Tag Archives: Certain Flight

Entries: Tiverton Point-To-Point at Chipley Park on Sunday 27th January 2019

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 11:30 Members Race
2nd 12:05 Restricted Race
3rd 12:40 Mixed Open Race
4th 13:15 Intermediate Race
5th 13:50 Novice Riders Race
6th 14:25 Mares Maiden Race
7th 15:00 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
8th 15:35 Open Maiden Race, Division 2

Course Updates:

Sunday 27th January 2019 at 08:35

The going at Chipley today is unchanged good, good to soft. The wind blew the rain away over night and is due to drop during the morning. There is a power line down in Wellington please follow the diversion signs, you need to head for Milverton on the B3187. Postcode is TA21 OQU.

Saturday 26th January 2019 at 16:56

The Ground remains the same at Chipley. Will update fb in the morning, rain is forecast over night.

– Jess Dorse

Friday 25th January 2019 at 19:36

Russell Wescott reports the course is good , good to soft in places.

Wednesday 23rd January 2019 at 18:55

Going update: The clerk of the course recorded the ground as good, good to soft in place today at Chipley. A lot of good horses entered should make for exciting racing, first race at 11:30.

Monday 21st January 2019 at 19:07

Near-record entries at Chipley for this Sunday 27th January, with 177 entries

8 races scheduled on “good” ground
1st race bought forward to 11.30 am

Many Trade stalls, hot and cold food and bar
Great day out for all the family

See you on Sunday

Saturday 19th January 2019 at 19:50

The going was officially given as ‘Good’ on Thursday 17th after inspection. Will keep you posted this week.

Preview extract:

This weekends Point-to-Point fixture in the Devon & Cornwall area takes place at Chipley Park near Wellington on Sunday 27th January. Eight races will be on offer with a start time of 11.30. Over 170 entries have been received.

On course facilities include bar, hot and cold refreshments, bookies, and a number of good trade-stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per head to a maximum of £40 per car. Children under 16 go free. Dogs on leads welcome. Course is located off B3187, Wellington 3m, Milverton 1m, TA21 0QY.

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner

Abbreviations:

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 2017/18 form from 2016/17 form. Figures preceded by an oblique (/) represents 2015/16 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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Entries: Mid Devon Point-To-Point, Cherrybrook – CANCELLED

Saturday 3rd March 2018

The Mid Devon Hunt Point to Point, Cherrybrook has regrettably been cancelled. The meeting will not be resheduled. Thank you to everyone for there help. We look forward to seeing you all in 2019. Thank you Sonia Geering MDH pt2pt Sec.

Preview extract

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 13:00 Club Members Race
2nd 13:35 Mens Open Race
3rd 14:10 Ladies Open Race
4th 14:45 Intermediate Race
5th 15:20 Restricted Race
6th 15:55 Open Maiden Race

Going update

Saturday 24th February 2018

The clerk of the course reports that today the course has had a strong drying wind, the going is now good/good to soft in places.Next going report is on Monday.

Monday 26th February 2018

The clerk of the course has been working on the course today and reports that the going is good.There are 96 entries and the Mid Devon are looking forward to seeing you all there for a good days racing on Sunday at Cherrybrook, 1st race 1pm

Thursday 1st March 2018

Preview extract:

This weekends Point-to-Point meeting in the area takes place at Cherrybrook, nr Tavistock where the Mid Devon host their event on Sunday March 4th. The committee are delighted and grateful that this meeting can take place at the course with thanks to the Lamerton and Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunts, and land owners Messers N P & C Abel. This Point-to-Point was previously held at the Black Forest Lodge course before the site had been sold. Six races will be on offer which have attracted 96 entries. The action starts at 1pm.

This course which offers a stunning location and view of Brentor on Dartmoor. A great family day is on offer with plenty of trade stands, a bar, hot and cold refreshments together with on course bookies.  The racing will be fast and furious with trackside viewing.

Entrance to the course is £10 per person upto a maximum of £30 a car. Children under 16 free and dogs on leads welcome.  Located off A386 North of Tavistock. Postcode PL19 0LA .

