Tag Archives: Paul Nicholls


 Written by Granville Taylor

I cannot remember an earlier start to a British pointing season. Old timers will recall the days we had to wait until February, but the autumn weather did its best to welcome us to the excellent venue of Ottery St Mary.

So pleasant weather, lovely surroundings and softish ground put a smile on most peoples’ faces, not to mention four out of six winning favourites.

They went 7-2 the field as the flag went down for the 12-runner opener over two and a half miles with the eventual jolly having been cut from an opening show of 5’s. This was the well made six-year-old The Kings Writ, sweating a little but immaculately turned out as usual by Kayley Woollacott. The gelding’s hurdling experience, coupled with fitness saw Josh Newman’s mount pulling away from his rivals in the home straight to score by six lengths. Runner up Danseur du Large (steady ay 5’s) and third placed It Has To Be ( 6’s out to 8’s) look sure to atone before long. Two gambles came unstuck here; Gundahar (20’s to 10’) looked fit but faded to finish seventh and Mystic Court (10’s to 5’s) hit the deck at the fourth when leading.

Colorado Doc landed odds of 4-5 in the Conditions race (touched 4-6 and evens in a place). The six-year-old was given a positive front running ride by Bradley Gibbs and never looked like being caught. War Path (8’s touched 9’s) stayed on well to get within shouting distance of the winner. Mic’s Delight (4’s to 5’s) will be better for the race and Silver Token (14’s touched 16’s) gave a splendid introduction to point-to-pointing to 16-year-old Connor Brace in finishing fourth.

Doc Cody (13-8 out to 9-4) completed a double for David Brace and Bradley Gibbs in the Restricted. The relative generosity of the winner’s SP was due to substantial support for fellow Welsh traveller Champione (3’ to evens), a come back ride after three years absence for top point-to-point jockey Nick Williams. After taking the lead approaching the spinney, Nick’s mount stopped quickly before the second last and was pulled up. Minella Mojo (7’s out to 10’s) chased the winner home and can find a Restricted before long. The triple bumper winner Ghost River (solid 3’s) was well beaten when pulled up at the last but is surely capable of better.

The Mixed Open looked a decent race which went to the heavily backed Rutland based favourite Top Wood. “Our first bet was £600-100”, a leading layer told me before the useful ex-chaser was forced down to 2-1 at the off. Kelly Morgan’s charge, who escaped all the penalties for this race, was given a good ride by Sam Davies-Thomas to skate home by eight lengths. William Money (7-2 from 6’s) chased the winner home (what price his young jockey Connor Brace for the Novices title?). The Wealerdealer ( 3’s from 7-2’s) came from off the pace to finish third whilst fourth home The Dapper Fox (12’s to 10’s) came from the next parish to finish with a flourish (probably looking for Black Forest Lodge). He can score again with more positive handling.  Of the unplaced horses, the ex-Paul Nicholls trained Keltus couldn’t find a friend in the market (2-1 out to 6-1), and Warwick hunter chase winner Poole Master (5’s out to 10’s) couldn’t get in the race after a bad mistake at half way.

By this time the punters were baying for more blood and duly got it as the bold jumping Pointview Gale (9-4 fav from opening 7-4) sailed home in the three miles Maiden to give Josh Newman and trainer Kayley Woollacott their double. He can win again when upped in class. Druid Spitfire (5’s to 4’s) was chasing the winner when coming down at the penultimate and should find a Maiden this season.

The Welsh faces got it wrong in the last. They went for Desert Roe (9-4 to 6-4 fav). but it was the consistent Moreece (9-2 out to 11-2) who took the prize back over the bridge in the hands of Will Biddick.  Runner up Creative Inerta (4’s out to 11-2) will be better for this run. He weakened from two out to finish 20 lengths second.

One of the most heartening sights of the day was to see leading bookie Mike Smith at Ottery after his recovery from serious illness. He will soon be counting his money again.

