Category Archives: Hunter Chase

Hunter Chase meetings in the Devon & Cornwall area

Cheltenham Hunter Chase night and Punchestown Champion Hunter Chase – At The Races – Punters Lounge Forum

Darran Pearce previews the Cheltenham and Punchestown hunter chases.

It is great to have Cheltenhams hunter chase night back after a year off last year and there there looks to be some cracking action in store across the 7 races. Over in Ireland we have their big hunter chase of the season at Punchestown where Caid Du Berlais will be looking to land the hat-trick….
— Read on forum.punterslounge.com/topic/177230-cheltenham-hunter-chase-night-and-punchestown-champion-hunter-chase/

Cheltenham Digital Racecard
Punchestown Digital Racecard

Cover photo: © Copyright David P Howard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

EXETER RACECOURSE CONFIRM AMENDMENTS TO HUNTERS’ CHASES

Published on: www.pointtopoint.co.uk

Exeter Racecourse have today confirmed some changes to their programmed hunters’ chases.

The amendments are intended to allow more opportunity for British pointers, following the impact of Covid-19.

Changes include widening the Intermediate Hunters’ Chase to allow runners from the Wessex and West Midlands point-to-point areas, and allowing qualifiers from the 2019/20 season to line up in the P2P Bumper.

Full race conditions below:

Exeter / Tuesday 6 April 2021 Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company Ltd Open Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)
Weights published on April 1st | Declarations to run must be made by April 4th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON MARCH 31ST
for five yrs old and upwards | about THREE MILES (3m 54yds) | Weights: 11st 12lb each

Exeter / Friday 16 April 2021 Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co Ltd Intermediate Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)

Weights published on April 11th | Declarations to run must be made by April 14th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 10TH
for five yrs old and upwards, which have not won any Steeplechase or Hurdle race under the rules of any Recognised Racing Authority nor any Mens, Ladies or Mixed Open and which, after September 30th 2018, have finished FIRST, SECOND, THIRD or FOURTH in an Intermediate or Conditions point to point (to include Confined, Club Association, Service or Society Point-to-Point races) or have won a Restricted or Maiden race (not including point to point flat races). Only horses with Hunters’ Certificates registered with any of the West Midlands Area, Wessex Area and Devon & Cornwall participating hunts are qualified to enter this race.
about THREE MILES (3m 54yds)
Enter by noon, April 10th and pay £18 stake. Declare by 10.00 a.m. April 14th
Weights: 11st 12lb each. Mares allowed…7lb. Penalties, after 2019, a winner of a steeple chase…4lb Of 2 steeple chases or of a Class 1 to Class 3 steeple chase…8lb
(Half penalties for wins achieved in Novices’ and Maiden Hunters’ Steeple Chases in Great Britain or Ireland)
NB: With reference to the 8lb penalty for at least two Chase wins, a horse may only claim a half penalty if all wins were in Novice or Maiden Hunters’ Steeple Chases
To be ridden by Amateur Jockeys. 18 HC

Exeter / Thursday 22 April 2021 / 7:55pm / Goffs Spring Sales P2P Bumper Maiden National Hunt Flat Race (Class 5) (Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race)

Weights published on April 17th | Declarations to run must be made by April 20th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 16TH
for maiden four, five and six yrs old only, which have not run under any recognised Rules of Racing and which, after October 2019 and before April 16th, 2021, have, on at least one occasion, finished first, second or third in a Point-to-Point Flat race or any category of Maiden Point-to-Point steeple chase staged in Great Britain
TWO MILES ABOUT ONE FURLONG (2m 175yds)
Weights: 4-y-o……..11st 7lb; 5-y-o and 6-y-o…11st 12lb
Fillies and mares allowed…7lb
The riders shall be: (i) Conditional Jockeys (ii) Overseas Jockeys who are under 26 years of age and who, within the past 6 months, have been eligible to claim
an allowance under the provisions of paragraph 53 of the Weights and Handicapping Code (iii) Amateur Jockeys holding ‘Category A’ or ‘Category B’
permits to ride, or (iv) Amateur Overseas Jockeys eligible under Rule (B)30. The Riders’ Allowances under paragraph 53 of the Weights and
Handicapping Code may be claimed in this Race
Horses placed first, second or third in the official order of finish to this race will be offered a free wildcard entry to the DBS Spring Sales.
ELIMINATION PROCEDURE – Horses will be protected from elimination in order of number of wins gained in Point-to-Point races during the current Point-to-Point season. Should it be necessary to eliminate some but not all horses with the same profile, random balloting will apply. PLEASE NOTE: For the purposes of Trainer’s licences and Trainer’s permits, this race will be treated as a Hunters’ Steeple Chase. The British Horseracing Authority has modified Regulation 34
so that running in this race will not affect a horse’s eligibility for Point-to-Points. If qualified, privately trained horses may run in this race under Rule (C)1 (as modified). (i.e. Horses are not required to be ‘in training’ and may continue to run in Point-to-Points after this race). The British Horseracing Authority has modified Rule (C)1 and Schedule (F)8 of the Rules of Racing for the purposes of this race.

