Category Archives: Results

The Results of a Devon & Cornwall area Point-To-Point

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS

“Over 1000 feet above sea level with grand view of Exmoor,but grazed by sheep with resulting hazards for unsuspecting racegoers and falling riders”

MacKenzie and Harris – Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers

Despite the sheep droppings this is a grand point-to-point course, well suited on moorland turf for late season fixtures. The Tiverton Staghounds point-to-point would have been the penultimate fixture this season in the Devon & Cornwall area. For well known reasons this has not happened, so I am delving into the history books again to unearth some action from the past.

My first personal recollection of this hunt’s point-to-points was in 1980 when they raced at Bishopsleigh (40 years ago – seems like yesterday). The move to Bratton Down took place in 1988, but the point-to-point had taken place at many different locations going back well over a century
So in place of my usual race report for this week we go back to April 1991:-

TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS AT BRATTON DOWN 27th April 1991

Going; Good to firm

HUNT

1 Sell Up (Richard White)
2 Cricklewood Chris (Stuart Kittow)
6 ran; only two finished; won by a distance; 7m 1s; SP 5-1

OPEN

1 Ballyeden (Philip Scolfield)
2 Connate (Justin Farthing)
3 Another Lucas (Ian Widdicombe)
12 ran; 2l; 6l; 6m 9s; SP 5-1

LADIES OPEN

1 Thrales (Polly Curling)
2 Fandango Boy (Linda Blackford)
3 Tijuca (Mandy Turner)
6 ran; short head; 2l; 6m 9s; SP 4-7 fav

ADJACENT HUNTS

1 The Doormaker (Polly Curling)
2 Life Peerage (Steven Slade)
3 Archie’s Nephew (Justin Farthing)
12 ran; 2l; 1l; 6m 9s; SP 11-4

RESTRICED OPEN

1 Just Joshua (Alison Handel)
2 Master Tuesday (Chris Down)
3 Seal Prince (Justin Farthing)
18 ran; 1l; 1/2l; 6m 10s; SP 25-1

ADJACENT HUNTS MAIDEN

1 Happy Padre (Vivienne Nicholas)
2 Sailor’s Shanty (Rupert Nuttall)
3 Lady Ling C Burnett-Wells)
14 ran; 5l; 6l; 6m 10s; SP 11-4

The opening hunt race proved eventful as the two leaders missed a marker on the final circuit and gifted the race to Richard White on Sell Up, trained by his mother Tessa. Cricklewood Chris would probably have won but for running out and having to re-trace..

Justin Farthing (total of 26 winners) and Philip Scholfield (23 winners) fought out the jockeys title in 1991, but it was Philip who came out the best in the Open on the useful East Cornwall mare Ballyeden, from the yard of Ben Messer-Bennetts. It is great to see Philip’s son Nick Scholfield doing so well in the professional sphere. Connate was attempting a four-timer and was caught on the run in. This grey was saddled by Richard Barber for Commander Peter Longhurst, who trained as a British astronaut back in the day.

Polly Curling needs little introduction to pointing followers and was in the early stages of her career in 1991. Her double here was initiated by course specialist Thrales, who caught Fandango Boy in the last stride. The latter’s rider Linda Blackford went on to claim the lady jockey’s area award with 13 winners. The Doormaker also came with a typical late flourish up the stiff finishing climb to beat Life Peerage and Archie’s Nephew. Life Peerage was owned by Arnie Sendell who later owned Kingscliff. Archie’ s Nephew had given David Pipe his first race ride at Great Trethew. Polly’s two winners came from the local yard of the late Mike Trickey (himself a successful amateur jockey in his day). The Doormaker ran in the colours of Captain Tim Forster who loved his pointing in the Westcountry.

Subsequently three times champion jockey, Polly Curling rode 220 point-to-point winners in her career, plus prestigious hunter chases such as the Cheltenham Foxhunters ( Fantus).

I have plenty of personal anecdotes of Polly and venture to share just one or two here. I first encountered her when she was leading up a horse for Oliver Carter at Ottery St Mary as a youngster long before she had ridden in a race. I was taking paddock notes when Oliver Carter came up to me and said, “That girl leading that horse up will be champion jockey one day.” I thought what a stupid statement, have you been on the whiskey Oliver? However he had obviously spotted Polly’s early talent. How right he was.

A few years later I remember trying to interview one of the lady jockeys at the old Holnicote course. I was sneaking into the lady riders’ changing tent not noting their state of undress when Polly announced to her fellow jockeys, “Don’t worry girls it’s only Granville”.

Also, I won’t dwell on the time that Polly got a group of us thrown out of a pub near Exeter on the way back from the races. I think she was practising some rustic Anglo-Saxon language which upset the locals. Needless to say our group did not dare to use that pub again.

Back to reality, Polly’s double at Bratton was followed by lady jockeys cleaning up the other two races. Alison Handel on 25-1 chance Just Joshua held off the challenges of Chris Down and Justin Farthing to take the 18-runner Restricted Open. The Adjacent Maiden provided a first winner for Vivienne Nicholas on the family bred gelding Happy Padre, a half brother to that brilliant mare Mantinolas.

The history of the Tiverton Staghounds point-to-points goes back for well over a century. Under the title of Sir John Amory’s Staghounds, their early fixtures were shared with the Tiverton Hunt and Sir John Amory’s Harriers. In 1899 the joint meeting was held at Chevithorne Barton, and the following year at Gornhay, which included a water jump of the River Loman. A former Liberal MP, Sir John Amory was master of the Staghounds from 1896 to 1914. He changed his surname to Heathcote-Amory and, together with his family, will be well known in politics.