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


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

Related Articles:
[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Black Forest Club” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2016-17 Season”]


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Preview: Dartmoor Point-To-Point, Flete Park, Saturday 16th April 2016


Written by: Donna Harris

The first of two Point-to-Point’s to take place at the popular picnic track of Flete Park near Ermington this season takes place on Saturday 16th April. A fantastic day out is on offer with two pony races heading up the action which starts at 1pm these have been kindly sponsored by Flete Estate owner Anthony Mildmay-White. The main seven race card starts at 2pm and has attracted over 120 entries.

The opening Members race sponsored by A Salon Called Fish looks to be a battle between local jockey’s, many of which are pony racing graduates, these include Pippa Glanville riding four times course winner Ambitious Pursuit, Millie Wonnacott riding Coombe Hill a winner of eleven Points and six Hunter Chases , recent Cherrybrook winner Jennifer Davenport on Mic’s Delight, Bronwyn Buttery with Buckfastleigh winner Doctor Henry, Hannah Welch on the Charlie Stanley-owned Beuvron, and Thomasina Eyston with recent Great Trethew winner Ladyvie.

AGA-sponsor the four-mile Mixed Open race in which previous course winner Bellflower Boy‘s connections will be hoping he can stay the distance again having previously won at last years May meeting. Buck’s Bond has Chase form under rules when in training with champion trainer Paul Nicholls, and ran well for the Jack Barber team when second behind Delphi Mountain at Ston Eston. Imperial Circus is another with form under rules and is out of the Phillip Hobbs yard, now with the Mitford Slades at Pontispool, he had a win at Cothelstone last month and has shown some solid form this season.

Leading trainer Jack Barber has both Athreeothree who won his maiden at Charlton Hawthorne, and Ston Eston winner Rouge Devils who is partly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson entered in the Kitsons-sponsored Restricted race with the booking of jockey Will Biddick either entry will go close . The Keith Cumings team also looks double handed with Steel Brush and High Priority and will figure high in the betting ring out of the 19 entered.

Francis Clarke sponsor the first Open Maiden race for four, five and six year-olds, in which the Ed Walker-trained L’ane Fou having run second at this track last season and a recent runner up at Great Trethew, would look to be one of the bookies favorites out of the 24 entered. Ruby Fool from the Richard Mitford Slade team is another scoring a good runner up spot when a head second at Cothelstone under jockey Jamie Thomas, with Fishy Story from the Stuart Sampson team also being a suggestion having run well at Buckfastleigh on holding ground finishing fourth.

Rogers of Plymouth sponsor the Club Members race in which Ned The Post is to be considered having run a close second at Upton Upon Severn, and Turtle Tim from the Emma Pidsley team is another that could go close having run second recently to Champagne Rosie at Milborne St Andrew.

Delphi Mountain for trainer/jockey Emma Watson looks the pick of those entered in Elizabeth May Memorial Confined race, already on a seasons hat-trick of wins with the latest when staying on gamely to win at Ston Eston one and a half lengths ahead of Buck’s Bond. Whatastormnorm from the Robert Chanin team is another to note having recent wins at both Buckfastleigh and Great Trethew under jockey Tom Chanin, with the combination having traveled well here in the maiden race last season before falling at the last fence.

The final race of the day Tony Glynn Scaffolding-sponsored Open Maiden race in which those with recent runner up places who should figure are Gold Relief, L’ane Fou if not competing in the earlier maiden, Rainbow Stripes and Ruby Fool.

There will be a space hopper charity race at the end of the day, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and to celebrate Amy Roberts’s hen party.

On course facilities include hot food and refreshments, bar, bookies, trade stands and track side viewing complimenting the fabulous atmosphere. Entrance to the course is £10 per person up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 go free. Dogs on leads welcome. Course is located at Flete Park near Ermington, nr Ivybridge Postcode PL21 9NX.

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Ugborough Beacon (2.1 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

Related Articles:
[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Dartmoor” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2015-16 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Devon and Cornwall pony racing awards night at Exeter Racecourse


Devon and Cornwall pony racers enjoyed a great awards night and end of season meal at Exeter Racecourse.

The annual event, held jointly with Wessex area, saw riders, friends and parents enjoy a video compilation of the season, a quiz – with a ‘deal or no deal’ style finale, a talk from jockey Bryony Frost, a pony race graduate herself, and a meal before the season’s awards were presented.