Exeter / Thursday 22 April 2021 / 7:25pm / Heavitree and Exeter Supports P2P Novices’ Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)

Weights published on April 17th | Declarations to run must be made by April 20th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 16TH
for novice five yrs old and upwards. NOTE: For the year 2021, the term ‘Novice’ for Hunters’ Steeple Chases is defined as a horse which has not won a steeple chase
before June 1st, 2020 | about THREE MILES (3m 54yds) | Weights: 11st 10lb each

Exeter Racecourse | Scheduled Hunter’s Races

On behalf of Exeter Racecourse I am pleased to share the following races and new amendments; Thank you to those of you who have supported us with our race planning conversations recently.  

 Due to the cancellation of the Exeter Intermediate Series, on 16th April we have a new amendment for D&C, Wessex and West Midlands below. We would be very grateful if this can be shared with your community, relationships, and websites as soon as possible, so that we can help the Racing & Pointing community have a near-usual racecourse opportunity this spring on Haldon Hill.

 We continue to review all of our races and consider changes at the end of each season; feedback is welcome. The changes are 16.04.21 and 22.04.21 respectively, we have added in our unchanged races as well for information; please always use Racing Admin for the latest race conditions. With thanks to the generous contributions of our Sponsors again this season

 Daniel Cooper

JCR Clerk of the Course
The Jockey Club

Exeter | Wincanton

M: 07976 413045

For the thrill of it

 

Exeter / Tuesday 6 April 2021 Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company Ltd Open Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)

Weights published on April 1st | Declarations to run must be made by April 4th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON MARCH 31ST

for five yrs old and upwards | about THREE MILES (3m 54yds) | Weights: 11st 12lb each

 

Exeter / Friday 16 April 2021 Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co Ltd Intermediate Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)

Weights published on April 11th | Declarations to run must be made by April 14th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 10TH

for five yrs old and upwards, which have not won any Steeplechase or Hurdle race under the rules of any Recognised Racing Authority nor any Mens, Ladies or Mixed Open and which, after September 30th 2018, have finished FIRST, SECOND, THIRD or FOURTH in an Intermediate or Conditions point to point (to include Confined, Club Association, Service or Society Point-to-Point races) or have won a Restricted or Maiden race (not including point to point flat races). Only horses with Hunters’ Certificates registered with any of the West Midlands Area, Wessex Area and Devon & Cornwall participating hunts are qualified to enter this race.

about THREE MILES (3m 54yds)

Enter by noon, April 10th and pay £18 stake. Declare by 10.00 a.m. April 14th

Weights: 11st 12lb each. Mares allowed…7lb. Penalties, after 2019, a winner of a steeple chase…4lb Of 2 steeple chases or of a Class 1 to Class 3 steeple chase…8lb
(Half penalties for wins achieved in Novices’ and Maiden Hunters’ Steeple Chases in Great Britain or Ireland)
NB: With reference to the 8lb penalty for at least two Chase wins, a horse may only claim a half penalty if all wins were in Novice or Maiden Hunters’ Steeple Chases

To be ridden by Amateur Jockeys. 18 HC

 

Exeter / Thursday 22 April 2021 / 7:55pm / Goffs Spring Sales P2P Bumper Maiden National Hunt Flat Race (Class 5) (Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race)

Weights published on April 17th | Declarations to run must be made by April 20th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 16TH

for maiden four, five and six yrs old only, which have not run under any recognised Rules of Racing and which, after October 2019 and before April 16th, 2021, have, on at least one occasion, finished first, second or third in a Point-to-Point Flat race or any category of Maiden Point-to-Point steeple chase staged in Great Britain

TWO MILES ABOUT ONE FURLONG (2m 175yds)

