We enjoyed another fantastic season of pointing. Congratulations to all the Champions, to everyone who took part, and a huge thank you to all the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes without whom our sport could not take place.
Encouragingly the average number of runners per meeting was up on 2014/2015 (53 compared to 49), as was the average number of entries per race (15 compared to 14). It has also been an exceptionally busy season for the Point to Point Racing Company, and we felt it would be helpful to summarise our activities in an effort to give all those involved in the sport a better understanding of the job we do.
As I am sure you know the Point to Point Racing Company is owned jointly by the Point to Point Authority and Weatherbys. The Company provides various services to the sport. It takes entries, publishes race cards, runs Talking Point, collates and publishes results from every meeting, designed and runs the website, publishes The Planner and the Results and Stats Book, produces Go Pointing, and sells point to point data. The aim of the Company is to run a self-funding business for the benefit of our sport. We are continually striving to improve the service we provide and would welcome any advice on ways this could be achieved with our various products and publications. A summary of our key activities are listed below:
We provided a full entry service for 86 meetings and took 4,427 individual entries on their behalf. 54% of these entries were taken online compared to 47% last season. This reflects a growing trend towards the online service.
2. The Planner
This publication is a vital one for all trainers and owners and sales increased again last year. We acknowledge we had problems with The Planner last season and as a result we have made some procedural changes. This includes employing expert staff to oversee the process during the production cycle.
3. Results and Stats and the Loose Leaf
Both also increased their circulations which demonstrates the need for this unique and specialist content.
We printed race cards for 129 meetings during the season. We did experience some problems with incorrect weights being printed in cards. To try and eliminate this completely we are improving our software programs to reduce the chances of mistakes being made.
Is now sent out to 23,000 individual email addresses and its circulation continues to grow.
After a huge amount of work the new look pointtopoint.co.uk was launched in time for the start of last season. Whilst we are always looking to enhance the site the general consensus is that it is a huge improvement and an extremely effective advertisement for our sport. This is supported by website subscriber levels increasing by a third during the season. Of those taking out just the standard subscription 40% have upgraded to include ‘Viewpoint’ the race video subscription option. With nearly 60% of all meetings now included on ‘Viewpoint’, including new footage from Welsh meetings and with other meetings joining all the time we hope to grow subscriber levels for next season.
The company employs three members of staff headed by Viv Buckby. We are extremely grateful to all of them for all the hard work they put in to provide the excellent service we all receive.
So the overarching message coming from the Company is a positive one and we are hugely appreciative of the support we receive from all of those involved in the sport. However we only make a small profit each year and continue to keep a tight rein on costs whilst always looking at how we can better serve the sport.
I would encourage everybody to use the Company and its products as much as possible to enable the business to thrive and continue to improve its service to point to pointing.
The New Continental Hotel in Plymouth hosted the Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point awards evening once again. The DEVON & CORNWALL AREA AWARDS 2016 were presented by Athwenna Irons of the Western Morning News, who was thanked by chairman, Frank Yeo, for the excellent coverage of point-to-point racing in the newspaper’s equestrian supplement and sports pages this season, and the presentation of the awards were announced by Mark Dennis.
Skills Required: Outstanding administration and IT skills. Exceptional Customer Service. Working to tight time-scales
The Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) is the body responsible for the administration, management, promotion and development of the amateur sport of Point-to-Point Horseracing in Great Britain.
An opportunity has arisen to join a small team on a part-time basis working a minimum of 24 hours per week in order to assist with the administration of one of horseracing’s most cherished assets.
The duties include:
• Specific responsibility for the liaison with, and support of the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA) membership.
• Working closely with The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Point-to-Point Executive in order to administer the Regulatory function.
• Dissemination of information to the sport’s Officials
• Production of reports, including statistical analysis.
• Assisting the PPA’s Medical Advisor while overseeing the processing of Point-to-Point jockeys’ licence applications.
• Supporting the day-to-day management of the PPA Office.
• Leading and assisting in the organisation and smooth-running of PPA and BHA events, such as seminars, public relations days and an annual awards ceremony.
• Some attendance at Stakeholder meetings, Point-to-Point fixtures and PPA promotional events.
It is essential that applicants are able to demonstrate their experience in delivering the following:
• Outstanding administration and IT skills
• Exceptional Customer Service
• Working to tight time-scales
It is also desirable that the candidates possess a working knowledge of horseracing.
Although this is a part-time position, flexibility may be required at times to meet the demands of the PPA and its events.
Applicants should send a CV and short covering letter, including clear examples of career experience matching the areas of responsibility outlined above to the chief executive at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications: Monday 25 July
First interview date: Friday 5 August
Application Deadline: 25 July 2016.
Job Categories: Administration. Job Types: Part Time. Job expires in 17 days.
The stage was set with the sun shining down on the packed crowd of Point-to-Point horse racing enthusiasts attending the final meeting of the current season at Chapleton Barton, Umberleigh last Saturday. They were not to be dissapointed with plenty of runners turning up to compete in the six races on offer together with the addition of three pony races and crowning of the area champion jockeys at the end of the afternoon.
The opening Members Race had been sponsored by Westerly BMW, with seven horses lining up, headed in the betting by the Kayley Woollacott-trained Le Clo De La Londe under jockey Jamie Thomas. The field were tightly packed for the first two circuits with Kawana Cove and Knight Blaze sharing the lead, until running down the hill where they should have been heading off on their final circuit, however the leading jockey’s looked to be riding a finish. After a few strides of confusion with some taking a pull of the reins, Pasternak Jack another from the Woollacott team under jockey Heidi Lewis took the initiative and stealing the lead kept Pasternak Jack up to his work and won the race by ten lengths to the staying on Lucys Girl finishing second and Knight Blaze back in third. Heidi had missed many meeting through fracturing her collar bone at Cothelestone in March, she was delighted with her win claiming ” I only received the call from Kayley Woollacott yesterday, I have now won three races on him.” Kayley added “He only goes well for novice jockeys, Richard had bred him and even he found him tricky. His owner Richard Westacott has stuck by Pasternak Jack so we have kept him in training.”
The sun soon gave way to a deluge of rain, but this didn’t put off the race followers who managed to find shelter before witnessing an impressive performance by Jenna Pride under jockey Alex Edwards in the Captain Tim Forster Memorial Restricted race. The Beneficial-sired seven year old Jenna Pride had been bought by Stratford-on-Avon based owner/trainers Martin and Jane Wanless only ten days before at Ascot sales. Jockey Alex Edwards had ridden a patient race taking up the running over the last going on to win by six lengths. “She jumped like a stag and was always travelling.” stated the 26 year old jockey.
The Men’s Open race followed in which neither of the area leading jockeys had a ride in. Darren Edwards had other commitments on the day, leaving National Champion Will Biddick holding onto the area title by a two point lead. Ravethebrave for the Alan Hill team ridden by son Joe were sent off the 7/4 favorites but had to settle for second being unable to fend off the challenge of the veteran 15 year old Presentandcorrect winning under jockey James King. It was a class performance by Presentandcorrect to follow up on his Bratton Down win the weekend before. Trainer Tim Sage together wife his wife Irene were full of praise for his jockey James King who has won on him six times. “I spotted James out hunting when he was 12 years old and I was impressed with him then.” stated the trainer who added ” We do all the work ourselves at home, we will go hunting again this winter and if we can keep him fit and he gets his preferred firm ground again next season we will bring him out again.” stated Tim, Irene added ” He has won us 13 races, we bought him from Carl Lewellyn about five years ago.”
Bound For Glory under jockey Hannah Lewis pleased punters by snatching the Davisons sponsored Ladies Open race. The betting had been between Bound For Glory and Right Enough among the six runners. With the race competitive and Bound For Glory’s jockey stealing the race by taking the inside line approaching the last ahead of a running on Florence Mary two lengths back in second and Right Enough having to settle for fourth behind outsider Sangfroid who stayed on to snatch third place. Trainer David Fitch-Payton took up his licence two years ago and is based near Tetbury. ” After Bound For Glory unseated his jockey in a Hunter Chase at Aintree, I decided to lower our sights a bit, the ground has previously been too heavy.” quoted the trainer. Jockey Hannah Lewis enjoyed her tenth winner of the season “We decided on a change of tactics as he normally front runs, the addition of blinkers worked and holding him up at the back, I thought I had gone too soon, although he had made a mistake at the ditch which probably helped as he then slowed down saving some for the finish.”
The Barum Stud sponsored Intermediate race went to an owner/trainer £200 bargain purchase Mr Sawyer. The welsh grocery shop keeper Kristen Jacka rides out Mr Sawyer daily himself. “I bought him at Ascot sales as a two year old for £200, nobody wanted him. He loves top of the ground, he fell at the last at Chaddesley Corbett, he is sprint bred, I plan to Hunter Chase him next season.” claimed Kristen. Jockey Bradley Gibbs had driven the odds on favorite Mr Sawyer to win the race with Nicholasville in second.
The final race of the season the Open Maiden race was well supported with twelve heading to post, this going the way of Buckfastleigh based trainer Nikki Frost’s Buzz Barton to add to the double for the yard at Bratton last weekend. “We bought him out of Ireland last summer, he is a horse that lives on his nerves a bit and gets worried, our lass Phillipa Hyne rides him out daily.” stated Nikki Buzz Barton is owned by husband Jim who added “We will take one step at a time, his jockey Josh Newman has just got the measure of him.” Josh added “He was a little buzzy early on, but game at the end, he is a bit quirky but genuine and jumps well on the whole.” Nikki and Jim Frost’s daughter Bryony was enjoying a day off, she has recently taken on the job of pupil assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls, but intends to still ride Point-to-Point for her parents and the Jack Barber team next season.
Three pony races followed which were enjoyed by all back in glorious sunshine. The first 138cm race was won by Tyler Heard on The Jobs Not Straight, having looked to be almost left at the start and having to make up many lengths in impressive style to win . Fergus Gillard then enjoyed riding a double taking the second 138cm race on Veno Star and the 148cm race on Hawkesfield Flyer with Tyler Heard on Shotgun Minnie in second.
There ended another thrilling season with the winning area jockeys being crowned. Will Biddick taking the Men’s Title, Jo Buck the Ladies, Novice Men’s Darren Andrews, Novice Ladies Hannah Welch and best ride of the day going to jockey Alex Edwards on Jenna Pride. The jockeys then gave most of their awarded champagne to their hero’s of the season the on course medical team, before spraying a few of the onlookers in the traditional way.
Whilst reflecting on this season which started with the added attraction of Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Victoria Pendleton joining in on the action now planning to continue to ride Point-to-Point, then finishing with some young talented racing stars of the future to look forward to namely Tyler Heard and Fergus Gillard among many more pony racing jockey’s who will be graduating in years to come.
Regulars will know that Bratton Down hosts three late season meetings and it is long odds on that it will rain for at least one of them. Well this season it didn’t rain at all.
So fast going prevails and a fairly typical end of season offering for the six races. The scenery is beautiful.
Uber Alles (6-4 touched 7-4) won the opening Hunt race by 18 lengths from the favourite Whenharrymetsally (4-5 touched evens). The winner had beaten subsequent Upcott scorer Back in June at the first meeting here so his form was solid. I think Uber Alles is something to do with the German national anthem. It is a fact that he was bred in Germany and I would guess that he will be seen under rules later this summer. Incidentally Liberty One, ridden by 56-year-old James McNeile was seen at 50’s before plunging to 33’s. He finished a very remote fourth and last under his veteran rider, who received a great cheer but was nearly lapped.
Stay Tuned (9-2 to 4’s) kept on gamely up the hill to beat nine rivals in the Open Maiden. Martin McIntyre did his best to steal the race on Brannoc (12’s to 10’s), but despite taking a clear lead three out he couldn’t last out. Chambray Dancer (16’s to 12’s), finished best of all to get within a neck of the winner. Miss Weld (7-2 to 11-4) could not peg back the leaders, and the gamble on Sullivan’s Choice (16’s early into 13-2) proved well wide of the mark. He had shown smidgens of ability and was probably ill at ease on the firm ground.
Tempestateflorseco (3’s into 2’s) had also won on the course this season and stepped up to win the Intermediate to deny Fourstar River ( normally well backed but eased from 4-5 to 11-8 on this occasion).
Presentandcorrect (6-4 touched 2’s) jumped superbly to win the Men’s Open after the favourite Ubaldo Des Mennies (5-4 from 7-4) had blundered badly at the 12th & unseated Rob Hawker. Gershwinner (7’s to 9’s) was always chasing shadows but was a clear second best.
The Ladies’ Open winner Bay Central (2-1 touched 9-4 in a place) looked really well and skated home, relishing the fast ground. The competent Jodie Hughes was always in control miles in front . Florence Mary (6’s to 11-4) never got in a blow.
Brandy and Red was great value at 5-2 for the concluding Restricted – which is why the Four Burrow maiden winner closed into 5-4. Darren Edwards was always travelling well on the winner who beat The Mystro (5-4 out to 2’s) fair and square. I backed Askers Lad each way – finished fifth so nil points as they say in the song contest.
The seasons Point-to-Point horse racing finale takes place this weekend where the Torrington Farmers host the end of season meeting at Chapleton Barton, Umberleigh on Saturday June 11.
Nearly 100 entries have been received for the six races on offer which start at 2pm, then follows three pony races which commence at 5pm. This track always holds an electric atmosphere, with the area champions crowned at the end of the day. With titles still to be decided, including the area’s gentlemen jockeys title which could go either the way of national champion Will Biddick, or last years reigning area champion Darren Edwards, only a couple of points divide the two, and it goes down to the wire at this the final Devon & Cornwall area meeting of the 2015/16 season.
With ground conditions difficult to predict, the opening Members race sponsored by Westerleigh BMW Barnstaple could go the way of fast ground lover Vertige Dore for local trainer/jockey Ella Pickard, Le Clo De La Londe for trainer Kayley Woollacott looks to act on any and could make up for his disappointing run at Upcott Cross, Knight Blaze is another suggestions if the rain stays away.
The Kivells-sponsored Restricted race has attracted some interesting outside entries including Minella Arts from the Gareth Moore team after his recent second behind Vards at Upcott Cross, whilst Cloudy Lady from the Ed Walker yard could fly the flag for the area after her third at Bratton Down in May. Get Ready To Go had been unlucky to unseat jockey Kate Tracey at Bratton last weekend and may turn up here on ground that should suit.
The Men’s Open sponsored by Davisons Accountants is headed by the two Alan Hill trained entries Consigliere and Ravethebrave, with likely challengers to be Really Unique for jockey Byron Moorcroft and last weekends Bratton winner the veteran Presentandcorrect. Cygnet from the Micheal Bowen yard has entries in both the Men’s and Ladies Open races but would need to find his best form which includes two Hunter Chase wins last season.
Jo Buck has already clinched the area Ladies title, but has been stood down recently through injury and has had to watch as a spectator from the sidelines. Of the 22 entries Watchthebirdie is already on a seasons hat-trick and could steal the Nance Kivell & Co sponsored Ladies race here for Gareth Moore team, whilst Right Enough got the better of Patrick Tom Boru at Chaddesley Corbett.
The Rilly Goschen trained Seenigora has season wins at Badbury Rings and Chaddesley Corbett and looks a likely favorite in the Barum Stud sponsored Intermediate Race along with Kimble winner Velvet Cognac another entry from the Alan Hill team. Well Travelled for the Jack Barber/ Will Biddick combination would be another to consider if any rain arrives.
Carumba from the Nikki Frost team is a suggestion in the final Smallridge Bros sponsored Open Maiden race for jockey Hannah Welch who is soon to be crowned area Ladies Novice champion, whilst The Orange Otter after his third at Cothelstone could steal this race for champion jockey Will Biddick and clinch the area Men’s title.
Three pony races, which have been kindly sponsored by Hatchmore Vets and RNS Wares, follow the main races at 5pm. Due to entries received exceeding the safety factor for the 138 OPEN race – the race as been divided into two divisions, the 1st being for those ponies and riders from the Devon & Cornwall Area, and the second being for those based in other areas.
The course offers a fabulous family day out with good viewing, a great picnic spot, hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and plenty of trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per head with under 15’s free. Dogs on leads welcome.
Course is located at Chapleton, Umberleigh on A377, 5m SE of Barnstaple – EX37 9EB
The current going is Good, and the course will be aggravated this week for safety and running. There isn’t much rain forecast for the course this week.
took no part
NH = National Hunt
L = Length
Rest – Restricted
Nov = Novice
RT – Rating
PTP – Point to Point
An up to date form guide and synopsis of the horses entered at this meeting. Form figures for up to 6 outings appear. A dash(-) is used to separate 2015/16 form from 2014/15 form. Figures preceded by an oblique (/) represents 2013/14 form or earlier. Horses marked with an asterisk (*) indicates National Hunt form. The higher the rating the better the form. No responsibility can be accepted for any errors which may be considered to have occurred.
Over six months of our season behind us and only one week to go. Summer jumping in June and fast ground prevails. The aggravator was used to good effect to provide a better cushion at Bratton Down, but nature is hard to beat.
Bay Central put up a sparkling performance to win the Ladies’ Open unchallenged in a fast time. The Welsh gelding was sent to the front immediately by jockey Jodie Hughes, and soon showed a clean pair of hooves to his five rivals. Relishing the fast ground, Bay Central coasted 25 lengths ahead by the final ditch, and stayed on resolutely up the final climb to win with nobody else in sight.
A winner in his younger days of a Galway bumper under Nina Carberry, this good looking son of Exit to Nowhere was subsequently successful four times over fences for Evan Williams before being bought privately by his current owner/trainer Natasha Woodington. “He won a couple of point-to-points for us but then had two years off until he ran at Pyle a month ago,” reported the owner. This time the two and a half hours trip from Cwmbran paid off. Jockey Jodie Hughes, partnering her fifth winner of the season knows her mount well. “He can be quirky and we walked him all the way to the start. He once took off with me in Wales and did four laps of the track,” laughed this very competent Welsh jockey.
Bay Central looks a picture at 12 years of age, and the Men’s Open winner Presentandcorrect is even older. He looked a credit to his connections at a sprightly 15. Gershwinner and Merv Woodward set a brisk early pace, but Presentandcorrect jumped ahead six fences from home and never looked like being caught. This was another sub-six minutes race with the winner making the most of the fast conditions. A tall, imposing gelding by Presenting, Presentandcorrect was taking his point-to-point winning tally into double figures, and the sprightly veteran also has six successes under rules to his name since opening his account at Fontwell nine years ago. 20-year-old James King had the mount for Dursley, Gloucestershire owner/trainer Tim Sage, who looks devoted to his charge.
Local area title holder Darren Edwards and Will Biddick are virtually neck and neck for the Devon & Cornwall jockeys’ award this year. They each had only one ride with Edwards coming out on top thanks to Brandy and Red, who just outstayed Biddick’s mount The Mystro in the Restricted. A well backed favourite, and yet another Presenting gelding, Brandy and Red was following up his Four Burrow win for Newton Ferrers owner/trainer David Rogers. Will Biddick has his fifth successive National Jockeys’ Championship in the bag and goes into the final meeting of the season at Umberleigh with a two point lead for the area title.
The Open Maiden produced the biggest field of the day and a second career victory in the saddle for 21-year-old Zoe Hawkins. Martin McIntyre sent his mount Brannoc into a clear lead at the final ditch, but Stay Tuned kept on determinedly to take the lead breasting the rise before holding the late challenge of Chambray Dancer. The winner was bought privately out of Alex Dunn’s yard by owner Nick Harvey, and was a first training success for Honiton based Zoe Hawkins. “I rode my first winner two years ago on a horse I owned called Baren de Doc at Upper Sapey. I was with the Ed Walker yard then and Polly Gundry (Walker) taught me a lot. I have also worked for Lisa Jefford,” said the jubilant young rider/trainer.
The remainder of the card upheld the “horses for course” theory. Uber Alles (Rob Hawker) had beaten a subsequent winner at the Dulverton West three weeks ago and drew away from odds-on Whenharrymetsally from the second last to win the Members’ very easily
Tempestatefloresco had won the Dulverton West Restricted on firm ground at that same meeting and followed up successfully at the expense of Fourstar River in the Intermediate under Leanda Tickle.