Category Archives: Upcott Cross



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

From a poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon 1833 – 1870

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN




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

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

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

4 ran; 10l; 1 1/2l;  6m 44s


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

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

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

7 ran; 1 1/2l; 2l;  6m 40s


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

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

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

4 ran;  10l;  20l;  6m 43s


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

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

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

6 Ran;  neck;;3l;  6m 37s


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

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

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

11 ran;  3 1/2l;  3 1/2l ;   6m 41S


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

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

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

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

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.


There wasn’t a lot of big money around the ring at Upcott Cross according to the dozen bookmakers. It proved to be a bit of an up and down day for the serious punters.

At least The Big Sting (4-6 into 1-2) put us on the right track by winning the opener. Port O’Clock (6-4) had won the Intermediate hunter chase final at Exeter, but his front running tactics were foiled this time as Biddick pinched the inside and the decisive lead at the 12th fence as his rival jumped out to the left.

The form book will show that Jabbea (6-1) was the only one of the four runners to finish in the Intermediate, but this will not reveal the full story. Will Biddick’s mount Knockmoylan (6-4) set the pace jumping well until a bad blunder at the 13th jump had his rider hanging out of the saddle. As I saw it, Biddick’s attempt to defy gravity, as he came unstuck from his stumbling mount, led him to grab for a life raft and he found one alongside in fellow jockey’s Josh Newman’s arm. Both eventually capsized to the turf, much to the rider of Dr Rhythm’s (11-8 fav) understandable displeasure.

Punters could not separate Liberty Rock (7-2 to 5-2) and Mount Oscar (5-2) at the head of the market in the 14-runner Maiden. They had the race to themselves from the top bend with Liberty Rock getting on top at the last. Liberty Rock will progress to better class and Mount Oscar is also one for the note book. The obvious eye catcher in this race was third placed Firefly Lane who had no friends at 25-1, but stepped up markedly from some modest efforts under rules. Mykonos Ammos (8-1) had disgraced himself at Trebudannon but ran well here whilst four-year-old previously unraced Onward Soldier (8’s to 9-2) showed a bit of promise.
I thought that novice rider Ella Herbison gave Pyleigh Court (5-2) a fine waiting ride to win the Restricted to nail 5-4 fav Jetmeoutofhere. Don’t write off non finisher Quintin’s Man (3’s to 5-2) who still has plenty of potential, but Highland Legend (5’s to 4’s) disappointed after showing such promise at Kilworthy.

Controversy arose again in the lucky last (lucky for some). Chad Bament and Eric The Third (5-2) set a cracking pace and held on well to beat Imogen’s Thunder (evens to 4-6 fav), but Chad’s weight cloth came off at half way leading to disqualification at weighing in. After the amended result was announced backers of the winner who had discarded their tickets caused amusement by forming a loose scrum before frantically diving into the waste paper bins to find them.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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


“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.




1 THE BIG STING (WILL BIDDICK) 1-2 FAV led after 12th, clear four out, easily

2 PORT O’CLOCK (DARREN EDWARDS) 6-4 led til 12th, ridden four out, one pace



1 JABBEA (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 6-1 in toch, left solo 13th



1 LIBERTY ROCK (DARREN EDWARDS) 5-2 JT FAV alwys prom, left in lead 9th, clear last, pushed out

2 MOUNT OSCAR (MARTIN McINTYRE) 5-2 JT FAV hdwy 12th, effort three out, every chance til no extra last

3 FIREFLY LANE (JOSH NEWMAN) 25-1 hdwy 12th, stayed on, fair effort

14 RAN; 3L; 20L;   6M 39S





1 PYLEIGH COURT (ELLA HERBISON) 5-2 in touch, effort three out, led last, comf

2 JETMEOUTOFHERE (DARREN EDWARDS) 5-4 FAV led til headed & no extra apprg last



1 IMOGENS THUNDER (CHARLIE SPRAKE) 4-6 FAV raced in 2nd off pace, kept on but not reach leader, promoted

2 AMORE ALATO (HOLLY PENNELLS) 9-1  raced in 3rd off pace, never threatened

3 NIKKI STEEL (ANNA HYLANDS) 5-1 alwys behind


Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Preview: Eggesford Point-to-Point at Upcott Cross on Sunday, 8th May 2022

The Eggesford host this weekends fixture in the area at Upcott Cross this coming weekend on Sunday 8th May. This relative flat track offers some fast action, and with the championships hotting up it will be a competitive days racing. Over 70 entries have been received for this six race card.

The Simpkins Edwards-sponsored Mixed Open looks to be the feature race of the day. With Champion jockey Will Biddick having six winners over last weekend, one of which clocked him up a total of 500 career wins, he has taken over the lead again in the National Gentleman’s jockey’s title. Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase winner Envoye Special for trainer Chris Barber, could be Will Biddick’s ride in this race and will be hot in the betting. Sixteen Letters for trainer Neil McLean and jockey Josh Newman could be the ones to take him on, having won a Hunter Chase at Wincanton and latest point win at Stafford Cross will prove him competitive if staying fit.

The Chris Hodgson Engineering Co-sponsored Conditions Race opens the days event at 2pm. Port O’Clock could continue the flying form for trainer Dean Summersby and jockey Darren Edwards, Big Sting (Chris Barber) is entered and if turning up after his win last Monday at the Stevenstone meeting, could provide Will Biddick with another winner to help seal the Men’s title. River Myth for trainer Stuart Sampson, is a lovely mare who could run well here being a course specialist having won three times at this track, and is bound to figure high in the betting.

In the following Intermediate race, which is sponsored by Ashgrove & Rangemoor Stoves & Kitchens, Transition Period could provide team Summersby with a follow up for his winning performance at the Axe Vale meeting. He could be taken on by Knockmylan being another out of the formidable Chris Barber/Will Biddick combination.

Aunt Lily will be high in the betting for the Ed Walker team after her two length second at Cothelstone, in the Ford Fuels and Waie Inn-sponsored Maiden race, the yard are having a really good spell with jockey Chloe Emsley. This race has attracted  33 entries and could well be divided on the day. Finest Hour could take them on for outside raider William Twiston-Davies team and Ben Bromley to ride. With One Tree Hill (Lee Glanville) second at Flete Park, Kesa Great (Les Jefford) having run second at Trebudannon and Cockspur Bella (Rebecca Vanstone) third at Trebudannon, Liberty Rock (Dean Summersby) third at Charlton Hawthorne, they are just a few to mention which look to be progressive.

Another out of the Ed Walker team Nouva Vita looks the highest rated in the following C & R Construction-sponsored Restricted race, after their second at the Woodford meeting, the team also has entry Cuzzicombe looking to follow-up on his maiden win at Badbury Rings. Jetmeoutofhere looks their likely challenger having won the members easily at Stafford Cross having progressed from his Dunsmore win for the Dean Summersby yard another for jockey Darren Edwards.

Finally up is the conditions race for Novice Riders sponsored by Dave Phillips Bookmakers, Imogens Thunder will be one of the likely favourites after his win at the Dunsmore and Cothelstone meetings for trainer Mary Tory and promising young jockey Charlie Sprake. Outside raider Galop Du Bosc for the Tim Vaughan team looks to be the danger here after his eight length win at the Lydstep meeting, but will need to defy top weight.

The course offers good viewing with all facilities hot and cold refreshments, bar bookies and trade stands. Entrance to the course is £15pp which includes a racecard. Children under 16 free. Dogs on leads welcome. Live streaming will be available hosted by Robert Cooper and available via eventbrite at  The course is located 2m south of Halwill junction off A3079 EX21 5AE.

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




  1. Definite Dilemma (Conor Houlihan) evens fav prom, led two out, stayed on well
  2. Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 9-4 disputed lead til two out, no extra flat
  3. Anolysee Moriniere (Isaac Buncle) 50-1 prog 14th, went 3rd two out, kept on

12 ran; 8l; 1 1/2l; 6m 31s


  1. Twig (Beau Morgan) 3-1 well in touch, led apprg last, ran on well
  2. Russian Invasion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav led til apprg last, no extra flat
  3. Aclassagold (Conor Houlihan) 3-1 every chance three out, gradually wknd

9 ran; 4 1/2l;;10l; 6m 35s


  1. Honest Deed (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav made most, stayed on gamely
  2. Eric The Third (Darren Andrews) 6-1 effort three out, kept on
  3. Master Dancer (Chloe Emsley) 11-4 3rd from three out, alwys held

5 ran; 1 3/4l; 10l; 6m 37s


  1. Gentleman Farmer (Conor Houlihan) 7-2 made all, unchallenged
  2. Always on the Run (Conor Baker) 25-1 well held from three out, snatched 2nd on line
  3. Static Jack (Michael Treneer) evens fav hdwy 14th, short lived effort three out, no extra

5 ran; distance; short head; 6m 30s


  1. Elusive Intentions (Darren Andrews) 10-1 led from 7th, held on well
  2. Honest Opinion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav sustained chall from three out, no extra nr finish
  3. Riding Shotgun (Natalie Parker) 4-1 good hdwy 15th, effort three out, grad wknd

11 ran; 2 3/4l; 5l; 6m 34s


  1. Bon Calvados (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav led from 6th, keen hold, mistakes, ran on
  2. Roc the Boat (Vinny Webster) 11-4 chased wnr bad mstk two out, no extra
  3. Midnight Jitterbug (Finn Lambert) 8-1 hdwy 15th, wknd two out

7 ran; 10l; 6l; 5m 28s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN


Conor Houlihan added a double to his Bratton Down treble at the South Tetcott Bank Holiday fixture at Upcott Cross to elevate himself to the nine winner mark and into the lead for the National Novice Riders’ Championship.

The Irishman, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall, began with a hard fought success in the opening Race Hill Garage sponsored Conditions event. His mount Definite Dilemma, trained by his boss Will Biddick, runs in the colours of his father Martin, who was able to watch the action in County Waterford via the popular live streaming. He would have seen Conor shake off Darren Edwards on Party Tunes after a sustained battle in the home straight.

Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

A further success for the Irish jockey followed as Gentleman Farmer made all the running to win the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company Novice Riders’ Mixed Open. Home bred by Richard Hawker, the lightly raced nine-year-old strolled home to win unchallenged.

Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It is not all plain sailing at this game and a fall on Safe Harbour in the FC Cleaning Systems Maiden literally brought Houlihan back down to earth. The winner Bon Calvados proved anything but an armchair ride for Darren Edwards, racing keenly, and hanging and jumping erratically, but reaching the judge with eight lengths to spare over Roc the Boat. A half brother to Saint Calvados, who was narrowly beaten by Min in last year’s Ryanair Chase, Bon Calvados had been placed in a Market Rasen bumper for Olly Murphy, and is now in the care of Alan Hill for the Cross Channel Racing Club.

Edwards himself had been in the wars two days previously at Bratton Down when two heavy falls put his participation for this meeting in doubt. The Devon & Cornwall champion jockey bounced back however in typically determined fashion, and two winners and three seconds from five rides was his reward.

His win on the game veteran Honest Deed in the Simpkins Edwards Mixed Open was particularly apt, since it was announced afterwards that the Dean Summersby trained gelding had gone into honourable retirement after taking his career wins into double figures for his quartet of local owners.

Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards.
Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

16-year-old Beau Morgan gave a polished performance to score on the Matt Hampton trained Twig in the Coodes Solicitors Restricted, beating Darren Edwards on 2-1 favourite Russian Invasion into second place. “This is my second point-to-point winner. I have just left school and plan to ride in Jersey in the summer to gain experience,” said the young rider, who lives near Bath and judging by the cheering had brought his fan club with him to Devon.

Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan
Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It was the turn of Darren Andrews as Elusive Intentions just outstayed the Darren Edwards ridden Honest Opinion in the PRJ Engineering Maiden Conditions race. The winner is trained at Mappowder, near Sturminster Newton, by Harriet Brown for owner Shirley Prideaux who bought the well bred seven -year-old at Tattersalls Ascot sales two years ago.. “He is a big horse and has had a lot of niggles,” explained the trainer who was enjoying her first winner of this truncated season.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN