Category Archives: Buckfastleigh


It was a very light betting day at the last Buckfastleigh fixture of the season. Punters are normally a hardy lot, but It may have been a combination of the dodgy weather, small number of entries or the threat of the morning inspection that kept them away.

In any case the ten bookies had the aura of a lonely lot, ready to send out a search party for anybody who looked remotely like placing a bet.

The opener was a non betting event with Minimalistic (1-6 to 1-7) cantering round to beat his sole opponent Tarrytown (4-1) and set up a double for Josh Newman.

They went 2-1 the field in the nine runner Maiden with ex-hurdler Grove Ash heading the market. In lashing mud he started off grey and finished a delicate shade of chocolate brown in fourth place. Stellar Stream (5’s to 4’s) took the prize under Josh Newman, holding on gamely to beat Arv Way There (8-1 ), who is surely nailed on for a Maiden. I backed Ask Alfie (4-1) who had shown promise at Chipley and Badbury Rings but was found wanting in these conditions. 

When I found that Martin (Fly) McIntyre was jocked up for the classy Chameron in the Open I nearly fell over myself getting on. The classy nag had got rid of his jockey Ben Sutton at the second fence at Cothelstone on the previous day and his connections decided that he was well enough to run again. Ben was committed to riding at the Pytchley (had a winner) ,  so the experienced “Fly” took over. Despite amazingly drifting from 4-6 to 5-2 Chameron won easily. Danseur du Large (3’s to 11-10) chased him home.

My winnings vanished into thin air as quickly as they came as Lagonda (6-4) was barged off the track by the loose first fence faller Jabbea (4-1) when leading with half a mile to go in the Intermediate. This left Champion Chase (evens fav) in command.

My next tale of woe was further enhanced in the Ladies Conditions. Jeremy Central (8-11 to 1-2) was the culprit. He had missed a Hunter Chase at Catterick just a few days before and looked the ticket here in a five horse race.  Well done though to Zoe Hawkins on Micky Stark (100-6), who came storming through in the home straight to snatch the race. It had been a long time between drinks for Micky – four years since he won here.

The four runner Restricted was too tricky for my little brain so I let Nobodydoesitbetter (3’s to 2-1 fav) get on with it and beat Say About It (5-2 to 9-4).

The desperation stakes ended the card. I like these point to point flat races  for four and five-year-olds, but they are not really betting mediums. Black of the Glade (2’s to 7-4 fav) skated up. He hails from a shrewd, in form yard and had run well in a similar contest at Barbury Castle before Christmas. Tom’s Terrace (2-1) couldn’t get his breeding right on the race card but ran well under Alice Stevens on his debut for a top yard in the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings.

So I went home with the betting tail between my legs but still well up on the season. Sorry my bookie friends, I did my best to make your Buckfastleigh visit worthwhile.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN


“In the stand the wind blows and the roof rattles…it’s a Marie Celeste, a reminder of days long gone and above the fields the birds are singing, just as they sang forty, fifty, a hundred years ago, when Lord Mildmay and company were cheered to the echo at what used to be Buckfastleigh races.”

A description of the original grandstand, now derelict, that still overlooks the track today. From the book ‘A Long Time Gone’ by Chris Pitt, reproduced in the introduction to Peter Wakeham’s fine book ‘Buckfastleigh & South Brent Races.’

Buckfastleigh racecourse soaked up the week’s rain sufficiently to survive an early morning inspection, but the going was inevitably heavy, putting a premium on stamina.

The conditions failed to deter nine-year-old Chameron, who ploughed through the mud to win the grandly named Westcountry Champion Chase Mixed Open with the £1,000 prize money donated by Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company.

Chameron had a busy weekend. The nine-year-old, who runs in the colours of Nick Sutton, had unseated Ben Sutton at the second fence at Cothelstone on the previous day and had exercised himself running loose with two circuits of the track. “It was a late decision to run today after Saturday’s disappointment but he came out of it very fresh,” said trainer Sam Loxton. His regular jockey Ben Sutton was committed to ride at the Pytchley at  Guilsborough on Sunday (where he rode a winner watched by his father), so the experienced Martin (Fly) McIntyre took over. Relishing the ground, Chameron was always travelling well and strode away down the hill to beat Danseur du Large by six lengths.  “I just let him pop away and we won in a hack canter,” reported the experienced substitute jockey who works for David Pipe. In form Fly had ridden a double at Cothelstone on the previous day and was enjoying his 74th career pointing success.

