Category Archives: Dartmoor



The opening Maiden with 8 runners was the best betting race as another large crowd gathered at Flete Park.

Hold Me Tight was backed from 9-2 to 9-4 fav but never looked like getting to grips with Call Simon (3-1). Gunner Vic (4’s from 9-2) was knocking at the door again in third, but my bet Miltown Bridge (7-2) could only finish fourth.

The 11-10 favourite Champions Hill failed to follow up his course win in the Restricted, running out of steam at the bottom of the hill as Say About It (6-4) showed the benefit of his Axe Vale outing.

Finances were restored in the Ladies’ thanks to Virak (1-2 to 4-9), but the next jolly, Dry Ol’ Party (6-4) was out with the washing behind the free running front runner Field Exhibition (3-1)

Alternatif (4-6 fav) strolled home in the Novice Riders’ under the promising Otis Morgan before Board of Trade (4-6) added to the bookies woes in the lucky last.


Talking of the bookies woes, there was more grief to come on Bank Holiday Monday when all six favourites obliged.

The opener looked tricky, but Little Billy Boy (4-5 to 4-6) did his job well under Josh Cameron.

I fancied Highland Legend (3’s to 5-2) in the Restricted, but she struggled behind easy winner Clever Des Assence (2’s to 13-8), amazingly led up by the rider’s sister with a broken collar bone.

It was time to get stuck in, so the first of three successive winning bets came as The Big Sting (1-2 to 1-3) saw off sole rival Eric The Third (13-8) in the Open. The only concern came just after the winning post when the gelding spooked and dislodged Will Biddick.

There was money for Reflex Action (7-4 to 13-8) in the next, but he kept jumping left, leaving Don’t Ask Us (4-7 touched 4-6) with an open goal.

Will Biddick’s treble came with Wise Garden (4-5 to 4-7) who trotted up in the Mares race.

Roc The Boat (2-1 fav from 3’s) fulfilled his promise in the last, just holding 8-1 chance Henry’s Regime as only four of the nine starters finished. A good punting day, but there’s never a last race and we will all be back for more at Upcott Cross.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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


“Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,”

From a poem by Anne Bronte 1820 – 1849

The lofty hill was again packed for this popular late April meeting at Flete Park

Ed Walker’s Ottery St Mary yard stole the headlines on well watered ground with two winners and two seconds.

Field Exhibition soon set up a very long lead in the Marchand Petit Conditions race run over the shorter distance of two and a half miles and this free running 12-year-old never looked like being caught.

Formerly a winner under rules for Christian Williams, the mare was picked up at Doncaster sales and became a first winner for 21-year-old Ella Herbert. “She is so fizzy and tends to put me there,” said the rider. The winning trainer explained, “She has been running in a nose net and we have tried to hold her up. My aim was to get Ella a winner. She works and lives in the yard.

The yard’s regular rider Chloe Emsley rode odds-on favourite Board of Trade to win the Olympus Plant & Tool Hire Veteran Horse Conditions, catching front running This Breac at the last. This 11-year-old runs in the colours of the trainer’s racing club and their “group of otters” and had won the four miles Ladies’ Open on this course last year.

Chloe Emsley was enjoying her 5th winner of the season and is now leading the area Ladies’ award, but had earlier had to settle for the runner up spot on both Hold Me Tight and Danseur du Large. Hold Me Tight was unable to get to grips with the Robert Chanin trained Call Simon in the Francis Clark Maiden. Josh Newman took the winning ride on the well bred Call Simon and reported, “This was better than my trip to Cheltenham yesterday when I got stuck in traffic on the M5 and had to turn back.”

Danseur du Large was just chasing shadows in the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Ladies’ four miler. This became an easy opportunity for Olive Nicholls whose mount Virak was never headed wearing first time blinkers. Olive has a good chance of landing the Highflyer Bloodstock novice title which seems to be developing into a three way finish.  Paul Nicholls described Virak as, “An amazing schoolmaster and a brilliant training performance by Sam (Loxton). We decided blinkers and they made him pay attention. He could go to Bratton Down if it rains.”

Say About It stepped up on last week’s Axe Vale run to win the Hassall Law Restricted under Vinny Webster after the favourite Champions Hill had run out of steam at the penultimate. The winner joined his owner/trainer Roy Smith two years ago from Victor Dartnall.

