-year-old put 14 rivals into their place. Berboru (10’s to 6’s) ran fast for two miles but was a spent force when falling at the last. The other horse for money was Oscara (20’s to 14’s) who finished strongly as runner up and can go into the notebook.

The second Maiden went to the more experienced Our Grey Boy (13-2 to 7-2). He comes from the same stable as Oscara (Annie Bacon at Frome), and was nicely handled by Josh Cameron . Exeter University student Will Knight got the 6-4 fav Da Vinci Rock into third place on his first ride, but the well backed This’ll Do (6’s to 4’s) made no show and was pulled up.

I hesitated over Crown of Thorns (4-5/evens fav) in the next, thinking that he may have needed the race and he had a 6lbs penalty.  He who hesitates is lost. Trainer Sarah Pidsley had him spot on and he received a masterful Biddick ride The Dapper Fox (7-2) ran his usual genuine race and was closing at the post.

The Restricted looked a decent contest. The eventual winner Where’s Wilma was backed from 5’s to 3’s and won with her ears pricked. She can progress to Intermediate class. Runner up Arcal Fifty (8’s to 7’s) looked really dangerous going to the penultimate but was held when blundering at the last. I had a small bet on Funky Sensation (3’s to 7-4 fav) on the basis of his NH runs. He came with a promising effort three out but found nil.

Apple’s Queen (3’s to 5-2) is a useful pointer and relished this better ground to beat the ultra consistent Chosen Lucky (5-4 to 4-5 fav) in the Ladies’ Conditions race. I did a bit of each way thieving with third placed Dry Ol’ Party (8’s to 6’s), whose small yard is in such good form with winners at Charing and Dingley since the resumption.

River Myth (7-1) set the pace in a good Men’s Open,  and this game mare was unlucky to be mugged a few yards from the line. It was ex-Irish chaser Static Jack (100-8), who took the prize, literally flying up the run in under novice jockey Michael Treneer. Honest Deed (2’s to 5-4 fav) made it nil out of four for me in finishing third, but can resume winning ways next time. Raddon Top (100-30) looked held when demolishing a wing at the last, leaving Eric The Third (12’s to 8’s) in fourth. Unioniste (8-1) found this company beneath him and lobbed round after running in such races as the Grand National in the past.

It always happens: have a bad day and give up, then your bet for the next race wins. On this occasion it was The Roestone (5-2 fav) in the Intermediate who stuck his tongue out at me (he was actually wearing ear plugs). He looked to have no chance at half way but made steady progress under Fly McIntyre  to head Bridge Of Spies (5-1) on the line.

A lovely sunny day at Cherrybrook with excellent racing; almost a pleasure to lose money….

Cover photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

The meeting’s official photographer Hazel Mansell Green’s album can be found at:

Full results from Cherrybrook available at:



“Days of absence, sad and dreary, clothed in sorrow’s dark array. Days of absence, I am weary….”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778

Steady on J-J. I know we haven’t had any point to points since December last year but stop moaning and cheer up.  We are racing again now and the crowds will soon return.

After that unwelcome gap of 17 weeks, point-to-point racing resumed in the Devon & Cornwall area in bright sunshine at Cherrybrook on Easter Saturday. Not that the weather mattered that much because COVID regulations again dictated that the action took place behind closed doors.  The innovation of live streaming has however proved very successful and viewing of all 8 races was available to would-be spectators at home.

Static Jack found a remarkable turn of foot after jumping the last in third place to snatch the Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company Men’s Open.  Game front runner River Myth (Darren Andrews) looked to be holding the favourite Honest Deed (Darren Edwards,) until Michael Treneer swooped on his mother’s 10-year-old to hit the front near the line. 

Static Jack (green colours) ... Men's Open winner
Static Jack (green colours) … Men’s Open winner

The 20-year-old Devon rider, in his final year at the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester, was partnering his second career winner. “My previous winner was at Flete Park in 2019,” said the young jockey, wearing the colours of his mother Deborah. “We bought Static Jack out of the ring at Goff’s sales last October,” he explained.    Previously with Gavin Cromwell in Ireland, Static Jack had dropped down the ratings after his last success at Killarney nearly two years ago and could prove a shrewd buy.