Weights: 4-y-o……..11st 7lb; 5-y-o and 6-y-o…11st 12lb
Fillies and mares allowed…7lb

The riders shall be: (i) Conditional Jockeys (ii) Overseas Jockeys who are under 26 years of age and who, within the past 6 months, have been eligible to claim
an allowance under the provisions of paragraph 53 of the Weights and Handicapping Code (iii) Amateur Jockeys holding ‘Category A’ or ‘Category B’
permits to ride, or (iv) Amateur Overseas Jockeys eligible under Rule (B)30. The Riders’ Allowances under paragraph 53 of the Weights and
Handicapping Code may be claimed in this Race

Horses placed first, second or third in the official order of finish to this race will be offered a free wildcard entry to the DBS Spring Sales.
ELIMINATION PROCEDURE – Horses will be protected from elimination in order of number of wins gained in Point-to-Point races during the current Point-to-Point season. Should it be necessary to eliminate some but not all horses with the same profile, random balloting will apply. PLEASE NOTE: For the purposes of Trainer’s licences and Trainer’s permits, this race will be treated as a Hunters’ Steeple Chase. The British Horseracing Authority has modified Regulation 34
so that running in this race will not affect a horse’s eligibility for Point-to-Points. If qualified, privately trained horses may run in this race under Rule (C)1 (as modified). (i.e. Horses are not required to be ‘in training’ and may continue to run in Point-to-Points after this race). The British Horseracing Authority has modified Rule (C)1 and Schedule (F)8 of the Rules of Racing for the purposes of this race.

 


Exeter / Thursday 22 April 2021 / 7:25pm / Heavitree and Exeter Supports P2P Novices’ Hunters’ Chase (Class 6)

Weights published on April 17th | Declarations to run must be made by April 20th | TO CLOSE BY NOON ON APRIL 16TH

for novice five yrs old and upwards. NOTE: For the year 2021, the term ‘Novice’ for Hunters’ Steeple Chases is defined as a horse which has not won a steeple chase
before June 1st, 2020 | about THREE MILES (3m 54yds) | Weights: 11st 10lb each

 

Stratford Hunter Chase night preview

Darran Pearce’s preview of the Stratford Hunter Chase night. 

We finally get to the end of the Hunter Chase season with the big evening at Stratford. 6 Hunter Chases including the John Corbet Cup, the Stratford Foxhunter and the only handicap Hunter Chase of the season. There is also a point-to-point bumper to end the card. Now the ground they are giving as good with it set to be 22 and breezy tomorrow, but they have been well known to over water for this meeting and last year was a new low in that regards. Horses were finishing as if it was heavy winter ground which was crazy and I don’t think the trainers were happy about the fact it had been so well watered for the pro card on the Saturday. Hopefully they have got it right this year and it is good ground likely to go on the quick side.

Bullsempire – Has two squiggle’s next to his name in the pointing formbook and an unlikely winner.

Classic Ruler – Won his bumper by 15L but the time was 12 seconds slower than the other division. Didn’t look the strongest heat either, but the fact he is proven in a bumper counts for something in this race.

Daranova – Has been really well backed the last twice and does seem like 2m might suit him. I suspect he won’t be good enough, but he has a shrewd trainer so a bold showing wouldn’t be a massive surprise.

Neil The Legend – Well beaten in 2 bumpers before winning over 2m4f. Jumped poorly next time and probably didn’t stay over 3m.

Rivercourt Guy – Clearly wasn’t staying the trip and then suddenly bolted up over 3m at Garthorpe earlier in the month. Could also be the case that the penny has finally dropped and could well go close for Caryto Des Brosses connections.

The Garrison – Was stuffed by Earth Leader 2 starts back which was his first completion and then was beaten 5L last time. Would be a surprise if he was good enough.

Eqqus Gold – Well backed at Barbury but winning time was 8 seconds slower than race Mount Nelly was a close 3rd in. Form doesn’t look at special, but again has at least proven himself in a bumper.

Courtly Love – I wonder if connections tried asking to see if they could use her real name. Anyway she looks to have plenty to find on her form so far although maybe she has a hole in her given she has the first time tongue-tie.

Love Around – Is quirky and her maiden win came when she was left alone. Had 12 starts and looks exposed.

Morning Smiles – Finished upsides Courtly Love last time and looks to have plenty to find.

