Category Archives: 2011-12 Season

You saved my life

Article supplied by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust
Devon Air Ambulance
The New Devon Air Ambulance on it launch tour outside Exeter Catherdral

Jessica Westwood,  21, runs a successful business training racing horses at her yard in Exford, near Minehead.  Until March last year, however, Jessica was an amateur jockey and on target to carve a career as a race rider.

A serious accident in 2007 had almost put paid to Jessica’s dreams, when she was kicked as she fell from her horse and suffered swelling on the brain and a perforated eardrum, which affected both her sight and her balance.  After many frustrating months, however, Jess made an amazing recovery and was well and truly ‘back in the saddle’, enjoying both riding and training.

By March last year, Jess was aiming for a top six place at the annual Foxhunter Chase in Cheltenham, the amateur equivalent of the well-known Gold Cup, riding her 9-year old gelding, Monkerty Tunkerty.  Jessica was relaxed about the race; she knew that Monkerty Tunkerty was on top form, having been owned and trained by Jess over the previous two years, and Jessica was unfazed by such illustrious competition as racing against horses owned by the Queen and J P McManus.

However, Jess’s dreams came tumbling down when she suffered a fall the Quantock Staghounds point-to-point meeting at Cothelstone in March 2012.  Another head injury left the young rider with severe concussion, nauseous and exhausted with her  standing and walking affected.  Jessica was flown, unconscious, by Devon Air Ambulance,  to Musgrove Park Hospital.  Jessica has no memory of the accident, nor several days following and visits from worried family and friends went unnoticed.  After five days, Jessica came round and started the long road to recovery.  A further twelve days later, Jess started to walk again and was subsequently discharged from hospital.  She felt far from ‘back to normal’ however, and, following further tests, it was realised that as well as her head  injury, she also had two slipped discs at the top of her neck which had severely affected the left side of her body, leaving her with lack of balance and co-ordination and limited movement.   Even her speech was affected as Jess was speaking using mainly the left side of her mouth.

Thanks to family friends who have an orthopaedic clinic, Jess found herself in Germany for a month, firstly undergoing more scans and x-rays, which revealed the two slipped discs, and then weeks of intense treatment, including massage therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, neuropsychology, hand and finger therapy and computer reaction training.

As she gradually overcame all the physical issues, Jess also had to come to terms with the fact that, following two such serious head injuries, she would never get her riding licence back.  Determined not to give up her equestrian life, however, Jess vowed to continue her other love; that of training race horses.

Demonstrating the same dedication and enthusiasm to her training as she had to her riding, Jess was soon reaping the rewards and, on Boxing Day, she saw her horse, Monkerty Tunkerty, win at Wincanton.  Her horse also won at Doncaster and, despite being the youngest trainer there, she watched with excitement as Monkerty Tunkerty came in 7th out of 24 at this year’s prestigious Cheltenham Festival.

Jess explained, “So much has happened in this last year.  From feeling at absolute rock bottom after the accident, to the absolute elation at the Cheltenham Festival just one year later.  I am aiming to get my full training licence this summer and hope that other people will then send me their horses to train.  I can’t thank everyone enough for the support they have shown and I will continue to raise funds for Devon Air Ambulance Trust whenever I can.”

Continue reading You saved my life



“It was estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people attended and there were over 500 cars in the car park. The many police officers on duty were in their new summer dress – collar and ties. The sun shone brightly for the whole afternoon.” 2012 – no, the year was in fact 1949 but plenty of similarities. This newspaper cutting formed a part of the excellent display of photographs and memorabilia on show at Stafford Cross depicting the past 65 years of the Axe Vale point-to-point races.

Mixed Open (Axminster Carpets Ltd)

This produced one of the most extraordinary results of the season with the unconsidered outsider Clew Bay Cove giving his young rider the first success of his career. I think we had all forgotten what a different track Stafford Cross is compared with many courses in the area which demand stamina. The shorter, sharp Axe Vale course was certainly more to the liking of speed merchants on Saturday, and Clew Bay Cove found it right up his street. The winner raced alongside Gunner Be Quick from the fourth last, and the pair shook off Direct Flight and the odds-on favourite Benetwood from the second last. Clew Bay Cove got on top of his rival with 75 yards to run and held on gamely under his 19-year-old owner/rider Dominic Furnell in a race taking well under six minutes. In some areas of the country point-to-point bookmakers impose an upper odds limit by operating as a cartel. Fortunately the Devon & Cornwall layers do not act in this way and outsiders are priced as outsiders – in the case of Clew Bay Cove 200-1 was freely available on more than one board. Although the 12-year-old gelding had failed to score for over four years, he had useful form in Ireland in his younger days, winning five times for leading owner JP McManus. The winning jockey said, “I rode in 15 or 20 points and a few bumpers without success in Ireland and bought Clew Bay Cove for only 500 euros out of his previous stable. He ran three times in Ireland at the beginning of this season before I came over to work for Lucy Wiegersma at Hatherleigh.” I train my horse from there and Lucy’s father has been very helpful to me.

Open Maiden (Everys Solicitors)

Another young jockey partnered his first winner here as Jamie Bargary scorched home on four-year-old Bathwick Scanno. This former David Pipe trained gelding was also the first winner saddled by Teresa Clark who is based at Broomfield on the Quantocks. Bathwick Scanno jumped his way to the front at the fifth fence and was not hard pressed to hold off the late run of Rock of Fife. “He was running away with me,” exclaimed the 18-year-old jockey who comes from Cashel, County Tipperary and works in the Pipe yard. He has only had a handful of rides but is taking himself off to France for further experience in the summer with French champion National Hunt trainer Francois Coutin. Bathwick Scanno is by the top American dirt stallion Aptitude. He was placed on the flat and over hurdles and seems to have a preference for quick ground.

Confined (J & FJ Baker & Co Ltd)

Recent Cothelstone winners Ashclyst and Allerford Jack squared up to each other with Ashclyst, who had recorded a much quicker time on that occasion, sent off 11-8 favourite here under Tom Chanin. Richard Woollacott was content to sit quietly on Allerford Jack who had plenty of support at 5-2, as Ashclyst blazed the trail. The distress signals were out for the favourite entering the home straight however, and Allerford Jack jumped ahead at the final fence. John Daniell and Sam’s Lad passed the favourite for the minor places on the flat. Richard Woollacott has recently obtained his trainers licence and his partner Kayley Jones has taken over the pointto-point side of the yard. Kayley was initiating a double with this winner who was scoring for the fourth time this season. “We will probably keep him going until the end of the season,” said Kayley

Restricted (Martin Diplock)

My Runaway completed the training double for Kayley Jones, this time ridden by Robbie Henderson. Blinkered for the first time, My Runaway was a solid 3-1 second favourite behind Gone That Way who was marginally preferred in the market at 5-2. The favourite fought for the lead with Florence Mary and Wassonthen, but My Runaway always had that trio in his sights and took command at the second last. Gone Thaty ran well to finish second with Dalmatian keeping on to take third spot. Despite being backed from 10’s to 5’s, Wassonthen faded badly in the latter stages and eventually finished in about the same place as Engelbert Humperdinck in the song contest.

Intermediate (Matford Land Rover)

Rilly Goschen’s mount Tenawa looked to be going nowhere leaving the back straight as Tork to Me and Amber Love went on. The situation changed however as Tenawa fought back to head the leaders shortly after jumping the last, and the ten-year-old mare showed plenty of guts on the run-in to hold Amber Love (Darren Edwards) with Googoobarabajagal and Michael Heard staying on into third place. Home bred by her owner/trainer Jane Wilkinson from Ibberton near Sturminster Newton, Tenawa used to be a bit of a handful in her younger days She could not have a better rider however than Rilly, who, if she will forgive me, is at the veteran stage. With over a century of point-to-point winners to her credit, a National Hunt amateur ladies’ championship and a Cheltenham Foxhunters (2004) in her CV, Amaryllis Goschen represents the best example of a woman rider.

Novice Riders’ (Lentells)

It was the turn of the younger brigade with Oxfordshire schoolboy Joe Hill securing his ninth winner in his first season thanks to the useful Ravethebrave. Joe has an unassailable lead for the Wilkinson Sword Trophy for under 21 riders and is well in contention for the National Novice Riders’ title. Ravethebrave proved a cut above his four rivals here. Tres Bien (Josh Newman) just deprived Doof of the runner-up spot but they were only playing for places behind Alan Hill’s expensive Doncaster sales purchase who was winning his fourth novice riders’event of the season. Hill the younger has a long term ambition to train, but meanwhile gets back to his school desk with four more GCSE exams to come during the week.

Hunt Race (Beviss & Beckingsale)

A disappointing turn out with Dr Cerullo (Joe Hill) getting a walk over.



Hunt Race

1 Dr Cerullo (J Hill) walked over


1 Allerford Jack (R Woollacott); 2 John Daniell (Miss A Bush); 3 Sams Lad (Miss B Frost); 11 ran; 1 1/2l; 2l; 5m 47s

Mixed Open

1 Clew Bay Cove (D Furnell); 2 Gunner Be Quick (R Tory); 3 Direct Flight (Miss V Wade); 8 ran; neck; 2l; 5m 45s


1 Tenawa (Miss A Goschen); 2 Amber Love (D Edwards); 3 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 7 ran; 2l; head; 5m 46s

Novice Riders’

1 Ravethebrave (J Hill); 2 Tres Bien (J Newman); 3 Doof (Miss V Wade); 5 ran; 12l; head; 5m 51s


1 My Runaway (R Henderson); 2 Gone That Way (J Guerriero); 3 Dalmatian (D Andrews); 7 ran; 2l; 2 1/2l; 5m 50s

Open Maiden

1 Bathwick Scanno (J Bargary); 2 Rock of Fife (Miss S Berry); 3 Gleann Ri (J Ponting); 10 ran; 5l; 8l; 6m 8s



Plenty of rain during the week meant ground on the soft side at Flete Park, and the times got slower as the going became holding for the latter races. A typically huge Flete Park crowd braved the showers to see a total of 62 runners contest the seven races at this lovely parkland setting.

Mixed Open – Lord Mildmay Memorial – 4 miles (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Ltd)

Wee Fly is something of a standing dish ar Flete Park and won for the fourth time at this track under a first class ride from Jo Buck. Wee Fly looked very fit in the preliminaries and started 2-1 joint favourite with the Cothelstone winner Teri D Trixter (Neil Harris). Jo was content to sit off the early pace as Gershwinner (Merv Woodward) made the running, but eased her mount into contention at the top of the hill for the final time. Gershwinner, The Patriarch Game and Teri D Trixter all held chances at the second last where the latter blundered away his chance, but Jo Buck timed her challenge to perfection and hit the front on the game Cornish mare inside the final 100 yards. “I would like to help Jo win the title (National Ladies’) and Wee Fly will come back here for the Modbury four-miler in a fortnight,” reported Wee Fly’s owner/trainer Ross Oliver, who does some of the work with his little star in the saddle on Mawgan Porth beach.

Restricted (Gillard Motors Ltd, Loddiswell, Kingsbridge)

Searree was made favourite on the strength of recent wins at Wadebridge and Trebudannon, where he had Direct Flight and Wee Fly behind him. He seemed to find it hard work here on the more testing ground and had little chance from the top of the hill. The best backed horse was Shanann Star who was backed at all rates into 7-2 after being laid early to one regular West Country “face” at 10-1. Darren Edwards stuck to the inside rails like glue, and pushed the Anshan mare clear from the second last .to beat Before The War convincingly. Darren was partnering his 19th winner of the season and his father Gordon commented, “She is an honest mare who jumps well and has gradually improved. She may run under rules in the summer,” Shanann Star is very much a family mare, but had to seek forgiveness during the week from Darren’s mother Angela. “She was feeling well and bucked me off in the field and I ended with cracked ribs,” said Angela trying to raise a smile.

Intermediate – Elizabeth May Memorial (Full Circle Motors, Ivybridge)

Certain Flight (Will Biddick) led from the second fence and ran on strongly when pressed in the closing stages by Googoobarabajagal (Michael Heard) to whom he was conceding 5lbs. The winner is trained by Keith Cumings for owners Richard and Tina Dunsford. “This is not really his ground or track,” said the trainer. His jockey added: “He coped with the ground but did not enjoy it.” He is already qualified for the Intermediate hunter chase final at Exeter and that is likely to be his next objective.

Confined: (Rodgers of Plymouth Ltd)

Direct Flight might be at the veteran stage but proved that he retains plenty of ability with a hard fought success over the useful Brook Castle. Vicky Wade was riding her fourth winner of the season on the tall 14-year-old, who she also trains for owners Roger Grose, Ronald and Jackie Bunney and her father Keith. Direct Flight was a useful hurdler and chaser in his day, latterly for Jeremy Scott. “He lost his way a bit under rules and came to me at Christmas,” said Vicky.

Open Maiden 4 to 7 year olds, 2m 4f: (Francis Clark)

The newcomer Devon Fare was sent off 4-1 favourite in a wide open market but this half sister to Devon Mead showed lots of greenness and was pulled up before the 12th fence. Cloudlass and Palfrey Boy did the early donkey work, but King’s Scout jumped into the lead at the third last under Micheal Nolan. Driftwood Pride (Richard Woollacott) loomed up as the danger down the hill, but despite running down the final fence, King’s Scout had enough in reserve to hold the promising Driftwood Pride. “That’s a relief,” commented the winner’s trainer Ashley Farrant, adding, “we have had a bug in the yard and he is one of only three with a decent blood count at the moment. He has lots of ability, tons of speed and stays well.” King’s Scout was bought at the Derby sales in Ireland as a three-year-old on behalf of owner Laura Claydon. His half brother called Wilton Milan changed hands for £85,000 at last week’s Cheltenham sales and is joining Paul Nicholls.

Open Maiden (Bartons Solicitors)

The ground had become holding when this race was run, resulting in a time in excess of seven minutes. The winner Sparkbridge did it the hard way, slogging it out with nearest rival Gontdevon to pass the judge with two lengths to spare, having survived a last fence blunder. James Legg had the mount on nine-year-old Sparkbridge, bought by his parents Roger and Jenny out of Simon Burroughs’ yard 18 months ago. This Cotley qualified gelding began his career almost seven years ago when narrowly beaten in a two-year-old flat contest at Ayr on his debut. The Legg family have done very well to keep Sparkbridge sweet latterly, and his breeding suggests a distinct lack of stamina. His sire Mull of Kintyre was a six furlongs performer whose progeny have no pretensions to staying three miles in a horse box – until now.

Hunt Race – Bill Goodman Memorial – (Mrs Sally Goodman)

Bryony Frost set a decent pace on Whatcanisay who jumped well out in front. The race changed shape in the final stages however as Barney Again sailed past at the second last with the Irish Maiden winner Sunken Secret left to chase him home. Barney Again has taken well to pointing and was following up his Kilworthy win. He was taking on a huge task on his last appearance when runner up to Buck’s Bond at Trebudannon, and certainly looked the form pick here. “I might have run him in the Restricted but it was soft enough and he probably needs good ground,” commented the winner’s owner/trainer Mike Weir who is appropriately Master of the Dartmoor hounds.



THE long, dry spell just about got its way as the mid-season East Cornwall meeting at Great Trethew was severely affected by the lack of rainfall. Despite efforts to move bends and marker rails to give better ground, nature could not be defeated. The very firm going meant disappointment for everybody with only a handful of runners in three races, a walk over in two races and – to cap it all –  no runners in another.

 Mixed Open ( Sponsors; Jamaica Inn, Ball & Ball Vehicle Air Conditioning & Roger Young Landrover)

“He hates the mud,” exclaimed Mandy Hand after Hereweareagain and Tom Chanin had coasted home on last season’s leading Devon & Cornwall area novice horse. The nearest mud on Sunday was probably at low tide in LooeBay, because there was only sand at Great Trethew, and that was to ease the ground around the fences. Reg and Mandy Hand have done well with Philip Hobbs cast off Hereweareagain, now transformed into a consistent pointer with four wins to his credit. “He will probably run in his Members’ at Cherrybrook on Saturday,” (April 7th). said Mandy, who rides him regularly at home. He did his job well on ground he seemed to relish here, more than could be said about his sole rival BorderCastle. Richard Woollacott must have been pleased to get BorderCastle to start because the 11-year-old had refused to race at Larkhill on the previous day. In fairness, the rider did everything possible to keep his mount interested, including dropping his leathers and adopting a style reminiscent of Roy Rogers in an old cowboy film. Despite banging the guard rail on the open ditch on each circuit, Woollacott’s mount led until six fences from home when he was overtaken by his stalking rival. He refused at the third last fence, but jumped it at the second time of asking. Now 11-years-old, this lovely looking gelding has slid a long way down the ladder since winning for his breeder, the Queen, as a two-year-old. A Scottish champion hurdle success eventually followed, but a point-to-point at Great Trethew obviously holds no interest for him.

 Open Maiden, 4 to 7-year-olds only, 2m 4f (Jefferys Estate Agents, Cornwall)

The Woollacott yard was responsible for two of the four starters. The trainer was on board My Runaway, with George Humfrey teaming up with former hurdler Sine Mora. It was probably not in the script, but Sine Mora took a ferocious hold and pulled his way ahead of Cordex at the sixth. Not many hard pullers last out, even over two and a half miles, and My Runaway sailed past his stable mate at the top of the hill to win easily. Sine Mora’s last fence tumble looked nasty, but he got to his feet amidst relieved applause. My Runaway was bought by his trainer/rider as a three-year-old at Fairyhouse sales and is now owned by his near neighbours Hannah and Andrew Broggio. His fall at Black Forest Lodge on the opening day of the season put Richard Woollacott out of action for nearly three months. My Runaway also missed a chunk of the season having pulled muscles in his fall.

 PPORA Novice Riders’ (Dodson & Horrell)

Leanda Tickle rode another winner here in the shape of Apollo Blaze in her quest for the National novice riders’ title. Her sole opponent was the veteran pointer Touch of Flame, a second race ride for 20-year-old Alex Hutter. There was never more than two lengths separating the pair throughout the contest, with the almost white Touch of Flame jumping exuberantly. They raced over the last couple of fences close together until Apollo Blaze found a bit more on the run-in to record the fifth success of his career. With her mother Pat Shaw seeking a permit, this was an initial training success for Vanessa Shaw. Paul Harvey’s gelding stays well and is likely to be aimed at the Eggesford four-miler just after Easter.

Lamerton, Kilworthy, Sunday 25th March 2012 Report

THE car park was packed to capacity in the warm sunshine at Kilworthy, where a total of 75 runners contested the seven races on perfect going.

Deb’s Dasher and Jopero gave Richard Woollacott a riding and training double. Course winner Deb’s Dasher has never stopped improving and took the rise to Open class in his stride. Robbie Henderson brought Massimo with a well timed challenge at the last, but Woollacott’s mount responded gamely to settle the issue inside the final 50 yards. “He has been big and backward and we have taken him gently,” reported the Rose Ash rider, who is making up for lost ground after his early season injury..

Jopero’s win was an even closer affair as Woollacott’s mount flashed past the post locked together with Brook Castle (Josh Guerriero). The judge decided that Jopero had prevailed by a short head with the pair finishing clear of Gunpark (Darren Edwards).

The Open Maiden divisions were well filled with 15 and 14 runners respectively. Rush’n’roll was a convincing winner of the faster of the two divisions, drawing clear of the favourite Goodtimesarealgone up the hill. This was a family success since the winner is trained on behalf of his family by Nigel Legg, and ridden by his son Michael. “He is a very straightforward horse who jumps well,” said the trainer, whose family have long associations with the Cotley hunt.

There was a blanket finish to the other Maiden division with five or six in with a chance approaching the last. It was six-year-old Barney Again who stayed on best up the final climb to deny Ladfromhighworth and Five For Silver. Josh Guerriero had the mount on the winner who is owned and trained by Dartmoor Master Mike Weir. “He has done about 30 days hunting this winter,” said Mike.

Gorteenwood was allowed to start at 20-1 in the 16-runner Restricted, but made virtually all the running given an inspired ride by Micheal Nolan. Trainer Gordon Chambers said, “He has been unlucky and deserved this. He slipped up when leading at Ottery and his saddle slipped early on last week” The ex-Irish nine-year-old runs for a group from the Sun Inn pub at Buckfastleigh.

Sue Trump’s home bred Kirkleigh won for the third time this season in the Intermediate. This promising stayer was hard pressed by Googoobarabajagal all the way up the home straight, but battled on in determined fashion under Tom Chanin. “He appreciated the faster pace. We may look for a novice hunter chase at Exeter next month depending on the ground,” said Tom’s father Robert who trains the gelding.

Bathwick Breeze landed the hunt race in a tight finish, just ahead of Theicecreamfellow and Deimne. “We bought him out of David Pipe’s yard but he got a leg last year at Chipley,” said owner/rider Dean Summersby, who paid tribute to his partner Emma Boon for much of the gelding’s preparation.


Hunt race:

1 Bathwick Breeze (D Summersby); 2 Theicecreamfellow (M Heard); 3 Deimne (Miss J Buck); 4 ran; 3/4l; 1 1/2l;  6mins 18 secs

Open Maiden Div 1

1 Rush N’ Roll (M Legg); 2 Goodtimesarealgone (E Barrett); 3 Barney’s Niece (W Biddick); 15 ran; 10l; 1l;  6m 19s

Open Maiden Div 2

1 Barney Again (J Guerriero); 2 Ladfromhighworth (M Hampton); 3 Five For Silver (T Chanin); 14 ran; 2l; 2l;  6m 27s

Mixed Open

1 Deb’s Dasher (R Woollacott); 2 Massimo (R Henderson); 3 Dennis The Legend (J Guerriero); 6 ran; 1l; 5l;  6m 17s


1 Jopero (R Woollacott); 2 Brook Castle (J Guerriero)’ 3 Gunpark c(D Edwards); 11 ran; short head; 4l;  6m 18s


1 Gorteenwood (M Nolan); 2 Double bank (M Woodward); The Boogeyman (W Biddick); 16 ran; 5l; 6l;  6m 7s


1 Kirkleigh (T Chanin); 2 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 3 Blazing Whale (E Barrett); 9 ran; 2 1/2l; 8l;  6m 13s



Devon & Cornwall jockeys are riding high as we reach the half way point of the season. With 14 of the scheduled 29 meetings in the area completed, West country riders stand at the head of the four main National championship titles. Will Biddick added two weekend winners to take his total to 23, but he is now being chased by Darren Edwards on 16 after Darren recorded trebles at Cothelstone and Buckfastleigh at the weekend. Jo Buck enjoyed three winners over the weekend to elevate herself to the head of the National Ladies’ title race, and Leanda Tickle and Kieron Edgar lead their respective novice rider championships at the moment.

The going was good to soft and the course was in great shape for the second and final Buckfastleigh meeting of the season

Intermediate (Connolly’s Red Mills)

My synopsis of the South Pool Intermediate run at Buckfastleigh last month read: “This could turn out to be one of the most informative intermediates of the season.” I was nearly right because that race was by far the most informative of the season with nine subsequent winners amongst the cast that day. Lucette Annie had run her usual game race on that occasion in finishing third behind the very smart pair of Keppols Hill and Penmore Mill. Her turn came here as she made all the running to put a decent field in their place. Trained by Simon Partridge at Poundsgate on behalf of Chris and Janet Hunphrey, this gutsy mare acts well on soft ground and formed part of the day’s triple winning tally of Darren Edwards.“She acts well on good or soft ground but not on the firm. She is happier going left handed really and she could go for a hunter chase,” was the trainer’s post-race summary.

Men’s Open (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company)

Benedictus is a progressive seven-year-old and came good here at his first attempt in Open company. Jack Barber sent the chestnut to the front before half way and shook off the attentions of Joaaci at the second last after a fine display of jumping. Accurate jumping always gives a spectacular sight down the back straight at Buckfastleigh. “I kept kicking him and asking him,” reported the rider who had just been touched off on Chapoturgeon in the Christie’s Cheltenham Foxhunter two days previously. Trainer Jane Western has her sights set on one of the Intermediate finals at Cheltenham or Exeter for Benedictus.

Restricted (AGL Accountants, Kingsbridge)

Leslie Jefford’s yard has turned out a succession of winners this month and Lizzy’s Lass added to a double for the yard at Cothelstone on the previous day. All three winners were partnered by the reigning Devon & Cornwall lady champion Jo Buck. Showing a mature judgement of pace, Jo was content to bide her time and delayed her challenge until the last possible moment to head Alysia’s Flame inside the last 100 yards. “Lizzy’s Lass stays well and they played into our hands. She produced her to perfection,” said the trainer. A likeable grey, the six-year-old failed to sparkle on her seasonal debut at Great Trethew when she had just recovered from a cough, but is surely destined to win more races.

Open Maiden

Division 1 (Winston Pincombe)

Will Biddick rode a confident race on the 6-4 favourite Provo, easing his mount into contention along the far side to track the leaders King Kash and Lightening Jack. King Kash put up brave resistance, but Provo quickened past him in style after jumping the last to win convincingly. Provo is a five-year-old by Presenting trained by Richard Barber on behalf of owners Hilton and Lyn Ramseyer, “I bought him at Doncaster sales as a three-year-old (for £35,000) and like most Presentings he is taking time to mature,” said Hilton. Provo ran with promise on his only racecourse appearance in an Ascot bumper last October and missed his intended pointing debut at Charlton Horthorne last week when he pulled a shoe off. He is destined to join Paul Nicholls to go hurdling when his pointing education is complete.

Division 2 (Brookwell Supplies)

It was fitting that the Edwards family should provide Darren with one of his weekend winners. Shanann Star is trained by Darren’s father at their Wheddon Cross base and had been placed in all three of her English points. She gained reward for her consistency here at the expense of Noble Legacy and La Soie, who each shaped like staying types. Ann’s Lottery looked booked for a place until jumping left at the last, and this was probably an informative Maiden. Shanann Star showed promise in Irish points at the end of last year and was bought by current connections at Ascot sales just before Christmas. “She settled better today and would prefer better ground,” said Gordon Edwards, who may be tempted to send her summer jumping. Keiron Edgar broke a collar bone when Miss Cupcake fell at the 15

Hunt Race (Mr John Bond in memory of his late wife)

Edward Darke’s fine old servant Karinga Coin (Richard Woollacott) took up the running after the second last, but stumbled on landing over the final fence and went down narrowly to Gunpark, despite rallying near the post. “I got a bit lucky winning this,” was the modest appraisal of jockey Darren Edwards. Gunpark is trained by Sam Holdsworth for joint owners Rebecca Welch and Charlie Eyston

Ladies’ Open (Bartons Solicitors)

Ha Ho Magregor (Suzy Berry) took the measure of his sole opponent Karley as he forged two lengths clear on the run to the last. It looked plain sailing until half way up the run-in, when the 10-year-old decided he had done enough and put the brakes on, allowing Karley to sail past for victory. Ha Ho was certainly no joke for Suzy Berry, who also trains the reluctant runner-up, and was having only her second ride back following a nasty injury at Larkhill ten weeks ago. The beneficiary of Ha Ho’s antics, Karley, was giving 25-year-old Cordelia Chugg her second career winner. Pat Glenn’s gelding is from the Ed Walker yard and Cordelia combines riding out at the Ottery yard at weekends alongside her job as a Norland nanny in London.

Confined Novice Riders’ (Luscombe Maye)

Vic’s World (Bryony Frost) defeated Fier Destrier (Ben Keatley) in a match with the winner making all the running and jumping accurately. Bryony had ridden her first winner just a week ago and rode an assured race on the 10-year-old trained by her mother Nikki. “He belongs to a small syndicate we have formed called The Wellie Boot Group and as a way of encouraging owners they have three horses in training for the price of one,” explained Bryony.



It was a memorable day for two promising young lady jockeys at Treborough Hill with Bryony Frost and Natalie Parker each achieving their first winners. Richard Woollacott has over 200 winners in his CV, but his four-timer would have been just as important to him after a wretched start to this season through injury. The racing surface drew much praise and wall to wall sunshine replaced the early mist.

Mixed Open, 4 miles; (Dunster Heat Ltd)

Eleven faced the starter for the first four miles staying test in the area this season. King’s Wood was the punters choice with his proven stamina , but there was good support for King of the Road who ran a personal best over an extended four miles at Cheltenham last May. Matt Hampton soon had King of the Road in front with Cowboyboots and Ice Tea prominent. Richard Woollacott eased Thirtytwo Red into the lead racing into the home straight, and never looked like being caught despite a late flourish from Mister Moonax who ran on strongly under young Hannah Hawkins. Now 11-years-old, Thirtytwo Red is the only pointer in training with Guy Weatherley at Tiverton and started at 20-1. Guy rode this gelding to his first three pointing victories but gave up race riding four years ago. The dice has not rolled in favour of Thirtytwo Red for the past couple of seasons and it was good to see him return to form in a race which took nearly ten minutes.

Confined (Fallen Stock Company)

Richard Woollacott made the worst possible start to the season with his fall at Black Forest Lodge which left him sidelined for nearly three months. His comeback to the saddle at Buckfastleigh last month was a prelude to three blank weeks, but he hit sparkling form at Treborough Hill on Sunday (March 11th) by riding four winners and training three of them. His winner here was the progressive Deb’s Dasher who is steadily climbing the ladder and defied his 6lbs penalty with ease. Dandooley stayed on late to finish second with long time leader Tallow Bridge in third. “Some of our horses have been coughing a bit,” said Richard, adding: “this horse would be better with firmer ground.” In my book he is potentially an open horse.

Intermediate (Exeter Racecourse)

Kirkleigh was a shade of odds-on to complete his seasonal hat trick after wins at Chipley and Great Trethew. In the end he was just touched off by Richard Woollacott’s mount Allerford Jack. Kirkleigh (Tom Chanin) went on five out but had pulled hard and did not jump fluently in the home straight. He had to give best to Allerford Jack on the run-in. “Allerford Jack needs to be switched off to make sure he stays,” said Woollacott of his winner. He also trains the gelding for a small syndicate.

Open Maiden (Winston Pincombe LandRovers)

Richard Woollacott capped a memorable day by riding his fourth winner of the day here on the previously unraced Midnight Whisper. The six-year-old showed in front rounding the final bend and stayed on strongly over the line of four fences in the straight. “I didn’t really want to be in front so early but he jumped magic and will stay forever,” said the elated rider/trainer. The strong topped gelding by Midnight Legend is out of Spread The Word, who won four point-to-points and a handicap chase for Pam Pengelly.

Open Maiden 4 to 7-year-olds only, 2m 4f (Great Bradley Estate, Withypool)

Bryony Frost is just embarking on her career and the former pony racing champion partnered her first winner over jumps on Top Green, who ran on well to beat Palfrey Boy and Ellvis. The Frost family need little introduction, and Bryony, who turns 17 next month looks like upholding the family tradition. “He was always going well and I didn’t want to get there too early,” said the delighted youngster. Five-year-old Top Green was placed in cross country races in France before joining the Nikki Frost yard. “Jamie Thomas did a good job with him in his first two points and he will be better on good ground,” said owner Jimmy Frost.

Restricted (A1 Gates & Securities)

It was a good day for youth as well as experience and Dashing John provided 19-year-old Natalie Parker with her first winner in quite a competitive looking event. Mister Trigger held the advantage down the back straight, but was overhauled by Dashing John approaching four out. The winner kept up a relentless gallop up the home straight and extended his advantage to 10 lengths on reaching the judge. This was another family success since Dashing John is owned by the rider’s mother Tracy and trained by her father Kevin at Bilbrook, just three miles from the course. “I work for Philip Hobbs and originally rode out there when I was 13,” said Natalie, who does Colour Squadron at the Hobbs yard and was looking forward to accompanying him to the festival.

Hunt race (Yeo Barton Bloodstock)

Delta Borget was always travelling well and got the better of Prince De Bersy after jumping the third last to win comfortably. Leanda Tickle was riding her fourth winner of the season on the Leslie Jefford trained gelding which gave her the lead for the National Novice Riders’title. Leslie described his winner as, “very genuine and very uncomplicated,”

South Pool Harriers, Buckfastleigh Preview

The old racecourse at Buckfastleigh is the location for this Sunday’s point-to-point, and with the recent hard frosts claiming several race meetings, all roads will lead to the meeting where a bumper day of action is on the cards.

A total of 150 entries have been received in all with a high class mixed open the feature race. Prior to the main card which kicks of at 12 noon, two pony races will take place at 11am and 11.20am. Many top jockeys, including Sam Twiston-Davies and Hadden Frost, have graduated from pony racing and it’s a chance to see future stars in action.

The Farriers of South Devon sponsor the opening Confined Maiden race for horses and geldings only and has attracted 15 entries.

Next up is the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate race which is a qualifier for a Hunter Chase final at Exeter on Devon Life Ladies’ Night which takes place on Tuesday, May 8. Twenty three are entered and these include Benedictus who ran well last season when a surprise 20-1 winner in an 18 runner Restricted race in a quick time. Another interesting entry is Buck’s Bond, trained by Richard Barber, looked a likely winner before unseating his rider at the second last on his only run last year.

Then there is The Westcountry Champion Chase Winners Only Mixed Open Race. Sponsored by Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co this is the Devon and Cornwall Area Classic race, and has a total prize fun of £1000. It has attracted 23 high class runners and looks to be a thrilling battle.

The prolific winner Southwestern could be looking to add to his two wins at Wadebridge already this season. He won this race here last year and is on track for another cracking season for his trainer Camilla Scott and jockey Neil Harris.

Lining up to challenge could be Chapoturgeon. He won the Jewson chase at the Cheltenham festival in 2009 when trained by Paul Nicholls who jointly owns him. He impressed again on his Hunter Chase debut when winning at Newbury last month.

For The Staff won at Chipley Park when pleasing his jockey Jo Buck making virtually all of the running. Trained by Nigel Edmonds the horse is reported to have benefited from a wind operation.

Gwanako, trained by Richard Barber, was second in the Ladies Open at Larkhill in January. He has previously won chases at Ascot and Aintree when ridden by Ruby Walsh. He is likely to be aimed at the Aintree Foxhunters this season.

Mustangsallyrally could improve on his second at Larkhill in January and Bishy Barnaby a previous course winner, needs to find his old form having disappointed his connections on his first run this season in a hunter chase at Warwick.

Wrays & Co Jewellers, Kingsbridge& Plymouth sponsor the Open Maiden Race for Mares and Fillies only. With 29 entered this race could well be split.

Co-Op Funeral Care sponsor the Confined race and 22 are entered. Alpha Native won at Ideford Arch when sent off favourite. Ballybrown had some creditable form in 2009.

PSP Insurance & Financial Solutions Limited sponsor the Restricted. This race has already been divided with 19 entered in each.

In the first division Buck’s Bond was unlucky at Larkhill when sent off the odds on favourite and was hampered and unseated his jockey Will Biddick. Battle Bridge started the season with a win at Tweseldown and followed up with a second at Black Forest Lodge to Delta Borget.

In the second division of the Restricted Blinding Lights impressed at Chipley Park with an easy win. Googoobarabajagal is progressive and worth noting.

The old racecourse at Buckfastleigh provides excellent viewing for all and has easy access off A38. Postcode TQ11 OLT

There are several trade stand, bookies, a licensed bar (with real Ale) and catering marquee serving great hot food/drinks and homemade cakes at affordable prices.

Entry fee £20 per car load £10 car/driver only £7 pedestrians.