Josh Newman is edging towards his century of point-to-point winners. A Buckfastleigh double on Minimalistic and Stellar Stream in the opening two races marked up his 97th success between the flags.

Minimalistic easily beat his sole opponent Tarrytown in the Derek Reddaway Memorial Hunt race. Susan and Edward Darke’s 10-year-old has now scored three times at his local track. “He may go to Trebudannon next. He is quite strong but I still ride him out,” remarked Edward, who recalled that he had ridden a horse called Too Dear to win this Members’ race four times in the sixties.

Stellar Stream stayed on gamely to hold the challenge of Arv Way There to complete Josh Newman’s double for Lincolnshire based owner Jane Slough in the Winston Pincombe sponsored Maiden. “There was no pace today. He is a big horse and there is still better to come,” said the jockey.  The Getaway five-year-old, sent out from Neil McLean’s Woolminstone yard, was bought as a store at Goffs and is likely to return to the sales ring.

Micky Stark proved a 16-1 shock winner in the Ladies Conditions race sponsored by Modbury firm Hattons Jewellers. The 11-year-old had not tasted success since winning at this corresponding fixture four years ago, but owner/trainer Zoe Hawkins brought her mount with a sweeping run from the foot of the hill to snatch victory from odds-on Jeremy Central. “He stays all day. We have had so much fun with him and he does cross country in the summer,” smiled Zoe.

The remainder of the card was mopped up by title challenging riders. Current National champion James King took the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate on Charlie and Fran Poste’s Champion Chase after his main rival Lagonda had almost been carried off the track by a loose horse. “He has a lot of courage because the loose horse didn’t help us either,” remarked the jockey who is hot on the heels of Will Biddick  as he strives to retain his title.

Tommie O’Brien was the unlucky jockey on board Lagonda, but fared better in the M I Plant Engineering Ltd flat race, steering Black of the Glade to a convincing victory over pace setter Tom’s Terrace (Alice Stevens).  Winning owner/ trainer Clive Boultbee-Brooks, whose yard is in top form, said,” I bought him privately in Ireland. He has had a few issues but ran really well at Barbury before Christmas. He will probably go hurdling now.”

Will Biddick is currently leading the charge for this season’s jockeys’ title and rode a canny race to secure the Restricted sponsored by Favis of Salcombe. Honest Opinion and Darren Edwards took along the quartet of runners, but Biddick was always lying in wait on the Andrew Jackson trained Nobodydoesitbetter, who asserted racing down the hill to hold Vinny Webster’s  challenge on Say About It. 

Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Results

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN


Going; Heavy      19th (normal last) fence omitted all races

Members –  Derek Reddaway Memorial (Sponsor Beryl Reddaway)

1 Minimalistic (Josh Newman) 1-7 fav   made all, well clear from 16th

2 Tarrytown (Conor Houlihan) 4-1   lost toch 16th, virtually pulled up two out

2 ran; won by a distance; 7m 39s

Maiden (Winston Pincombe)

1 Stellar Stream (Josh Newman) 4-1   handy, led after 18th, driven out

2 Arv Way There (Heidi Stevens) 8-1   in touch, strong run by passing last, just held

3 Mount Oscar (Martin McIntyre) 12-1  held up, never nearer

9 ran; 1l; 10l;  7m 38s

Mixed Open Westcountry Champion Chase (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Ltd)

1 Chameron (Martin McIntyre) 5-2   well in touch going easily, led 17th, soon clear

2 Danseur Du Large (Chloe Emsley) 11-10 fav   held up, prog to chase winner 18th, no extra by passing last

3 Blakerigg (Will Biddick) 11-4   held up, prog 17th, not pace to challenge

6 ran; 6l; 10l;  7m 31s

Intermediate (Exeter Racecourse) 2m 4f

1 Champion Chase (James King) evens fav   left clear bend after 11th

2 Lagonda (Tommie O’Brien) 6-4   led til hampered by loose horse bend after 11th, not recover

3 ran; only two finished 15l;  6m 37S

Restricted (Favis of Salcombe)

1 Nobodydoesitbetter (Will Biddick) 2-1 fav   in touch, led after 17th, comf

2 Say Aboiut It (Vinny Webster) 9-4   held up, stayed on closing stages

3 Steel Express (Martin McIntyre) 4-1  hdwy 15th, every chance til no extra apprg last

4 ran; 6l;3l ;  7m 32s

Ladies Conditions (Hatton Jewellers Modbury)