Tamby Welch had an exceptional season and picked up the points championship titles in both the 138cm and 148cm categories, with his ponies Churchill and Vadlawalkover.

The points series has just been sponsored by Exeter Racecourse and the first three riders home in each section won a hoodie with the racecourse logo ‘supporting the jockeys of the future’. Perpetual challenge Cups for the runner up and third were sponsored by Julian Greatrex, whose son is NH trainer Warren Greatrex and whose grandchildren are jockeys and pony race graduates.

Chad Bament was second in the 138 cm with Tyler Heard third. In the 148cm James Armstrong was second with Tommy Eyston third.

Tamby was presented with the Synderborough Farm Rising Stars Trophy sponsored by Stewart and Monique Pike, and the Allerton Organics Shield. The best eight scores of the season count for the points series and Churchill won eight out of nine runs.

The Alan Walter Horse transport trophy for the person who has got the most out of the season went to James Armstrong.

A pair of bespoke racing boots sponsored by Philip Wood of Classic Boots, Yorkshire, were presented to Walter Fisher-Barnett for working hard all season.

Pony race steward Angela Heath presented a microchipped NH Pro-Cush whip to this year’s graduate Thomasina Eyston.

Many thanks to Richard Prince, George Welch and Paul Nicholls for organising and sponsoring the awards night.


Wessex Area pony race organiser Ann Watts was honoured by the Wessex Area Point to Point Secretaries Association whose representative Fiona Walker presented her with an award for being the person who had contributed most to the success of the point to points this season.

The Cad’s top 10 Maiden Winners of the 2014/15 Pointing Season

Written by: The Cad 
First publishing on Jumping For Fun on Sunday 14th June 2015

This season was a vintage one for younger horses, full of really nice types that I hope will go on to success under rules or continue to move through the ranks in points. I have compiled my usual ‘top 10’ list – no doubt I will have left some potential stars out, or you will disagree with the order – but one thing is for certain – there are some real quality horses starting their careers in points at the moment. I have added some details about where the horses may be going, based on what I’ve been told/read, but if any of it is incorrect, please feel free to correct!