Joint fixtures continued up to the first world war at such locations listed in the books as Peadhill , Tiverton and Holmead. The 1912 to 1914 meetings saw a slight change of title to Captain H H Amory’s Staghounds with Sir John Amory’s Harriers and the Tiverton Hunt. No further fixtures were held until 1921.
The meeting on 9th April 1921 was the first time the name of The Tiverton Staghounds appeared on the card, combined with the Tiverton Hunt at Peadhill. This combination transferred their point-to-point to Pileywell, near Tiverton in 1924 and continued at that venue until 1939.
It was under the Tiverton Staghounds title only when the first fixture after the war took place at Thelbridge on 3rd May 1947. They raced at this venue until the course closed in 1958. It was on to Loosebeare Manor near Crediton until 1963, when they moved to Venford.

A further move took place in 1965, to Three Hammers, Worlington. The 1968 meeting there saw some top pointers competing in the Open. The winner Hope Again went on to win the Cheltenham Foxhunter in 1971; runner up Lizzy The Lizard (Tony Hartnoll) won the National Hunt Chase at the festival in 1969 ridden by Grant Cann, and third placed Far East II won a stack of races for Ivy Frank. Sadly Tony Hartnoll, the owner of Lizzy The Lizard passed away a few days ago.

The move to Bishopsleigh came on 16th May 1970, featuring a double for Grant Cann, with leading event rider Mary Gordon-Watson winning the Ladies’ on Barty. I remember my first visit to this rural course in 1980. Firstly I couldn’t find the place (only paper maps in those days), It was the middle of a dry spell and the ground was officially hard with very few runners. The favourite got beat a short head in the first. I backed the “winner” of the Restricted but it was disqualified and the two runners in the last both fell. On the bright side the Britton family had a double. The final Tiverton Staghounds fixture at Bishopsleigh was in 1987. They have been at Bratton Down from 1988 up to this day.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  • Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers – various years
  • Horse & Hound Year Book – various years
  • The Pointer
  • Sporting Life
    Sporting Chronicle
    History of the National Hunt Chase – Peter Stevens
  • Point-to-Point Calendar 1935 – 1938– Arthur W Coaten
  • Michael Kutapan – Point-to-point History & Research, Jumping For Fun website

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – EXMOOR

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882

The Exmoor Hunt was started by Mr Nicholas Snow of Oare in 1869, but I have no trace of any Exmoor point-to-point races until 5th May 1934. Kildare, ridden by Mr T Tozer of the Silverton won the Nomination race that year (basically the Open) from 15 opponents. He also won at the South Devon and Mr Spooner’s that season. The 1934 Exmoor fixture, and those of 1938 and 1939, took place at Bratton Down according to the form books. I am not sure whether it was the same course as today.

No further Exmoor hunt fixtures were held until 1953 when they raced at Thelbridge, which is between Crediton and South Molton. Another meeting was held at Thelbridge in 1954, but it was held at Bratton Down again from 1955 onwards, I think on the same track still used today. That makes Bratton Down one of the longest serving point-to-point courses in the country.
An exposed hill top course with lovely scenic views of the moor, this popular track with the public is triangular shaped with a stiff uphill climb to the judge. Three late season meetings are held there nowadays, and the times on quick ground are often under six minutes, but should not be compared with each other because the racing line varies for each meeting.
This week’s reminiscence about past Exmoor point-to-points took place on Saturday June 1st 1974:

Going Firm

HUNT

1 Credit That (Fred Rawle)
2 Heather Loch (Mrs P Johnson)
3 White Man (Gordon Edwards)
5 ran; 10l; 3l; 6m 8s

ADJACENT HUNTS’

1 Jim Hardy (Jenny Hembrow)
2 Epaulonia (Capt Brian Fanshawe)
3 Culmleigh Heath (Martin Sweetland)
6 ran; 4l; 1/2l; 6m 13s

OPEN

1 Cass (Kevin Bishop)
2 Moorland Venture (N Lethbridge)
3 Doctor Fred (Aubrey Fuller)
14 ran; 15l; 1l; 5m 53s

LADIES OPEN

1 Marshalsland (Fay Geddes)
2 Knockabitoff (Pip Fisher)
3 Orient War (Terri Pattemore)
12ran; 12l; 3l; 5m 48s

ADJACENT HUNTS’

1 Evens Bar (Capt Brian Fanshawe)
2 Liffey Breeze (Mark Reeves)
3 Perfidia (Michael Trickey)
7 ran; 10l; 10l; 6m 1s

Credit That was a good thing for the Hunt race, coming off his recent Holnicote win. Fred Rawle rode plenty of winners at Bratton and sailed clear on this promising youngster round the final bend.

Taunton based Jenny Hembrow was one of the top lady jockeys of the day, and evidently one of the most patient owners since she persuaded her Jim Hardy to get his head in front in the Adjacents’ after 49 consecutive defeats.

The Open winner Cass was a remarkable little gelding. The form books relate that he was bought for only 200 gns at Bridgwater Fair. I once asked his owner/rider Kevin Bishop to confirm that fact and he said it was absolutely true. The combination won eight of their 14 races in 1974. I remember Cass as a gritty type and superb jumper. I think he also appeared in the film The Belstone Fox. The grey mare Moorland Venture ran a promising race and became a decent pointer but was no match for Cass. Aubrey Fuller’s Doctor Fred will be remembered for giving 13-year-old Jimmy Frost his first ever winner at Lemalla in 1972.

Marshalsland was a prolific winning pointer, well handled by Fay Geddes. When he retired he had won 43 races including 16 at Larkhill. I think I am correct in saying that Marshalsland held the course record at Larkhill for many years. Knockabitoff was a decent pointer in Paul Tyler’s familiar maroon and grey colours, and went on to win plenty of races. Orient War was passed by Knockabitoff for second place on the uphill run in. This useful ex-chaser had won his first four races in 1974.

I cannot recall the exact qualifications for the Adjacent Hunts’ Moderate races in those days, but I had seen the winner here Evens Bar, owned by Ivy Frank, beat Capelena and Sparkling Lad in a Maiden earlier in the month on my first visit to the old Holnicote course (much of the home straight at Holnicote on light plough in those days). This second win when rules were different from today was achieved carrying a small penalty for winning her first Maiden just three days before at Bratton Down ( Stevenstone meeting). Her jockey Capt Brian Fanshawe was of course associated with The Dikler in his early races.