Apple’s Queen (Natalie Parker) just got the better of Chosen Lucky and Dry Ol’ Party in a blanket finish to the Totnes and Bridgetown Ladies’ Conditions race. This popular grey had disappointed in two runs under rules this year, but had won at Larkhill earlier this season and was scoring his eighth point-to-point success here. His trainer Sally Alner related the gelding’s unusual penchant for custard cream biscuits. “I was having a cup of coffee one day and he came and snatched a biscuit out of my hands, so he now has them every day. He’s very loveable.”

Apple's Queen (Ladies Open winner)
Apple’s Queen (Ladies Open winner)

King’s Quay landed the Condy Mathias Maiden to initiate a double for jockey Matt Hampton, who also trains the six-year-old for owner Laura Claydon.  King’s Quay faced 14 opponents but was well in command from the second last, with the well backed Oscara and Arctic Milly filling the places.  The winner is a Yeats gelding, bought as a store at Goffs, and was having only his third ever race. “He has been unlucky so far (ran out and brought down) and we have been very patient with him.” said the rider.

King's Quay (blue and orange colours) ... Open Maiden Division 1 winner
King’s Quay (blue and orange colours) … Open Maiden Division 1 winner

The mare Where’s Wilma completed Matt Hampton’s riding double in the Print Concern NHS Restricted, running on strongly to see off the challenges of Arcal Fifty, who clouted the last, and Funky Sensation. The bold jumping winner is one of only two pointers trained by Michael Watson near Tiverton for a small syndicate called the Not So Innocent Partnership. Despite looking a picture in the paddock the trainer reported that, “She has only schooled twice this year but is really gutsy.”

Our Grey Boy was always to the fore in the Dartmoor Community Maiden which was supported by joint sponsors Dartmoor Ice Cream, Dartmoor Hill Pony Association, Wild Dartmoor Pony Meat and Amos Cole Fencing. Our Grey Boy took command at the second last to give jockey Josh Cameron his third career winner at the expense of Mad For Action (Abigail Lewis) and Da Vinci Rock (first ride for Will Knight). “We have 12 point-to-pointers in our yard at Frome and it’s great to see Our Grey Boy getting a deserved win. Josh is my partner and we do a lot of the work between us,” explained trainer Annabelle Bacon.

Our Grey Boy (Open Maiden Division 2 winner)
Our Grey Boy (Open Maiden Division 2 winner)

Crown of Thorns defied a 6lbs penalty to take the Devon Hampers Owner/Trainer Conditions race to give Will Biddick his 8th winner of the season. This likeable gelding won four times in the 2019 season but drew a blank three times in a higher grade in last season’s curtailed campaign. The seven times National champion jockey had his mount in pole position throughout and held on well as The Dapper Fox came with a late run. Sarah Pidsley trains the winner for her parents at Payhembury near Honiton and did well to produce the rangy gelding fit to win here. “I just kept him ticking along,” she said modestly.   

The Roestone repeated his course victory of two years ago in the Penbode Vets sponsored Intermediate. Ridden by Martin “Fly” McIntyre, the Vinnie Roe seven-year-old dropped well behind in the first mile, but came home strongly to catch Bridge of Spies. Asked if it was the plan to hold him up the rider, who works for David Pipe said, “No, he was flat out and couldn’t go the pace early but he warmed up gradually.”

The Roestone is trained by Robert Chanin for owners Andrew and Sue Knox, and Ian Chanin equalled his father’s feat by saddling Skylander to win the concluding Tyre Marks of Tavistock Members’ race under Robert Hawker.

Despite failing to visit the winner’s enclosure for three years, Skylander, a good winner in his younger days, has recently been an excellent schoolmaster ride for his owner Anna Hylands.  On this occasion Anna had the mount on her other horse Alice’s Star who finished unplaced. Rob Hawker sent Skylander to the front at the penultimate and saw off the challenge of Talk of the South (Isaac Buncle) on the short run in.