1 Micky Stark (Zoe Hawkins) 16-1  held up, 4th at 18th, strong run to lead by passing last, just held on

2 Jeremy Central (jo Supple) 1-2 fav   led til headed by passing last, rallied nr finish

3 Druid Spitfire (Anna Johnston) 20-1 well in touch til wknd after 18th

Point to Point Flat Race 4 & 5 year olds; 2 miles (M I Plant Engineering)

1 Black of the Glade (Tommie O’Brien)  held up, prog to lead 3 furlongs out, soon well clear

2 Tom’s Terrace (Alice Stevens) 2-1 led til headed 3 furlongs out, no extra

3 Can You See Her (Chloe Emsley) 6-1 held up, stayed on well closing stages

7 ran; 20l; 15l;  4m 27s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Preview: Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Point-to-Point at Buckfastleigh on Sunday 13th March 2022

Pony racing heads up the action at 11am at the Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers meeting this Sunday March 13. The main event starts at 12 noon with seven races on offer and 67 entries. The Derek Reddaway-sponsored Members race heads up the card. Minimalistic stands out for local trainer Sue Darke, being a course winner, he could follow-up on recent his one-length second at the Great Trethew meeting which would put him the likely favourite. Wasatylequeen for the Chris Honor team, could benefit from her mares weight allowance and be the challenger up the home straight.

The Winston Pincombe-sponsored Maiden race follows and holds 19 entries, the pick of these could be Stellar Stream for the Neil McClean/ Josh Newman combination, Summerleaze who who finished second here at the last meeting for the Jill Dennis/ Jake Bament combination, and Ask Alfie for the Les Jefford team  who has had some good place form this season and has the booking of Conor Houlihan to ride.

The feature race on the day is the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co-sponsored West Country Champion Chase, with a prize fund totalling £1000E entries Chameron (Sam Loxton), and Danseur Du Large(Ed Walker) stand out with good form coming into this race, both of which hold entries at the Cothelstone meeting the day before, which could leave this race to locally trained Bingo D’Olivate who ran well here previously before being disqualified from fourth place, and Blakerigg for the Stuart Payne team,  to follow up on his second here behind Molineaux in a conditions race.

There is another of the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate races, with Latenightfumble looking a danger for outside raiders Tom Ellis team after their 40-length victory at Kingston Blount. Minimalistic also holds an entry in this, and the two Dean Summersby entries Port o’Clock winner at Wadebridge in January, and Party Tunes for his two-length second at Great Trethew hold strong claims. Entry Jeremy Central, for the Tom Malone team cannot be left out of the equation, but looks likely to go in the later Ladies Conditions race.

The Favis of Salcombe-sponsored Restricted race looks equally competitive with Steel Express (Mike Vanstone) having run well at Chipley Park when winning the Members race there. Southfield Megan who won her maiden at Chipley Park for legendary owner/ breeder Angela Yeoman and trainer/jockey Will Biddick , along with Nobodydoesitbetter for trainer Andrew Jacksons team after his third at the Chipley Park meeting under Martin McIntyre.

In the Hatton Jewellers of Modbury-sponsored Ladies Conditions race, Jeremy Central could be a winning comeback ride for jockey Jo Supple who is back riding after an injury. Jabbea (Mary Sanderson) second at Chipley Park under jockey Robert Hawker, and Cloudy Music (Dean Summersby) third at Wadebridge under daughter jockey Charlotte, will also be close at the finish.

Finishing the day will be a popular flat race sponsored by MI Plant Engineering, with those to note at a glance being Saxon Diamond having run third at Larkhill, and Black Of The Glade for his third at Barbury for outside raiders Clive Boultbee-Brooks team. Look out for on any market bookie movement on Tom’s Terrace for the Francesca Poste team, being one out of the Exors of the Late in the late Trevor Hemmings ownership, and is surely to be respected on racecourse debut.

On course facilities are on offer, which are hot and cold food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a number of trade stands. This meeting will NOT be live streamed, so its a must to be there to enjoy the atmosphere on the day. Entrance is £15 per person which includes a racecard. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. Close disabled parking. Location is alongside the A38 at Dean Prior, postcode TQ11 OLT.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

Preview: South Pool Harriers Point-to-Point at Buckfastleigh on Sunday 13th February 2022

The Westcountry Champion Chase for Winners only Mixed Open, is the feature race of the day at next weekends fixture, to be held at Buckfastleigh, on Sunday 13th February. This race has once again been generously sponsored by Totnes & Bridgetown Race Company Ltd, who have come up with a £1000 prize fund. In which, last years Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase winner Porlock Bay, for trainer/rider Will Biddick, stands out in their quest for this seasons campaign, and a timely prep for the festival again here, if conditions suit. Famous Clermont for trainer Chris Barber, could be another option for the champion jockey Will Biddick to ride, having won at this track in January the young gelding looks progressive. Among those entries looking to join in at the finish could be ex National Hunt winning entries, Chameron for jockey Ben Sutton, Molineaux (Freddie Gingell) who won at Larkhill last weekend, so may skip this meeting, and the prolific winning gelding Southfield Theatre for the Sara Bradstock team.

A total of six races are on offer, attracting over 100 entries, with a start time of 12 noon. Racing commences with the Tattersalls Cheltenham-sponsored Maiden race in which suggestions looking progressive are Between You and Me for team Neil McLean, Rock D’Ete an interesting debut entry for team Biddick, Santos Blue for the formidable Alan Hill/James King combination, and Whatwillmothersay for trainer Stuart Sampson who could win here if coming on for her Ffos Las flat race second.

The Luscombe Maye-sponsored Intermediate race follows which looks equally competitive, with Hotel du Nord coming as the highest rated and could improve on his two length second here at the January meeting for jockey Charlie Sprake, and be another winning training success for Will Biddick. They may come up against either of the entries for the Dean Summersby team, being Party Tunes and Port O’Clock. Also turning up could be The Big Sting for the inform yard of Chris Barber, and Jeremy Central for team Malone, either of which will rate high in the betting arena and provide another competitive race.

In the Hassall Law-sponsored Maiden race for six-year-olds and over looks equally as interesting. This could see Arv Way There(Hugh Thomas), Ninth Wave (Will Biddick) and Get On Ron ( Les Jefford) be highly fancied in the betting arena.

The Jockey Club Mares Maiden race holds twenty entries, with suggestions being Honest Opinion for team Summersby and jockey Darren Edwards to improve on their second at the last meeting here in January. Polly Sans for team Keiran Price team, ran four lengths third behind Southfield Megan at Chipley Park last month. Summerleaze for the Jill Dennis team ran 8-lengths second here also in the January meeting, and Artic Milly for team Jefford who could improve for her outing here also in January, when finishing fourth under jockey Martin McIntyre.

Finally up is the Moorland Timber-sponsored Restricted race, which looks equally competitive, with recent 40-length Larkhill winner Hugueneau under jockey Ben Sutton for the Alan Hill team, Transition Period (Dean Summersby), Jeremy Central (Tom Malone) Steel Express (Mike Vanstone) Feu des Malberaux (Paul Nicolas), and Felicie du Maquis (Clive Boultbee-Brooks), who are just some of the hot progressive entries to mention who may turn up to compete on the day.

The course is located at Lower Dean, alongside the A38. Postcode TQ11 OLT. There will be hot food and refreshments, licensed bar, trade stands and bookies. Entrance to the course is £15 per person cash on the gate. Children under 16 free and dogs on leads welcome.

Donna Harris
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


After almost two years since the last fixture at Buckfastleigh, it was good to be back there, with a strong line of 11 bookies and a keen crowd of point-to-point enthusiasts. Some familiar big hitting punters have sadly departed in the interim, but there was still a vibrant atmosphere about the ring.

One of the faces still about was up and down the line backing Will Biddick’s mount Next One Please (forced from 6-4 into 4-5) in the opener. This rangy debutant made a bold bid, but was done with after the penultimate. He will atone on better ground. The winner His Own Star (5’s into 7-2) relished the heavy ground. This five -year-old had good placed form on soft ground in France, including cross country races, and improved for his British pointing debut last month at Barbury Castle. He looks a good prospect for the Stuart Sampson yard and gave Darren Andrews his 50th pointing winner. Others to note out of this Maiden are the Soldier of Fortune mare Summerleaze (8-1) who was prominent all the way, and Get on Ron (7’s to 6’s), who fluffed the second last when poised to challenge.

The Restricted favourite Fountains Chief (4-5 to evens) had taken a very early fall at Wadebridge last week, but got as far as the last fence here before exiting to a tired looking fall. His form behind Truckers Pass at the Cornwall Club was gilt edged though, and I would not give up on the six-year-old yet despite the fact that he is fast becoming the bookies best friend. The winner Stevan Steel (5-2 to 2’s) is game and gallops all day. The mount of Darren Edwards, he was left solo at the last.