  1. Chap – I wasn’t at Maisemore when this one made his debut, but some shrewd judges were soon informing me of his star potential. He reportedly jumped very well, and cantered away from his rivals. I was eagerly anticipating the new point to point bumper final to see him, and he didn’t disappoint. To quicken in that fashion like he did, you have to be useful, and he beat several decent maiden winners with ease. He certainly looks graded class to me, and I understand he will be trained by Dan Skelton next season. I wish Dan all the very best with the horse, and I hope he can do very well with him.
  2. Boa Island – Won with emphatic ease at Charlton Horethorne, jumping like an old hand on his obstacle debut, having previously finished 3rd in a bumper for Stuart Crawford. Having been bought for £38,500 after his bumper run, you would expect a fairly decent run in a point, but this was impressive, and in his next start he really caught the eye. At Upcott Cross, he went with a strong early pace before taking it up around the 10th and sauntered clear, winning by about 30 lengths. Add to this that Winter Soldier, who was 2nd at Upcott has only narrowly been beaten in a bumper since, and the form has a good look to it. Boa Island did jump a little left at Upcott, and I personally think Chepstow would be an ideal starting point under rules, where I understand he will be trained by Paul Nicholls.
  3. North Hill Harvey – Debuted at Chaddesley Corbett, where he and Native Gamut poured it on with a circuit to run and duly stretched clear of their remaining rivals, until North Hill Harvey went away from 3 out, winning by around 15 lengths. Earlier on in the contest North Hill Harvey had made a significant mistake, in a race where several runners made errors, but he made up the ground after this with ease and clearly has a very decent cruising speed. The ability to burn rivals off with mid-race speed is a very useful asset to have, as shown in recent years by Denman and Un De Sceaux and whilst there is a long way to go before he reaches those levels, it will be interesting to watch him progress. I believe he will be trained by Dan Skelton next season, having been bought at the sales by Mr Kelvin-Hughes.
  4. Village Mystic – Started his racing career at Milborne St Andrew where he followed the early pace, jumping nicely until taking it up at 2 out and powering up the hill after the last. He was reminiscent of Full Shift two years before him for the same connections. The way Village Mystic travelled through the race he was clearly a very classy horse and he certainly doesnt look short of pace to my eye. I personally do not think hed have any problem winning a bumper or a 2 mile novice hurdle, and it will therefore be intriguing to see the route taken with him under rules. I understand he is now owned by Gigginstown House Stud.
  5. Bandeirantes – Came through nicely to win on debut at Larkhill back in January, where he looked to enjoy the good ground. I am uncertain why he did not run again afterwards, so I hope he is ok. What was striking about his debut victory was he appeared to be learning all the time, taking it all in, jumping superbly before quickening away at the end of the race with the minimum of fuss. Should he go under rules, he looks to me to be a horse to bring along slowly, taking the bumper route initially so as he can continue his learning curve and we see the best of him in a couple of years time. Personally, I think it would be great to see him have another couple of runs in points first.
  6. Bugsie Malone – Another to just have the one start, and in contrast to Bandeirantes, it was near the seasons end when he appeared at Bratton Down. Sadly, I was not there due to a golfing trip to Villamoura, but have since watched his race and spoke to people who were. He looks an imposing sort and appeared all set to win with ease, when sauntering around the field from 3 out to the last with the minimum of fuss. However, on hitting the front he ran around, before being straightened up and running on well to win by a neck. His jumping was at times a shade novicey and will improve with racing. I would very much like to see him in a bumper first time under rules because I think it would really help his education. Owned by Graham Roach, it may be he follows pointing winners in recent years for the same owner, Port Melon and Its A Close Call, into the stables of Paul Nicholls.
  7. Brandevin – We had to wait even later to see him, where he debuted at the second Bratton Down meeting. He was a little on his toes in the paddock pre race, but was soon settled beautifully at the back of the field in the early part of the race. As they quickened with a circuit to run, he gradually made up ground, and jumping well, came to challenge at the last before going away on the run-in to win easily. He has stamina in abundance and will learn a lot from this. The most interesting aspect of this win was that upon unsaddling, he didnt look like he would blow out a candle, and so the race did perhaps not take much out of him. He could be anything, and I think he may prove to have been very well bought. I would think a career under rules beckons, possibly with Paul Nicholls?
  8. Judge John Deed – Had just the one run, at Kingston St Mary on Easter Monday over 2m 4f. He looked the part in the paddock before-hand, and this flashy chestnut was soon jumping well, tracking the leaders before taking it up at the 8th. After a superb leap at 4 out, he looked like he was going to win with the utmost ease, but the field closed, and he was ultimately driven out to score. All 5 horses who finished behind him that day (one was disqualified) have since gone on to win maidens and so the form has a reasonable look to it. He is part-owned by Paul Nicholls, and therefore I would assume he would be trained by him next season under rules. As for a trip, its a little hard to say he doesnt look short of pace, but I think stamina ultimately won the race for him on debut, and therefore he may want 3 miles in time.
  9. Fly Du Charmil – Another horse to make just the one appearance, he won his maiden at Woodford, in a race where I would say a lot went wrong for the horse and yet he still managed to gain a win. After a fairly significant first fence error, he took a while to find his confidence and jumped little novice before drawing clear with Canopy of Stars from some way out. On touching down at the last he was at least a length down, before coming with a storming finish on the run-in to win by over a length. Beautifully bred, he has the looks to go with the page, and he will have learned plenty from that first run. He was subsequently bought for £80,000 by Highflyer at the Brightwells sales, and hopefully a promising career under rules awaits.
  10. Crosspark – Again, just the one run for this good looking horse, at Buckfastleigh in mid-March. I personally think this horse is, without doubt, the best horse trained by the Dennis family since Coome Hill, all those years ago. Well backed pre-race, he sauntered round, and despite one or two novice jumps, came there on the bridle, before going away with ease after the last. He looks to have plenty of toe and for that reason I wouldnt be in a hurry to run the horse over 3 miles in the near future if he took the rules route. Hopefully, we will see him add to his tally in due course and should he stay pointing, he is the type to rack up an unbeaten sequence.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



IT was about a score draw in the end between the bookmakers and punters at Bratton Down.

The bookis drew first blood when course winner Bernshaw was well beaten in the opener. He was a solid 1-2 favourite after touching 4-6. I thought he looked plenty fit enough in the preliminaries, but he was beaten a long way out. The winner, The Mystro, was second best in the market at 2-1 and lost his maiden tag in some style.

The 10-runner Restricted looked quite an open event and they went 5-2 A Real Cliché who opened at 3’s, Will Biddick’s mount ran well but nobody had any answers to Beaufort winner The Flying Doc (solid 4-1) who cruised up to the leaders on the home turn and won on the bit. She looks a decent mare and can progress from here. I backed runner-up Winter Garden (9-2 touched 5.s). This six-year-old had won nicely at Trebudannon and ran quite well in the DBS bumper at Aintree. He stays well and is one to keep an eye on for the future

Claire Hitch has done well with Minella Fifty who won an Irish point but was evidently not easy to train in the Jonjo O’Neill yard after changing hands for an enormous sum. He is in good form at present and did well to beat the useful Presentandcorrect (11-4 from 5-2) in the Ladies’ Open.

The Midnight Legend six-year-old Whataknight has gone from strength to strength this year and took his upgrading to Open class in his stride. He is a workmanlike type with plenty of speed and looks a natural to progress to better things. 5-4 did not last long and he was a solid 4-6 at the off. Wincanton hunter chase winner Parkam Jack (5-2 ), bidding for his fourth win of the season, found his 7 lbs penalty just too much. .

Favourite backers soon knew their fate in the Intermediate when Credit Crunched (2-1) ploughed through the fifth fence and unseated Johny Bailey. What About Will had found it hard to win an Intermediate since his Black Forest win in January, but looks more street wise now and drew right away under Vicky Wade up the final climb to score easily here,

The Maiden was divided on the day with declarations just one above the safety factor. The slightly quicker division went to the Kayley Woollacott mare Spendajennie (4’s out to 6’s). She had been lightly raced since I gave a favourable note to her at Wadebridge in January, but she kept on well up the hill to hold Master Max (5-4 fav touched 6-4).

The Jack Barber trained four-year-old Brandevin (evens out to 11-8 favourite) took the other division to record his trainer’s 50th win of the season. Brandevin fetched £30,000 at Brightwells Cheltenham breeze up sales last December and had a lot to live up to. He was very green and was given an exemplary quiet educational ride by Will Biddick . He probably didn’t know he was in a race until his rider asked him to quicken after the last and had a good look at the crowd as he mastered his rivals on meeting the higher ground. I expect he will finish up under rules with Paul Nicholls.


Results of the Exmoor meeting


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


The following photographers were at the meeting: Baths Photographic (Marcus Bath), and Roger Peaple


Sunday, 7th June 2015, Tiverton Staghounds Point-To-Point, Bratton Down.

[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Exmoor” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2014-15 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



WILL BIDDICK is marching on towards his half century for the season in his quest for a fourth consecutive National jockeys’ title, and put three more winners in the bag at the Axe Vale meeting. Considering the recent dry spell, the organisers produced remarkably good ground thanks to extensive watering.

Subtle Sovereign was untroubled under the champion’s guidance in beating his two opponents to in win his first Open, easing clear in the home straight. “This was his eighth win in his last nine runs. We will probably wait another year before going hunter chasing,” said Jeremy Barber, whose son Jack was saddling his 38th winner of the season.

The progressive Whataknight soon made it 39 for the Dorset trainer, drawing right away from his rivals at the second last to win the Intermediate, “He is an out and out galloper and just keeps going,” commented Jack, who trains the six-year-old for owners Terry Hamlin, Martin Dare and John Snook.

The Barber/Biddick treble was completed when five-year-old Royalzaro beat 12 opponents to win the Restricted. “He was a cheap buy in France and is going the right way,” reported the young trainer.

Kostaquarta almost made if four winners for the yard but came off second best after a protracted battle with Fiulin in the Confined. Now with Ed Walker, the winner is owned by the Carstairs Clan which consists of Guy and Alex Carstairs and their young children Zak, Oliver and Euan. “He was losing ground over his fences in a hunter chase at Newton Abbot the other day and we will stick to pointing for a while now,” said the trainer. Fiulin has a remarkable CV. By Galileo, he fetched 280,000 guineas as a four-year-old. AP McCoy couldn’t win on him, but apart from his pointing wins for previous owner Ross Oliver, the sturdy 10-year-old has won on the flat and over hurdles, and competed at the Cheltenham festival and Royal Ascot. Phew !

Fiulin’s successful jockey Robbie Henderson was out of luck in the Hunt race when 1-4 favourite Hameldown Tor tumbled out of the race when caught by the flailing legs of Miss Cupcake at the 13th fence. This event went to former hurdles winner Moyne Nineoseven who was partnered by Vicky Wade for the Nineoseven Partnership. “I bought him at Ascot last October, He has a few quirks and we have waited for better ground,” said trainer Sarah Pidsley who has four pointers in her yard at Payhembury near Honiton.

Silver Token was a warm favourite for the Novice Riders’ race but gave Harry Cobden a nasty fall when crashing through the wing of the 14th fence. Loose Preformer (Hedley Webb) was left clear but failed to withstand the well timed challenge of Maxi Chop (James King) after jumping the last. Despite an expensive price tag, the seven-year-old did not reach the winner’s enclosure for Paul Nicholls, but is proving a good novice ride and was following up his Hackwood Park win on Easter Monday. “James King and Stan Sheppard are sharing the rides and it was the turn of James today. This horse has bled before and could finish distressed, but has got his confidence back now,” reported trainer Rose Loxton.

It is not always plain sailing, even for champions, and after receiving his trainer’s trophy on a euphoric day at Sandown, it was down to earth, literally, the next day in a field at Stafford Cross. Four-year-old San Satiro carried the champion trainer’s colours in the concluding Maiden. The raw youngster, trained by Jack Barber, only got as far as the fourth fence before virtually stopping and depositing Will Biddick on the Devon turf..

Boymann went on to win the event under Leanda Tickle. The seven-year-old was home bred by owner Paul Mann. “He was unlucky not to win last year when he threw away a race at Trebudannon. He needs good ground and is now my third winner with my last three runners,” exclaimed delighted trainer Joe Tickle.


Results of the Axe Vale meeting


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


The following photographers were at the meeting: John Beasley (Big Green Annual), and Athwenna Irons (Western Morning News)


Saturday,2nd May 2015, Modbury Point-To-Point, Flete Park, nr Ermington, Ivybridge, Plymouth.

Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2015, Stevenstone Point-To-Point, Vauterhill, nr High Bickington, Barnstaple.

[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Axe Vale” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2014-15 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Preview : Axe Vale Point-to-Point, Stafford Cross, Sunday 26 April 2015

Written by: Donna Harris

Hameldown Tor could be out looking for his fourth win of the season, for owners the Otter Club, in the Lee Clifford Engineering-sponsored Mixed Open at Stafford Cross this weekend. It is the turn of the Axe Vale to host their Point-to-Point meeting, near Seaton, Exeter, on Sunday 26th April. Local trainer Ed Walker scored a double last weekend, with Hameldown Tor taking the Mixed Open at Flete Park, and Level Spirit, another for the Otter Club, took the Confined race. Both are entered again here, and either are options for Robbie Henderson to ride. The challengers could be from the in-form Jack Barber team, with both Posh Totty and Subtle Sovereign having won recently under Will Biddick.

With pony racing heading up the action at 12 noon, this promises to be a great day out for all the family. Nearly 100 entries have been received for the main seven race card, which kicks off with the Beviss & Beckingsale-sponsored Members race at 1.30pm. Hameldown Tor also holds an entry in the members race, without him in the equation, Tandori is one to consider, from the Paul Phillips team, a previous course winner here, and ran a good second at Hackwood Park last month.

J & FJ Baker sponsor the Confined race in which Kostaquarta, another from the Barber team, could run well and follow up on his win at Milborne St Andrew. Louis Pasteur would need to improve on his recent second at Charlton Horethorne, Steeltown and Fiulin both ran well in a Hunter Chase at Exeter on Monday and could figure here if turning out again.