Photos: Athwenna Irons / WMN





  1. Kings Quay (Matt Hampton) 12-1 prog 12th, led after three out, ran on well
  2. Oscara (Charlie Sprake) 14-1 chased ldrs, 3rd two out, fin strongly to take 2nd nr finish
  3. Arctic Milly (Martin McIntyre) 6-1 hdwy three out, effort in 2nd  next, lost 2nd nr post

15 ran; 3l; 1/2l   6m 12s


  1. Our Grey Boy (Josh Cameron) 7-2 alwys there, led two out, dvn clear, comf
  2. Mad For Action (Abigail Lewis) 12-1 hdwy 14th, took 2nd flat, stayed on
  3. Da Vinci Rock (Will Knight) 6-4 fav  alwys handy, chased wnr three out, mstk last

8 ran; 4l;  1  1/,4l;    6m 15s


  1. Crown of Thorns (Will Biddick) evens fav.  With ldrs, led two out, dvn out, gamely
  2. The Dapper Fox (Jack Veysey) 7-2 Tracked ldrs, went 2nd three out, finished strongly
  3. It’s A Steal (Pippa Glanville) 14-1 stdy hdwy  to 4th two out, took 3rd last

12 ran; 1 1/4l  6l  6m 14s


  1. Where’s Wilma  (Matt Hampton) 3-1 led til 7th, lost place, led again after two out, drew clr
  2. Arcal Fifty (Martin McIntyre 7-1 hdwy three out, led briefly next, headed & bad mstk last
  3. Funky Sensation  (Jake Bament) 7-4 fav effort three out, every chance til wknd after next

11 ran; 4 1/2l  2l;  6m 11s


  1. Apple’s Queen  (Natalie Parker) 5-2 hdwy three out, challd last, led & dvn out flat
  2. Chosen Lucky (Charlotte Summersby) 4-5 fav  prom, led apprg two out, no extra flat
  3. Dry Ol Party (Chloe Emsley) 6-1 held up, hdwy three out, one pace after next

8 ran;  1l;  1½ l    6m 12s


  1. Static Jack  (Michael Treneer) 12-1  hdwy three out, 3rd at last, fin very strongly to lead nr finish
  2. River Myth (Darren Andrews)7-1 led from 2nd til headed nr finish
  3. Honest Deed (Darren Edwards)  4-5 fav held up, effort three out, 2nd at last, no extra nr finish

9 ran;  1 1/2l;  2l  6m 11s


  1. The Roestone (Martin McIntyre) 5-2 fav  bhd early , hdwy to lead last, headed but came agn  nr finish
  2. Bridge of Spies (Conor Houlihan) 5-1 prom, led three out til last,, rallied but headed nr finish
  3. Cloudy Music (Charlotte Summersby) 4-1 6th three out, stayed on closing stages

9 ran;  neck, 5l;  6m 12s


  1. Skylander (Rob Hawker) 3-1  led two out, dvn & just held on flat
  2. Talk of the South (Isaac Buncle) 5-2 made most til three out, kept on well nr finish
  3. Soul Kaliber (Darren Edwards) 4-6 fav  with ldrs til no extra  two out

5 ran; 3/4l;  1l;   6m 17s

Cover Photo: Athwenna Irons / WMN


After a nine months gap from betting gossip due to you know what, I am pleased to offer readers (if they are still there) some snippets from the point-to-point betting ring at Wadebridge.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Cornwall Club meeting on press duties, but It was a bit like working in a ghost town “behind closed doors”.

At least we got some very good point-to-point action. It was also pleasing to battle with the layers again, although I could have done with socially distancing my wallet from them.

Full marks anyway to Dave Philips, Rich Pittard and G & T Williams for standing at the showground. Dave and Rich operated in the green zone and Tony Williams was the lone ranger in the amber zone. The zones were strictly enforced with no transit between them. The bookies on -course business was boosted by a telephone betting service for punters watching the live streaming in their armchairs at home. I am told that the live streaming was excellent.

Some of the contests on Sunday resembled a three card trick for punters. Sir Mangan was the form pick in the opener and was backed from evens to 4-6. Like most good things he finished second. The winner Raddon Top (4-1) is no mug and got a good ride from Conor Houlihan. Guerrilla Tactics was supported from 5-1 into 4’s but lost rider Finn Muirhead at the third fence.

The other division for Veteran and Novice riders attracted 14 runners. There was money for Tom Malone’s Thelastbutone(4’ to 5-2) and Chosen Lucky (5-4 fav), but they could only fill the places behind Carmarthenshire raider Coquin Mans (6-1) who dominated this field. On reflection he could have given all his opponents at least two stones on his Irish form for Willie Mullins as a young horse. He had a BHA  rating of 158 at his best.

The three Open Maiden divisions took some sorting out. In the first section I ruled out Eros (5-4 fav) because he had pulled too hard at Ottery. He ran well to finish third here however and should atone. Another for the note book is four-year-old debutant Imperial Joe (6’s to 4’s) who stayed on nicely up the hill. The winner Old Town Garde  (5-1)  is another four-year-old from a good yard and looks to have a future.