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner

Abbreviations:

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 2016/17 form from 2015/16 form. Figures preceded by an oblique (/) represents 2014/15 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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Entries: Mid Devon Point-To-Point, Black Forest Lodge Sunday 5th March 2017

Preview extract

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 13:00 Club Members Race
2nd 13:35 Mens Open Race
3rd 14:10 Ladies Open Race
4th 14:45 Intermediate Race
5th 15:20 Restricted Race
6th 15:55 Open Maiden Race

Going Update

Friday 3rd March 2017:

Black Forest lodge is all ok for racing today. Going good to soft , soft in places.

Friday 3rd March 2017:

Going update Friday evening is Good to Soft.

Tuesday 28th February 2017:

Going after course inspection today is GOOD to SOFT , GOOD in places.

Some rain forecasted in week.

Date Time Forecast Temp. Precipitation Wind
Wednesday 01/03/2017 00:0006:00 Partly cloudy. For the period: 00:0006:00 0 mm Fresh breeze, 8 m/s from west-northwestFresh breeze, 8 m/s from west-northwest
06:0012:00 Rain. For the period: 06:0012:00 3.7 mm Light breeze, 2 m/s from south-southwestLight breeze, 2 m/s from south-southwest
12:0018:00 Partly cloudy. For the period: 12:0018:00 0 mm Gentle breeze, 4 m/s from southeastGentle breeze, 4 m/s from southeast
18:0000:00 Fair. For the period: 18:0000:00 0 mm Fresh breeze, 9 m/s from westFresh breeze, 9 m/s from west
Thursday 02/03/2017 00:0006:00 Partly cloudy. For the period: 00:0006:00 0 mm Fresh breeze, 9 m/s from westFresh breeze, 9 m/s from west
06:0012:00 Partly cloudy. For the period: 06:0012:00 0 mm Moderate breeze, 6 m/s from westModerate breeze, 6 m/s from west
12:0018:00 Cloudy. For the period: 12:0018:00 10° 0 mm Moderate breeze, 6 m/s from west-southwestModerate breeze, 6 m/s from west-southwest
18:0000:00 Cloudy. For the period: 18:0000:00 0 mm Gentle breeze, 5 m/s from south-southwestGentle breeze, 5 m/s from south-southwest
Friday 03/03/2017 00:0006:00 Rain. For the period: 00:0006:00 1.8 mm Gentle breeze, 4 m/s from southGentle breeze, 4 m/s from south
06:0012:00 Rain. For the period: 06:0012:00 1.3 mm Gentle breeze, 4 m/s from east-southeastGentle breeze, 4 m/s from east-southeast
12:0018:00 Light rain. For the period: 12:0018:00 0.6 mm Light breeze, 2 m/s from east-northeastLight breeze, 2 m/s from east-northeast
18:0000:00 Rain. For the period: 18:0000:00 2.2 mm Light breeze, 3 m/s from southLight breeze, 3 m/s from south
Saturday 04/03/2017 00:0006:00 Light rain. For the period: 00:0006:00 0.6 mm Light breeze, 3 m/s from south-southeastLight breeze, 3 m/s from south-southeast
06:0012:00 Light rain showers. For the period: 06:0012:00 0.8 mm Light breeze, 2 m/s from south-southeastLight breeze, 2 m/s from south-southeast
12:0018:00 Cloudy. For the period: 12:0018:00 0 mm Light breeze, 3 m/s from east-southeastLight breeze, 3 m/s from east-southeast
18:0000:00 Rain. For the period: 18:0000:00 1.7 mm Gentle breeze, 4 m/s from north-northwestGentle breeze, 4 m/s from north-northwest

Monday 27th February 2017:

Going Mid Devon at Black Forest Lodge : Good . Update after course inspection tomorrow (Tuesday).

Preview extract:

Black Forest Lodge near Kenton, Exeter, is the venue for next weekends Point-to-Point meeting to be held in the Devon & Cornwall Area this Sunday March 5th. Pony racing heads up the action at 12 noon with two pony races followed by the main six race card which start at 1pm, over one hundred entries have been received.