The Intermediate race has been sponsored by Martin Diplock Estate Agents, entry Cold Knight catches the eye, he is progressive and could go one better than his recent second at Andoversford, when sent off favourite that day. Sonoftheking is another to consider, also having run second in an Intermediate race, is also progressing well for the Nicola Martin team.

Harry Cobden won a Handicap Chase at Wincanton, whilst riding Ulck Du Lin for Paul Nicholls last weekend, he then made it to Littlewindsor the same afternoon to win on Cock Of The Rock. Harry’s possible mount in the Lentells Accountants-sponsored Novice Riders race is Silver Token, having clocked up four wins so far this season they are the likely favourites. Loose Preformer has been impressive, owned/trained and ridden by farrier Hedley Webb, they have won all three of their starts so should go close. Mic’s Delight for owner/trainer jockey Jennifer Davenport is likely to set the pace, and will put up a bold show.

The Restricted race is sponsored by Subaru, this could go the way of another Ed Walker trained entry On Your Max, having run close seconds in two restricted races this season. Both Royalzaro and Angleforcharlie could improve on their recent maiden wins and be in the mix. Gleannacreim from the Charlotte Hawker team, and Sparkling Miss from the Michael Miller team are other entries to note if the going stays on the good side.

The Scott Rowe Solicitors-sponsored Open Maiden race could go the way of the Milan sired San Satiro from the Barber team, the four-year old is yet to make his debut run. He is a half brother to The Eaglehaslanded, who took this race last season, and is owned by champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, he could be another horse for the future. Whatastormnorm ran well at both Great Trethew meetings, clocking up a second and third. Queens Law looked to find the going to testing when third at Upcott Cross, and is another who could appreciate the drier ground.

On course facilities include bar, hot refreshments, bookies and a number of trade stands. Entrance is £10 car & driver, £25 car load, pedestrians £10.

Location is Stafford Cross, nr Seaton (off A3052, 20m from M5 Junction 30 – EX24 6HZ)

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Beer Youth Hostel (1.3 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Axe Vale” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2014-15 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



IT was a day of doubles on testing going at Upcott Cross, where a healthy total of 74 runners faced the starter in eight races.

The breezy, cool afternoon featured three training doubles coupled with two riding doubles. Darren Edwards is having a tremendous season and landed the four miles “Devon National” on the useful Bradley Brook. “His jumping can be sketchy at times but he was fine today,” reported the jockey. Bradley Brook’s trainer Nicky Martin was not sure that her charge would see out the long trip. The Exmoor trainer said, “They go a bit slower over four miles and he did well. He needs softish ground and ran well over three and a half miles at Stratford last year. We could go there again,”

Edwards completed his double when Cracking Habit won the appropriately named Sarah Prouse Birthday Celebration Open Maiden. The winner is owned and trained by Sarah at Crediton, Devon. She had earlier saddled her Beetle Jack to win the David Phillips Bookmaker Open Maiden under David Noonan, who currently leads the area novice riders’ championship “We haven’t got an all weather gallop and train them on a small strip in the field. Both these horses were home bred by Henry (Sarah’s late husband) out of our mare Monty’s Lass who won a hunter chase. Our daughter Caroline broke them in, rides them and jumps them.”

Kayley Woollacott’s successful season continued thanks to Cinevator’s Hunt race win and Jepeck’s hard fought Confined victory. Harriet Skinner was enjoying her third career success on board ex-chaser Cinevator – “a brilliant serious spin”, in her words.

Rose Ash trainer Kayley Woollacott went on to saddle her 16th winner of the season when the progressive Jepeck (Jamie Thomas) got his head in front on the line in the colours of Jon Pike to beat According To Harry. Jepeck gained the first of his four wins in the opening race of the season at Black Forest Lodge and, “loves cut in the ground and a good test,” according to his trainer.

Jack Barber is another trainer who cannot stop saddling winners from his Dorset base. His two winners here put him on the 34 winner mark for the season and a comfortable lead for the Connolly’s Red Mills National trainers’ title. Ask The Weatherman was not hard pressed to win the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate in the hands of Will Biddick. The champion jockey went on to record his 43rd winner on the season on the exciting five-year-old Boa Island, who went into many notebooks when trouncing his 12 rivals in a good quality Restricted. “He has now won his two point-to-points and that will be him for the season. He will join Paul Nicholls to go under rules and is for sale to stay in the yard,” said Jack

Robbie Henderson steered the Ed Walker trained Annwyl to win the Mares and Fillies Open Maiden. “She has been a bit slow at her fences in the past, but we have done a lot of work with her and she jumped big today,” commented the jockey.


Results of the Eggesford meeting


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


The following photographers were at the meeting: Marcus BathWestern Morning News (Athwenna Irons), and Roger Peaple


Saturday, 18th April 2015, the Dartmoor Point-To-Point, Flete Park, nr Ermington.

[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Eggesford” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2014-15 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Preview: Eggesford Point-to-Point at Upcott Cross Sunday 12 April 2015


Written by: Donna Harris
Horse racing enthusiasts will still be buzzing after the Grand National, and flock to Upcott Cross, where the Eggesford will be staging their Point-to-Point, which features their own four mile Devon National Mixed Open race, this weekend Sunday April 12. With a start time of 1pm, there are eight races on offer and a bumper entry of over 130 horses.

The Nigel Cant Planning-sponsored Members races heads up the days events, in which the Stuart Reddaway-trained Fourstar River could improve on his recent third at Kilworthy. Also entered is Hallo Dolly, having not been seen on the track for two years, her previous form of two Point wins and a third at this track could make her a leading contender.

There follows the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored Intermediate race, in which Roseyroo from the Louise Caddle team, could follow up on her second at Ston Easton last month, under Harry Cobden the combination were only denied by a neck. With the Jack Barber team sending out winners each weekend, his entry Ask The Weatherman has to be respected following his wins at Badbury Rings, Charlton Hawthorne and Cotley. Dancing Olga is a previous course winner here, and ran second in an Intermediate at Bratton Down on good to firm.

The Confined race is sponsored by Chris Hodgeson Engineering, this could go the way of According To Harry, he ran three lengths second to Minella Web at Kilworthy, having previously clocked up wins at Black Forest Lodge and Wadebridge. Jepeck for the Kayley Woollacott team won his Restricted at Larkhill and an Intermediate at Chipley Park, he pulled up on good to firm on his latest outing at Larkhill, but may run well here if any rain softens the ground.

The Devon National Mixed Open looks very competitive, Bellsinni Ron was second here last season, and could score under Will Biddick for the Barber team, Dashing John could improve on his third in a Ladies Open last month under Natalie Parker. Bradley Brook is another to consider, having won here last season and follow up on his recent win at Great Trethew. This race is sponsored by Simpkins Edwards.

In the Restricted race sponsored by TT Buildings, Boa Island catches the eye after his 20 length win of a maiden race at Charlton Hawthorne under National leading jockey Will Biddick last month. Peterbrown could go well for Karyn Heard, having taken the maiden race at Kilworthy, when making virtually all of the running to win by five lengths.

David Pipe sponsors the Open Maiden race for mares and fillies, in which Southfield Fairy ran promisingly at Ston Easton when third under jockey Alice Mills, and should be in the mix. Queens Law had hinted at ability last season when finishing second on both of her starts and may go well fresh.

The Open Maiden race for horses and geldings has already been divided. In the first division San Satiro could be a horse for the future, making his debut run here, out of the Jack Barber yard for owner Paul Nicholls. Both Turnstone and Master Max have had the benefit of a run this season, with any market support worth noting. The second division of the open maiden could see the Jill Dennis-trained Mount Prospex go one better than his head second at the recent Kilworthy meeting. Derniere Dance could be worth an each way bet. These races have been sponsored by David Phillips Bookmakers and Sarah Prouse Birthday Celebrations.

On course facilities include hot refreshments, bar, bookies and trade stands.

The course is located 2 miles South of Halwill junction, off A3079. Postcode EX21 5AE

Entrance to course is £10 per person up to a maximum of £30 per car. Children under 16 free.

Useful Information

Met Office 5 day forecast: Halwill Junction (1.6 miles)

BBC Travel News: DevonCornwallSomerset;

Related Articles:
[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Eggesford” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2014-15 Season”]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.