Chameron (4-6 to 6-4 ) and Hazzaar (2’s to 6-4) started joint favourites for the four runner Mixed Open . Chameron has taken a while to get his act together this season (beat Cousin Pascal in a Leicester hunter chase last year) and was none too fluent here. Ben Sutton survived losing an iron at the last before drawing away in the home straight. Runner up Hazzaar (Tommie O’Brien) , a former Ascot bumper winner, was trying three miles for the first time. He ran well until his stamina gave out and can be noted for a short hunter chase. Danseur du Large (5’s into 7-4) stays well and kept on late under Chloe Emsley.

Molineaux (6-4 to 5-4 fav) jumped really well to give 16-year-old Freddie Gingell his first pointing winner in the Veteran Horses Conditions race. He looks a grand schoolmaster and can set up a sequence in this type of race. Although well beaten behind Molineaux here, Blakerigg (100-7) stayed on well. He was winning races for Nicky Richards three years ago and has joined a shrewd yard.

The punters were in full swing by now and got stuck in again as Jeremy Central (2’s to 6-4), under a confident Biddick waiting ride, strode clear to win the older horses maiden. Bought only recently by Tom Malone at an online auction, the winner had been unlucky when ridden by a claimer in Irish points. Honest Opinion (9-2) ran her usual solid race to finish second (placed on eight occasions), and Pyleigh Court (33’s to 20’s) recovered from a serious blunder at half way to finish a staying on third.
The pay out queues were even longer after the last race as Famous Clermont (4-5 from 4-6) won hard held to defy a 5lbs penalty. Trained by the in-form Christopher Barber, the seven-year-old completed a double for Will Biddick and capped a difficult afternoon for the layers. Hotel du Nord (10-1) stuck to his task well to finish runner up under Charlie Sprake.

I am pleased to say that I joined the pay out queues four times during the afternoon. Last week’s Wadebridge Point-To-Point losses recovered with interest.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

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“Ghosts of men that here have ridden
Gather at the post unbidden,
Waiting till the old flag falls;
Hear the rattled guard-rails quiver
As they rush them, game as ever!”

From the poem Aintree Calls by William Henry Ogilvie, 1869 – 1963

The old decaying grandstand still looks out forlornly over Buckfastleigh racecourse, now unused and camouflaged by vegetation, but a proud sentinel of days gone by.

A double for Will Biddick and a first winner over jumps for Freddie Gingell were two of the highlights of the card at the first of three meetings scheduled for Buckfastleigh this season.

15mm of overnight rain meant the going had become heavy, soft in places, but a dry afternoon brought out a massive crowd at this historic Devon venue.

Biddick’s double was initiated when the well fancied Jeremy Central stayed on strongly to beat 15 rivals in the Maiden for seven-year-olds and over sponsored by Toad Hall Cottages. “Jumping out of the ground was hard,” remarked the leading rider of this well made gelding, who had recent good placed efforts in Ireland to his name. Taunton bloodstock agent owner/trainer Tom Malone described his seven-year-old as, “ A lovely honest staying chaser in the making,” confiding that he had this race in mind when buying the gelding by Jeremy at an online auction recently. Bloodstock agents don’t buy horses to look at so Jeremy Central is sure to progress and is likely to find a new home soon.

After fracturing his ankle in a fall last May, Will Biddick is already making a strong bid to secure his eighth National jockeys title, and rounded of a good day by riding his 13th winner of the season on Famous Clermont in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. Despite carrying a 5lbs penalty this progressive seven-year-old won on the bit under a typically stylish Biddick ride. Christopher Barber trains the winner at Seaborough  for a small syndicate and remarked, “We bought him as a four-year-old at Goffs for only £5,000 and the plan is to go for an Intermediate final at either Exeter or Cheltenham.” The young trainer has plenty of ammunition waiting in the wings with a number of youngsters amongst the 20 strong inmates in his Dorset yard.

There were tears and smiles in a packed winner’s enclosure after Freddie Gingell had steered Molineaux home in the Jockey Club & Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Horse Conditions event. Freddie tragically lost his mother Kim, daughter of Colin Tizzard, to cancer in May 2020.  It was apt that Colin and Freddie’s father Dave were on hand to enjoy a rapturous reception as the young rider returned in the family colours after a stylish performance on his first point-to-point winner.  A prolific winning pony race rider with 56 wins, including at this track,  Freddie said, “I finish school in May. Molineaux is a really nice horse and I was proud to be sat on him”.  Colin, who had legged up his grandson, had trained the 11-year-old to his four wins under rules for John and Heather Snook and remarked, “This is a lovely horse. He is fast and accurate and the ideal schoolmaster. He could run every two weeks until he gets tired.”