Mount Nelly – Run in both Exeter and Aintree’s version of these bumpers finishing 4th and 6th. Ran well enough and connections go for the hood. My initial thinking was to oppose her, but having gone through the form this looks pretty weak and she wouldn’t be out of this.

Feodora – The official pointing website doesn’t put the whole video up of races so I haven’t seen the whole event, but from what I did see you would do well to see a worst round of jumping. She was really bad jumping out to her right and being really slow over her fences. Even then she still nearly won although it was a 3 runner race. She clearly has an engine though and did go off 1/3. Connections know the time of day with their youngsters and with no fences in the way she should be capable of showing much better.

Petit Petard – Was 13th of 14 when miles behind Equus Gold on debut at Barbury and then got herself miles behind a month later before flying home to win cosily in the end. She would have been a huge price in running she was that far behind. The concern is she does that again here and she might not get away with it round this tight track, but a good jockey has been booked and the penny clearly finally dropped last time.

Summary – This looks a pretty weak heat and the first up bumper winners have to be respected even though they didn’t do great times and Mount Nelly has to have a chance as well. I am though going to take a chance on 3. Feodora is going to be the main pick as she clearly has an engine, comes from a good yard and will do better with no fences in the way. I know Petit Petard has a lot of ground to make up with Equus Gold on Barbury running, but I was taken with the win the next time and she should continue to improve. I know backing a horse who pulled up on his first 4 starts and then finished a well beaten 2nd means he could be exposed, but based on his win on the 6th start Rivercourt Guy looks like he could just be a slow learner. He also looked like 2m might suit and his trainer wouldn’t run him for the sake of it. At a big price I will have a small play.

EQUINE INFLUENZA NOTIFICATION FOR HORSES RUNNING ON LICENSED RACECOURSES

EQUINE INFLUENZA: Requirement for unlicensed individuals to present negative nasal swab result on licensed racecourses

 

The above seeks to notify all connections of horses with registered Hunters’ Certificate for 2018/19; AND APPLIES TO UNLICENSED INDIVIDUALS ONLY.  IF YOU HAVE A LICENCE OR PERMIT TO TRAIN THE MESSAGE BELOW DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU:

 

Horses will not be allowed to enter the racecourse premises & therefore run, if connections are not in possession of the above documentation in addition to the Health Declaration form.  Please see frequently asked questions below:

  

What is the requirement before arrival at the racecourse?

A negative result from a nasal swab taken no more than 72 hours before the horse is due to arrive at the licensed racecourse must be emailed to equine@britishhorseracing.com

 

What is the requirement on arrival at the racecourse?

The negative nasal swab result must be presented to the BHA Veterinary Officer (VO) or Equine Welfare and Integrity Officer (EWIO) on arrival and before the horse is unloaded.  This also applies to equine companions.

 

All samples must be sent to the Animal Health Trust (AHT), Newmarket….Why can’t I send a sample to my local Veterinary Surgery / laboratory?

The sole use of the AHT laboratory in partnership with the BHA ensures consistency of service in line with BHA’s requirements.

 

How do I transport the nasal swab sample to the AHT?

By courier or recorded post overnight.

 

Does the above requirement apply to equine companions?

Yes.  Any horse / pony unloaded onto the racecourse stables must also have a negative result for Equine Influenza.

 

How long will this restriction last?

The BHA is currently monitoring the situation and the restriction shall remain in place until the end of the season.

 

How long will it take for the result to come back?

AHT has confirmed a one-day turnaround on receipt of the sample.

 

When is the AHT Closed?

Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

 

How can I comply with the 72 hour requirement if the horse is running on a Monday?

The BHA will allow a nasal swab to be taken on the Thursday (but no earlier) prior to running on a Monday.

 

In order to ensure that no samples are missed, the AHT has made the following request:

Please notify the AHT on or before the Friday using the email address diagnostics@aht.org.uk to inform them of your runner and to ensure they are expecting the sample over the weekend.  The sample can then be specifically identified.  In addition, the form should include details of the e-mail address to which the official report should be sent on the Monday morning – these are usually sent to the submitting veterinary practice but a copy report can also be sent to the trainer.

 

Cheltenham Hunters’ Steeple Chases Evening Friday 3 May 2019

Given the number of horses trained by unlicensed individuals at the above meeting, nasal swabs taken on Tuesday 30 April will be considered acceptable.  Please follow the same procedure as outlined above.