The course offers excellent viewing both track-side and on the hill. Good food with bar, bookies and plenty of trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per head up to a max of £30 per car. Children under 16 free and dogs on leads welcome. Course is located at Kenton near Exeter (off A380 – EX6 8HR)

Please note that those travelling via A379 there is a possibility of a Bridge closure so do check for diversions and allow extra time to arrive at the course if the intended work goes ahead.  The website for Bridge closure info is https://new.devon.gov.ukbridgeroad/subscribe.

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Entries: Tiverton Point-To-Point at Chipley Park on Sunday 29th January 2017

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 11:30 Members Race
2nd 12:05 Restricted Race
3rd 12:40 Mixed Open Race
4th 13:15 Intermediate Race
5th 13:50 Novice Riders Race
6th 14:25 Mares Maiden Race
7th 15:00 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
8th 15:35 Open Maiden Race, Division 2

Course Updates:

Friday 27th January 2017: “Keith left the course at 3p.m. the ground was good/good to soft in a place a little rain forecast tonight and some showers for Sunday so he would imagine the going would be good to soft by the time racing takes place at 11.30a.m, come early it looks like a fantastic days racing” – Jean Granger

Tuesday 24th January 2017: The ground at Chipley Park remains Good to Soft

Monday 23rd January 2017: Important News due to a large entry of horses (182) we have had to bring the first race forward to 11.30a.m. All good fun and the ground is now Good to Soft with a little rain forecast Friday/Saturday. Look forward to seeing you all there. Keith and Jean Granger, Hon. Sec.

Preview extract:

Chipley Park is the picturesque venue for next weekends Point-to-Point horse racing meeting, where 182 entries have been received for the Tiverton meeting this coming Sunday 29th January. Eight races are on offer with an earlier start time of 11.30am

Entrance to the course is £10 per head up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free. On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and a host of trade stands.

Location is at Chipley Park off B3187, Wellington 1m, Milverton 1m, TA21 0QY.

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

Related articles:

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Entries: Silverton Point-To-Point at Black Forest Lodge on Sunday 22nd January 2017

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 11:30 Members Race
2nd 12:05 Restricted Race
3rd 12:40 Ladies Open Race
4th 13:15 Mens Open Race
5th 13:50 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
6th 14:25 Open Maiden Race, Division 2
7th 15:00 Open Maiden Race, Division 3
8th 15:35 Intermediate Race

Course Updates:

Saturday 21st January 2017: ‪Linda Courtney reports all is okay at the course and no frosts are forecast for tonight #gopointing First race of eight at 11:30 tomorrow‬

Wednesday 18th January 2017: After a course inspection today the going remains – GOOD ,GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES.

Monday 16th January 2017: Going – Good ,good to soft in places. Linda Courtney will provide an update during the week, after the course inspection.

Preview extract:

Point-to-Point horse racing enthusiast will be heading to Black Forest Lodge this coming weekend, where it’s the turn of the Silverton to host their meeting on Sunday 22nd January. With an earlier start time of 11.30am and the now eight race card with 157 horses entered it promises to be another super family day out. The meeting will be celebrating 20 years of racing at this course, with quality entries attracted from around the country, the atmosphere will surely be electric.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies and several trade stands. Entrance to the course is £10 per head up to max £30 per car. Children under 16 free and dogs on leads welcome. Course is located at Kenton, nr Exeter, (off A380-EX6 8HR)

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
© = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Entries: Tiverton Staghounds Point-To-Point, Bratton Down, Sunday, 5th June 2016

Website_Entries_TS16

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 14:00 Members Race
2nd 14:35 Open Maiden Race
3rd 15:10 Intermediate Race
4th 15:45 Mens Open Race
5th 16:20 Ladies Open Race
6th 16:55 Restricted Race

Going Update

Friday 3rd June 2016

The current going at Bratton Down is firm. The aggravator is coming on Saturday and will do more on Sunday if needed.

Hugh Thomas, Clerk of Course

Saturday 29th May 2016

Going is currently good to firm.  The fences have all been moved out onto fresh ground.

The aggravator will be used if necessary.

 

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FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
(c) = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

Related articles:

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Entries: South Tetcott Point-To-Point, Upcott Cross, Bank Holiday Monday 30th May 2016

Website_Entries_ST16

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 13:00 Confined Race
2nd 13:35 Mens Open Race
3rd 14:10 Restricted Race
4th 14:55 Ladies Open Race
5th 15:30 Novice Riders Race
6th 16:05 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
7th 16:40 Open Maiden Race, Division 2

 

Going Update

Friday 27th May 2015

Following visit by course inspector Fri. Going good to soft – soft in a place after rain last night. Further showers forecast with a dry day on Monday.

 – Dave Willis.

Tuesday 24th May 2016

Upcott Cross going currently good/good-soft. Showers predicted later in week. All fences & bends moved onto new ground.

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
(c) = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Entries: Exmoor Point-To-Point, Bratton Down, Sunday, 22nd May 2016

Website_Entries_E16

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 14:00 Members Race
2nd 14:35 Restricted Race
3rd 15:10 Ladies Open Race
4th 15:45 Mens Open Race
5th 16:20 Intermediate Race
6th 16:55 Open Maiden Race

Going Update

Wednesday 18th May 2016

The going remains good to firm after a good shower on Wednesday morning.

The fences have been moved out on to fresh ground.

There is more rain forecast for the area and the aggravator will be used if necessary.

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FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
(c) = course winner

Abbreviations:

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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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Axe Vale Point-To-Point entries and form, Stafford Cross, Sunday 26th April 2015

Website_SCA_Entries_Banner

Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 13:30 Members Race
2nd 14:10 Confined Race
3rd 14:45 Mixed Open Race
4th 15:20 Intermediate Race
5th 15:55 Club Members Race
6th 16:30 Restricted Race
7th 17:05 Open Maiden Race

FORM GUIDE

Key:

f = fell u = unseated rider
p = pulled up k = knocked over
b = brought down c = carried out
d = disqualified ? = unreliable form
s = slipped up + = improving rating
r = refused blkd = baulked
ro = ran out t = took no part
(c) = course winner

Abbreviations:

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 2014/15

form from 2013/14 form. Figures preceded by an oblique (/) represents 2012/13 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.

Produced by Jeff Guyett of Westcountry Videos.

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PtPRC: SCENE & HEARD: TIVERTON – CHIPLEY PARK

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by The ‘Clipboard’, Published on www.pointtopoint.co.uk on the 30th January 2015

“I’ve always told [owner] John Symes that this is the best horse he’s got, but he doesn’t believe me!” laughed Richard Woollacott, after the John Mathias-ridden Parkam Jack had defied a 19-month absence to land the Mixed Open at the expense of last year’s winner and odds-on favourite Certain Flight.

A former winner of two Points, a Newton Abbot novice hunter chase and a Worcester maiden hurdle under Woollacott’s trainership, but now representing wife Kayley’s Pointing string, the Grape Tree Road gelding showed no signs of ring-rustiness despite an extended break owed to a leg problem, and having been allowed to switch off in rear up to halfway found plenty for driving to fend off his closest pursuer by an eventual half-length margin.

“He always wins driven out, but that’s just him!” Woollacott continued. “In fairness he’s always been our best work horse at home, but he doesn’t always do it on the track for you. We didn’t do anything special to get him fit after his leg, just a lot of galloping, and we knew that was enough. We knew he was fit for today.”

Although already proven over Rules fences by expedient of that Newton Abbot victory, a return for Parkam Jack to Richard’s side of the yard any time soon is by no means assured. “We knew he was good enough to be worth giving a year off and bringing back for this job [Pointing], but we won’t go back under Rules except perhaps for a hunter chase. We know exactly what he is – he’s a solid 112-rated sort of horse, and no better.”

********************

Five winners for the season for Kayley Woollacott quickly became six, as Larkhill Restricted dead-heater Jepeck sprung himself from Intermediate class at the first time of asking with a victory rather more emphatic than that recorded in Wiltshire three weeks earlier. Momentarily under pressure approaching three out, Jamie Thomas’s mount produced an irresistible renewed effort between the final two fences to win going away.

Success here qualified the son of Westerner for both the Connolly’s Red Mills and Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Finals at a stroke, but thoughts are yet to turn to either target in earnest – perhaps unsurprisingly, coming as they would nearly six months into a campaign that started at the season-opening Black Forest Club fixture.