Last season’s champion novice rider Ben Sutton, based with the Alan Hill yard,   partnered his second winner this season as Chameron strode clear on the run in to win the Totnes & Bridgetown Mixed Open. The Sam Loxton trained nine-year-old faced only three opponents with Hazzaar and Danseur Du Large chasing him home. The 22-yearold rider confessed that he had lost an iron at the last fence, which was fully three furlongs from the finish at the top of the hill, as the normal final fence in the straight was omitted.  Chameron runs in the colours of the jockey’s father, Nick, who was travelling abroad. Bruton trainer Sam Loxton has six horses in training and rides out Chameron, who could go hunter chasing in due course.

Darren Andrews rode his 50th point-to-point winner on five-year-old His Own Star, backed from 5’s into 7-2 ,in the two and a half miles Tony Glynn Scaffolding Open Maiden for four to six-year-olds. Andrews was content to follow the pace set by the favourite Next One Please and Summerleaze until hitting the front approaching the last. The winner had seven runs as a four-year-old in France in 2021 and was placed five times for David Cottin. His dam won a listed hurdle at Auteuil. He is one of eight pointers now in the care of Stuart Sampson, and runs in the colours of Uffculme owner Ron Alford who was enjoying his first winner. The trainer described his charge as, “ A kind, honest individual but is no great work horse at home.”

The successful jockey was denied a double as his mount Fountains Chief fell at the last when holding a narrow lead in the Stanley Carpets Restricted.  Stevan Steel was the only other horse of the six starters standing and was issuing a strong challenge at the time. Course winner Stevan Steel is trained at Bampton by Janet Ackner, who also owns the striking grey in conjunction with John Spall. “If only every horse was as genuine as he is. He has five gears but thinks he has six.” said the trainer. Successful jockey Darren Edwards reflected on, “ A strong stayer, honest and jumped well on today’s ground.”

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN


GOING HEAVY, SOFT IN PLACES; 5th, 12th & 19th fence omitted race 3 onwards


1 His Own Star (Darren Andrews) 7-2 prog 11th,strong run after two out, led last, ran on well, comf
2 Summerleaze (Jake Bament) 8-1 alwys leaders, mstk 11th, close 3rd two out, kept on
3 Get On Ron (Martin McIntyre) 6-1 tracked leaders, close up when mstk two out, no extra
9 ran; 7l;2l;;6m 5s


1 Stevan Steel (Darren Edwards) 2-1 made virtually all til headed apprg last, rallied and just 2nd when left alone last
6 ran; winner finished alone


1 Chameron (Ben Sutton) 6-4 jt fav led to 4th, close up, led when mstk 16th, mstk last, rallied to lead again by passing last, soon clear
2 Hazzaar (Tommie O’Brien) 6-4 jt fav well in touch, led after two out til headed by passing last, no extra
3 Danseur Du Large (Chloe Emsley) 7-4 narrow lead from 4th til 13th, disp three out, outpaced next
4 ran; 5l; 4l; 7m 12s


1 Molineaux (Freddie Gingell) 5-4 fav keen hold, led 10th, forged clear three out, unchallenged
2 Blakerigg (Chloe Emsley) 14-1 midfield, stayed on well closing stages, took 2nd nr finish
3 In Arrears (Darren Edwards) 7-4 alwys leaders, chased winner 15th, rdn & no impression from two out, lost 2nd flat
9 ran; distance; 10l; 7m 7s


1 Jeremy Central (Will Biddick) 6-4 fav steady hdwy three out, led by passing last, stayed on well
2 Honest Opinion (Darren Edwards) 9-2 tracked leaders, disp lead after two out, challenged last, no extra by passing last
3 Pyleigh Court (Conor Houlihan) 20-1 last when bad mistake 13th, good prog four out, stayed on well, promising
16 ran; 2 1/2l; 2 1/2l; 7m 14s


1 Famous Clermont (Will Biddick) 4-5 fav held up, smooth hdwy 16th, led apprg last bend, clear by passing last, won hard held, eased nr finish
2 Hotel Du Nord (Charlie Sprake) 10-1 led from third til headed apprg last bend, good effort
3 Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 4-1 chased leaders, every chance two out, wknd
9 ran 2 1/2l; 12l; 7m 17s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Rules as at p31 of planner 2021/22; Hunt qualification with Devon & …
A full array of 11 bookies lined up on the crest of …
“Parting is such sweet sorrow”Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616 …

Preview: The Modbury Harriers Point-to-Point at Buckfastleigh, Sunday 16th January 2022

The Totnes & Bridgetown-sponsored Mixed Open race is the feature of the day, and the area has to give a huge thanks to the sponsors, as they have supported the area throughout the Covid crises over the past two years. There are some highly rated ex-National Hunt legendary horses among the entries. Silsol a Grade 2 winning hurdle winner, now in training with Will Biddick, for owners the Orttewell family for talented young jockey Ella Orttewel to ride. Also two of the Sam Loxton-trained entries,  Samategal, a Grade 3 winner of the Greatwood Handicap chase at Newbury   who could give young jockey Olive Nicholls a winning ride here, along with Chameron, who had shown some decent form in France before heading over with wins at Garthorpe and Leicester. Trio For Rio could be the one to steal this if travelling down for the Clive Boultbee-Brooks team, having won a Hunter Chase a Cheltenham last season, his jockey Tommie O’Brien will be  keen to score here. Along with Envoy Special having won at Larkhill in December, for young trainer Christopher Barber, another showing his talent training in the pointing field.

The action kicks off at 12 noon, with the Tony Glynn-Scaffolding sponsored Open Maiden race for 4,5 and 6 year-olds, in which His Own Star (Stuart Sampson) could follow up on his second at Barbury, and had some previous decent place form. Between You And Me (Neil Mclean)  ran third at Chaddelsey Corbett last season. Next One Please could provide a pleasing winner for the Chris Barber team, and could go well on his debut run.

Stanley Carpets-sponsor the Restricted race, which could go the way of Fountains Chief for the Teresa Clark team, if recovering from his early fall at last weekends Wadebridge meeting. Catching the eye is Kings Quay for trainer Matt Hampton, having won his maiden last season by a creditable six-lengths at Cherrybrook, and Lagonda could be one of the outside raiders to figure, if following up on his five- lengths second at Larkhill in December for the James Ridley/Tommie O’Brien partnership.

The 10 year old and over Jockey Club – Retraining of Racehorses and Veteran Condition race follows, which looks equally thrilling. Blackwater Bramble for the Alexandra Dunn team won at this course in December 2018, following that up with two Larkhill wins. However the eye is drawn to Molineaux for young jockey Freddie Gingell and team Tizzard, who could improve on their close second they achieved at Larkhill. That day behind Monsieur Gibraltar ridden by Oliver Nicholls. Here she could have the ride on Samategal, who is the highest rated, and if a clear round of jumping,  could give  jockey Olive Nicholls a win here, if connection chose this over the previous race and do not favour next weekends Larkhill meeting as an option. However entry  Silsol is another who could be switched to this race,  proving equally competitive, and give Ella Orttewell, a deserved win at this track.

Toad Hall Cottages sponsor the Open Maiden race for 7 year-olds and upwards in which Riding Shotgun is the highest rated, and will be high in the betting for the Laura Jones team. Bloodstock agent Tom Malone looks to have a hot entry with recent Irish purchase Jeremy Central. Honest Opinion is another catching the eye for the in form Dean Summersby team and could progress here.

Finally up is the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race, which holds a Hunter Chase entry at their finals in April. This looks equally competitive with Famous Clermont ( Chris Barber), Hotel Du Nord (Will Biddick) and Party Tunes (Dean Summersby) among those who the bookies will be juggling with.

This course offers fabulous viewing, easy access alongside the A38 at Dean Prior, hot food and refreshments along with a Real Ale bar and plenty of trade stands. Entry to the course is £15 per person which includes a racecard. Children under 16 are free. Dogs on leads welcome. Course postcode is TQ11 OLT. Live streaming is available via eventbrite live streaming. Betting available by phoning Dave Phillips on 07810775119.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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

Photo credit: Megan Cobley Photography


Oh dear, so that’s it for the season with three months of pointing in our area still to go. No more point-to-points, no more betting gossip, racing suspended, the industry jeopardised, bookies redundant and they are trying to handcuff me to the chair.

Whether it was the dodgy weather (it rained all morning on Sunday) or coronavirus worries, it was a shame that the normal bustling atmosphere of Buckfastleigh was lacking. The track conformation was a bit different because the normal last fence was not jumped, meaning a very long run-in from the jump coming off the top bend. There was plenty of quality racing though for the faithful to enjoy.