Alternatif, trained by Annie Bacon at Frome for the Dartmoor Racing Club, followed up his recent Flete Park win when easily beating Syracuse’s Dream in the Brewin Dolphin Novice Riders race. Otis Morgan sent his mount to the front at the fourth and was a distance clear passing the judge. Otis is studying for his A levels at Sherborne school and has already gained full marks around Flete as one of the leading riders here in the past two years.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN




1 Call Simon (Josh Newman) 3-1  alwysprom,chall;d two out, led last

2 Hold Me Tight (Chloe Emsley) 9-4 fav   rear tilprog three out, stayed on closing stages

3 Gunner Vic (Vinny Webster) 4-1  led til headed apprg last, wknd

8 ran; 4l; neck;  7m 0s


1 Say About It (Vinny Webster) 6-4  led 8th til 11th & agn 14th, left solo apprg last

3 ran; winner finished alone; 7m 6s


! Virak (Olive Nicholls) 4-9 fav made all , comf

2 Danseur du Large (Chloe Emsley) 13-8  short lived effort three out, not quicken next

2 ran;  6l;  8m 33s


1 Field Exhibition (Ella Herbert) 3-1 soon well clear, unchallenged

2 No Escape (Jimmy Cole) 7-2  went 2nd at fifth, not reach winner

3 Dry Ol Party (Chloe Emsley) 6-4 fav  alwysbehind, remote 3rd from three out

6 ran; 10l;; 15l’  5m 31s


1 Alternatif (Otis Morgan) 4-6 fav   led from fourth, easily

2 Syracuses Dream (Michael Treneer) 11-4 led to fourth, saddle slipped, no chance with winner

3 ran; only two finished; won by a distance; 7m 2s


1 Board of Trade (Chloe Emsley) 4-6 fav  held up in touch, led apprg last, dvn out

2 This Breac (Amy Bennallick) 9-2 led til headed apprg last, no extra

3 Sandford Castle (Arron Butterfield) 7-5 well in touch til wknd after three out

3 ran; 1 1/2l; 20l; 7m 11s

Preview: Flete Park Races – Totnes & Bridgetown Racing Co Ltd at Flete Park Ermington, Saturday 30th April 2022

We head back to the glorious parkland setting of Flete Park for another action packed day at the races this Saturday April 30th,,. The Flete Park races (Totnes & Bridgetown Race Co Ltd) meeting offer six races with a start time of 2pm. This must be one of the most popular tracks in the Point-to-Point horse racing schedule. Not only being one of the best picnic spots in South Devon, the course offers a great family day out, with plenty of rural trade stands to amble around, be it gin and oyster tasting provided by the local Oyster Shack restaurant, to country clothing offered by Farmers Friend and other local jewellery, clothing and gift shops. There is also locally produced Ice Cream offered by The Surfing Cow Devon Ice Cream company, which look to be a generous mouth watering sized tasty treat.

Races are headed up by the Francis Clark-sponsored Maiden race with entries Call Me Simon for the Robert Chanin team looking to improve on his third at Dunsmore earlier this month, Gunner Vic had to settle for runner up place at the Kilworthy meeting but looks to be progressive and deserves a win soon for the Hugh Thomas team. Also Hold Me Tight, for trainer Ed Walker has consistent place form and deserves a win soon.

The Hassal Law-sponsored Restricted race could see the George Beilby entry Champions Hills give jockey Conor Houlihan a quick fire double at the track having won his maiden at the previous meeting. Say About It for the Roy Smith team, looks to be the main danger after his six-length win at Buckfastleigh last month.

In the Totnes & Bridgetown Race Co Ltd-sponsored four-mile Ladies open Virak would be a popular winner for jockey Olive Nicholls and trainer – Sam Loxton to follow up on their win in this race two weeks ago. Olive also has a ride booked on Rhythm Is A Dancer for trainer Georgie Nicholls in this, but they also hold an entry at the Cattistock meeting where the combination may head to. Here there opposition could be either of the two Ed Walker entries, Board Of Trade who has already won a four-mile race here last season, and Danseur Du Large who holds an entry this Friday at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening event for jockey Chloe Emsley. The latter ran six lengths second to Chameron at the Buckfastleigh meeting.

In the first of the three Condition races, which is sponsored by Marchand Petit Minimalistic is looking to score a likely treble of wins for the local Darke family and jockey Josh Newman. Minimalistic is another to hold a provisional entry at this stage at Cheltenham on Friday. Llancillo Lord a previous Hunter Chase winner, could go well here if recovering from his fall at Stratford for young trainer/jockey Megan Bevan. Field Exhibition for the Ed Walker team looks the main danger having some good place form but needs to have recovered from his fall at the Cothelstone meeting.

