THE second Point-to-Point meeting to be held at the picturesque course of Bratton Down overlooking Exmoor, takes place this weekend on Sunday June 1st. With the championships hotting up, there promises to be some great action in store. Pony racing heads up the day at 1pm with the main six race card starting at 2pm. A massive 144 entries have been received.
Bray Leino sponsor the Ladies Open, which looks to be one of the feature races. Current leading lady jockey and outside raider Bridget Andrews could increase her lead on either Latest Trend or Quedillac. Latest Trend also holds an entry to Stratford this week, as do Start Royal, and How’s My Friend. Challengers could be River Indus after his three lengths second behind Round Tom at Kingston St Mary. Another entry Ned White, will look to set the pace, and was unlucky at the previous meeting when caught in the home straight, finishing a creditable third. Current Event and Join Together won last weekend at Upcott Cross under Megan Nicholls and could be a danger if either turns out again.
In the Moore Scarrot Accountant-sponsored Mens Open, entries include the David Brace OBE- trained Cock Of The Rock currently on six wins for the season, and Dbobe already on his seasons hat-trick. But this could be a straight battle between the two leading male jockeys Will Biddick, who may get the leg-up on Round Tom from the Richard Barber team, and Robbie Henderson on Before The War or Level Spirit from the current area leading trainer, Ed Walker‘s team. Certain Flight is another holding a Stratford entry, and would be the likely favourite if by passing that event, having been unbeaten so far this season for trainer Keith Cumings. Reliable Richie for jockey Darren Edwards are another combination which could play a major part, when stamina led them to a win here two weeks ago over the longer trip.
In the Members race, Bernshaw won this race last season for local trainer Claire Hitch. Elsin Bridge, and Father Owen will be looking to improve on their thirds here at the last meeting. Lightening Jack and Johnny No Cash are entries for owner John Pearn, either could pose a threat if finding their best form and ground to suit. This race is sponsored by RSM Beares & B Thorne & Son Agricultural Engineers.
Rosettes Direct sponsor the Restricted race which has attracted 30 entries, and may well be divided on the day. Golden Squirell had a comfortable maiden win at Cothelstone, Champion Versions from the Alan Hill team ran a good second at Whitfield. Carheney River, Nurse Brace, Last Edition and The Mexican Bandit are just some of the entrants looking capable of winning a restricted before the season’s finished.
Dancing Olga looks to be one of the favourites to take the Intermediate race which is sponsored by Ashley Farrant & the Kingdon family in memory of Donna Kingdon. Dancing Olga ran second here two weeks ago, one and a half lengths behind Gorteenwood who broke the course record that day. Ambitious Pursuit could be looking for his hat-trick here after his two Flete Park wins, and Minella Web from the Kayley Woollacott team won here two weeks ago under Robbie Henderson, could be a danger.
THE Dulverton Farmers Point-to-Point takes place this coming weekend, Sunday 9th March, at the picturesque venue of Treborough Hill on Exmoor. To add to the scenic views, once again, organizers will be providing a huge screen for optimum viewing of the horses in action.
With 85 entries received for the seven race card, a great day of racing is in store. The opening Members race, sponsored by Yeo Barton Bloodstock, heads up the action at 12.30pm. This race could see the progressive five year old, Babeny Bridge, from the Jane Williams team, follow up on his recent second at Chipley Park and first at Buckfastleigh, he will have to contend with Deb’s Dasher, out of reigning area champion trainer Kayley Woollacott‘s yard, he won this race last season and goes well fresh.
In the Great Bradley Estate sponsored 2m4f Open Maiden, The Mythologist could be another winner for jockey Robbie Henderson, now trained by father Guy, the horse ran second in a Point-to-Point in Ireland in December on heavy ground.
The Ladies of the Chipstable & Dulverton Farmers Hunt sponsor the Confined, in which Checkerboard could give trainer/jockey Kayley Woollacott a season win, Dashing John could be the one to deny them, having run second here last season under jockey Natalie Parker.
Of the eleven entered in the Fallen Stock Company sponsored Mixed Open, the two Ed Walker horses look hard to oppose, Blazing Whale having recently clocked up two Point wins and a third in a Hunter Chase at Leicester, and Hameldown Tor looking to follow up on his three length second behind Ravethebrave at Badbury Rings. Another entry is the 14 year-old Gone To Lunch, having eight Point wins including a Coronation cup and eight National Hunt wins and two seconds in consecutive Scottish Nationals, he goes well fresh and could find his winning form here for trainer Camilla Scott.
Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate, in which the Jane Weston-trained Driftwood Pride could follow up on her recent win at Badbury Rings when coming home a length and a half ahead of joint favorite Overafrica. Ladfromhighworth was unlucky to unseat jockey Vicky Wade at Buckfastleigh, and his previous two seconds could see him take an Intermediate soon. Level Spirit is another from the Ed Walker yard having shown good form when staying on well to win at Black Forest Lodge so could atone here.
In the Restricted, sponsored by Tom Malone Bloodstock Agent, Thetalkinghorse trained by Keith Cumings, was eyecatching when winning his Maiden at Black Forest Lodge, coming home three lengths ahead of Bamboleo, and another from the Cumings team is Go On Henry who won his Maiden at Badbury Rings one and a half lengths ahead of Posh Totty. Miss Cupcake is also worth considering after her second at Badbury Rings behind Un Ami for trainer Les Jefford.
Finally the Open Maiden, sponsored by Winston Pincombe Landrover, suggestions would be Last Edition, who was unlucky under jockey Ed Barrett, to be denied a win at Badbury Rings, having been headed near finish, and Jossestown Lad who is an interesting entry, having scored a second at Black Forest Lodge two seasons ago and has been off the track since.
On course facilities include hot refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands. Entrance £20 Car, £10 Car and Driver only,£8 Pedestrians.
Location on B3224, Wheddon Cross to Raleighs Cross Road – TA23 0QW
Commiserations to Jo Buck, who was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured ankle after a fall from Ross Oliver’s House of Fun in one of the Maiden races.
Jo took the Devon & Cornwall area champion lady rider title in 2011 and 2012. “It’s the same ankle that she broke in that fall at Cheltenham (May 2012),” reported Ross Oliver, who had travelled his six-year-old House of Fun on a 360 miles round trip from his base in Cornwall.
It was a long afternoon at Badbury Rings where a total of 121 runners turned out on remarkably good going. The planned seven-race card was extended to 11 thanks to four events having to be divided on the day which began with a shock 100-1 winner in the opening Conditions race. This was recent Chipley Park failure Dona (Sam Painting), from the Barbury Castle yard of Laura Thomas. The second part of the Conditions race also saw punters in a pickle with Bringinthebranston (Tom David) scoring at 20-1 for Pyle, Bridgend owner/trainer David Brace.
The Silverton qualified Byerley Bear was seeking his fifth successive win of the season in the AGA Ladies’ Open. Despite seeing off the hot favourite Master Medic, Leanda Tickles’s mount was caught by Aikideau in the last stride Last season’s Devon & Cornwall champion lady Bryony Frost rode a fine, patient waiting race on the winner who was following up his recent Larkhill win. Byerley Bear lost little in defeat, “He will go to Wadebridge next,” said owner Roger Knowles.
Another rider in the wars was Camilla Henderson who was injured when Khyber Kim came down in the home straight in the Novice Riders’ contest. “She has a broken nose and was put into a neck brace as a precaution”, said her father, champion National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson. This event went to 16-year-old Sean Bowen on David Brace’s Cock of the Rock, with Devon horses King of the Road and Clew Bay Cove filling the places.
Chester Williams was another 16 –year-old jockey to reach the winner’s enclosure when Un Ami, owned and trained by his mother Jane near Barnstaple, gave the schoolboy rider his third career winner in a Restricted division.
Devon based horses dominated the first divided Maiden. The Tiverton qualified Tackler, trained by Marie McGuinness and ridden by Conor Smith looked a bright prospect scoring in his division by 25 lengths, and the sturdy six-year-old Go On Henry (Josh Guerriero) opened his account for Keith and Janet Cumings in the other section.
Minella Web had run well at Black Forest last month and stepped up on that effort to land another maiden division for the Kayley Woollacott yard at Rose Ash, partnered by Jamie Thomas.
The Ed Walker trained Hameldown Tor stayed on steadily to finish runner-up under Robbie Henderson in the Men’s Open, but could not quite cope with Ravethebrave, (Joe Hill) who bounced back from a moderate effort at Higham last time out to take the prize to Oxfordshire.
Michael Legg was the only rider to complete a double on the marathon card. He took the first section of the Restricted under Driftwood Pride, and as the light began to fade in the final race he gained a neck verdict on Driving Onwards, just denying the Leslie Jefford representative Last Edition.