Category Archives: Reports

A report on a past Point-To-Point meeting in the Devon & Cornwall area

DULVERTON WEST AT BRATTON DOWN 15TH MAY 2022

“Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.”

From a poem by Christina Rossetti 1830 – 1894

The wind was certainly “passing by” at Bratton Down. In fact it was whistling straight across the moor drying up the ground even further.

It was firm ground that kept down field sizes for the Dulverton West meeting with three of the six races reduced to a match.

Warwickshire based James King is working hard to retain his National Men’s Championship and was successful on all three of his rides, each saddled by Welshman Luke Price. 

Six-year-old  Luckello started the ball rolling for the King / Price treble with a comfortable 10 lengths success in the seven-runner  Maidensponsored by Mardon Recycling Machinery .  The mare jumped to the front at the 12th fence and drew right away from her field after the penultimate. “We got her through James King’s connection with Olly Murphy,” said the trainer whose 140 miles trip from Pontypridd to North Devon was to prove so successful. Backed from 9-4 into 7-4 favourite, the good looking mare failed to trouble the judge in eight starts under rules but looks an ideal pointing type.

That grand stalwart Spencer Moon won for the fourth time in the last four weeks when beating Potters Approach in a match for the BrendsHotels Mixed Open over an extended four miles. James King sent the 14-year-old into the lead entering the final circuit and drew clear of his sole rival after the final ditch. “This is his 14th point-to-point win. We tried to retire him but he wouldn’t have it and we use him as a lead horse at home now,” remarked the trainer.

The Mahler seven-year-old Captain MC rounded off the Welsh raiders treble when drawing right away from Don’t Ask Us to win the James PryceTractors Intermediate to take James King to the 47 winner mark for the season, now just two behind Will Biddick. Luke Price reported, “This horse wants a sound surface. He was bought privately out of Noel Meade’s yard and will keep going until the end of the season. ”

The most competitive race of the day was theEastleigh Care Home Restricted won by Ninth Wave. This gelding’s trainer Will Biddick took an away day to ride a winner at Edgcote, leaving his protégé Charlie Sprake to take the winning ride. Six of the nine runners were in contention at the third last, but it was left to Ninth Wave and Golly Its Molly (Jake Bament) to battle it out up the punishing final climb. Charlie Sprake is also seeking title honours and his 11th winner of the season put him in pole position for the HighflyerNational novice riders title. The winner runs in the colours of Peter Musgrave who said, “He has not been the easiest horse to train. He had a bruised  foot after Dunsmore  and we were keen to get a run into him. Will was confident to let Charlie take the ride.”

19 year old James Shaw rode his first winner on his own Lapford Lad on only his fourth ride in the Sandhill Racing (Philip Hobbs) sponsored Conditions race. His sole rival Steel Brush was pulled up after the 15th fence leaving the Lucy Gardner trained 10-year-old to complete the course solo. “My home is near Exeter and I have been riding out for Lucy six days a week  for 18 months. I have done a lot of eventing but now just want to race ride.” said the young rider. Sue Gardner was on duty on behalf of her daughter who was away in Jersey for the weekend.  Sue was immediately on the phone to the Channel Islands to report on how well James had ridden.

The eventual winner Bistouri D’Honore, saddled by Mike Felton, and Mister Dick (Geoff Barfoot- Saunt) raced stride for stride until the home straight in their match for the PPORA Conditions race sponsored by Coxleigh Barton and the Wright Property for 9-year-olds and over. Despite hanging right up the hill, Hollie Greene’s mount, in the colours of her grandmother Jill Miller, was well on top reaching the judge. The 21-year-old rider, who once broke her back in a car accident, has recently completed her studies in history at Oxford Brookes University and said, “ I ride out regularly for Alan and Lawney Hill. “I have had 29 rides including a dead heat at Larkhill four years ago.”

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8th MAY 2022

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

REPORT: EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8TH MAY 2022

“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.

GRANVILLE’S BANK HOLIDAY BETTING GOSSIP

TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES CO LTD – FLETE PARK

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.

STEVENSTONE AT VAUTERHILL

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

STEVENSTONE AT VAUTERHILL – BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 2nd MAY 2022

WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR

“Before we learned the story, writ down by racing feet, he taught us all the glory the long years would repeat”

William  H Ogilvie  1869 – 1963

Wii Biddick is fighting  hard for his eighth National jockeys title and reached a personal milestone of 500 career point-to-point winners at an overcast Vauterhill, North Devon,  on Bank Holiday Monday.