In the Brewin Dolphin-sponsored Novice Riders conditions race Alternatif holds the highest rating for jockey Otis Morgan and is another to have won at this track when taking the Conditions race at the last meeting. The jockey has the option of riding Skylander for the family team, who was also a winner at this track two weeks ago when finishing alone in the Members race. Miltown Bridge ran third at this track at the previous meeting and could go close if improving here for trainer Gordon Chambers.

Whilst in the Veteran Horses Conditions race which is sponsored by Olympus Plant & Hire Tools, previous course winner Board Of Trade looks to have good form and should go close for the Ed Walker team with Chloe Emsley aboard if not competing in the earlier Ladies race. It is always good to see some of the winning ex- National Hunt horses compete with young riders on board, giving the riders a good experience and leg up the ladder, and the horses being given a life still in racing which they enjoy. Alternatif also holds an entry in this race along with Field Exhibition both should be considered if not competing earlier.

The track has on course bookies, licenced bar, hot and cold food and refreshments. Entrance to the course is £15 per person which includes racecard. There is a maximum fee of £60 per car load. Children under 16 are free, and dogs on leads welcome. There will be live streaming at the track, this can be sourced via eventbrite at www.pointingdc/live. The course is located at Flete Park Ermington, just North of Ivybridge. Postcode PL21 9NN.

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Donna Harris
Donna Harris

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


The crowds were massive at both Flete Park and Trebudannon. There were queues to drive into the races, queues to get out, queues for ice creams, queues to get a bet on and queues to collect.

The sun shone and the Easter fixtures were a “joy to behold”, as the vicar said on Easter Sunday. He also said that the sun shines on the righteous so I must have done something right as luckily the form worked out well.

 I joined the pay out queue as early as the opener at Flete Park. I was going to swerve this five runner hunt race, but 4-5 Skylander was too good to miss. Runner up One Tree Hill (4’s to 2’s) ran well and deserves to win a small race.

I had been impressed by Quintin’s Man at Kilworthy, but he was a bit short (2’s to 5-4 fav) in a good Restricted. He will definitely win more races with experience but couldn’t cope here with Honest Opinion (11-4). King’s Quay (5-2) will be better for the race.

I was afraid of Steel Express (11-8) in the Intermediate, but couldn’t pass over Minimalistic, backed from 5-4 to 4-7 whose Open form at Great Trethew was rock solid.

You can’t win them all and Jeremy Central (4-5) was surprisingly beaten by Alternatif (3-1) in the Conditions. Well done to young Otis Morgan who completed his first riding double.

The nine runner getting out stakes looked a punters minefield, but the ex-Irish Champions Hill (13-2 to 5’s) made all and just held on under Conor Houlihan. Hopefully he will be a nice replacement for the Beilby’s Bridge of Spies. Two others well backed in this race were For Luck (10’s to 6’s) and Hold Me Tight (6’s to 5’s). There were three 7-2 co favourites: Jimmy Tew, who seems to be off the naughty stool nowadays (finished 5th), Oyster Perch (keeps knocking at the door) and Young William (messed about at the start and got a red card). I backed the latter and luckily got a refund.

I really like Easter Mondays at Trebudannon. The atmosphere is second to none and the racing is always worth the trip. Well done to the watering efforts at both Flete and Trebudannon for producing safe ground.

There were 10 bookies to joust with at the Cornish track, and plenty of value to be had thanks to a holiday crowd with fun bets in mind. Anybody who had seen Walkin Out (4-7 to 1-2) demolish her rivals (including two subsequent winners) here last month would have fallen over themselves to get on. She scorched round in the fastest time of the day to beat her two opponents.  

No Escape was a surprising 6-4 fav in the two and a half miles Maiden. He had finished fourth in a slowly run Mares Maiden at Kilworthy and occupied the same position here. The winner was Between You and Me (11-4) who gave Josh Newman his 100th pointing winner. He had to be forgiven for a below par run last time, but his second to Spanish Jump at Milborne was the best form on view.

Eric The Third (7-4 to 11-8) in the Conditions event and Footloose (10-11)  each justified favouritism in their respective contests, but the plunge on Party Tunes (2’s to 6-5) in the Ladies’ Open was denied by Oistrakh Le Noir who drifted so much (evens out to 11-4) that he merited the best value bet of the day.  He won on the bit.

