The seasons current leading horse Byerley Bear could take on Gwanako in the Roger Young sponsored Mixed Open, at this weekend’s East Cornwall Point-to-Point, Great Trethew, Sunday March 30th. The two horses met at Wadebridge in December, when the Robert Chanin-trained Byerley Bear won by four lengths.
Gwanako trained by Rosemary Loxton for jockey Megan Nicholls will be looking to reverse the placings, and follow-up on last weekend’s win at Ston Easton. The combination have also scored this season at Larkhill, Milbourne St Andrew (where they destroyed the field by 60 lengths) and won at Charleton Horethorne. Byerley Bear has taken his tally to five wins for the season, and was only just denied six straight wins when awarded a second by judges at Badbury Rings, to the Jack Barber-trained Aikideau. This could turn into a thrilling battle between the two class horses.
This event coincides with Mother’s Day , starting with pony racing at 12 noon, followed by an eight race card commencing at 12.55. Over 100 entries have been received.The picnics are sure to be packed full of treats to compliment the party atmosphere.
The Cornish Times sponsor the opening Members race, which kicks off the main card. Gingers Reflection would be a popular winner here for trainer Christine Gray, having won at Upcott Cross last season in a very respectable time. Another entry, Fountains Cloud won this race last year, and was running well at Wadebridge, before being headed three out.
St Austell Brewery have sponsored the Open Maiden for four and five year olds. Suggestions here would be What About Will trained by Neil Harris, having shown previous form last season when a good second behind All But Grey at Trebudannon, and may be forgiven for pulling up three out at Wadebridge when sent off favourite. Dusky, from the Joe Tickle yard, ran second behind Sangram at Wadebridge and looks to be worth an each-way bet.
The Open Maiden for four,five,six and seven year olds, may well be divided on the day having attracted 34 entries, sponsors are The Jamaica Inn and Dawe,Hawken & Dodd. Those having shown recent form are the Les Jefford-trained Desert Queen, when fourth at Buckfastleigh under jockey Ed Barrett, having made a mistake two out. Way Before Dawn is another to consider having stayed on well when finishing eight lengths second at Buckfastleigh in February. Droim Rua for trainer David Rogers should also be considered, having run well at Buckfastleigh until fading two out, and looks sure to come on for that run.
In the Dodson & HorrellPPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders, Join Together won at Charleton Horethorne under Megan Nicholls for trainer Rosemary Loxton, and Ladyvie for jockey Hannah Welch, has been progressing well, having scored a recent second at Buckfastleigh.
Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate race, in which the Gordon Edwards-trained Shanann Star could improve on her six lengths second behind Babeny Bridge, and King’s Bench won at Buckfastleigh and looks ready to step up into Intermediate company.
The Restricted race could see the Keith Cumings-trained Go On Henry follow up on his win at Badbury Rings. Sangram for trainer Nikki Frost was impressive when winning at the first time of asking when making virtually all at Wadebridge under Bryony Frost, coming home twelve lengths ahead of Dusky.
Jeffery’s sponsor the Confined race, Cottage Acre for trainer Karyn Heard, won last weekend at Kilworthy for Bryony Frost, so may not be out so soon, in which case, Great Gusto could give the Frost family another win here.
On course facilities include hot refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands. Course is located at Menheniot, (off A38), between Saltash and Liskeard – PL14 3PZ
Entrance £15 car & driver, £20 car and passengers, £5 pedestrians.
The postponed Eggesford meeting attracted a good sized crowd in warm sunshine at Upcott Cross with the ground drying out by the minute.
The card was expanded to eight races with a division on the day of the first Maiden. A total of 51 runners was a commendable turn out for a re-arranged fixture.
Print The Money started a well backed 6-4 favourite for the four miles Devon National. Josh Guerriero’s mount shared the lead for the first three miles with River Indus, who had won over this extended distance in very different snowy conditions at Treborough Hill in March. The pair soon had plenty of challengers and as the race warmed up Roll On Rose threatened the favourite for the lead as River Indus gave way.
It was Joaaci however who stayed on the stronger in the home straight, striding clear of Print The Money to score by six lengths. The winner is owned by Duncan Odgers and trained at Looe by his partner Pat Shaw. Jockey Mikey Ennis seems to have specialised in Nationals this year. Based with David Pipe, the 31-year-old had ridden the winner of the Midlands National at Uttoxeter and finished runner up in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr last month. “Joaaci jumps really well and stays. I hit the front with him too soon in a four miler at Cheltenham last year and wanted to be more patient this time,” said the rider who expects to turn conditional in the near future.
Michael Heard and Robbie Henderson each scored doubles. Heard kicked off his successful day on his home track by taking the Hunt race on Faasel, and completed his double when the five-year-old mare Roxy Doodles won her division of the Open Maiden. The Heard family are great supporters of pointing and Michael’s father John Heard was certainly multi tasking in his role as trainer of Faasel and Roxy Doodles; clerk of the course and land owner of the Upcott Cross course. Roxy Doodles was bought for only £900 at Ascot sales last July and is owned jointly by the trainer and John Gardener.
Robbie Henderson’s double came courtesy of Kudu Shine and Gospel Preacher. Kudu Shine is unbeaten in his three runs this season, but his owner Audrey Goodwin missed this success having got lost in the Devon lanes en route. Trainer Kayley Jones was given the go ahead to run Kudu Shine by the owner however and said afterwards, “He will be turned away now and maybe run under rules in due course.”
Kayley went on to saddle her sixteenth point-to-point winner of the season when Gospel Preacher completed Robbie Henderson’s double in the final Maiden. This big Kayf Tara eight-year-old was bought at Doncaster sales last November after showing promise from the Alan King yard. He is owned by an enthusiastic group of eight under the name of The Passion8 Pointers Syndicate. The passion, I am told, is entirely directed to point-to-pointing.
The other Open Maiden winner Gingers Reflection came to Christine Gray’s yard via the Ascot Derby sales last summer after a few runs under rules for Henrietta Knight. The seven-year-old is jointly owned by the trainer together with keen West country point-to-point follower David Gadian. “He has masses of ability,” enthused the trainer after her charge had just got the better of front running Lord Samson. Winning jockey John Park is based with Kevin Bishop and plans to turn conditional at the end of the season.
Jockey Alistair Harvey enjoyed a weekend to remember. After celebrating his 21st birthday on the day before, the Cirencester student won the Novice Riders’ contest on his grandmother Sue Trump’s Tamatown. “He is very keen and does well as this is the only horse he rides,” commented trainer Leslie Jefford.
It is difficult to keep champion jockey Will Biddick off the score sheet and he followed up his Holnicote double on the previous day with his 34th success of the campaign when long odds-on chance Pamplona Run took the Restricted after a spirited battle with Reliable Richie. Biddick described the Graham Roach owned five-year-old as, “very green”, but it would be surprising if this well bred Richard Barber trained youngster did not go on to greater things.