I have been lucky enough to see most of Will’s successes (and inevitably falls including his broken ankle at Upcott Cross last May) since his first winner on Let’s Fly at Stafford Cross in 2004. The form book for that year states that Ross Oliver’s horse , “receives useful assistance from the promising William Biddick.” I think we can say that he has fulfilled that promise.

It was Don’t Ask Us, trained by Keith Cumings at Bishops Nympton for long standing owner Peter Clarke, who brightened the day and took Will to the landmark. The trainers daughter Nicky explained, “ He is a late maturing type we bought in Ireland as a three-year-old .He doesn’t give a lot but jumps so well and will probably be kicking the lorry on the way home.”

Don’t Ask Us was the middle part of the rider’s treble, initiated when the Christopher Barber trained The Big Sting beat his sole opponent Eric The Third in the Kivells Mixed Open. The tall Scorpion gelding is not an easy ride and Biddick was niggling at his mount a long way from home. His jumping was sound however as he notched his fifth success of the season in the colours of Phil Fry. “He can be a bit idle,” said the jockey who was dumped out of the saddle as his mount spooked at a crossing just after the winning post. His young trainer said, “Plans to go summer jumping may be on hold as his owner is keen to keep him pointing to help Will.”

Wise Garden was a bit kinder to his jockey as he achieved a clear cut victory in the Jockey Club & Wades Mares & Fillies Maiden to complete the Alhampton based rider’s hat trick for the day on his third ride. The seven-year-old, who was saddled by Danni Kenealy, drew clear of the Cotswold challenger Somespring Special two out and may be seen over hurdles this summer.

The Penbode Vets & Hembury Castle Estate Restricted went to the Parker family’s nine-year-old Clever Des Assence. This steadily improving gelding runs in the colours of Tracy Parker, was ridden by her daughter Natalie, who works for Paul Nicholls, and is trained by Natalie’s sister Laura (Jones). It looked plain sailing for the winner, but he clouted the last but had enough in hand to fend off Golly Its Molly on reaching the judge.

Frome based Annie Bacon had saddled a winner at Flete Park two days previously, and followed up when Little Billy Boy won the five runner Hunt Conditions race under a positive ride by her partner Josh Cameron. “Annie rides him out at home and he likes his own way,” reported the rider.

The same yard’s Get Busy Livin (Otis Morgan) was backed from 16’s to 7’s in the concluding LAS Aerospace Ltd Maiden and was leading when running off the track entering the final circuit. This left Roc The Boat and Vinny Webster to become the sixth winning favourite of the afternoon as he mastered Henry’s Regime on the run in. In an incident packed race Businessman and Darsi’s Pass parted company with their riders on the bend at half way, taking out Roc The Motion in the process.

Jenny Boucher sent out the winner for the Horwood Racing Club and said, “He is by Graham Heal’s Vauterhill stallion Arvico out of our mare Applepie Lady, who gave me a winning ride a few years ago. I fit in riding him with my work at the local Horwood & Newton Tracey primary school.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

FLETE PARK RACES -TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN CO LTD 30TH APRIL 2022

“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

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – AXE VALE HARRIERS

The dry spell continues to play havoc with field sizes (same under rules) and again demanded considerable efforts from the Axe Vale point-to-point organisers to provide safe, watered going.

From a betting point of view there was little or no value in the opening two races at Stafford Cross. In the first, Jetmeoutofhere touched 1-6 and as “low” as 2-7 before settling at 1-4  was left solo as the other runner Aldreth (7-2 to 5-2) fell five out. Aldreth’s last winning form was five years ago and he had been hiding somewhere for a little while.

Party Tunes was backable at 1-3 in the next before contracting to 1-5 at the off. He trotted up as the veteran Druid Spitfire (3-1) couldn’t go the pace.

The Mixed Open was a bit more competitive. That splendid mare Country Legend (7-4) ran her usual game race, but was outpaced by the winner Sixteen Letters (1-2) in the home straight. He has now won five points this season.

That gave us a bit of spending money to invest in the upcoming best bet of the day, Westhill (a generous 5-4 into 1-2) in the Intermediate. Fly McIntyre set a sensible pace and had enough in hand to see off Will Biddick’s best efforts on Jabbea (put in at 4-6 and drifted to 6-4). Make a note of Westhill because he will win plenty more races.

The outsider of three won the next as Nikki Steel (4’s to 7-2) was given a good front running ride by Anna Hylands to beat Rocheston (evens to 4-6) and Sandford Castle (6-4). I sat this one out.