Looking For Larry (6-4 to 11-10 fav) had run with promise in a good Great Trethew Maiden and collared Ask The Lady (2-1) close home in the Restricted to give Jake Bament a treble

 Summerleaze (5-4 fav) had also shown considerable promise and was the obvious choice in the concluding 11 runner Maiden. However she finished runner up behind 100-7 outsider Little Peachey after the equally long priced Mykonos Ammos had thrown the race away when making for the exit gate and losing his rider after leading at the last.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN


“And from midst of the road to the roadside shifting
The crowd of the world on foot went drifting,
Standing aside on the trodden grass
To chaff as they let the traffic pass.
Then back they flooded, singing and cheering,
Plodding forward and disappearing,
Up to the course to take their places,
To lunch and gamble and see the races”

From the poem Right Royal by John Masefield 1876 – 1967

A massive holiday crowd enjoyed warm sunshine and good racing at Flete Park where two overflow car parks had to be deployed.

Two young jockeys stole the headlines. Otis Morgan recorded his first double and Chad Bament rode his first winner.

17=year-old Otis Morgan took the Members’ sponsored by A Salon Called Fish on the gutsy 13-year-old Skylander, and followed up when another veteran Alternatif made most of the running to win the Full Circle Motors Conditions event. Frome based Annie Bacon saddled each of these winners in the colours of the 18 strong Dartmoor Racing Club.

“I am studying for A levels in geography, philosophy and business at Sherborne school and get to ride out at Annie and Josh (Cameron’s) yard on weekends and school holidays” said the young rider who had ridden Skylander to success here last season.

Otis completed his double on another veteran pointer Alternatif who finished alone as the outsider of three in the Conditions race after Board of Trade had fallen at the final ditch and Jeremy Central was pulled up by Will Biddick approaching the last when well held. “I always knew that Will was chasing but I had so much in the tank down the hill,” reported the enthusiastic winning rider.

Talk of the South had not won for four years but readily overhauled Dan’s The Man jumping the last to take the Oriental Club Owner/Trainer event and give Chad Bament his first pointing winner. “I work for Anthony Honeyball and will be 19 next week,” said the rider. Chad’s mother Helen, who trains the family owned gelding at Fremington near Barnstaple said, “I am delighted for Chad who won a pony race here. We bought Talk of the South from Gordon Chambers.”

Honest Opinion was a thoroughly game winner of the Wainhomes Restricted, stretching clear of Quintin’s Man and King’s Quay approaching the last.”She is a game little mare, very honest,” remarked jockey Darren Edwards who was partnering his 13th winner of the season. Trainer Dean Summersby was saddling his third winner of the week which included his first hunter chase success at Exeter two days previously.  The yard had endured quite a lean spell and Dean said. “The horses were not right until recently. It was difficult to put a finger on it but we seem to have turned a corner now.

Josh Newman’s CV includes a Cheltenham festival winner and Minimalistic’s Charles Stanley Intermediate win gave the Somerset rider his 99th pointing success. Minimalistic belongs to 80-year-old Edward and Sue Darke and is regularly ridden out by each of them.  

Josh had to wait for Easter Monday for his century as Hold Me Tight filled the runner up spot behind all the way winner Champions Hill (Conor Houlihan) who was making his English debut in the nine runner Luscombe May Maiden. Owner/trainer George Bielby  said, “Conor told us about this horse 18 months ago. We hope to come back here in two weeks time for the Restricted.” One of the tallest riders on the circuit, Conor had sourced the gelding from his Dungarven based uncle David Kiely, and was partnering his 12th career winner. He has recently joined the Paul Nicholls yard as a pupil assistant.

Paul had dashed from Newton Abbot to see his daughter Olive partner Virak to victory in the two runner Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co  Mixed Open over four miles. “ They have done a fantastic job with the watering here,” was a nice tribute from a champion trainer.  In the smallest field of the day Virak and Broadclyst (Anna Johnston) raced stride for stride until Virak took control on the run in. “I was a bit worried two out, but he is so clever and saved his best until he saw the winning post,” said the promising 16-year-old jockey who was scoring for the seventh time in her first season.




1 Skylander  Otis Morgan 4-5 fav   led 14th,clear last  held on well

2 One Tree Hill  Pippa Glanville 2-1  held up, prog three out, fin well

3 Syracuses Dream  Barnaby Treneer 8-1  prom til 15th, stayed on nr finish

5 ran ; 2 1/2l , neck;   6m 57s


1 Honest Opinion  D Edwards 11/4  made most, drew clear two out, gamely

2 Quintins Man  D Andrews 5-4 fav   held up, effort three out, kept on flat

3 Kings Quay  M Hampton 5-2   chased wnr 12th, every chance til no extra two out

6 ran; 8l;  2l;;  6m 56s


1 Virak  Olive Nicholls  2-5 fav    disp ld til went clear flat

2 Broadclyst  Anna Johnston  5-4    disp ld, no extra flat

2 ran;  2 1/2l   8m 20s


1 Minimalistic  Josh Newman  4-7 fav   prom, led two out, comf

2 Steel Express  Martin McIntyre  11-4    led 11th til headed & wknd apprg last

3 Miltown Bridge  Arron Butterfield  12-1   never nearer, kept on closing stages

5 ran;  6l;  10l; 5m 34s


1 Talk of the South  Chad Bament   5-1    in touch, chall’d last, dvn out

2 Dans Wee Man  Daisy White  6-4   led 8th til headed after last

3 The Dapper Fox  Jack Veysey  4-7 fav   never near to chall

5 ran;  1l;  6l;  7m 0s


1  Alternatif  Otis Morgan  3-1   led from 4th, clear from two out

3 ran; Finished alone;   6m 55s


1 Champions Hill  Conor Houlihan   5-1   made all, held on well flat

2 Hold Me Tight  Josh Newman  5-1   stdy hdwy 14th, chall two out, no extra flat

3 Oyster Perch  Darren Andrews  7-2 co fav   hdwy three out, kept on closing stages

9 ran;  1 1/2l;  5l;  7m 0s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Preview: Flete Races (Dartmoor) on Easter Saturday at Flete Park, Saturday 16th April 2022

We head back to the fabulous parkland setting of Flete Park, Ermington, where the Dartmoor host their meeting on Saturday 16th April. This will be an excellent Easter picnic venue meeting, with seven races on offer attracting 66 entries, and in addition Pony Racing sponsored by Anne Kane heads up the action at 1pm, with the main race card at 2pm. There will also be a parade in the paddock of Santini who was placed fourth in the Grand National for jockey Nick Scholfield and trainer Polly Gundry.

A Salon Called Fish sponsor the opening Members race which looks a hot race between the local entries. O Maonlai is the highest rated for the George Welch team for son Tamby to ride, Pippa Glanville has One Tree Hill entered who should go well for her family team, and Annabelle Bacon’s Alternatif could follow up on his win at Larkhill with Otis Morgan in the saddle.

The Wain Homes-sponsored Restricted race follows, with those catching the eye are the consistent Honest Opinion for team Summersby and jockey Darren Edwards, also Matt Hampton’s trained and ridden entry King’s Quay has been placed recently. Whilst Quintins Man out of the John Heard yard won his maiden race at Kilworthy last month. looking a progressive type for jockey Darren Andrews to score again on. 

Totnes & Bridgetown Racing Company sponsor the feature race of the day which is a 4m Mixed Open. This race could see Board Of Trade repeat his win at this meeting last season, coming from a strong yard who have just saddled Santini who finished fourth in last Saturdays Grand National, they will be hoping Board of Trade runs well here for the Ed Walker racing syndicate and Otter Partnership. However there will be plenty snapping at his heels including Virak for trainer Sam Loxton and Olive Nicholls to ride, who is readily making her presence noticed in the winners enclosure. The veteran pointer Sykes for Nicola Martin team and Darren Edwards to ride, could follow up on their four-length victory at Kilworthy. Also Broadclyst, another to have won between the flags this season with a dual at the Wadebridge meetings under jockey Anna Johnson.

Charles Stanley and Wealth Managers sponsor the Intermediate race, and of the six entered Minimilistic enjoyed an easy race at Buckfastleigh which could prepare him nicely for here, and would be a popular winner for the Darke team. Cottage Rose who won his Restricted here last season under Darren Andrews, retains the partnership again for team Heard and is likely to go close.

The Oriental Club sponsor the Owner/Trainers Conditions race with prolific winning Footloose stands out for trainer Arran Butterfield, having clocked up four wins this season, the latest at the Cherrybrook meeting, but needs to defy top weight. His opponents could be The Dapper Fox, another previous consistent type for owner/trainer/jockey Jack Veysey and a dual course winner here in 2016. Together with Doctors Differ for the George Hiscock team who has Ella Orttewell aboard, she will be looking to improve on their one-length third at the Cotley meeting last month.