Kayley Woollacott ventured further: “He’s still only six and we wouldn’t want to over-race him. Even this was a quick reappearance after Larkhill, but there wouldn’t have been anywhere to go with him for a while after as he has to go right-handed.” A trip to Buckfastleigh was briefly considered in the winner’s enclosure, before those present remembered that track had of course switched from Jepeck’s favoured clockwise configuration to anticlockwise in 2013.

Kayley could confirm one definite immediate plan, however – “Keeping him from Richard!”

*********************

A well-backed favourite, Jepeck was not unfancied by the Woollacott raiding party – and one in particular. “Our head lad said on the way down we’d have a double today – this horse and one other”, smiled Kayley Woollacott, adding: “Unfortunately he got the other one wrong!”

By a process of elimination, that “other one” could only have been Robin Will, a warm order to add the Hunt Members contest to the Open Maiden success he gained on his one previous course visit two years ago.

The cutest of waiting rides from John Mathias reaped less reward than it deserved, however, as the combination of a limited response off the bridle after two out and a last-fence error condemned the half-brother of Grand National aspirant Unioniste to a four-length defeat at the hands of Blinding Lights, whose winning rider Matt Hampton doubled his score for the season in the process.
“I was hunting with the Tiverton yesterday, and they were asking me what I was running in the race”, beamed successful owner-trainer Mary Sanderson afterwards, “and I told them it was Blinding Lights. ‘Will it win?’ they asked, and I said it would be a blinding shame if he doesn’t!”

Not that it was always a certainty that the 10-year-old son of a niece of Burrough Hill Lad would still be holding a place in the Sanderson string long enough to record this latest victory for her. “The girls in the yard love him, but I nearly sold him last year – he didn’t pass the vet, though. There’s nothing wrong with him now,” recalled the Calverleigh-based former publican, who further advised that Blinding Lights was “never 100%” during a 2013-14 campaign tempered by issues with backside muscles and an abscess in the mouth.

*********************

A neck second to Turthen under the same rider in the 2013 renewal of the same race, having made every yard in the hands of the now-conditional Kieran Edgar twelve months before that, Blinding Lights’ success constituted an eighth in the Tiverton Members for Sanderson in just 15 seasons.

However, the gelding still has some way to go to emulate former stable star Jabiru, winner of the same race five times between 2001 and 2006; and nor is he ever likely to effect quite the same sort of boilover as achieved by 2008 scorer Hollandia, winner of a three-runner renewal at odds of 50-1!

*********************

No less celebrated a finisher in the Members race following a wholly respectable 27l fifth on Weston Lodge, 52-year-old first-time rider Alex Muirhead returned to the paddock to a rapturous reception from friends and well-wishers… and to the challenge cup (swiftly filled with champagne) for the first resident in the Tiverton Foxhounds country to pass the post.

Resplendent in tartan-apeing red and green diamond-patterned silks during the race and the ceremonial headgear and coat of his beloved City Of Exeter Pipes and Drums after it, the veteran debutant – a chandler by trade – had not wanted for expert tutelage from the likes of Rodi Greene and (brother-in-law) Jamie Osborne ahead of this realisation of a long-held dream.

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Robin Will’s reverse in the opener was the first of two for John Mathias in the opening couple of races, with joint-favourite Shanks A Bunch producing the shortest-lived of threats before weakening right out under the Welshman in the Restricted that followed.

That could hardly have lain in starker contrast to fellow jolly, the Will Biddick-partnered Bien Connu, whose effort in repelling Mangans Turn (Josh Newman) to lead home a Jack Barber-trained one-two betrayed no evidence whatsoever of the mammoth 38-month absence which had preceded it.

Last seen running away with a Thames Valley Club Maiden at the sadly now-dormant Tweseldown in December 2011, and turning out here for only the third time in his life, the Bienamado gelding’s effort understandably had connections beaming afterwards. “That’s very pleasing. He’d not been quite right any previous year that we’d brought him back in, but he’s been better this time around, having come back in September,” explained Barber, the current National Trainer’s Championship leader. “He had a leg, and it’s just taken time with him – firing, a long time off, and a lot of work.”

In light of Bien Connu’s protracted previous absence, it would not surprise were short-term aspirations for the nine-year-old not to have extended beyond returning cold legs the following morning.

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Present to shout on John Mathias from the sidelines, win or lose, proud father Philip also found time to impart a little further information on the new course at Llwyndau Farm, the venue for this year’s Banwen Miners Point on Monday, May 4th following the sale of the previous Pentreclwydau site.

“[BHA course inspector] Peter Hobbs and I walked the course the other week, and it’s very encouraging – the grass cover will be good, and it’s really a better site than we could have dared hope for at such short notice. The landowners are completely on board, and so proactive in getting things in place between each planning meeting.” Mathias explained of a site located around five miles west of Pentreclywdau.

As to the layout? “It’s sort of a d-shaped 1m1f circuit, and quite flat, with a straight home run and a bend in the back straight. I’d think it would lend itself better to being left-handed, but that’s to be decided.”

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Fifth place was the best that Silver Token could manage in the Mixed Open on this card twelve months earlier, but the combination this time around of a drop back in class, plus the assistance of emerging talent Harry Cobden, proved just what the Silver Patriarch gelding required to land a first Pointing success in over two years in the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders’ event. Sent closer at the start of the final circuit, the 10-year-old grey finally wore down the gallant Ladyvie (Hannah Welch) in the final 75 yards, following a good tussle over the final two fences.
For the Lydford-on-Fosse based Cobden, 16, victory here represented a first success between the flags on only his third attempt, as well as an altogether happier experience than a slip and unseat from Cock Of The Rock on his Pointing debut at Wadebridge two weeks earlier. “He was hopping mad after that,” recalled self-described “long suffering mum” Sarah, proudly watching on along with the rider’s grandmother Gill and Rules trainer Anthony Honeyball.

Active in pony racing since the age of nine, and the winner of – by his own reckoning – no fewer than 33 events in that sphere, Cobden schooled at Sexey’s in Bruton until turning 16 last November. “He came out of school early – you’ll have the Schools Service on us!” laughed Sarah. In actual fact her son remains in education, combining home tutorials with five weekday morning shifts for principal employer Honeyball and Wednesday afternoons spent riding out for David Brace.

Cobden has plenty for which to thank the last-named, in particular; “He was pony racing in Ireland last October, when Mr Brace approached him and asked if he’d like to work for him,” Sarah continued. Already qualified by Brace this term with the Llangeinor, the well-established duo of Cock Of The Rock (jointly owned by Harry and granny) and Silver Token (owned by the current trainer of both horses, Honeyball’s partner Rachael Green) look well bought if intended to help the rookie realise his stated ambition of becoming the champion Novice Rider – between them, the duo withstood 19 hunt race outings in 2013-14.

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Another partner of a licensed trainer to oblige on the afternoon was Pat Bryant, handler of the Pointers at his and Caroline Keevil’s Motcombe base and on the mark here with the Philip Thomas-ridden General Girling in division one of the Open Maiden.

Winless in 15 starts under Rules for Keevil and latterly rated as low as 73 over hurdles, the son of General Gambul has taken a far greater shine to the discipline of Pointing and entered this contest on the back of three second places from as many recent starts, two up on Salisbury Plain. “If he can go that close at Larkhill, he ought to win something,” laughed breeder Jane Girling, present to see the homebred she has loaned back to the yard’s racing club for the season break his duck at last.

“He jumped well enough over hurdles, but we tried him once in a chase and he was much too careful,” continued Keevil, adding: “He’s also not always known for his resolution, but he showed a lot of guts today.” That comment could just as readily apply to his partner, as the crowding from eventual runner-up Just Imagine It up the run-in cowed neither General Girling nor Philip Thomas out of converting the winning opportunity. Formerly based with John Joseph Murphy and Caroline Hobbs before joining the Keevil-Bryant axis, 30-year-old Thomas was recording a third Pointing victory.

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“I’m happy with that – it’s the ideal start,” summarised Poundsgate handler Simon Partridge after a clever ride by Darren Edwards secured stable star Lucette Annie the TBA Countryside Alliance Mares’ and Fillies’ event for the second year running.

The competition had a thinner look about it with last year’s runner-up Popaway sent to contest the afternoon’s equivalent contest at Higham this time around, and the 4-9 favourite was not overly taxed in recording a clever 2.5l success over the Hannah Welch-partnered Romney Marsh (the rider’s second runner’s-up finish inside 40 minutes).

A winner every season since 2010, and running in the colours this year of Clare West as well as longstanding owner Janet Humphrey, the daughter of Alflora made light of conditions (officially good to soft) just a touch drier than preferred. “I’d like to take in a hunter chase with her again this season, but she’d need cut in the ground for that,” Partridge reasoned, “though we do get away with it on quicker ground in Points.” A ninth career visit to her local stomping ground of Buckfastleigh is in the offing before anything else, however: “It comes nicely for her in three weeks’ time, so I don’t suppose we’ll see her out again before then.”

Lucette Annie won’t be the only representative from the Partridge yard between the flags this season. “I have a five-year-old youngster called Sandy Park set to debut in Maidens – he’s been following Lucette Annie up the gallops. Blue Abbey [an 11-year-old maiden half-brother to Asian Maze and Quantitativeeasing] is still with us and still chasing her up the gallops, too!”

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“I am so chuffed with that ride – that’s just what she needed,” enthused owner Julia Batho on greeting the returning Midnights’mischief, punched out by James Jeavons to land the second leg of the Open Maiden at the expense of odds-on shot Porlock Bay (Darren Edwards).

Head girl to Alastair Ralph this season, Batho had insisted to her current boss that Midnights’mischief, a mare she’d acquired in 2011 as a three-year-old, made the trip up to the Downton Estate north of Ludlow with her as part of the arrangement. “I said, ‘I’ll bring my horse with me if that’s alright, but she isn’t very good.’ She’s a bit better than that now!”

A tenure with Nick Williams had preceded the move to Ralph, but whilst there Batho struggled to get her daughter of Midnight Legend fit enough to do herself justice on the racetrack, as perhaps evidenced by pulled-up efforts at Kilworthy and Trebudannon last spring.

Before that, the 37-year-old had worked for Tor Collins prior to the latter’s own move to Shropshire from the Sandhurst Area, and whilst based there had recorded her one win as a race-rider in the 2009 Hampshire Hunt Members race at Hackwood Park on Lord Alpha, a horse she trained herself for Anthony Ward-Thomas. The Batho connection to Collins endures up to a point through Midnights’mischief, whose dam Pipes A’Calling foaled her after winning a Godstone Mares’ Maiden for that handler in 2007.

Although the commencement of the Welsh Borders Area season remains a good few weeks off, a busy time is assured for Batho and all working for Alastair Ralph before then, as the now former assistant trainer to Henry Daly begins to unleash the yard’s big guns such as John Corbet Cup third Following Dreams. “Alastair’s got about 11 or 12 Pointers in this year; a few young ones, but not too many maidens. One less maiden now, in fact!”

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Midnights’mischief was a first ride for the Ralph yard this season for James Jeavons, 24, and a second winner for him all told. The Sarah-Jayne Davies/Jeremy Mahot-trained Upton Centurion in a PPORA Novice Riders race at Brampton Bryan last April was the first, and he hopes to be riding for that operation as well as for Hannah James and for Ralph this term.

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Porlock Bay’s second to Midnights’mischief thus left Pointing Plus columnist and Attheraces host Luke Harvey having fared two places better than brother Dominic’s Hunt Members fourth Lightening Jack, but at the same time still bereft of the victory he’d hoped to tease out of his Dr Massini gelding before taking in a skiing holiday a few days later.

No matter. “I love this sport, and hailing from barely five miles away I love being here at Chipley,” Harvey beamed whilst warming down Porlock Bay in the box park after racing. “You couldn’t get me to go racing on a day off, but I’d do this any day of the week. This is the longest I’ve gone without a beer all day, though!”

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Prior to watching his charge Tucumcari finish unplaced in the Intermediate, handler Norman Thomas had clasped your writer by the hand on their first meeting for nearly three years and exclaimed, “I thought you were dead!” It’s always nice to be able to dispel a rumour…

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