There was a remarkable plunge on the mare The Kitchenmechanic  from 10’s in one place to as low as 5-2 at flag fall in the second division. She finished seventh. The winner Rossderrin (6-1) is nicely bred but arrived with a modest CV.  He turned in a workmanlike performance and should win again. Feu Des Malberaux (7’s to 5’s) chased the winner home and is improving steadily. 

Five-year-old Tip Top Mountain (4’s to 3’s) made all the running to win the other division easily under a positive ride from Rob Hawker. He looks the part and fetched £30,000 a few days later when offered at the Cheltenham sales (confusingly held at Newmarket). Word had obviously got out about Ed Walker’s four-year-old Charles Ritz because this Milan gelding was always tight at evens. He wasn’t unduly knocked about by the champion to finish ten lengths second best, but is no Santini. There is a race to be won by Reflex Action (6-s to 5-2) but he will need to jump better.

There was little or no value for punters in the Ladies’ race. I thought that Different Gravey (6-4 to 5-4) would win despite a long absence but he never looked like getting to grips with Back Bar who traded from 6-4 to evens.  Back Bar is a lot more consistent in points than he was under rules.

Navanman was virtually unbackable at level weights in thefive-runner Men’s Open with 1-3 called early. He was sent off at 1-2. There was good money for Welshman Dr Des (5-2 to 7-4) but he jumped sloppily and managed to knock the rider off Beneficial Joe (25-1) at the sixth with a violent leap to his right. The Dapper Fox (16’s to 14’s) ran very well when ridden closer to the pace than normal to finish second, but there was no stopping the consistent Honest Deed (5-1) who sailed clear under Darren Edwards down the hill.

Getting Closer (6-4 fav) just snatched the Intermediate in a six horse blanket finish to give Izzie Marshall a double., denying Waterloo Warrior(3-1) by a short head. The latter was only sixth jumping the last. Missyladie (100-6) was in front 50 yards out before being edged out to finish third. ClondawBunny (12-1) caught the eye under his novice rider and is worth bearing in mind. 

Only two of the eight favourites had obliged so far and it was the same story in the getting out stakes. This time Starsky (5’s to 7-4) was the culprit. Like most each way certainties he finished fourth. The winner Hotel du Nord (3’s to 2’s) gave Charlie Sprake his first jumps winner. Runner up Schiap Hill (7-2) looks nailed on for a Restricted.

Photo credit: Athwenna Irons / WMN



“For the loser now will be later to win, for the times they are a changing”……lyrics from the song The times they are a changing by song writer and singer Bob Dylan

Yes, it does seem that the times we live in are definitely changing Mr Dylan. Well illustrated by the fact that no crowds were allowed into the course to see one of the best point-to-points ever staged in the 35 years of racing at the Royal Cornwall Showground course at Wadebridge.

This was because the Cornwall Club pre-Christmas point-to-point had to take place “behind closed doors” due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

Apart from participants, officials, press, the live streaming team, and three bookmakers, only owners of runners were allowed to watch the action at a gloriously sunny  Royal Cornwall Showground on Sunday. It was a pity that the normally enthusiastic crowd of spectators could not attend, especially as the competitive nine-race card attracted a healthy total of 97 runners, a record for the Wadebridge track. 

Top jockey Darren Edwards landed the Men’s Open with an enterprising ride on the useful Honest Deed. This Dean Summersby trained 11-year-old has a liking for the showground and stayed on strongly to beat The Dapper Fox and Dr Des. “He is nimble round the corners here and although it wasn’t the plan I had no choice but to go on down the hill,” reported the rider.

The popular Navanman started odds-on favourite here, but could only finish fourth on one of his rare off days. Will Biddick had the mount on Navanman, but gained some consolation for a blank day in the saddle by later sending out Hotel Du Nord to win the Restricted under novice rider Charlie Sprake. This young rider, just short of his 18th birthday, works in Biddick’s yard, and was partnering his first point-to-point winner after much success in the pony racing sphere. 

It was a good day for Will Biddick’s academy of young riders, since another prodigy, Conor Houlihan, steered Sue Trump’s Raddon Top home to take the opening Conditions race for novice and veteran riders. This was the tall young jockey’s sixth career winner.  The Houlihan name is well known thanks to the National Hunt successes of brothers Sean and Niall. Leslie Jefford  trains Raddon Top at Payhembury and said, “He is a progressive seven-year-old who acts very well here and will keep finding.”

Izzie Marshall is yet another promising rider on the point-to –point circuit and went home with a double thanks to Back Bar and Getting Closer, each saddled by Alan Hill.

The Essex and Suffolk qualified Back Bar took the Ladies’ Open in good style with the rider reporting, “He is a big horse who keeps galloping and handled the tight bends really well. He is a good jumper and showed a massive turn of foot near the end. The course is brilliant.”

Getting Closer justified favouritism to win the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate in a blanket finish with the first six horses separated by less than two lengths. The runner up Waterloo Warrior was only sixth jumping the last. It was a judge’s nightmare with the group of six in front charging up the hill spread right across the track. It reminded me of the finish of the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket.  Video evidence showed that the correct result had been called and a relieved Izzie Marshall claimed the spoils. Trainer Alan Hill said, “This horse belongs to a small syndicate mainly farmers in the Suffolk area. It would be nice to aim him at the Exeter final .”

Ian Chanin had given up his riding career to train and the Thorverton based handler was also rewarded with a double care of Rossderrin and Tip Top Mountain in their respective divisions of the Open Maiden.

Five-year-old Rossderrin was purchased out of Ireland by Kayley Woollacott and Josh Newman a few weeks ago. “Kayley’s yard was full so she sent him to me to train,” remarked Ian Chanin. Josh Newman conjured a strong finish out of Rossderrin, who just held off the challenge of Feu Des Malberaux. “He got me out of trouble at the ditch first time. He will stay pointing but is for sale. Ian Chanin has done a good job with him” said the rider.

Chanin’s training double was completed when Tip Top Mountain spread eagled the field of 10 to win his section of the Maiden by 10 lengths. The five-year-old made every yard of the running and won unchallenged. “He was bought as a store in Ireland and ran well recently at Ottery when he was a good fourth after hitting four out,” reported the trainer, who thinks that his next appearance is likely to be in the sales ring.

The other division of the three- way divided Maiden went to the previously unraced Old Town Garde from Chloe Roddick’s yard. Jumping into the lead four out, Old Town Garde showed plenty of resolution to hold off Imperial Joe and Eros. Successful jockey Angus Cheleda, who works for Paul Nicholls and is enjoying a good spell in the saddle, said of the four-year-old, “He jumped brilliantly and quickened up nicely.” Welsh raider Coquin Mans left his Carmarthen stable at four o’clock in the morning for an almost five hours trip to Cornwall.  Nevertheless he was able to put his 13 opponents in their place with a gutsy performance in his section of the Conditions race.  The eight-year-old was a prolific winner in his younger days for top Irish trainer Willie Mullins, and has recently found his way to the South Wales yard of Bobby Thomas who took the mount himself here. The combination made most of the running and shrugged off the sustained challenge of Chosen Lucky  (Charlotte Summersby) up the finishing climb. “I tried to get him to settle but it was no use,” said the jockey, adding, “He kept jumping and hanging right but he has quite an engine. We call him Coco in the yard”.