I must mention that the Horse and Hound Cup on the same day at Stratford was of equal interest to West Country fans. In one of the best fields ever assembled for that prestigious race, the star Cattistock hunter chaser Stanhope Street, ridden by Barry Venn and starting favourite, beat other top performers in Weathervane and Shraden Sparkle. Horses of the quality of Lucky Rock, Indamelia, Mighty Red and Credit Call were unplaced. I remember seeing Stanhope Street, ridden by Gillian Fortescue-Thomas, beat Zanetta in the Heythrop Ladies’ when it was run at the much missed Fox Farm.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  • Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers – Geoffrey Sale & Iain MacKenzie – various years
  • Horse & Hound Year Book – various years
  • The Pointer
  • Sporting Life (Michael Williams)
  • Baily’s Hunting Directory
  • Michael Kutapan – Point-to-point History & Research, Jumping For Fun website
  • Point-to-Point Calendar 1933 – 1938– Arthur W Coaten

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – SOUTH TETCOTT

“Life moves forward. The old leaves wither, die and fall away, and the new growth extends forward into the light.

Bryant McGill, American author, “Voice of Reason

I was looking forward to the South Tetcott Spring Bank Holiday Monday fixture at Upcott Cross, but it was not to be this year. The point-to-point has settled there alongside the Eggesford since 2006, but it had been a moveable feast since the war. Here is a short description of its history.

The early South Tetcott meetings were held jointly with the Tetcott. From March 1924 the venue was Affaland Moor near Holsworthy, and this arrangement continued until the 1939 season. The star West Country horse in the early 1930’s was Mr Snip, an outstanding banking horse, bred by his owner Mr C T Nixon in North Devon. He won 0ver 20 races, including at this fixture each year from 1933 to 1936. Main Doctor was another good horse in the area and won at this fixture in 1937, 1938 and 1939 and remarkably went on to win three open nomination races in 1946.The leading West Country rider at that time was Mr F W B Smyth.

Joint meetings continued after the war, but from the fixture on 28th March 1946 until 1954 the fixture was held at Marhamchurch near Bude. The two point-to-points went their separate ways in 1955 when the Tetcott raced at Bradworthy on 17th March, and the South Tetcott went to Ashbury two weeks later.

This arrangement continued until foot and mouth led to cancelled fixtures in 1961, but the South Tetcott reverted to Ashbury, near Hatherleigh, in 1962 when that popular gelding Grand Morn II (R Bloomfield) won the Open. He went on to win the Cheltenham Foxhunter the following year. In those days it was run over the proper distance of four miles.

The 1963 meeting was lost due to the heavy snowfall that winter, and from then on several disruptions affected the fixture. In 1964 the venue was Kilworthy, but no fixtures were held after that until a new course at Beara Court, Highampton, hosted their first evening meeting on May 22nd 1968. The hunt race was a walk over, but jockeys such as Walter Dennis, Sue Aston, Colonel C R Spencer and Fred Rawle were amongst the winners.

The official times at the evening fixture at Highampton on May 21st 1969 reflected the shortness of the course. The Ladies’ Open went to Honey Ruff and Mrs K Huntley-Jones in 4mins 30 secs. The going was heavy ! Either the horses were Gold Cup standard or the track was very much shorter than the traditional three miles. I think it was the latter.

One of the leading point-to-pointers in the country won the Open Novice race there in 1970 which was sponsored by the Sale and Mackenzie annual. This was the Ledbury six-year-old Priceless Clown who won six times that year. Mrs Gaze’s gelding was ridden by Henry Oliver, and beat title seeking David Turner on Master Vesuvius that night in 4 mins 58 secs.

No fixtures were held between 1972 and 1984, but on Spring Bank Holiday Monday 1985 a new course was unveiled at Ashwater. This re-instituted fixture was originally scheduled for Grand National day but was washed out. The re-arrangement almost suffered the same fate but just survived the heavy rain. Ashwater was a narrow, rectangular course. I was there that day and remember backing Chris Down’s mount Pembridge in the last to give him a treble. The mare was pipped on the post and I got wet through. It was a funny little track and not the easiest for spectators. It was often beset with late season hard going, and only lasted until 1992.

More bad luck awaited in 1993 when a move to Jay’s Farm, Lifton was thwarted by waterlogging. This was quite a nice location on land owned by the Cornish comedian Jethro (who is still going strong because I went to his show at the Electric Palace, Bridport, six months ago, but that is not really relevant here). Jethro owned one or two pointers in those days. The hunt raced at Lifton until the move to the Upcott Cross course in 2006. This venue, shared with the Eggesford, is more of a stayers track and has permanent facilities. It is superbly maintained by the owners Ken and John Heard, who are great supporters of point-to-pointing.

The South Tetcott meeting for this week’s reminiscence is their first to take place at Lifton in 1994.

SOUTH TETCOTT AT LIFTON 30TH MAY 1994

Going: Good

HUNT

1 Royal Effigy (Richard Cole)

2 Catundra (David Jones)

3 Handsome Deb (Mrs C Isaac)

4 ran; dist; dist; 6m 25s SP 4-6 fav

OPEN

1 The Blue Boy (Damien Duggan)

2 Bluechipenterprise (Richard Darke)

3 Olveston (George Turner)

4 ran; dist; dist; 6m 4s SP evens fav

LADIES’ OPEN

1 Curraheen Lad (Tracey Brown)

2 Timber Tool (Alison Dare)

3 Sweet on Willie (Mandy Turner)

11 ran; 2l; 2l; 6m 6s SP 4-1

CONFINED

1 Buckingham Band (George Turner)

2 Bayford Energy (Ian Widdicombe)

3 Pharoah Blue (Claire Wonnacott)

15 ran; 5l; 6l; 6m 10s SP 2-1

INTERMEDIATE

1 Columcille (Richard White)

2 Beinn Mohr (Mandy Turner)

3 Anjubi (Stephen Slade)

9 ran; 3l; 4l; 6m 10s SP 4-1

OPEN MAIDEN

1 Sunwind (David Heath)

2 Aristocratic Gold (Mandy Turner)

3 Double Light (S Trotman)

14 ran; 3l; dist; 6m 23s SP 8-1

The Hunt race winner Royal Effigy was basically a non-stayer and found a weak opportunity here.

Damien Duggan was chasing the title that year. He formed a consistent partnership with the Peter Bowen trained The Blue Boy who had been a speedy hurdler for Martin Pipe and was now making hay as a pointer. Duggan failed by one to overtake Nick Bloom for the title. Bluechipenterprise had won his last three races for Richard Darke, but was readily outpaced here.

The Pembrokeshire gelding Timber Tool was a prolific pointing winner and was all the rage for a good Ladies’ Open with five times champion jockey Alison Dare in the saddle. This time however the favourite had to give best to the Edward Retter trained Curraheen Lad. The winner had shown good form with recent wins at both Flete Park meetings with Tracey Brown in the saddle. This time Tracey pounced entering the home straight to win going away.

George Turner, then 58 years old, was on his way to lifting the area title with 14 successes. Six-year-old Buckingham Band, stabled with his daughter Pauline Geering provided four of his winners although he was not the most fluent of jumpers. On this occasion Buckingham Band stayed on strongly to hold the sustained challenge of Bayford Energy and Ian Widdicombe.

Columcille was completing her seasonal hat trick in the Intermediate. I am old enough to remember her dam winning for Robert Alner (called Damside). By this time Harry Wellstead held the pointing licence for the yard and Columcille was the mount of Richard (Johnson) White, now a long standing part of the Philip Hobbs yard.

Owner-rider David Heath enjoyed his first winner on the well backed Sunwind (14’s to 8’s) in the Maiden where only four of the 14 runners finished.

ACKNOWLEGMENTS

  • Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers, Mackenzie & Selby, various years
  • The Continuing Story of Point-to-Point Racing, Michael Williams
  • Point-to-point Calendar, Arthur W Coaten, various years
  • The Pointer
  • Michael Kutapan – Point-to-point History & Research, Jumping For Fun website

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – AXE VALE HARRIERS

“The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.”

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – William Shakespeare

There is something special about the Axe Vale Harriers point-to-point at Stafford Cross. This pleasant compact course has a garden party atmosphere, and often attracts good class horses.

The first ever fixture organised by the Axe Vale Harriers was held on
Thursday 24th April 1947 on a course across the main road (A3052) from today’s venue. From 1950 until 1993 the fixture was held on Wednesday’s. The switch to the current Stafford Cross course, much flatter and sharper than its predecessor, took place in 1966.

I must admit that I preferred the Wednesday meetings which always seemed to attract big crowds and runners from outside the area. East Anglian raiders David and Josephine Turner were regular visitors as they gathered winners towards their numerous National riders’ titles in the 1970’s on pointers trained by their father Joe Turner.

Another long distance traveller was Graham Pidgeon who sent horses from his Northamptonshire yard and would back them fearlessly. His daughter Jenny collected four national lady jockeys’ titles in the 1980’s.

I remember Robert Alner riding three winners at the final mid week meeting. Also, leading trainer Richard Barber, who regularly saddled a clutch of winners at the Axe Vale over the years, including five in 1995 which were all ridden by Polly Curling. Sadly both Robert and Richard have passed away in the last few months.

There are too many horses to mention, but a regular was locally trained Culmleigh Padre who seemed to run every year and won the Members’ as a 17-year-old, ridden by Martin Sweetland, about the same age as his mount

My short trip to Stafford Cross each year always brings a few things to mind if you will forgive a few personal anecdotes. My memory insists that racing invariably took place on sunny and warm April afternoons. In practice it was not always so. I cannot recall the exact year, but it poured with rain and deep pools of water gathered outside the paddock. In those days I used a mini tape recorder for my race reading job. When I got home and tried to replay the tape it was so soggy it wouldn’t work. For me one of the worst things that can happen is to find all your vital information literally down the drain.

Another weather related incident came in 1985 when thick fog descended on the course, which is only a few miles from the coast. Once again it was a race reading nightmare, but on this occasion I “sprinted” across the course from one side to the other four times to get a view of the action and pick up what I could see. What a relief when the meeting was called off after Tabitha Cave had won the fourth race on Ballytartar. Nowadays I use a more reliable digital recorder, but my days of athleticism are a thing of the past.

The 1989 fixture will always be remembered for a major betting coup at this little country track which would not have been out of place in a Dick Francis novel. The Welsh trained Open winner Katesville, with no recent form to his name, “landed a punt of astronomical proportions from 25’s to sixes” relates the form book. Bookmakers were said to have been stung for over £25,000. Suffice to say an air of suspicion and gossip hung in the air for the rest of the afternoon as Katesville’s horse box plus connections whisked themselves away. The winner’s registered pedigree was later amended.

RESULTS

AXE VALE HARRIERS AT STAFFORD CROSS

WEDNESDAY APRIL 29TH 1981 Going Good

HUNT

1 Sinsinawa VI (Michael Williams)

2 Roman Lily (Chris Down)

3 Culmleigh Padre (B Stevenson) SP evens fav

4 ran; 6l;12l; 6m 32s; SP 1-3 fav

ADJACENT HUNTS’

1 Piping Reed (Michael Williams)

2 Romany Heath (Eddie Whettam)

3 Smart Kid (Nigel Dunn)

8 ran; 5l; 10l; 6m 9s SP evens fav

OPEN

1 Spider Legs (Grant Cann)

2 Grey Granite (J Bishop)

3 Macturk (Tony Harris)

9 ran; 12l; 6l; 6m 10s SP 3-1

LADIES’ OPEN

1 Withen Wood (Rosemary White)

2 Kara Pops (Miss J Woodhouse)

3 Decoy (Janine Mills)

8 ran; 8l; 6l; 6m 6s; SP 11-10 fav

ADJACENT HUNTS’ RESTRICTED

1 Hewish Rocket (Robert Alner)

2 Culm Port (Chris Down)

3 Polly Bird (Eddie Whettam)

11 ran; 4l; neck; 6m 14s; SP 6-4 fav

RESTRICTED OPEN

1 Fire Port (Peter Hobbs)

2 Ali’s Chandy (Jimmy Frost)

3 Sulimnos (Robert Alner)

11 ran; 2l; 4l; 6m 13s; SP 3-1

The Hunt race winner Sinsinawa VI was a genuine mare who won seven races in her career. She was owned and trained by Martin Salter who farmed the land at Stafford Cross. He quickly completed a double when Piping Reed won the Adjacents Hunts’ race, each ridden by Michael Williams. Sinsinawa was in top form in 1981 and had little difficulty here when coming clear of Roman Lilly in the home straight. Stewart Pike’s Roman Lilly subsequently foaled a very good horse called Proud Sun. Culmleigh Padre lost touch down the back straight. He fared better winning this race eight years later.

Piping Reed was a consistent gelding in his grade and won four times in 1981. He finished with his usual flourish to beat Romany Heath who was in touch until the final bend. Smart Kid was not an easy ride but gave useful experience to his rider Nigel Dunn.

Grant Cann was one of the most successful riders of his generation. He rode his first winner (Chancellor) at the Mid Devon when they raced at Moretonhampstead in 1961. When he eventually retired he had a total of 217 winners to his name. Ten of those winners came in 1981, including three on the easy Axe Vale Open winner Spider Legs. Runner up Grey Granite was a proficient jumper but lacked pace. Macturk was left a moderate third when Just Fay departed at the last. He ran in the colours of Roger Penny whose good jumpers in later years included dual Cheltenham Foxhunter winner Earthmover.

Withen Wood was one of a string of successful pointers bred by owner/trainer Raymond Winslade. This big gelding started the season as a maiden and ended it with four wins. On this occasion he was ridden by Rosemary White, who will be remembered for her association with the brilliant mare Horoscope. Kara Pops was a good horse for the Turner’s in his day, but he acted as a schoolmaster now. John Lister’s Decoy was outclassed here despite the assistance of Janine Mills.

Three of the top riders in the area filled the places in the Adjacent Restricted. Robert Alner’s mount Hewish Rocket might have been a lucky winner. Tula Lad was in front when he ran off the course into the spinney on the bend into the home straight (not the only horse I have seen taking this diversion). The eventual runner up Culm Port and Chris Down had won their Maiden at Bratton Down on the previous Saturday. She was a tail swisher, but utterly genuine and went on to win races under rules. Eddie Whettam was another fine rider and steered Polly Bird into third place. This mare was a thorough stayer, ill at ease on this sharp track.

I felt like running into the spinney myself after the last race. My nemesis was called Ali’s Chandy. Jimmy Frost was booked and I remember waiting patiently all afternoon for a decent bet in the Restricted. Although she was a bit wayward, she had run well in fair company at Ottery, and with blinkers now applied the joint editor of the Hunter Chasers and Point-to-Pointers annual and me needed little encouragement. I won’t bore readers any more, but you don’t get paid out on seconds…..the worthy winner was Fire Port ridden by Peter Hobbs.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  • Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers – MacKenzie & Phillips, MacKenzie & Selby – various years
  • The Pointer
  • Sporting Life

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – LAMERTON

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES

“Memories are like antiques, the older they are the more valuable they became.”

Marinela Reka

.

During this difficult time with all point-to-pointing cancelled for the season, I am putting together a few articles about past Devon & Cornwall race meetings on to our website to keep us going. I hope to bring to life some past memories and perhaps provide a flavour of how things were in days gone by.

Since the first area fixture to be scuppered by the coronavirus was the Lamerton last Sunday, we start with a Lamerton meeting at Kilworthy 49 years ago (27th March 1971).

I hope that readers of a certain age (if indeed there are any readers) will remember some of the horses and jockeys involved. I was actually at the Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough, Northants that day watching such jockeys as Dick Saunders, John Docker, Peter Hobbs and Bill Tellwright in action.

Lamerton at Kilworthy 27 March 1971;

Hunt race:

1 Devon Rock (Frank Ryall)
2 Jocrow (D Moore)
3 Ireland’s Joy (R Edwards)
4 ran; 2l; dist; SP 2-5fav

Ladies’ Open:

1 Trewithett (Mrs Rame Fell)
2 Clyderound (Miss E Pinsent)
3 Warrior Prince (Miss J Blight)
11 ran; 1l 1/2l; SP 3-1 jt fav

Adjacent Hunts’

1 Golden Batman (Tony Hartnoll)
2 Delia’s Diadem (C Micklem)
3 Barn Dance (M Williams)
5l; 12l; SP 6-4 jt fav

Open

1 Sea Spirit (Hendrik Wiegersma)
2 Victory Spirit (Col CR Spencer)
3 Barter’s Peice (W Dennis)
11ran; SP 6-4 jt fav

Adjacent Hunts’ Maiden

1 Rummy Hand (Tim Le C Grice)
2 Merry Lord (TJ Harris)
3 Miss Cosmo (N Lethbridge)
9 ran; 2l; dist; SP 6-1

Only five races for us lucky race readers in those days! Just illustrates the good value of today’s point-to-points. When I first went to Kilworthy in the late 1970’s I remember immediately after jumping the last fence there was a very sharp right hand turn before a stiff run in below the car park along the bottom of the field of about 150 yards.

The 1971 Men’s Open winner Sea Spirit (by Spiritus) was a useful performer qualified with the Taunton Vale owned by Peter Blackburn. He also scored at the Tetcott at Crimp Morwenstow that season. Victory Spirit, qualified with Spooners & West Dartmoor, was also by Spiritus and enjoyed a remarkably consistent career from 1964 until retirement in 1973, winning 26 point-to-points and two hunter chases from 53 starts. Barbers Peice (funny spelling and his sire Cinecolor had changed hands for only 65 gns as a three-year-old) also won the Stevenstone Members’, the Torrington Farmers Members and the South Tetcott Moderate in 1971.

The Ladies’ Open winner Trewithett went on to win the Spooners Ladies’ easily and went well for Rame Fell. He was a strong stayer and a far better horse on long tracks like Kilworthy, where he won three times. The runner up Clyderound stayed on to get within one length of the winner. She was a soft ground specialist at tracks like Buckfastleigh and Tehidy. The Tetcott gelding Warrior Prince was useful on his best form and went well for his rider Jill Blight (now Jill Dennis).

Golden Batman won eight of his 13 races in 1971 , including an unbeaten hat trick at Buckfastleigh. His regular rider Anthony Hartnoll finished seventh in the 1971 National jockeys table. Delia’s Diadem was a genuine mare winning three of her four points in 1971, with Charles Micklem taking over from the late Joan Depree. She led at the last in this race at Kilworthy before being outpaced by the winner. Barn Dance had won a few times on the flat in his early days but was probably past his best by 1971.

Frank Ryall needs little introduction to local followers. He was in the twilight of his career by 1971. His career total of 218 point-to-point winners has only been surpassed today by a handful of riders. He owned his Hunt race winner Devon Rock who was a bit one paced, but followed up in his Members’ the following year.

The Maiden race looked fairly moderate but the winner Rummy Hand went on to win the Dartmoor & Modbury Harriers Members’ at Buckfastleigh later in 1971 where the going was published as firm to hard. He later developed into a useful point-to-pointer winning races under Janine Evans ( later Janine Mills) and subsequently took a hunter chase at Haldon ridden by Anthony Mildmay-White. He even ran in a Cheltenham Foxhunters but was past his best by then.

Acknowledgments;

“Hunter Chasers and Point-to-Pointers”

“Horse and Hound Year book”

RESULTS: DART VALE & HALDON HARRIERS AT BUCKFASTLEIGH ON SUNDAY 15TH MARCH 2020

Going Heavy (Fences 5, 12 & 19 omitted)

Hunt Race (Sponsor Ashburton Motor Works)

1 Ragged Dream (Tamby Welch) 7-1 handy, pressed leaders last, fin well to lead last 100 yards

2 Skylander (Anna Hylands) 11-4 led by passing 11th til near finish

3 Tarrytown (Tom Dixon) 9-2 chased leaders, every chance last, kept on well nr finish

5 ran; 3/4l 1/2l 7m 23s

Open Maiden (Luscombe Mayo)

1 Stevan Steel (Darren Edwards) 9-4 fav made all, drew well clear three out, unchallenged

2 Gunner Vic (Jake Bament) 10-1 held up, hdwy three out, stayed on well without troubling winner

3 Clever Des Assence (Natalie Parker) 3-1 with leaders, outpaced two out, 2nd til near finish

12 ran; 10l; head; 7m 11s

Men’s Open – Champion Chase (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Ltd)

1 Navanman (Darren Edwards) 6-4 fav led three out, soon well clear, unchallenged

2 Big Georgie (James Ridley) 7-1 led til 10th, bhd from 14th, took moderate 2nd after last

3 Fishy Story (Darren Andrews) 2-1 held up, some hdwy 14th, wknd last, tailed off

6 ran; Distance; 25l; 7m 3s

Intermediate (Exeter Racecourse)

1 The Galloping Bear (Darren Andrews) 5-2 smooth hdwy 14th, led after two out, drew clear after last, comf

2 Nickelsonthedime (Josh Newman) 4-5 fav held up, hdwy to 2nd two out, every chance til wknd after last

3 Norman Conquest (Tom Chanin) 20-1 led til 7th, lost place 13th, kept on again closing stages

10 ran; 10l; 3/4l; 7m 6s

Ladies’ Open (Skinner’s Pet Foods)

1 Master Baker ( Jo Supple) evens fav held up going well, prog 13th, went 2nd two out, led last 200 yards

2 Dicky Bob (Millie Wonnacott) 3-1 led & jumped well til headed last 200 yards

3 Wind Tor (Chloe Emsley) 3-1 3rd from 13th, rdn & wknd after two out

6 ran 3 1/2l; distance; 7m 14s

Novice Riders Conditions (Winston Pincombe, Chulmleigh)

1 Millanisi Boy (Fergus Gillard) 4-6 fav led or disputed throughout, rdn & stayed on well after last

2 Raddon Top (Conor Houlihan) 2-1 held up in touch, effort two out, no extra under pressure nr finish

3 Athreeothree (Thomasina Eyston) 8-1 chased leaders, took 3rd after last, well held

5 ran; 2l; 10l; 7m 21s

Point to Point Flat race – 4 & 5 year olds – about 2 miles (M I Plant Engineering Ltd)

Division 1:

1 Sun Rising Hill (Alice Stevens) 3-1 hdwy 6 furlongs out, led 4 furlongs out, ran on strongly

2 Fevertre (Darren Edwards) 4-1 in touch, stayed on well last 2 furlongs without reaching winner

3 Salvino (Darren Andrews) 10-1 with leaders, effort 3 furlongs out, no extra last furlong

8 ran; 10l; 4l; 4m 27s

Division 2:

1 Sandaroc (Fergus Gillard) 5-2 tracked leaders, effort 2 furlongs out, led 1 furlong out, comf

2 Charlottes Way (David Mansell) 2-1 fav imprvd 6 furlongs out, led 4 furlongs out til headed 1 furlong out

3 Red Cap (Tom Chanin) 3-1 chased leaders, good hdwy 4 furlongs out, kept on steadily

7 ran; 4l; 4l; 4m 43s

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RESULTS: EAST CORNWALL AT GREAT TRETHEW 8TH MARCH2020

Going Heavy

Point-to-point flat race 2 miles (Sponsor Philip Warren Butchers)

1 Bravo Buddy (Tom Chanin) 15-8 effort 3 furlongs out, led 1 furlong out, hung left nr finish

2 Grumpy Freya (Jake Bament) 7-2 led til joined 3 furlongs out, headed inside last furlong, kept on

3 Dancin Davey (Nathan Vergne) 5-1 in touch til outpaced 4 furlongs out

6 ran; short head – 2l; 4m 19s

 

Open Maiden 4 to 6 year olds 2m 4f (Dawe, Hawken & Dodd, Callington)

1 Don’t Rightly Know (Chloe Emsley) 4-1 held up, hdwy 3 out, strong run to lead flat

2 Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 11-10 fav led til headed flat, hung left closing stages

3 Say About It (Fionn Summers) 12-1 in touch til wknd 3 out

13 ran; 2l; 5l; 5m 54s

 

Open Maiden 7- year-olds & upwards 2m 4f (The King’s Head, Altarnun)

1 The Meters Running (Jake Bament) 8-1 led 12th, went clear 3 out, unchallenged

2 Best To Come (Byron Moorcroft) 3-1 led 10th til 12th wknd rapidly 3 out

3 Shadow Blue (Tom Chanin) 12-1 went remote 3rd 3 out

10 ran; 8l; 20l; 5m 54s

 

Mixed Open (Porsche Centre Exeter)

1 Chosen Lucky (Darren Edwards) 5-4 alwys prom, led 3 out, soon clear, comf

2 Talk of the South (Jake Bament) 9-4 3rd til went 2nd three out, no chance with winner

3 ran; only two finished ; 8l; 7m 16s

 

PPORA Novice Riders Conditions (Group Travel, Bodmin)

1 Cloudy Music (Charlotte Summersby) 4-1 held up, good hdwy four out, strong run to lead apprg last, comf

2 Awesome Tunes (Holly-Anne Drowne) 10-1 always ldrs, disputed lead by passing three out, no extra apprg last

3 Mister Dick (Scott Malson) 4-1 led 14th til after by passing three out, wknd

9 ran; 6l; 2l; 7m 17s

 

Restricted (Jefferys)

1 Port O’Clock (Darren Edwards) evens fav made all, left alone by passing three out

4 ran; winner finished alone 7m 13s

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RESULTS: WESTERN POINT-TO-POINT AT WADEBRIDGE ON SUNDAY 23RD FEB 2020

Going soft, heavy patches

Conditions – veteran & novice riders (sponsor Hog House Animal Feeds Helston)

1 Raddon Top (Conor Houlihan) 5-2 held up, led 14th, driven clear flat

2 Somewhere To Be (Tamby Welch) 4-1 in touch, hdwy to chase wnr 15th, every chance til no extra flat

4 ran; only two finished; 6m 34s

 

Open Maiden (The Old Coastguard)

1 Cottage Rose (Darren Andrews) 3-1 alwys prom, led three out, stayed on strongly

2 Arctic Milly (Millie Wonnacott) 2-1 fav handy, disp lead 15th, close 2nd two out, no extra nr finish

3 The Kitchenmecanic (Rob Hawker) 5-1 well in touch til wknd 15th

11 ran; 1l; 12l; 6m 45s

 

Restricted (Stimson & Tieken)

1 Nickelsonthedime (Josh Newman) 1-2 fav held up, led three out, soon quickened clear, easily

2 Georges Legacy (Darren Edwards) 8-1 alwys leaders, every chance four out, outpaced next

3 Macca’s Stowaway (Jimmy Cole) 12-1 made most til headed three out, tired flat

6 ran; 17l; 8l; 6m 34s

 

Intermediate (Hutchinsons, Truro)

1 Bridge of Spies (Conor Houlihan) 6-1 handy, led 15th, soon clear, kept on flat

2 Dragon de la Tour (Darren Andrews) 8-1 chased ldrs, went 2nd two out, not reach winner

3 Acadian (Lee Drowne) 7-2 prom, led 14th, 2nd three out, one pace

7 ran; 10l; 4l; 6m 33s

 

Ladies Open (The Tinners Arms, Zennor)

1 Wind Tor (Chloe Emsley) 6-4 jt fav tracked ldrs, effort inner two out, ran on strongly

2 Chosen Lucky (Charlotte Summersby) 6-4 jt fav close 2nd mostly, every chance two out, finished well

3 Inch Rock (Pippa Glanville) 7-2 led 2nd til joined last, no extra nr finish

5 ran; ll; neck; 6m 40s

 

Men’s Open (Peter George Memorial, Mrs Anita George & family)

1 Ballyhowne (Tom Chanin) 14-1 made virtually all, hard pressed two out, stayed on well

2 Millanisi Boy (Josh Newman) 6-4 chased wnr from 15th, stayed on well flat, just failed

3 Navanman (Darren Andrews) 4-6 fav chased ldrs, nudged along 12th, held in 3rd from two out

4 ran; 1/2l; 4l; 6m 37s

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RESULTS: TIVERTON POINT-TO-POINT AT CHIPLEY PARK ON SUNDAY 26TH JANUARY 2020

Going: Soft becoming Heavy

HUNT (Sponsor – Pennymoor Timber, John Pearcey & Brian Summers Memorial)

1 Jack Snipe (Rob Hawker) 1-5 fav made all, easily

2 Jabbea (Kieren Buckley) 2-1 chased wnr, wknd three out

2 ran; 20l; 7m 0s

 

RESTRICTED (Tiverton Hotel & Mole Valley Farmers)

1 Sylvies Dance (Will Biddick) 2-1 prog 13th, led three out, stayed on well

2 Thechaseison (Martin McIntyre) 7-4 fav led til headed three out, kept on

3 Kilmoganny (Jemma Sargent) 20-1 pressed ldr 10th, close 3rd

9 ran; 4l; one and three quarter lengths; 6m 50s

 

MIXED OPEN (Mr & Mrs Simon Brooks-Ward)

1 Navanman (Darren Andrews) 4-6 fav lost place 15th, strong run three out, led next, gamely

2 Frelia (Bradley Gibbs) 4-1 disputed lead three out, no extra under pressure next

3 Kerisper (Solomon Wood) 50-1 behind 15th, went 3rd two out

7 ran; 5l; 2 1/2l; 6m 54s

 

INTERMEDIATE (Exeter Racecourse)

1 Emperor Renard (Mariah McGuinness) 20-1 in touch, effort three out, led last, ran on well flat

2 Banco De Logos (Darren Edwards) 4-1 with leaders, led three out til headed apprg last

3 Rio Bravo (Bradley Gibbs) 4-6 fav led til three out, wknd quickly, v tired

7 ran; 3l; distance;

 

PPORA CLUB NOVICE RIDERS (Tozers Solicitors, Woofenden Construction & Arcken Plumbing)

1 Silsol (Ella Ortewell) 4-7 fav led after 8th, ran on strongly when pressed two out

2 Master Dancer (Fergus Gillard) 3-1 pressed ldr from 13th, every chance til no extra two out

3 All Kings (Hannah Morgan) 6-1 well in touch til wknd 13th

6 ran; 12l; distance; 6m 55s

 

OPEN MAIDEN MARES & FILLIES (Jockey Club & Clarke Willmott Solicitors)

1 Minella Beag (Will Biddick) 7-2 stdy hdwy 13th, led apprg last, held on well

2 Boss Baby (Bradley Gibbs) 2-1 fav led til headed apprg last, rallied flat

3 Cottage Rose (Fergus Gillard) 4-1 outpaced in 6th three out, stayed on nr finish

10 ran; 3/4l; 2 1/2l 7m 30s

 

OPEN MAIDEN (Mountpleasant Inn & Friends of the late Geoff White)

1 Le Tueur (Martin McIntyre) 2-1 fav alwys prom, rdn to lead three out, stayed on strongly

2 Kings Cave (Tom Doggrell) 5-1 improved 15th, every chance two out, no extra under pressure

3 Fitz Well (Zac Baker) 3-1 in touch til wknd three out

9 ran; 4l; 15l; 7m 1s

 

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Results: Modbury Harriers Point-To-Point at Buckfastleigh on Sunday 19th January 2020

Going: Soft, heavy in places

OPEN MAIDEN 4 TO 6 YEAR-OLDS ABOUT 2M 4F (SPONSOR TONY GLYNN SCAFFOLDING)

Division 1

1 Song of the Hunter (Will Biddick) evens fav tracked ldrs, led apprg last, easily

2 Young O’Leary (David Prichard) 6-4 made most, headed apprg last, no extra

3 Ahead of the Game (Byron Morcroft) 10-1 with ldrs til wknd two out

9 ran; 6l; 25l; 6m 3s

Division 2

1 Freezing Point (James King) 7-4 fav prom, disp 12th til led after two out, ran on well

2 Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 10-1 led, mstk 10th, disp from 12th every chance last, no extra flat

3 Arctic Milly (Millie Wonnacott) 5-2 chased ldrs from three out, close 3rd blundered last

9 ran; 1l; 3l; 6m 24s

 

RESTRICTED (STANLEY CARPETS)

1 Five Gold Bars (Rob Hawker) 3-1 held up, hdwy three out, led last, pushed out

2 Gio’s Girl (Will Biddick) evens fav bad mistake 2nd, hdwy 14th, effort two out, every chance last, not qckn flat

3 Nobodydoesitbetter (Darren Edwards) 4-1 alwys ldrs, slight lead three out, outpaced apprg last

9 ran 1l; 3l; 7m 11s

 

MIXED OPEN (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY)

1 Caid Du Berlais (Will Biddick) 1-2 fav held up, prog 14th, led two out, easily

2 Marcle Ridge (Sam Jukes) 3-1 led til two out, no extra apprg last, kept on but no ch wnr

3 Doc Carver (Rebecca Pugh) 14-1 imprvd to chase ldrs three out, outpaced next

11 ran 5l; 12l; 7m 2s

 

VETERAN CONDITIONS (JOCKEY CLUB & RE-TRAINING OF RACEHORSES)

1 Three Faces West (Nathan Vergne) 5-1 made all, strongly pressed two out, ran on gamely

2 Millanisi Boy (Josh Newman) 16-1 stdy hdwy 15th, went 2nd two out, kept on well

3 Bradley Brook (Darren Edwards) 12 -1 bhd til hdwy three out, stayed on, nearest at finish

10 ran; 4l; 5l; 7m 6s

 

OPEN MAIDEN 7 YEAR-OLDS AND OVER (FAVIS OF SALCOMBE)

1 Gottagottagetaway (Sam Jukes) 14-1 went 2nd 14th, led two out, soon clear

2 On Raglan Road (Fergus Gillard) 16-1 5th at 13th, stayed on clsg stgs but no chance wnr

3 Clever Des Assence (Natalie Parker) 3-1 with ldrs til wknd two out

13 ran; original distances 12l; 3l; 1/2l ; 7m 18s; Chicago Lady finished 3rd but was disqualified following an objection by the clerk of the scales

 

INTERMEDIATE (EXETER RACECOURSE)

1 Shometheway (Sam Jukes) 11-10 fav handy, led two out, soon clear , comfortably

2 Journey Juice (Will Biddick) 8-1 hdwy 14th, 3rd two out, went 2nd apprg last

3 Cloudy Music (Darren Edwards) 3-1 well in touch, slight lead three out, kept on under pressure

10 ran; 5l; 1 1/2l; 7m 13s

 

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