Dean Summersby saddled his third winner of the day, all ridden by Darren Edwards, when Transition Period (13-8) survived a mistake at the 13th fence in the Restricted. His jumping has generally improved with time, and according to his trainer he has been, “quite green and immature.” The runner up Say About It (4-1) hadn’t run for six weeks and looked to just need this race. He is sure to win a Restricted. Third placed Twist About (12’s to 7’s) won a point to point bumper in Yorkshire two years ago. He kept on steadily, but the favourite Golly Its Molly (3’s to 6-4)  proved disappointing.

Grove Ash had let his supporters down three times already this season (favourite each time), but came good on this better ground under young Charlie Sprake at 100-8 in the 10 runner Maiden. He just held on as Christopher Barber’s four-year-old Talkingtothemoon (7-2 to 5-2 jt fav) thrusted late under Will Biddick. The other joint fav Lucky Lara was dropped in class after two abortive hunter chase efforts, and finished a creditable third for his new connections.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

REPORT: AXE VALE HARRIERS POINT-TO-POINT AT STAFFORD CROSS ON SUNDAY 24TH APRIL 2022

 “There is something special about the Axe Vale Harriers point-to-point at Stafford Cross. This pleasant, compact course has a garden party atmosphere….”

Extract from the book Axe Vale point-to-point – An illustrated history by Jacquie McCullough.

I can recommend the above book which also contains a few of my reminiscences and celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Axe Vale point-to-point.  The well watered ground at Stafford Cross featured a treble for the jockey / trainer combination of Darren Edwards and Dean Summersby, plus a first winner for jockey Anna Hylands.

Jetmeoutofhere and Party Tunes faced relatively easy tasks for the Summersby stable when making all the running to win the Hunt race and Conditions respectively. Six-year-old Jetmeoutofhere had two subsequent winners behind him when winning at Dunsmore recently and was left solo here when Aldreth gave Nathan Rahman a crashing fall five out. Best wishes to Nathan, uninjured in the fall, who leaves Larkhill shortly for Army duties on the Ukraine border.

Party Tunes had been consistent without winning this season, but had too much pace for Druid Spitfire. “He liked the better ground and is another of ours that wasn’t quite right earlier,” reported the trainer”, who is based at Broadwoodwidger near Launceston.

 Forcing tactics again paid off on this sharp track as six-year-old Transition Period, in the colours of John and Sonia Gardener, shrugged off a mistake at the 13th and the challenge of Say About It in the home straight to win the Restricted, completing a treble for the Edwards / Summersby team .

Nikki Steel gave Anna Hylands her first winner in the Novice Riders’ contest.  Yet again a front running ride paid off as the Robert Chanin trained gelding stayed on bravely to deny the favourite Rocheston. The 28-year-old rider works as a primary school teacher at St Dominics School in Cornwall. “It’s near Great Trethew,” Anna aptly described the school’s location in point-to-point terms. “We bought Nikki Steel privately in Wales from Daniel Bourne. We just met up in a moorland place and I cantered him up the hill and liked him. I now ride out at the Chanin’s at weekends and school holidays,” she added.  

The in -form mare Country Legend set a scorching pace under Tom Bishop in the Mixed Open, but Josh Newman’s mount Sixteen Letters, conceding  9lbs to the mare, jumped ahead at the third last and stayed on strongly to record his fifth success of the season. Neil McLean saddled the winner for John and Floss Symes. “We got in tight to a couple but there was plenty in the tank,” reported the winning jockey.

Westhill gave Martin (Fly) McIntyre his 13th winner of the season in the Intermediate and was yet another to lead all the way. A winner at both Cotley and Dunsmore, Westhill readily fended off Will Biddick’s challenge on Jabbea. “I was never worried. He jumped really well and I had loads left,” said the jockey, now attached to the David Pipe yard. Seven-year-old Westhill, who once changed hands for £105,000 as a three-year-old, now hails from the small but select Somerset yard of Sam Loxton.

Will Biddick’s frustrating afternoon continued in the Maiden when Christopher Barber’s  four-year-old debutant Talkingtothemoon failed by a couple of strides to catch Grove Ash. The winner, trained by Mary Sanderson for Andrew Finch, seemed to relish the better ground. “ He is a kind horse and my granddaughters Mia and Shannon sometimes ride him out,” remarked the trainer. Charlie Sprake, who works for Will Biddick, came in for the ride on the winner to beat his boss, replacing the injured Rob Hawker. The 19-year-old jockey was taking his seasonal total to eight and keeps him well in contention for the Highflyer Novice Men’s title.

A cheque for £2,200 being presented to the Axe Vale from the book sales proceeds of the book written by Jacquie McCullough
A cheque for £2,200 being presented to the Axe Vale from the book sales proceeds of the book written by Jacquie McCullough

For more information on the Illustrated History of the Axe Vale (£19.99)  contact email axep2p.book@gmail.com

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Photo Credit: Tim Holt Photography

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP- EASTER POINT TO POINTS

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

Review – Exeter Intermediate Series Final

Having not held the Intermediate Series since 2019, it was excellent to deliver the series once again for this, the 2022 racing season. We made sure it was back with a bang this year. Our thanks are extended to the participating Point to Points, Devon and Cornwall area and to those who declared to run

Throughout the season, The Exeter Racecourse team were in attendance at fixtures in the Devon and Cornwall area to continue to share the message, if you run in a qualifier, you’re in the final, which was worth £4,OOO this year. It was lovely to see good participation in the series, with 40 horses running in one of our nine Exeter sponsored Intermediate Qualifiers. The final, held on Haldon Hill on April 14 th 2022, had 11 entries and 9 declarations

We wanted to re-invigorate the series this year as much as we could, with a renewed effort into our Devon and Cornwall sponsorship, activation on social media and our website, as well as sharing the qualifying messages to all participating point to point fixtures within their racecards and live-streams.

The evening was as perfect as we could have wished for, Good ground after watering, and a full house of declarations meant that we had a bumper evening in store for our season finale. The Intermediate race no-doubt had the biggest cheer of the evening in the winner’s enclosure.

We hope that the added benefit, of attendance tickets to those horses that qualified during the series, as well as Directors Box invitations to those who held a race entry with us, added to the occasion – that was very much our intention

This series is incredibly important to the Point to Point community and Exeter Racecourse. It will only be possible to continue, with continued success, measured by us through the participation in the final. As our data displays, the participation in 2022 remains on-par with pre-Covid levels, therefore we are confident this series remains valid and has a place in our race programme. Please continue to support the series in 2023

Our gallery displays those in the ring, before the big final, and our winning horse.

For your information, we have published this year’s qualification record, race result, and race record below

Daniel Cooper

Clerk of the Course Exeter Racecourse

Exeter Sponsored Qualifier RaceRunnersQualifying horses followed up with Entry into Final
Sunday 5th December – Cornwall Hunt Club @ Wadebridge8 ranQualified entry received;
Voie Dans Voie
Sunday 16th January – Modbury @ Buckfastleigh9 ranQualified entry received;
Hotel du Nord
Party Tunes
Minimalistic
Sunday 23rd January – Tiverton Foxhounds @ Chipley Park8 ranQualified entry received;
Dr Rhythm
Port o’clock
Sunday 13th March – The Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers @ Buckfastleigh3 ranQualified entry received; Lagonda
Sunday 20th March – Lamerton @ Kilworthy7 ranQualified entry received; Jabbea
Party Tunes
Sunday 27th March – Four Burrow @ Trebuddon3 ranQualified entry received; Knockmoylan
Hadmeathello
Sunday 3rd April – Spooners & West Dartmoor @ Cherrybrook2 ranQualified entry received; Mahler Style
Sunday 10th April – Silverton @ Dunsmore3 ranFinal entries received at this point, no runners required a run at Dunsmore for a place in the final.

14.04.22 Race Result’ Good, watered 6 ran. Winning time 6m, 21.80s. (Slow by 37.80s)

1stPort o’clock, IOO ORD Summersby & Mr Darren EdwardsQualified at Chipley Park, 23 01.22 (Good to Soft) 8 ran. Fourth place
2ndHadmeathelloS Payne & Miss Chloe EmsleyQualified at Trebudannon, 27.03 22 (Good) 3 ran. Second place
3 rdKnockmoylan 115 ORC R Barber & Mr William BiddickQualified at Trebudannon, 27.03 22 (Good) 3 ran. First place.

Exeter Intermediate Series Final history by year (LAST 70 YEARS) First race 7998.

Highest rated horse: 775

YearEntriesDeclarations
2022 – First year held at the end of April  
2021 – Covid  
2020 – Covid  
2019 – Last year being held in May10 
2018  
2017  
20161510
20152013
201422 
201310