Division 1

1 Raddon Top (Conor Houlihan) 4-1 held up, led four out, ran on strongly

2 Sir Mangan (Ben Sutton) 4-6 fav alwys leaders, kept on but not pace of winner

3 Chill Factor (Charlie Sprake) 7-1 finished well without troubling leaders

11 ran; 1/2l; 1l; 6m 5s

Division 2

1 Coquin Mans (Bobby Thomas) 6-1 led from fourth, jumped & hung right, made rest, gamely

2 Chosen Lucky (Charlotte Summersby) 5-4 went 2nd four out, stayed on well

3 The Last But One (Conor Houlihan) 5- 2  3rd from three out, no extra from next

14 ran; 4l; 6l;  6m 7s



1 Old Town Garde (Angus Cheleda) 5-1 led four out, clear when mstk last, comf

2 Imperial Joe (Jake Bament) 4-1 hdwy 14th, third from four out, finished well, promising debut

3 Eros (Josh Newman) 5-4 fav  prog 14th, effort three out, no extra closing stages

12 ran; 4l; 1/2l; 6m 9s

Division 2

1 Rossderrin (Josh Newman) 6-1 close up from 14th, led two out, stayed on gamely

2 Feu Des Malberaux (Fionn Summers) 5-1  progress 15th, finished strongly

3 Takeabid (Angus Cheleda) 4-1 tracked leaders, hdwy three out, 2nd til near finish

12 ran; 1/2l; 1l;  6m 13s

Division 3

1 Tip Top Mountain (Rob Hawker) 4-1 made all, in command from 15th, easily

2 Charles Ritz (Will Biddick) evens fav  held up, hdwy 14th, not reach leaders, nearest at finish

3 Reflex Action (Fionn Summers) 5-2 chased winner 14th, no real impression, lost 2nd nr finish

10 ran; 10l; head;  6m 14s


1 Back Bar (Izzy Marshall) evens fav made most, stayed on strongly, easily

2 Quinto (Holly-Anne Drowne) 14-1 good late hdwy, took 2nd nr finish

3 Different Gravey (Chloe Emsley) 5-4 held up, 5th three out,  kept on but not reach leaders

9 ran; 9l; head;  6m 9s


1 Honest Deed (Darren Edwards) 5-1 led 15th, soon clear, easily

2 The Dapper Fox (Jack Veysey) 14-1 with leaders, outpaced four out

3 Dr Des (Matthew Barber) 7-4 mistakes, 2nd from four out til no extra flat

5 ran; 10l; head;  6m 22s


1 Getting Closer (Izzy Mars hall) 6-4 fav  prom from 14th, driven to lead last few strides in blanket finish

2 Waterloo Warrior (Darren Edwards) 3-1 midfield, only 7th jumping last, fin strongly, just failed

3 Missyladie (Thomasina Eyston) 16-1 handy, led two out til last few strides

11 ran; short head; head;  6m 24s


1 Hotel Du Nord (Charlie Sprake) 2-1 disputed lead, led three out, stayed on strongly

2 Schiap Hill (Charlie Marshall) 7-2  disputed lead til outjumped three out, good effort

3 Mustmeetforapint (Darren Edwards) 3-1 took 3rd at 15th, ridden & kept on from two out

13 ran; 1/2l;  3/4l;  6m 17s

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ACTION FROM THE FIRST MEETING IN 1947. The horse and jockey are not known.

POINT-TO-POINT enthusiasts, especially from the West Country, are promised an enjoyable read in this delightful new book by Jacquie McCullough with contributions from Granville Taylor.

The history of the Axe Vale point-to-point, from the first meeting on 24th April 1947, is thoughtfully covered, illustrated by more than 200 photographs, mostly previously unpublished.

From 1947, Axe Vale meetings took place on undulating farm land “across the road” (A 3052). The move to the presentcourse at Stafford Cross took place in 1965. The writer weaves stories in chronological order throughout each decadefrom that first fixture.

As intimated in the foreword by Ross Wilmington, MFH, Axe Vale Point-to-Point Chairman, “I am confident that this book will take a treasured place in very many homes and makes a fine tribute to all the individuals involved with the meeting since its inception back in 1947.”

All profits from the sales of the book will go to the Axe Vale Hunt point-to-point.

This privately published book at a cost of £19.99 plus £2.20 P & P has a limited print run, so early ordering is recommended. Copies can be ordered by sending an email to when BACS details will be provided.



“Well, they are gone, and here I must remain”  

From a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 1772 – 1834: English poet who lived at Ottery St Mary. This famous resident had also gone long before Mr Oliver Carter opened the racecourse in 1979.

In fact, most people had “gone” as the new British point-to-point season got under way last Saturday (24 Oct) at Ottery St Mary under strict protocol due to COVID-19 stipulations. In the earliest ever start to a British season, the East Devon race meeting had to take place behind closed doors.  Only essential personnel were allowed in. (luckily including me)

 Photo: Athwenna Irons / WMN

On a thoroughly wet, blustery day, seven times National champion jockey Will Biddick took the honours with a treble. “My best ever start to a season” said the Truro born rider.

Art Mauresque set the ball rolling under a copybook Biddick ride in the opening Hunt race. The Tom Malone trained gelding eased into the lead in the home straight to hold Raddon Top who was one of a trio of Leslie Jefford trained runners in the race. One of the other Jefford runners, Ryves Rocky finished a creditable third giving a memorable first race ride to Kirsty O’Dell.

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Art Mauresque (nearside), ridden by Will Biddick, on his way to winning | Photo: Athwenna Irons / WMN

Biddick teamed up with the David Maxwell owned Jalatuwih to take the Men’s Open after a spirited duel with Navanman (Darren Edwards). The pair had the race to themselves in the closing stages. Biddick’s mount proved the stronger on the run to the judge, looking like a top class hunter chase prospect. Trainer Beth Childs reported, “He came from Philip Hobbs to run in point-to-points.” He was described by his jockey as, “A classy horse under rules and the aim is to go to the Foxhunter at Cheltenham. He travelled strong. I gave him a click and he moved on”

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Race winner Jatiluwih, ridden by Will Biddick, winning decisively | Photo: Athwenna Irons / WMN

Taunton bloodstock agent Tom Malone provided Will Biddick with his treble when saddling Starsky to win the second section of the Maiden for six-year-olds and over. This time the leading rider limped into the parade ring having been kicked about like a football by most of the field after falling from A Tipple or Two at half way in the previous race.

 The trainer, who also owns Starsky said,” I originally bought him as a store. He was at Ditcheat for a while, then the owners wanted him moved on so I took him back. He is still a maiden under rules so we have that option, but plan to keep him pointing for a while. In typical bloodstock agent fashion Malone added of the six-year-old Shantou gelding, “He is for sale.”.

 The earlier division of this race also went to another ex-inmate of the Paul Nicholls Ditcheat yard when the six-year-old Grey Getaway came clear after Takeabid had fallen at the last jump.  Matt Hampton, who now trains and rides the South Dorset qualified gelding for a small partnership said. “He is a nice horse. We picked him up in February as he had lost his way a bit under rules. It is nice to get his head in front and get a bit of confidence back,”  The well bred six-year-old still has a long way to go to pay off the £190,000 he cost previous connections as a four-year-old.

The easiest winner of the day came in the Ladies’ Open when the useful ex-chaser Red Indian travelled from his Leicestershire base to stroll home by a distance unchallenged under Alice Stevens. The winner was in command from a long way out in the colours of Sir Johny Weatherby, and looks set for a successful campaign. The jockey enthused, “He was delightful to ride and I had a great time.”

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Race winner Red Indian, ridden by Alice Stevens, flies the last to win for trainer Mimi Eggleston | Athwenna Irons / WMN

The Tattersalls Cheltenham sponsored Maiden for four and five-year-olds attracted a quality field of 13 mostly unraced horses. Four-year-old debutant Kyntara came out on top, pulling clear of his rivals under Alex Edwards after the second last to score by four lengths from Great Colewood and Feu Des Malberaux. A good topped youngster by Kayf Tara, the winner was sent out by Shropshire based Mel Rowley, a likely harbinger of many more successes for the yard this season. The promising gelding is out of a winning hurdler from a good jumping family. Kyntara cost £30,000 as a three-year-old, from the Tattersalls Ireland Derby sales.  

Tattersalls Cheltenham’s Shirley Anderson-Jolag

 There was drama at the last fence in the NHS Print Concern Restricted when the strong challenging Papal Present fell, bringing down Prove Me Wrong. This left Ryan’s Fancy in command , and the ex-Irish pointer was not hard  pressed to hold the giant sized Schiap Hill.  The winner was ridden by Immy Robinson, whose mother Caroline made history by riding Eliogarty to win both the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunters’ in the 1980’s under her maiden name of Caroline Beasley. She remarked, “We bought him at Doncaster sales, he had won a point-to-point, wasn’t a big price and is by Getaway.”  Immy modestly added, “He did it all. I just held on to him as long as I could.”  

The seven-year-old winning hurdler Sparkleandshine lived up to his name with a 20 lengths success over the Hobbs runner Rolling Dylan in the PPORA Club Members’. Tommie O’Brien steered home the winner who cost only £3,000 at Ascot last December. “It was probably best that he couldn’t run for a while and put on condition during COVID”, said trainer Alan Hill.

Simon Nott’s video review of the East Devon meeting and the betting ring which their innovative remote betting

The East Devon organisers deserve much praise for their considerable efforts to put this fixture on. It was also the first of the 25 scheduled meetings in Devon and Cornwall to be live streamed this season.  

The PPA advise that the Covid-19 situation and how Point-To-Points respond to it will be changing continusly this season and advise everyone monitors the national website for the latest information and updates




1 Art Mauresque (Will Biddick) 1/3 held up, hdwy 15, led last, comf
2 Raddon Top (Conor Houlihan) went 3rd two out, ran on to 2nd nr finish
3 Ryves Rocky (Kirsty O’Dell) first ride, led 3rd til joined two out, no extra flat
6 ran; 2l; 1l;  6m 37s

OPEN MAIDEN  – FOUR & FIVE YEAR OLDS ONLY (Sponsor Tattersalls Cheltenham)

1 Kyntara (Alex Edwards) 3/1 prog 16th, led after next, soon clear, easily
2 Great Colewood (Peter Mason) hdwy 12th, went 2nd apprg last, kept on
3 Feu Des Malberaux  (Fionn Summers) with leaders til 14th, stayed on agn clsg stages
13 ran 4l; 4l;  6m 22s


1 Jatiluwih (Will Biddick) 4/6 held up, hdwy 14th, led two out, drew clear last, impressive
2 Navanman (Darren Edwards) disp lead from 7th, led four out til two out, kept on steadily
3 Ballykan (Ben Bromley) led / disp til 16th, no extra from next
7 ran  3l; 5l;  6m 20s


1 Red Indian (Alice Stevens) 5/2 drew right away 14th, unchallenged, impressive
2 Master Baker (Jo Supple) bhd til good late hdwy to 2nd flat, better for race
3 Eric The Third (Natalie Parker) prom, chased winner til outpaced from 14th
10 ran; distance; 15l;  6m 14s


1 Sparkleandshine (Tommie O’Brien) 8/1 made most, clear three out, comf
2 Rolling Dylan (Isaac Buncle) mstk & lost place 13th, rallied three out, no chance with winner
3 Guerrilla Tactics (Finn Muirhead) first ride, mid div, late progress, almost snatched 2nd nr post
10 ran; 20l; 10l;  6m 25s

RESTRICTED (Print Concern)

1 Ryan’s Fancy (Immy Robinson) 12/1 with leaders led 16th, left clear last
2 Schiap Hill (Charlie Marshall) mid div, stayed on to take 2nd at last
3 Gerties Garter (Chloe Emslay) chased leaders 14th, nearest at finish
12 ran; 7l; distance; 6m 32s



1 Grey Getaway (Matt Hampton) 4/1 prom, led 15th, hard pressed last, dvn out
2 Some Boy McCoy (Tommie O’Brien) went 2nd 15th, every chance last, no extra flat
3 Briery Bunny (James King) good hdwy two out, closing when hampered last
11 ran; 1l; 2l;  6m 52s


1 Starsky (Will Biddick) 4/6 held up chasing ldrs, went 2nd three out, disp last, ran on well
2 Jimmy Tew (Darren Edwards) alwys handy, 3rd two out, fin well
3 Eros (Josh Newman) led 8th, soon well clear, wkng when joined last, tired flat
10 ran; 4l; 3l; 6m 41s

photo credit: Athwenna Irons / WMN

Live streams

The live streams are available for replay until noon on Tuesday when they have to be taken down (a condition of being able to live stream in the first place)


Cornelius Lysaght
Cornelius Lysaght

Internationally known horse racing broadcaster Cornelius Lysaght will head up the Devon & Cornwall live streaming presenting team when the 2020/2021 point-to-point season gets under way with the East Devon races at Ottery St Mary on Saturday 24th October, writes Granville Taylor.

With the meeting set to take place behind closed doors (BCD), the Devon & Cornwall area organisers work during the extended close season looks to have paid off. Anticipating the likelihood of racing BCD, the committee have used part of a £10.000 grant from Totnes and Bridgetown Racing Company Ltd to purchase live streaming equipment, and the area, with the approval of the British Horseracing Authority and the Point-to-Point Authority, is set to be the first in the UK to broadcast all their 25 meetings in the area for the coming season.

Announcing the initiative, Frank Yeo, Area Chairman said, “It is hoped this new venture will be able to bring the atmosphere and excitement of point-to-point racing to everyone at home. We are delighted that Cornelius Lysaght, with nearly 30 years experience as BBC Racing Correspondent, will be the lead presenter.”

The live streaming programme will include coverage of all the races, plus pre-race and post-race information, interviews and analysis. The long established West Country Videos team will be operating two cameras at each meeting.

Frank Yeo added, “We are very grateful to all those who have helped us get this off the ground, especially Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company Ltd, whose generous £10.000 will also boost race sponsorship in these difficult times.”