Tag Archives: Luke Harvey

A sneak preview of our Christmas Holiday Auction

The Devon and Cornwall Area Livestream Team have been hard at work seeking out “pledges” for the Christmas Holiday Auction. Funds raised will be used to support this season’s Livestream Project.

We’ve had a generous response with pledges coming in from the Area and beyond.

Whilst we’re in the firming up final details of many fantastic lots we thought we’d whet your appetite with an early tip off about some that have been finalised so far.

New Year Challenge – learn something new with our quirkiest pledge so far:

Have a go at “tent pegging” – a two hour coaching session for you and your horse with national tent pegging team trainers Michael and Tina Smith

Irish getaway: two nights’ accommodation for two at the legendary Dunraven Arms, County Limerick Ireland and attend a premier Point to Point nearby

Gallop and yard visits with leading trainers including:

  • Nicky Henderson (Berkshire)
  • Colin Tizzard (Dorset)
  • Dan Skelton (Warwickshire)

An oil painting commission by artist Dave Crocker. Take a look at Dave’s work in this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AVH4Syw_lM – where you’ll see lots of familiar horses

A bespoke Birdie cartoon created for the winning bidder by racing’s favourite cartoonist Darren “Birdie” Bird visit   https://birdieracinggifts.co.uk  to see examples of Birdie’s cartoons

Talking of Birdies … join Luke Harvey and a mystery racing guest for a round of golf at Naunton Downs Golf Club where Ben Pauling’s six-furlong hill gallop runs in a gap between two holes on the golf course.  A morning visit to Ben’s new, purpose built training facility is also included.  Read more about Ben’s new yard here: https://www.racingpost.com/news/fore-flashing-light-is-fair-way-to-warn-golfers-on-ben-paulings-new-gallop/512080

Coaching and jockey training including:

1-2-1 coaching with jumping guru Yogi Breisner for the winning bidder and their horse at Yogi’s Oxfordshire yard

3 jockey coaching sessions with Rodi Greene

Raceday tickets and hospitality packages including:

Tickets and Directors” Box Hospitality for 4 people at Exeter Racecourse on Intermediate Hunters’ Chase Final Day

Morning on the gallops followed by racing at Wincanton or Exeter with Jane Williams

2 tickets for the Aintree Foxhunters’ Day

You’ll soon be able to find out more information on these and other lots on our Facebook page @PointingDC and on our website www.pointingdc.co.uk We’ll be updating these regularly with auction news between now and Auction Go Live on 19 December when the full catalogue will be viewable here

Bidding will close on 29 December

We’re very grateful to everyone who has offered their support, pledges are still coming in, and we’d be grateful for more. If you’d like to support the auction with a pledge please contact Frank Yeo fyeo.aginvest@gmail.com by 15 December

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: Black Forest Point-To-Point, Black Forest Lodge, 27th November 2016

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Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 12:00 noon 4&5 yr old, 2m4f Open Maiden Race
2nd 12:35 Club Members Race
3rd 13:10 Restricted Race
4th 13:45 Mixed Open Race
5th 14:20 Open Maiden Race
6th 14:55 Intermediate Race

Going Update

Friday 24th November 2016

Going update: Good , good to firm in places.

Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Course Inspector/Clerk Of Course/Chief Steward have all been and walked BFL this morning. The official going is now: GOOD ,GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES.

Preview extract:

 

The wait is over!  Next weekend will see the start of the new Point-to-Point horse racing season which begins at the picturesque course of Black Forest Lodge near Kenton, Exeter on Sunday 27th November, commencing at 12 noon. Over eighty entries have been received for the six race card which have attracted many of the top horses and jockeys’ from around the country.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies, trade stands and ringside parking for the disabled. Excellent viewing for all to enjoy offering a great family day out. Entrance fee £10 per head max £30 per car. Children under 16 free, dogs on leads welcome.

Course location is at Kenton, nr Exeter (off A380) 8HR

For a free fixture list send and SAE to Claire Hitch, Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD.

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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Preview: Black Forest Club Point-to-Point, Black Forest Lodge, Sunday 27th November 2016

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Written by: Donna Harris

The wait is over!  Next weekend will see the start of the new Point-to-Point horse racing season which begins at the picturesque course of Black Forest Lodge near Kenton, Exeter on Sunday 27th November, commencing at 12 noon. Over eighty entries have been received for the six race card which have attracted many of the top horses and jockeys’ from around the country.

The Black Forest Club hosts this meeting with its feature race looking to be the Strutt & Parker Mixed Open race. This is a qualifying race for the Timico Mixed Open Finals to be held at Cheltenham in May and has attracted good quality entries. Course specialist Welstonedruid will hold the hopes of starting the season with a win for local trainer Robert Chanin. This could be a stiff ask with entries such as Cheltenham Intermediate Hunter Chase runner up Doctor Braveheart for the David Brace team, who has a good strike rate at this track. Benvolio is another catching the eye, out of the Paul Nicholls yard, the gelding has three Chase wins and two Hurdle wins under rules, and looks to be a notable addition to the Charles Levinson team for his son Gus, who was crowned leading novice rider last season.

The Prydis-sponsored Open Maiden two miles-four furlong race is the first race up, with the Teresa Clark‘s Culverwell looking to improve on his third at Great Trethew. Doc Cody from the David Brace team could improve for his two runs last season, and Bogoss du Perret has been working well at home reports trainer Nikki Frost, and will have jockey Bryony Frost on board.

The Black Forest Club Members race has attracted eighteen entries, notably last years leading horse Premier Portrait which is another from the Levinson team, who won eight of his starts last season. Jepeck holds an entry in both the Members and the Mixed open for the Kayley Woollacott team, a winner of four of his six starts last season, he will be expected to put on another bold show. Mic’s Delight now trained by Claire Wonnacott for the newly formed ‘Bottoms Up’ club syndicate, ran second here last season and will now be ridden by Millie Wonnacott. Doctor Henry, another Dr Massini sired entry of which there are several entered here, ran well last season for owner/trainer/jockey Bronwyn Buttery winning two and runner up in this race last season to Premier Portrait.

Three to note for the Heltor-sponsored Restricted Race are Boygojumping from the Martin Peaty team having put up a good performance when winning his maiden last April on good to firm going. Pink Eyed Pedro could be a danger being another out of the David Brace team, as could Dark Gesture who won his maiden at this track last season under Josh Newman, and could well be in the mix for the Keith Cumings yard.

In the A&S sponsored Open Maiden race, much will depend on the day with the ground conditions, but those that had shown promise in their maiden races last season are Desert Roe, Come On Joey and Miss Weld.

To end the days event Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate race, which is a qualifying race for the Exeter Intermediate Point-to-Point Hunter Chase Final to be held in May. This race could see champion jockey Will Biddick score here on Key People which he won a Restricted race on last season. Porlock Bay for owner/trainer Luke Harvey is another entry and a possible ride for Darren Edwards, which could provide a good battle between the two top jockeys.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies, trade stands and ringside parking for the disabled. Excellent viewing for all to enjoy offering a great family day out. Entrance fee £10 per head max £30 per car. Children under 16 free, dogs on leads welcome.

Course location is at Kenton, nr Exeter (off A380) 8HR

For a free fixture list send and SAE to Claire Hitch, Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD.

Useful Information:

Met Office 5 day forecast: Exe Estuary, 2.7 miles from EX6 8HR at the same altitude

BBC Travel News: Devon

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BARRETT SAYS THANKS AHEAD OF FUND-RAISER

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  • Play golf with AP
  • Go schooling with John Francome
  • Get tickets to Badminton Horse Trials

Ed Barrett, severely injured in a point-to-point fall in April, has spoken of his gratitude to fund raisers ahead of an Injured Jockeys Fund auction at Saturday’s National Point-to-Point Awards Dinner (November 14), compered by Luke Harvey.

Barrett, 27, who was working as assistant trainer to Henry Daly when breaking his neck at a meeting in Devon, is now receiving specialist treatment at Oaksey House in Lambourn. Saturday night’s auction involves ten items that can be bought by members of the public via telephone bids.

Reflecting on the past six months, Barrett said: “When I woke up in Plymouth Hospital I couldn’t move anything – four weeks later my big toe twitched, then my little finger. Now I can manage up to 20 metres with a Zimmer frame, but my left side is worse than my right. I can’t move my left hand, but I can close my right hand and grip a fork to eat, which is good.”

Of his emotions he said: “It’s still a shock to me now. I wake up and want to move, but can’t – but I have come a long way. I’ve had help from good physios, and they say I can improve further, but I doubt it. Maybe that’s my pessimistic side, but I’ll keep working on it.