Full Circle Motors sponsor the following Conditions D&C race which could see Board of Trade (Ed Walker), Jeremy Central (Tom Malone) with leading gentleman jockey Will Biddick aboard, and Steel Express (Mike Vanstone) for Martin McIntyre  battle out the finish.

Luscombe Maye sponsor the final race of the day which is a Maiden race, with those to note at a glance are Oyster Perch runner up on two occasions the latest at the Kilworthy meeting, when finishing a length second to Highland Legend that day for the Louise Kittow team,  and Young William a promising looking youngster for Chris Barber with his recent ten-length second at Cotley. The course is located at Flete Park Ermington. PL21 9NX. Entrance to the course is £15pp including a racecard Children under 16 Free of charge. On course facilities include bar, hot and cold food and refreshments. Rural trade stands, and on course bookies. This is a fabulous picnic spot located in a beautiful parkland setting offering a great day out for all the family. Dogs on leads welcome. Live streaming will be available through www.eventbrite/pointingdc.

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



The betting situation was a bit strange at sunny Flete, with one bookmaker standing in each of the two zones. Dave Phillips served the green zone, and Rich Pittard did duty in the owners roped off area. Fortunately for scribes like me their boards were adjacent so it was just possible to assess a market (and have a bet). In addition phone betting was offered for punters watching the live streaming which again drew much praise for the coverage.

Favourite backers got off to a flying start as Journey Juice landed odds of 4-5 after an opening show of 4-6 in the Hunt race. His jockey Chloe Emsley survived a scare as her mount stumbled badly at the top of the hill. Bay To Go (6’s out to 14’s) had made the best of his way home under James Armstrong, but had no answer when tackled by the winner on the run in.

I backed Corbett Court (4-1) in the next. Although he had been off the course for two years, he had beaten Rio Bravo in his Maiden ( unbeaten in both his races this season including a hunter chase at Catterick)). Corbett Court is from a shrewd yard and looked fit. Well I was wrong: Corbett Court was off the bit at half way and finished a poor fifth. The race went to gallant Cottage Rose (100-8) who ran straighter than runner up Boygochasing (8-1), who seemed intent on taking a more scenic route. The favourite Mustmeetforapint (5-2 to 6-4) was appearing for the second time in six days. He probably needs softer ground but has proved expensive to follow.

Darren Andrews riding Cottage Rose thanks his mount after winning the Restricted race
Darren Andrews riding Cottage Rose thanks his mount after winning the Restricted race

Know The Score (10-1) was certainly on the ball in the four miles Open for the Lord Mildmay Cup. Now with Leslie Jefford, and ridden by Fly McIntyre,  this once very expensive gelding had “lost his way” after a rules career which included three wins and a good run in the Cheltenham Festival bumper in his youth for David Pipe. He had been off the track for 18 months but looked fit and collared front running Welsh challenger Ramble On (7-2 to 5-2) 50 yards out. Where’s Wilma (10’s to 6’s) was a creditable third, upped in class, but staying on nicely. Navanman (evens) headed the market, but ran a shade below form in finishing fourth.

Know The Score ridden by Martin McIntyre (nearside) winning the Mixed Open four-miler from long-time leader Ramble On (far side)
Know The Score ridden by Martin McIntyre (nearside) winning the Mixed Open four-miler from long-time leader Ramble On (far side)

Oh yes, I nearly forgot:  with a BHA rating of 129 and probably a stone in hand I couldn’t resist a few quid on the winner.   

The four and five-year-old Maiden attracted only four runners, three of which were previously unraced from Ed Walker’s yard.  The one for money was Misstree Wave (evens fav), but even Will Biddick’s handling couldn’t prevent the five year-old from veering off the course nearly into the woods coming down the hill. The other two, Ribo A Irep (7-2) and Nuova Vita (5-2) raced locked together in front for two miles, but were left behind by the finishing burst of Swearer (5-2). The winner, ridden by Darren Edwards for the Joe Tickle yard had benefited from his bumper run at Maisemore Park last October. 

That grand old gelding Unioniste (7-4 ), winner of £170,000 under rules in his day, led his five rivals for a long way in the Owner/Trainer Conditions race, but his old legs couldn’t hold off Bridge of Spies (2-1). The winner had been mugged close home at Cherrybrook and merited a nice bet here. 