The opening five runner Hunt race was a bit of a puzzle. I couldn’t work it out so no bet. 10-year-old Moonaro is still a maiden but was sent off 2-1 fav having been chalked up at 3’s. Beuvron settled at 5-2 from 3’s but he is not very reliable nowadays. Tarrytown (9-2) had shown a glimmer of form, and the experienced Skylander (11-4) is capable on his day. It was another maiden however, Ragged Dream (7-1), who prevailed in a close finish to give 17-year-old Tamby Welch a deserved first point-to-point winner.

Stevan Steel (5-2 to 9-4 fav) is no rock star but came good under a typically positive Darren Edwards ride to win the Open Maiden easily from 11 opponents. The rider had the luxury of a peep round with his toiling rivals stone cold off the last bend. West Somerset trainer Janet Ackner does well with this type of horse who was placed in an Irish Maiden as long as four years ago, but had been knocking at the door recently. He must get his grey coat from his dam Silver Proverb who was moderate but had to lump a young claimer called Tom Malone round over hurdles a few years ago.

Gunner Vic (10-1) came from well off the pace to claim the runner up spot (he would have been put into the note book for a Bratton Down meeting). Natalie Parker’s mount Clever des Assence (drifted from 2’s to 3’s) was a head away in third after pressing the leaders for a long way.

The Men’s Open was the Devon & Cornwall Area Classic race limited to previous winners. Navanman (6-4 fav having touched 11-4) needs little introduction and duly took his pointing wins to 11, this time with Darren Edwards in the saddle. John Heard’s charge relished the heavy ground and went 20 lengths clear round the top bend before cantering home ahead of Big Georgie (7-1). Below form Fishy Story, who had touched evens before settling at 2’s, finished a well beaten third. Navanman had a good reason for his defeat at the showground last month when sustaining an injury, and connections have done well to squeeze another win out of this top pointer.

Nickelsonthedime (5-4 to 4-5) had created a very favourable impression with a couple of Wadebridge wins, but had to give best in a good Intermediate to The Galloping Bear (5-2) who had won his Restricted on the showground after opening his account in the mud at Ffos Las in December. The Galloping Bear (Darren Andrews) led from the top of the hill and stayed on well in conditions much to his liking. Both these promising types are by the St Leger winner Shantou who has developed into a leading NH stallion. It is unfortunate that the Exeter final to this event is lost.

The two market leaders also dominated the Skinner’s Ladies’ Open. The game veteran Dicky Bob (solid 3’s) jumped well and tried to make all the running under Millie Wonnacott, but was overhauled off the last bend by a confidently ridden Master Baker partnered by Jo Supple (evens fav). Jo is nearing her century of winners and has been on board Master Baker for all of his 15 wins, including three hunter chases. Wind Tor (3’s) was a distant third. Goldbury (8’s to 7’s) looked fit but had an off day and was pulled up before half way.

The form worked out in the Novice Riders race when Millanisi Boy (4-5 to 4-6) just made his experience pay with a two lengths success over the penalised Raddon Top (3-1). The winner always seemed to be holding the upper hand but was hard pressed by his main rival from the top of the hill and was driven right out by Fergus Gillard.

The Point-to-Point flat race was scheduled as the last race but had to be divided after attracting 15 declarations, exceeding the safety limit by one. Six of the eight runners in the first section were unraced which made for a cagey betting market. The faces went for Alan Hill’s once raced five-year-old Vain Girl (2-1 fav), but there was support for Any Alibis (7’s to 3’s) and the subsequent Fran Nimmo trained winner Sun Rising Hill (3-1). The Warwickshire trainer specialises in this type of event and this Mahler four-year-old certainly knew her job, coming clear under Alice Stevens to beat Nicky Martin’s Fevertre (4-1).

The other division, shall we call it the last waltz, went to Gerry Supple’s Sandaroc (3’s to 5-2), a strong bodied four-year-old filly by Shirocco who looked fit and ready to go in the preliminaries. Sandaroc landed a double for promising young jockey Fergus Gillard, fending off the jolly, Charlottes Way (2’s from 4’s) inside the last couple of furlongs. In another tight betting heat there were bits and pieces for third placed Red Cap (4’s to 3’s), Midnight Billy (7-2) and The Ramp Sleeper (5’s).

Before you ask, yes, I backed Sandaroc ( on the basis of paddock inspection). I would like to think that I was just coming into form on the betting front when the curtain came down dramatically, but that is what all of us punters would say……