“Fund-raising for the Injured Jockeys Fund since my accident has been brilliant, especially from the West Country – it’s like a big family among point-to-point people down there.”

Saturday’s national dinner, which will see record-breaking Cornishman Will Biddick gain his fourth men’s championship crown, takes place at the Four Pillars Hotel in Gloucestershire. Anyone wishing to support Barrett by bidding on auction lots can phone 01793 781990 (answerphone with mobile number).

The items, which include a round of golf with AP McCoy and John Francome, a schooling session with Francome, Badminton tickets, gallops mornings with Philip Hobbs and Jack Barber, Cheltenham evening meeting tickets with dinner, and numerous holiday options, are listed in full on the national website – www.pointtopoint.co.uk.
Bidders can secure:

  • Season admission, car pass and two tickets to Badminton Horse Trials 2016
  • Four members tickets and dinner for four in the Gold Cup Restaurant (including all food but not drink) at Cheltenham’s hunters’ chase evening – April 27, 2016. Donated by Robert Waley-Cohen
  • A morning on the gallops with Jack Barber followed by lunch with Jeremy Barber. Donated by Jeremy Barber
  • A round of golf with John Francome and AP McCoy
  • A morning on the gallops with Phillip Hobbs
  • A schooling session on Mandown (Lambourn) with John Francome
  • Westcott Barton – short break (3/4 nights) in a cottage near Barnstaple, sleeps 4
  • The Cottage-on-the-Green – 1 week in a cottage on the village green at Blisland, Cornwall, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, sleeps 2
  • Bejowan Cottage – 1 week in to be taken before May 29 at a house at Holywell Bay on the North Cornwall coast, sleeps 6
  • A short break at The Sea Room at Ropehawn, sleeps 2. Donated by Chris Casey
  •  2 nights B&B at the Arundell Arms Hotel, Lifton, Devon, plus a day of fishing. Donated by The Otter Club

Further information from the Point-to-Point Authority: 01793 781990
info@p2pa.co.uk

Lakeside location for best of British point-to-pointing

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Britain’s 2014/15 point-to-point season is to be celebrated in style at a stunning new venue and with a record-breaking champion to honour.

The Four Pillars Hotel, a lakeside location within Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire, is to be the stage for the National Awards Dinner and Dance, which takes place on Saturday, November 14, during Cheltenham’s Open Meeting. The effervescent ‘At The Races’ presenter Luke Harvey, is to host the glittering event.

Heading a star cast of champions and winners from the past season will be Will Biddick, who smashed the British record for victories in one season, taking the previous best of 56 to a new high of 68 wins.

Cornishman Biddick has won the Fuller’s Brewery Leading men’s title for the past four years, while Gina Andrews, will step up to receive the women’s championship for the second time after a four-year gap – her sister, Bridget, now a conditional jockey, was the previous season’s champion.

16 year old, Harry Cobden, now a conditional jockey with champion jumps trainer, Paul Nicholls will receive the Fuller’s Brewery male novice riders’ prize, while Lara Mahon, takes the Fullers Brewery female novices’ award.

Cobden will also receive a share of the Connolly’s RED MILLS champion point-to-pointer award, which goes jointly to his horse Cock of The Rock and to Rosie’s Peacock, owned, trained and bred by David Llewellyn. Both horses won seven times last season. Jack Barber and Rachael Green – who has since become Mrs Anthony Honeyball – will share the Connolly’s-sponsored trainer’s title, while Nick Wright, who is chairman of the Point-to-Point Racing Company, gains the champion owner award.

Other prizes on the night include the Jockey Club Leading Novice Mare award, for which the £500 prize this year goes to Audrey Goodwin the owner of Miss Gotaway. Mickey Bowen, Ciaran Gethings and Claire Hart respectively pick up the Point-to-Point Racing Company-sponsored champion hunter chase trainer and rider honours.

Tickets costing £80 a head are available from the Point-to-Point Authority, so book your seat and be part of a celebration of Britain’s point-to-point champions and a great party.

Further information from the Point-to-Point Authority: 01793 781990
info@p2pa.co.uk

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.

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

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.

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

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.”

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

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.

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

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.

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

“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!”

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

“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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REPORT ON THE TIVERTON POINT-TO-POINT AT CHIPLEY PARK, SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY 2015

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It was a dry, overcast afternoon at Chipley Park, where panoramic views of the Quantock and Blackdown Hills provide a scenic backcloth.

A total of 82 runners contested the eight races on good to soft going for the Tiverton Foxhouds point-to-point at Chipley Park on Sunday (25 Jan).

The former hunter chase winner Parkam Jack had been off the course for 18 months, but that did not stop the nine-year-old from getting the better of odds-on favourite Certain Flight in the featured Mixed Open. Welsh jockey John Mathias was partnering his sixth winner of the season on Parkam Jack, who is owned by John and Floss Symes and trained by Kayley Woollacott at Rose Ash near Tiverton.

The Woollacott yard quickly went on to score a double as six-year-old Jepeck landed the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate under a confident ride from Jamie Thomas. Owned by John Pike, this progressive gelding was scoring for the third time this season having won on the opening day at Black Forest Lodge before dead heating in the Larkhill Racing Club Restricted earlier this month. “He will have a little break now. He really needs a right handed track and a bit of give in the ground,” reported the trainer.

It was almost a hat trick for Kayley Woollacott, but odds-on favourite Robin Will found Blinding Lights (Matt Hampton) just too good in the Hunt race. Calverleigh based owner/trainer Mary Sanderson has now won this race eight times over the years. She described her ten-year-old as a “lovely genuine horse who wasn’t right last year, mainly with pulled muscles .He is fine now and I thought I had him back to his best. I nearly sold him as a schoolmaster but he didn’t pass the vet so I was quite relieved in a way,” said Mary

Champion point to point rider Will Biddick is already setting the pace for this campaign and notched up his eighth winner of the season when Bien Connu got home in a tight finish from stable companion Mangans Turn (Josh Newman) for the 15 runner Restricted.  This was also a fine training performance from Jack Barber since the nine-year-old winner had been off the track for three years. “He had a leg and has had plenty of rest. He was scanned before last season but we decided to give him more time and he came in last September.” reported Jack, who is following in the footsteps of his grandfather Richard Barber who retired at the end of last season. He has 40 point-to-pointers in his care at Henley near Crewkerne, and currently heads the trainers championship having saddled eight winners so far.

Jockey Darren Edwards is also in top form and followed up his four winners last weekend with a comfortable success on board that game mare Lucette Annie who repeated last year’s success in the Club Members’ Mares race. The mare is the star of the three horse Poundsgate yard of Simon Partridge and runs in the colours of joint owners Janet Humphrey and Clare West. “She needs cut in the ground and will probably go to Buckfastleigh in three weeks time,” said Simon.

It was a first ever taste of success for 16-year-old rider Harry Cobden who steered Silver Token home just ahead of Ladyvie (Hannah Welch) in the Novice Riders’ event. “This was my third point to point ride. I had 33 pony race wins and now ride out each day for Anthony Honeyball,” said the young jockey.

General Girling and Just Imagine It battled all the way up the home straight in the first Maiden. Will Biddick’s strength on the latter looked like settling it, but Philip Thomas squeezed General Girling through on the rails after the last to win by a neck. The 30-year-old rider works for the Caroline Keevil yard and was partnering his third career winner.

Luke Harvey’s Porlock Bay (Darren Edwards) was sent off odds-on for the concluding Maiden, but just failed to cope with the game Ludlow qualified mare Midnights’mischief. Owned by Julie Batho and trained by Alastair Ralph on the Downton estate, Shropshire, the winner was providing 24-year-old James Jeavons with his second career success.

RESULTS

Results of the Tiverton meeting

VIDEO

Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPHERS

The following photographers were at the meeting: Cat Down, Tim Holt, Brian Armstrong, Turf Pix, Helen Stoneman and David Strange

NEXT FIXTURE

Sunday 1st February 2015, Mid Devon Point-To-Point, Black Forest Lodge.

https://www.facebook.com/events/547986842000673/

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Tiverton Point-To-Point, Chipley Park, 25 Jan 2015 – entries and form

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Race Start time Link to entries and form for race
1st 12:00 Members Race
2nd 12:35 Restricted Race
3rd 13:05 Mixed Open Race
4th 13:40 Intermediate Race
5th 14:15 Club Members Race for Novice Riders
6th 14:50 Club Members Race for Mares
7th 15:25 Open Maiden Race, Division 1
8th 16:00 Open Maiden Race, Division 2

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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