Syracuse’s Dream was ignored at 14-1 before making virtually all in the Conditions race. The grey galloped on merrily under his young rider Barnaby Treneer to hold the strong challenge of Will Biddick’s mount Board of Trade (7-2). Cloudy Music (2’s to 6-4 fav) had won on heavy ground at Great Trethew last year and the mare soon looked in trouble here before trailing in last. This form is best forgotten. It might however be worth keeping in mind Lomanchenko (10’s to 4’s), presumably named after the former world featherweight champion boxer. Admittedly his form under rules took a nose dive after his maiden hurdle win, but he was in touch for a long way here under his penalty  before getting tired.

13 lined up for the Open Maiden, unlucky for some, including me. I went for Melvyn (2-1) who looked the part but slid to the floor at the ninth. I am not sure how much cash went on the winner Dr Time, but he was noted at 8’s early before being returned 6-4 favourite. He is from a top yard but the nine-year-old had shown little in public. Runner up Jimmy Tew (5-1) should win a Maiden, but third placed Aracaras ((5’s) ran too freely. Da Vinci Rock (4-1) was not knocked about. He had bits of form in Ireland and has joined a good yard.

Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN



“Oh to be in England now that April’s there….”

Robert Browning, English poet 1812-1889

Well Mr Browning, I am not sure that you would really like to be in England today, but  you are correct in that Flete Park races epitomises the very best of English point-to-pointing in April. 

Despite pleasant wall to wall April sunshine it seemed a sombre afternoon at Flete Park for the Dartmoor fixture. The winning post flags fluttered at half mast, and there was a break after the second race for a silence in recognition of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing and funeral. 

COVID restrictions added to the unreal scenario, with just one bookmaker in each sparsely populated, segregated zone. At least a limited return of owners was encouraging. The organisers had worked tirelessly to water the course in the face of the dry spell.

A quality field of 11 contested the four miles Mixed Open for the Lord Mildmay Memorial Cup. Byron Moorcroft set a searching gallop on Ramble On, and was still in front jumping the last, only to be collared by Know the Scene (Martin McIntyre) close home. Where’s Wilma stayed on well to finish third, just ahead of Navanman and Honest Deed.

Know The Score ridden by Martin McIntyre (nearside) winning the Mixed Open four-miler from long-time leader Ramble On (far side)
Know The Score ridden by Martin McIntyre (nearside) winning the Mixed Open four-miler from long-time leader Ramble On (far side)

Know The Score had won three times under rules for the David Pipe yard, having cost £380,000 as a four-year-old. Current trainer Leslie Jefford explained, “He had lost his way a bit and we are trying to rekindle his enthusiasm. I hoped he would enjoy himself. We might come back for the Ladies’ four-miler in two weeks.” Successful Jockey Martin (Fly) McIntyre reported, “We went a nice gallop and I tried to hold him together. He would be better on a galloping track.”

27-year-old rider Darren Andrews had partnered losing favourite Navanman for John Heard in the Open, but fared better for the same yard as the mare Cottage Rose scored readily in the Restricted. After paying tribute to the watering efforts, the trainer said, “Darren gave her a peach of a ride. She is good at coming from behind. We made too much use of her at Cherrybrook.”

Darren Andrews riding Cottage Rose thanks his mount after winning the Restricted race
Darren Andrews riding Cottage Rose thanks his mount after winning the Restricted race

Ed Walker saddled Journey Juice to win the Hunt race under a fine hold up ride from  Chloe Emsley. Bay to Go (James Armstrong) made a bold bid from the front, but had no answer to the finishing pace of the winner. “This was my first ride at Flete and my third winner of the season. The plan was to come late but I had a scare when he stumbled and lost some ground on the top bend,” reported the rider.

The Ed Walker yard looked likely to complete a double when sending out three of the four runners in a disappointing turn out for the four and five-year-old Maiden. It was the Darren Edwards ridden Swearer (yes that is the gelding’s name) who took the prize however, coming from behind to win going away by five lengths. Owned by Paul Emmins and trainer Joe Tickle’s partner Danielle Kenealy, the five-year-old showed the benefit of his point-to-point bumper run last year against his three unraced opponents. “He is fractious at home and our 16-year-old son Taylor rode him round the lorry park today to keep him calm,” remarked the up and coming North Devon trainer.

Bridge of Spies gained consolation for his unlucky defeat at Cherrybrook with a convincing win under Conor Houlihan in the Owners and Trainers Condition race. The winner runs in the colours of the Bielby family with trainer George Bielby reporting, “He was a gift horse. My wife and daughter do a lot of the work. This course suited him and he acts on any going.” Jockey Conor Houlihan commented, “He was amazing. Every time I asked him up he responded.”

The Oriental Club Owner-Trainers conditions Level 3 field jumping the fourth fence

The tall jockey works for Will Biddick, who chased the winner home on evergreen Unioniste. Biddick also had to settle for the runner up spot on Board of Trade in the Conditions event. On this occasion he played second fiddle to front running Syracuse’s Dream, who gave jockey Barnaby Treneer a popular local victory, and his third career success. “He loves it here and I rode him for stamina,” said the young rider whose mother Deborah trains the gelding she described as, “inconsistent and better on a hilly course.”

Syracuse's Dream ridden by Barnaby Treneer on their way to winning the Elizabeth May Memorial Conditions race
Syracuse’s Dream ridden by Barnaby Treneer on their way to winning the Elizabeth May Memorial Conditions race

Will Biddick’s frustrating afternoon continued as his mount Melvyn fell at half way in the concluding Maiden. Both horse and the seven-times National champion jockey were unhurt. This race went to Dr Time who had shown only modest form under rules, and had failed to finish in two recent points.. He sauntered home here from 12 opponents under Josh Newman. Warwickshire based trainer Francesca Nimmo had enjoyed a winner at Chaddesley Corbett earlier in the day. Her husband Charlie Poste was on duty here and said, “Dr Time has enough ability for Restricted and Intermediates. We have now had six winners from the last ten runners.”

Photo Credits: Athwenna Irons/WMN



HUNT RACE (Sponsor; Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company)

  1. Journey Juice (Chloe Emsley) 4-5 fav hdwy three out, disp lead last, clear flat
  2. Bay To Go (James Armstrong) 14-1 made most til joined last, no extra flat
  3. It’s A Steal (Pippa Glanville) 6-4 led early, lost place three out, left 3rd two out

5 ran; 2l; 6l;  6m 3s

The Otters are back, winning with Journey Juice in the members race

RESTRICTED (Wainhomes)

  1. Cottage Rose (Darren Andrews) 12-1 led after three out, stayed on well
  2. Boygochasing (George Hiscock) 8-1 hung left, led three out til wide on bend, not recover
  3. Our Grey Boy (Josh Cameron) 5-1 led 2nd til three out, wknd

8 ran; 2l; 8l;  6m 36s

MIXED OPEN LORD MILDMAY MEMORIAL CUP 4 MILES (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company)

  1. Know The Score (Martin McIntyre) 10-1 stdy hdwy three out, effort next, led nr finish
  2. Ramble On (Byron Moorcroft) 5-2 led 4th til headed nr finish,
  3. Where’s Wilma (Matt Hampton) 6-1midfield,  good late hdwy, stayed on well

11 ran; 2l ;  1/2l   7m 48s

MAIDEN 4 AND 5-YEAR OLDS 2M 4F (Francis Clark)

  1. Swearer (Darren Edwards) 5-2 held up, prog to lead two out, soon clear
  2. Ribo A Irep (Chloe Emsley) 7-2 disp lead til after three out, rallied but no extra apprg last
  3. Nuova Vita (Josh Newman) 5-2 disputed lead til apprg two out, outpaced

4 ran; 5l; 4l;  5m 30s


  1. Bridge of Spies (Conor Houlihan) 2-1 held up, led four out, v easily
  2. Unioniste (Will Biddick) 7-4 jt fav led til four out, grad wknd
  3. Kelvingrove (Byron Moorcroft) 7-4 jt fav niggled along, 3rd from three out, no progress

6 ran; 10l;  1 1/2l;  6m 37s


  1. Syracuse’s Dream  (Barnaby Treneer) 14-1 made virtually all, headed briefly 14, ran on gamely
  2. Board of Trade (Will Biddick) 7-2 chased leader, sustained chall two out, no extra flat
  3. Cloudy Music (Charlotte Summersby) 6-4 fav started slowly, struggling in last mostly

5 ran;  2 1/2l; 20l;   6m 41s

MAIDEN (Luscombe May)

  1. Dr Time (Josh Newman0 5-4 fav prom, led after two out, soon clear, easily
  2. Jimmy Tew (Darren Edwards) 5-1 chased ldrs, went 2nd apprg last
  3. Aracaras (Byron Moorcroft) 5-1 led til two out, soon no extra

13 ran;  15l; 5l;  6m 31s

Photo Credits:
Cover, Athwenna Irons/WMN
Stephen Wensley/PointingDC