 

Exeter and Fakenham Hunters’ Steeple Chases Tuesday 7 May

Nasal swabs taken on Thursday 2 May will be considered acceptable.  Please follow the same procedure as above.

 

Please do get in touch if you have any further queries.

Regards,

Lucy

 

Lucy Price

Point-to-Point Executive

British Horseracing Authorityhttps://www.britishhorseracing.com/

75 High Holborn, London WC1V 6LS

Direct: +44 20 7152 0049

www.britishhorseracing.com

 

Darran Pearce’s Aintree Foxhunter’s preview

Reposted from: https://twitter.com/darranpearce/status/1113462807998148608?s=21

Asockastar – I said in my Cheltenham preview that I thought he would run with credit and that is exactly what he did to finish 8th. Patrick Mullins has been booked for the ride and I could see him finishing in the top 10 again without troubling the places.

Balnaslow – Great ‘winner’ of this race last year after finishing 2nd the year before. It seems like he will lose the race though from what we have been told which is a shame for connections. I’m sure he will have his fans given how he has run the last two years, but he doesn’t look in good form this and he ran no sort of race at Cheltenham. With no Derek O’Connor on top either I am more than happy to oppose.

Bear’s Affair – The horse who is set to become the 2018 winner once the BHA finally announce he has got the race. He won his seasonal return back in November, but then pulled up at Cottenham in December and was 2nd to his stablemate Optimised at Bangor last time out. He was beaten a neck that day and the winner has won 2 since including a Hunter Chase so the form isn’t that bad. The problem is he is 13 now as much as I am sure he will run well and get round I just wonder if a top 4 placing might be a bit above him this year.

Burning Ambition – Was the big talking horse all last winter ahead of Cheltenham and he travelled really well into the race which had me worried given I didn’t fancy him. However he didn’t stay up the hill and ended up only 8th. There was talk that he wouldn’t be hunter chasing this season, but he returned with connections saying Aintree rather than Cheltenham was the target which made sense given he didn’t stay at Cheltenham. He made a winning return in January, but then disappointed when beaten by Sidetracked the following month.Those two re-opposed at Down Royal the day after Cheltenham when Burning Ambition held on by a diminishing margin from Sidetracked. The jockey said he was just easing him down and he had plenty left, but I must admit that wasn’t how I saw it and I was slightly worried, having put him up as a bet, that he wasn’t actually going to win. I thought he didn’t have much left and that added to the fact he got beaten on his previous start is a worry for me. If this was last season I could understand why he heads the market, but this time around, especially given the UK horses seem to have the upper-hand based on Cheltenham in this sphere I don’t get the price. A big plus though is that he has Derek on top.

Champagne West – Miles behind Seefood at Leicester and impossible to see how he can reverse that form despite his back class which includes winning the 2017 Thyestes.

Coastal Tiep – Pulled up at Cheltenham and hard to see much of an improvement here.

Crazy Jack – Was well handicapped when winning the handicap Hunter Chase at Stratford last season, but that is is only Hunter Chase win and hasn’t shown much in 3 runs this season.

Dineur – Great winner of this race two years ago, but wasn’t see again until last month and he was miles behind Road To Rome. Unseated rider early on at Fakenham on Gold Cup day and it is hard to know what sort of ability he still has at the age of 13, but hard to want to back him to get back his crown.

Galley Exhibition – Wasn’t a bad run at Kingston Blount last time when 2nd but was last of 12 in this last year and hard to see him improving on that.

Greensalt – A surprise 3rd in this last year and then unseated at Hexham when badly hampered 2 from home by the leader who fell. Just seen the once so far this season when he was a 3L 2nd to Path To Freedom at Duncombe Park. That was a fair run and this clearly has been the target, but hard to see him equalling last year’s efforts let alone go 2 places better.

Just Cause – Beaten at odds on by Asockastar at Leicester and I don’t think he will reverse that form let alone trouble the judge here. Pulled up at Cheltenham.

Kruzhlinin – 7 out of 7 in Irish points this season, but not sure that means he has achieved a great deal and was 3rd at Down Royal in his only Hunter Chase behind Stand Up And Fight. That leaves him with work to do here. I also have a big concern about the trip as it looks on the short side and in his previous runs round here he has never really convinced either. Not for me.

Mr Mercurial – Been a really good pointer/hunter chaser over the years and ran well enough when 8th in his only run in this back in 2017. Had a superb season last time around and in that form I would be tempted to back him for this. The problem is he left Shelia Crow last season and has gone to Will Ramsey who trains him and rides him as well. He isn’t a great jockey and I don’t think he has given him great rides either start this season. If you give him a chance to dog it then he will and he was in front for way too long at Kelso when his head went straight up in the air after the last allowing Shantou Flyer to go past him. Granted that form is looking pretty decent now and Sir Jack Yeats was in behind them so it was still a good run. He was then 3rd in the Grand Military Gold Cup when he didn’t stay although his jockey did get carried away which didn’t help. This test will suit more but who knows what sort of ride he is going to get.

Mr Mix – Was a well beaten 2nd behind Hazel Hill at Warwick and although the winner is top notch I still think the form is suspect in behind. His pointing form is nowhere near good enough to get competitive in this. He was seen to have blood coming from his nose after winning at Charing which would explain why he was an unimpressive winner, but that also brings its own concerns as to if he will do it again. I think he is really short in the betting for what he has done this season.

Never Complain – Well beaten in 2 previous attempts and no reason why he should do any better here.

Numbercruncher – Too far for him and he will be outclassed anyway.

Pass The Hat – Got this horse very wrong in both his Hunter Chase wins as I didn’t fancy him at either Southwell or Carlisle. It could be argued Road To Riches needed it at Carlisle, but I thought he ran out a decent winner and it is hard to see why he should be such a big price compared to that horse for this. I can see him running well, but he ought not to be good enough to win this.

Road To Riches – Had a very easy task to win last time after that 2nd to Pass The Hat back at Carlisle. Was 6th in last year’s National and was 3rd to Coneygree in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, but as mentioned above I wouldn’t be certain he can overturn that form with Pass The Hat let alone win this and he isn’t for me.

Road To Rome – I’ve been saying for ages now that this is the race for him. He ran a stormer at Chetlenham finishing 4th after just not staying after setting a blistering gallop as he usually does. His jockey has a superb record round here and has won this race 3 times. The two minor concerns are his jumping, although he has never looked like falling this season, and a bigger worry would be that he has 8 races already since the season started in November. After a tough race at Cheltenham as well it might well catch up with him, but it hasn’t so far and I think that is the only thing that is going to stop him from winning this.

Seefood – Wasn’t exactly the strongest renewal of the Leicestershire Hunter Chase that he won on his only start so far for new connections, but he was an impressive winner and he was well backed ahead of the race as well so connections were clearly expecting a big run. His last good run under rules was in the Grand Sefton in December 2016 when he was a good 2nd so he ha crucial course form as well. His jockey isn’t the most experienced in the field, but she gave him a good ride at Leicester and I think he has a fair shout of hitting the frame.

Shantou Magic – No chance

Shimla Dawn – Has to front run as he did when winning well at Musselburgh but no way will he be pacey enough to keep up with Road To Rome here.

Sir Jack Yeats – I think he has a huge chance. Last season was all about qualifying him for Cheltenham which ended up being a bit rushed given he needed 3 runs to get qualification. He then run well enough at Cheltenham but didn’t really see out the trip. Aintree was very much an after thought and it told late on when he ended up finishing 9th although I do want to see him handle the Canal Turn better than he did that day. This season he looked like he might win at Kelso before the lack of a run told late on and his trainer admitted after he won at Fakenham that he had left him more under-cooked than he thought he had ahead of the Kelso run. He had little to beat at Fakenham, but he did it with ease and this has been his main target instead of an after thought this time around

Starkie – Not seen since surprisingly beating one of the best pointers in recent years Broken Eagle at Hackwood last season and on that form would be of serious interest in a normal Hunter Chase, but hard to see him being good enough for this.

Top Wood – A superb training performance to get him to finish 3rd at Cheltenham on his seasonal debut after finishing 2nd in the race last year. Has never been here before, but no reason why he shouldn’t handle it. The slight worry would be the trip as he probably needs slightly further, but this is likely to be a good test and given he should sit near or on the pace that should suit as well. Concern would be if he bounced after Cheltenham, but on the other side of the coin if he came on for the run then he is going to be right there at the finish.

Ucello Conti – As I said in my review of the Cheltenham Foxhunter I thought Jamie Codd gave him a terrible ride as he sat way too far off the pace and they were never going to get involved from that far back given the quality of horse up front. Was 6th in the 2016 Grand National, but unseated in the last 2 years although was a close 4th in the Becher Chase in 2016. I didn’t fancy him for Cheltenham though as I thought his form this season wasn’t great and this trip is surely going to be on the sharp side for him. I can see him being tapped for toe from an early stage and struggle to get into the race from there.

Wonderful Charm – Slightly surprised he is even running given Sam is on Road To Rome. Was always well behind in this last year and likely to be the same again especially with the cut in the ground.

Summary – As at Cheltenham I am more than happy to oppose the Irish here and am going to stick with the home team. As long as Road To Rome isn’t feeling a long season then he is the one they all have to beat and he is the main selection. Sir Jack Yeats has been specifically aimed at this race this year and until running wide at the Canal Turn was running a good race. I think he has a huge chance and is over-priced. Top Wood is the 3rd choice as hard to see him out of contention as long as he doesn’t bounce. A small e/w play on Seefood as well who is proven round here and is another to have clearly targeted this race.

Road To Rome 2pts @ 4/1

Sir Jack Yeats 1pt e/w @ 22/1

Top Wood 0.75pts e/w @ 14/1

Seefood 0.5pt e/w

Creative Inertia is crowned Exeter’s intermediate champion

Creative Inertia was crowned Exeter Racecourse’s intermediate hunter chase series final after a rousing display in which he took up the lead three fences from home and galloped on to record an eight lengths success in the hands of Rex Dingle.Monica Tory’s eight-year-old had qualified for the final at Bishops Court in November where he finished second of the five runners on good to soft going.Tuesday’s drying ground played to his strength and he put up a foot perfect display to land the prestigious race which was the culmination of seven qualifiers in the Devon and Cornwall Area.
The gelding was Crewkerne-based Ben Clarke’s last ever ride as an amateur before he retired from race riding to concentrate on training three years ago. “He’s been placed five times this year, and every time we wanted to run him on better ground, it started raining again! We thought he’d handle today’s drying ground and he did it really well under a good ride from Rex who’s a young amateur going places,” he said.In second place was Nicky Martin’s The Lizard King who also qualified at Ottery St Mary in November. David Rogers, who readies his horses near Newton Ferrers in South Deon, saddled the third placed horse, Brandy and Red who was ridden by Josh Newman. Odds on favourite Mistress Massini was fourth and bringing up the rear was the Gordon Chambers-trained Golander.Racecourse ambassador Bryony Frost rode two winners and narrowly missed out on a third with Triple Chief, trained at Buckfastleigh by her father Jimmy, just losing out by two and a half lengths after running a fine race in defeat in the Heavitree Brewery Handicap Chase. The 23-year-old was successful on Max Forte, trained by Chris Down at Cullompton, and Paul Nicholls’ racecourse debutante Rhythm Is A Dancer, the 2-1 favourite in the concluding bumper. Frost made all on the good-looking five-year-old to win by eight lengths.Harry Fry’s Serosevsky relished the quicker ground and galloped to an easy win in the Wonford Inn Exeter National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle in the hands of Niall Madden. The five-year-old took it up after the last to deny odds on favourite Rockpoint a win by one and three quarters of a length. “She loves these conditions and will be on the go all the way through util the autumn,” said Fry.Rockpoint’s trainer Colin Tizzard later saddled Kings Lad to win the Heavitree Brewery Handicap Chase. The 11-year-old under Tom Scudamore too it up near the finish and won by two and a half lengths. The favourite, Lip Service was just ran out of it and finished third.The Alan King-trained Tillythetank took the opening Horse and Groom Heavitree Mares’ Maiden Hurdle under Wayne Hutchinson, to deny Donald McCain’s long odds on favourite Secret Escape a win having taken up the lead after the second last.

Intermediate Champion’s trophy awarded at Exeter’s ladies’ night

April 30, 2018 – The prestigious Exeter Racecourse intermediate final takes centre stage on a six race card at Exeter on May 8, when the glitz and glamour descend on Haldon Hill with the fixture coinciding with the course’s annual ladies’ night.

An Intermediate Race is open to any horse, which has not won any flat race (other than a National Hunt Flat Race) under the rules of the Jockey Club or other racing authority or any “Mens”, “Ladies”, “Mixed” Open or Intermediate Race at a point-to-point meeting. Exeter has sponsored the series in the Devon and Cornwall area for more than ten years to support racing at an amateur level.

General manager Jack Parkinson said: “We really enjoy attending our local point-to-points which is invariably an interesting, sociable day out and it’s a great way of extending our support by sponsoring the races.”

Seven qualifiers were staged this season with all runners eligible to run in the final, kicking off at Ottery St Mary in November when Will Biddick guided Moreece to success. The diminutive 15.2hh, who hails from Jonathan Lean’s yard in Pyle, Wales, was a ready winner, scoring by an impressive 20 lengths.

Then it was on to Chipley Park where Glamorgan qualified Jonathan Tudor-trained Blazing Tom landed a nice touch, having been backed from 10-1 into 3’s. The seven-year-old made steady progress under his confident rider to tackle Inch Rock at the penultimate before staying on doggedly for Bradley Gibbs up the final incline.

At Wadebridge The Two Amigos, ridden by Darren Edwards and owned by the Bradley Partnership, scored a very easy victory over the only other finisher Ambitious Pursuit. The Midnight Legend gelding was left well clear when nearest pursuer High Priority departed at the 15th fence.

Palmaria, a winner of a hunter chase at Exeter last month, stepped up to intermediate in emphatic style at the South Pool harriers meeting at Buckfastleigh readily winning in the hands of Bryan Carver for Caroline Keevil.

Ballybane followed up his Buckfastleigh success when staying on gamely to beat Prince of Poets and Creative Inerta at the Lamerton’s fixture at Kilworthy. Melanie Dixon’s progressive gelding was giving 26-year-old David Prichard his second winner of the season.

Dean Summersby saddled Honest Deed to win at Cherrybrook under Darren Edwards at the expense of front running Prince of Poets.

It was back to Ottery St Mary for the penultimate qualifier where the Pidsley family’s Eastern Calm and Christopher Barber were victorious.

Trebundannon in Cornwall provided the location for the last of the qualifiers with the Culverwell Racing Club’s Mistress Massini, trained by Teresa Clarke winning in good style under Will Biddick for the

Jack Parkinson said: “It’s been super series and we’re proud to support point-to-pointing in the Devon and Cornwall area. We very much hope a large contingent of pointing fans head on up to Haldon Hill on ladies’ night and join what’s set to be a cracking conclusion to our season here at Exeter when we have some terrific prizes on offer including a two nights stay at Bayards Cove Inn Dartmouth and more than a £1000 worth of prizes from Hoopers at Torquay.”

For more information on Heavitree Brewery Ladies’ Night visit www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk

Exciting opportunity for an amateur rider at Anthony and Rachael Honeyball

Anthony and Rachael Honeyball have an exciting new opportunity for an amateur rider for the 2017-2018 season with the guaranteed ride on seasoned chaser As De Fer in point-to-points.

The Honeyballs are based near Beaminster in Dorset where they train 40 or so horses in exceptional facilities including a vast indoor school and a gallops which has produced many graded winners under rules.

Last season Anthony trained 32 winners, his best so far with nearly £270,000 in prize money. The figures are supported by consistently solid results over several seasons as Anthony and Rachael, a former leading jockey, continue to make their mark.

They enjoy the patronage of leading jumps owner JP McManus whose Regal Encore won the listed Lavazza Jolie Silver Cup at Ascot in December. Last season they also saddled Fountains Windfall to win Aintree’s Grade 3 Gaskells Handicap Hurdle.

As well as the ride on As De Fer, a veteran of 36 races with six wins to his credit, the successful applicant will also benefit from regular lessons, including grid work, with Olympic pentathlete coach Jabeena Maslin in the indoor school. Accommodation is available if required.

Call Anthony for more details 07815 898569.

New hunter chase for progressive point-to-pointers

Conditions to a long established hunter chase staged at Taunton Racecourse have been changed to enable an easier progression for point-to-pointers that have never won under Rules to take part without competing against highly rated ex-chasers.

The race is the brain child of Richard Mitford-Slade who has sponsored a hunter chase at Taunton for more than 15 years, now called the Pontispool Equine Sports Centre Maiden Hunter Chase for the Mitford-Slade Trophy. He decided to change the conditions to give point-to-pointers the chance to go hunter chasing on a more even playing field.

“There is very little for progressive point-to-pointers in National Hunt racing as more often than not, when they go hunter chasing they will be against former highly rated horses  so we thought we’d change this race, but we do need people to support it for it to take place annually.  We are hoping it will be popular,” he said.

The race is staged on April 6 with a prize fund of £3,500 over a distance of 2m7f.

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Secretaries Association – the official area website

%d bloggers like this: