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.
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)
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.
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
Well that is that then. We try to stretch the season out with nearly 30 meetings from November to June in Devon & Cornwall, but high summer has its way eventually.
The good thing about Umberleigh is that you can’t see where your cash went astray. Punters (and onlookers) have to circle round and round the top of the hill to get a fleeting glimpse of the horses (a bit like wagon trains circling to defend themselves in the old cowboy films).
The three-runner opener (Confined) provided a bit of a shock, although I thought that the winner Lucys Girl looked the pick of the paddock. No, I didn’t avail myself of the 12’s and 10’s available. Just Seven (7-4 to 6-4) led until falling at the 8th and looked to have gifted the race to the odds-on favourite Robin Will (1-2 to 4-7). Robin Will became Robin Won’t as they climbed the steep hill after three out and Lucys Girl swept past under Jake Bament to win by 30 lengths.
Everything seemed to be going well for 8-13 favourite Rosies Peacock after the Welsh star went on after half way. He still led at the final ditch but by the time they had gone behind the hedge he had swopped places with Findlay’s Find. That game winner of over 20 races was not going to relinquish his lead and he battled on well to repeat last year’s success as Threapwood (5’s to 9-2) mounted a late challenge.
Florence Mary (5-2 to 7-4) got favourite backers back on track in the Ladies’ Open. The mare looked to be struggling in fourth place jumping the fences along the valley as Skating Home (11-2 out to 7’s) quickened clear. Once again the stiff climb behind the hedge sorted them out and Florence emerged out in front. Lucy Mager is a decent novice rider and she kept her mount (who relishes fast ground) going to hold the challenges of Bay to Go (easy to back at 5’s) and Tiger D’Oust (7-2)
The well backed Part and Parcel (5-4 / 6-4) unseated Alex Edwards at half way in the Intermediate which seemed to leave the door open
for marginal favourite Sedgemoor Top Bid (11-8). This time the tongue tied Kawana Cove (4-1) was the one relishing the ground and took command at the second last to deny the favourite under a fine ride from Heidi Lewis. Horses for courses again.
The concluding Open Maiden sent the bookies home laughing when the Cheshire challenger Come On Louis stayed on strongly under Ollie Greenall to score unfancied at 12-1 ( 100 to 8 when I was at school). His previous form was uninspiring to say the least, but he was galvanised by Greenall, who was having his last ride before retirement, to collar Kilcolman Wizard after the latter had been 25 lengths clear at one stage.
The secretary Gillian Underhill said the The Injured Jockeys Fund bucket collection at the meeting made £1499.54 cash, plus a £1000 gift cheque
THE British point-to-point season drew to a close at Umberleigh last Saturday against the background of the traditional end of season party atmosphere. The Torrington Farmers’ meeting ended the six and a half months Devon & Cornwall area campaign stretching back to last November’s opener at Black Forest Lodge.
The prolific Welsh pointer Findlay’s Find has been a great servant to Paul and Myfanwy Miles and showed his liking for the track by repeating last year’s Men’s Open win under David Mansell. The sturdy nine-year-old was scoring for only the second time this season, but his illustrious career CV now shows 22 pointing wins plus a hunter chase.
“We nearly didn’t come after it rained on Friday because he needs fast ground and the firmer the better for him. Dave kept him to the outside for better ground and he really appreciates a test of stamina,” said Paul Miles. Jockey David Mansell is of course vastly experienced but has had a lean year by his standards. “This is my first pointing winner since Barbury Castle last December so I have doubled my score,” joked the rider.
The South Pembrokeshire qualified Rosies Peacock (John Mathias), bidding for his eighth success of the season, started favourite and was prominent until weakening up the final climb to finish last of the four runners. It was left to the Cheshire trained Threapwood (Oliver Greenall) to chase home the winner, with the only West country representative Bathwick Scanno a creditable third…
Florence Mary is another fast ground specialist and found conditions to her liking when taking the Ladies’ Open. The ten-year-old looked in trouble down the back straight but was sent past leader Skating Home after the final ditch to score readily in the colours of Jeff Fear, who described his mare as, “a late season horse.”
The winner was a third pointing success for 17-year-old jockey Lucy Mager, a recruit from pony racing, who has just completed her first year of A levels at King’s Wessex. Florence Mary’s Wedmore based trainer Emma Mellor, due to give birth in two months time, has done well to rejuvenate her charge “She has always been a monkey and was not a great eater. I have changed her diet and her therapist and she lives a bit like a mountain goat. She checks the cows and sometimes goes to the beach at Burnham,” smiled the trainer.
The Confined field was reduced to two when Just Seven crashed out after a circuit, leaving odds-on favourite Robin Will well clear. 10-1 outsider Lucys Girl looked a forlorn hope until the favourite’s stride shortened dramatically after the last ditch, allowing Lucys Girl and young rider Jake Bament to sweep past. The winner, bought cheaply at Ascot sales last July, is owned and trained by Dan Farr just two miles from the course at Atherington.
Carry On Nando finished alone in the Restricted to give Irish born jockey Sean Houlihan his fifth career winner. His mount was well clear when sole opponent Gouranga Society unseated Paul Sheard at the final fence. Owned by Jenny Luscombe and Richard Candy and trained by Gordon Chambers, the winner was also sourced from Ascot sales last July. “He needs top of the ground and would make a super schoolmaster. We gave Sean (Houlihan) his first winner in March,” reported the trainer.
Heidi Lewis is another pony racing recruit and steered Kawana Cove home in the Intermediate. Nine-year-old Kawana Cove is jointly owned by the rider and her father David, and is trained by her mother Maria. The gelding had undergone a lean spell this season after taking the Restricted on this card last June. “He doesn’t like it soft and hates tacky ground,” commented the 18-year-old jockey who works for Kayley and Richard Woollacott and was partnering her fourth career winner.
After finishing runner up on his only other mount of the day, Oliver Greenall celebrated his retirement from the saddle by winning the final race of the season on 12-1 outsider Come On Louis, a horse he also trains near Malpas, Cheshire. The rider has happy memories of Umberleigh having set the then record total of 56 winners in a season with a double there in 2008 (since equalled by his brother Tom in 2009 and recently considerably upped by Will Biddick this year). Sitting in the changing tent afterwards with some relief showing, 28-year-old Oliver with over 200 career winners to his name explained, “This horse is owned by my box driver Andrew Ralphs who couldn’t be here today. My brother Jake bought him as a four-year-old and he has had all sorts of problems. This is the first season we have had a clear run with him. My plan is to concentrate on training pointers next season and to take out a full trainers licence after that.
Next weekend will see the final Point-to-Point meeting of the season take place at Chapleton Barton, Umberleigh, where the Torrington Farmers host their meeting as the curtain closer for the season. There are six races on offer with the action starting at 2pm. The Devon & Cornwall area pony racing follows the main races, with the 138cm and under, followed by the 148cm pony race.
With the leading horse title still to be decided, both Cock Of The Rock and Rosies Peacock are entered here in the Davisons Chartered Accountant-sponsored Men’s Open. Each seeking their eighth win of the season, Cock of The Rock for trainer Rachael Green under owner/rider Harry Cobden, was unable to clock up a win at Bratton last weekend. Rosies Peacock’s connections skipped last weekend and could take the title if coming out fresh here for the David Llewellyn team. Harry Cobden has another possible ride with entry Silver Token who is stable mate to Cock Of The Rock. Should Silver Token or any other runner win the race, then the title would be shared between Rosies Peacock and Cock Of The Rock.
The Confined race, sponsored by Devonshire Motors of Barnstaple, heads up the action. This could turn into a dual between Pasternak Jack for the Woollacott team, and the Roy Smith-trained Just Seven. Both horses ran last well last weekend clocking up similar times in their respective races.
Outside raider, Captain Camelot had been well fancied to take the Restricted race at the Trecoed meeting last weekend. He finished second, and could well be the favourite here in the Captain Tim Forester Memorial Restricted race. Trainer Paul Phillips entry Tandori looks a danger having run a good second at Hackwood Park.
Mikey Bowen has entered both Sir Du Bearn and Cygnet in the E.J.Snell & Sons Ltd-sponsored Ladies Open race. Both horses ran last weekend, with Sir Du Bearn winning at Trecoed under Jodie Hughes, and Cygnet running well in the Men’s Open in third. The danger looks to be Awesome George for the Mahon team, who has had time to recover from his second at Garthorpe. Tim Underwood has Carnglave Cat entered and the trainer looks to be chasing Rachael Green for the National Trainer title for yards with seven horses or less. Carnglave Cat is already on a seasons hat-trick, the latest when winning at Peper Harow in Surrey.
Alfie The Great could go well in the Intermediate race, having notched up a quick time at Garthorpe. Green Winter is another to note, having won his Restricted easily at Hereford. The surprise could be Sedgemoor Top Bid for the Tickle team, who could follow-up on his two wins at the Flete Park meetings. This race is sponsored by Claire Howarth of Barum Stud.
Finally those catching the eye in the Smallridge Bros Ltd-sponsored Open Maiden race are Princess Tina, after her second at Lydstep, and Kilcoman Wizard having clocked up seconds at Trebudannon and Cothelstone.
All on course facilities are on offer with bar, hot food, bookies and a host of trade stands, and a super party atmosphere. Entrance to the course is £10 per person, with children under 16 free. Please support the IJF bucket collection at the meeting, which is collecting for young jockey Ed Barrett who was injured at Upcott Cross in April.
The course is located on A377, 5m SE of Barnstaple – EX37 9EB.
THE third of three Point-to-Point horse racing fixtures to take place at the stunning Bratton Down track is to be held this Sunday June 7th.
With only two meetings left in the area this season, the opportunity to pack the picnics full of scrumptious delights to party again, whilst watching some excellent thrilling races is a must for all country loving folk. There are six races on offer and over 100 entries received. The first being the Winston Pincombe-sponsored Members race heading up the action at 2pm. Local trainer Kayley Woollacott holds three of the entries with the pick looking to be Le Clo De La Londe, having won a Restricted race earlier in May, then following up with a second at Upcott Cross. The Keith Cumings-trained entry Whenharrymetsally ran well at this course when third last month and could put up another strong challenge.
The Stags Open Maiden race follows, attracting 24 entries all looking to progress before the end of the season. Among those catching the eye are Askers Lad, who had run well when leading until running out at the last fence here at the Dulverton meeting here, could go close. Overland Flyer ran a good two lengths second at Holnicote behind Katie’s Massini, and is from the Jack Barber team, they could add to their current seasons total of an impressive 50 winners so far.
In the Exmoor Hay & Straw Ltd Intermediate race, Fourstar River looks to be the one they all have to catch, having been knocking at the door of an Intermediate win all season including a neck second to Otis Tarda at the earlier May meeting. Broken Eagle is an interesting outside raider for the Alan Hill team, he could follow up on his seconds at Larkhill and Kingston Blount, under jockey Joe Hill. The Flying Doc won here at the last meeting and could progress well, with Credit Crunched who could also come back for more having been unlucky to unseat his rider early on at the last meeting.
Cock Of The Rock is unbeaten in his last seven runs this season, including a Men’s Open at Little Windsor for his jockey Harry Cobden. Harry is currently leading the National Novice male jockey’s title. His main challenger in the Greenslade Taylor Hunt-sponsored Men’s Open race here could be Rosie’s Peacock, another horse on seven wins, with both horses competing for the leading horse title. Queens Bay from the Barber team could be the fly in the ointment with champion jockey Will Biddick aboard and should be feared most.
Outside raiders in the Poltimore Inn, North Molton Ladies Open race come in the way of It Was Me, who under jockey Carey Williamson has won his last five starts, Awesome George is a hurdle and Chase winner who could figure here for jockey Lara Mahon. Ned White for Leanda Tickle and Top Chief under Bryony Frost, could put up a bold show for the area if conditions dry in time.
The Witheridge Garage-sponsored Restricted Race closes the days events, of the 25 entered both Earthpower and The Greendale Rocket were running well in the void race at Upcott Cross, and Just Seven could follow-up on his win at Vauterhill in May.
For those choosing not to pack their own picnics, the on course facilities include tasty hot refreshments, bar, bookies and a number of trade stands, offering a great family day out. Children under 16 get onto the course free, charges for car & driver are £10, with £10 each passenger up to a maximum of £30. Dogs on leads welcome.
Course is located at Bratton Fleming, 9m NE of Barnstaple on A399, 11m South of South Molton. Postcode EX31 4SG.
A sunny and dry day resulted in a decent sized crowd. Some good racing with a few class performances and exciting finishes. The ground was sticky soft ground.
14 runners lined up for the opening race on the card. Welstonedruid went off 11-4 favourite and prevailed in a very tight finish with Mic’s Delight. Welstonedruid looked to have settled it shortly after the last but seemed to idle on the run in and almost got beat. Bradley Brook (2-1 out to 5-1) ran quite well in 3rd considering he was carrying a 10lb penalty.
Restricted Div 1
The Restricted was split on the day. Division 1 went to What About Will at 9-1, who was the only runner still galloping in the closing stages and some very weary horses clambered over the last. Kerry Mganga finished 2nd and Bamboleo 3rd, after Gentle Duke stopped to a walk on the run in after jumping the last in a clear 3rd. Larkhill winner Themanfromcork was a disappointing 4-6 favourite.
Restricted Div 2
The favourites flip-flopped in div 2 as Soixante Six was backed into 6-4 favourite while Full Trottle drifted from evens out to 9-4. These two fought out the finish with Full Trottle getting a crucial advantage of a couple of lengths after 2 out and held Soixante Six after the last. They pulled well clear of the 3rd, Sparkling Miss, who shaped with some promise.
A warm contest for the Ladies Open with the 6 runners including multiple winner Byerley Bear, hunter chase 2nd Catspan and the Steve Flook trained pair Foundry Square and Rumbury Grey. Having led, Byerley Bear was headed on the run to 3 out and looked in a bit of trouble but he rallied well under pressure and got the crucial inside line on the final bend as Catspan and Foundry Square challenged. Foundry Square tried to challenge after turning in but couldn’t get to Byerley Bear who won at 4-5. Foundry Square came 2nd (6-4 out to 2-1) and Catspan 3rd.
A very competitive Mens Open and those at the head of the market came to the fore. Steeltown was sent clear of the field early on the final circuit but the gap was gradually closed by a few and Coombe Hill was the one who closed strongly after 2 out. He got to the front with a good jump at the last and the 14yo went on to win from Steeltown. Rosies Peacock, the 2-1 fav, ran well back in 3rd.
Open Maiden Div 1 Part 1
Div 1 of the maiden was split on the day. Part 1 looked a competitive race and produced a very tight finish between According To Harry and Swingbridge. The former, sent off at 4-1, just got the verdict from the 3-1 fav. The Mystro showed some promise in 3rd and should pick up a maiden.
Open Maiden Div 1 Part 2
Nortonthorpelegend’s price fluctuated around evens in Part 2 but he was in trouble early on the final circuit and could never get into the race. Victory went to Genermouse at 25-1 from Stony Road, who ran a promising race in 2nd, and Wivannie in 3rd.
Open Maiden Div 2
Carnage in Div 2 of the maiden. The favourite Loves Blind unseated early on. High Hatton (6-4 out to 4-1) had cruised into the lead when getting rid of James Tudor at the open ditch and the horse that followed him, Thegreendalerocket, unseated too. Very few of the 14 that set off were still going at the finish and it was Infamous Grouse that won to complete a treble for Darren Edwards. Morebutwhen and Gold Relief followed him home.
Visually the most impressive performance came in the last. Repeat Business (4s very early, then 5-2 into 7-4) travelled smoothly throughout and took up the running going across the top of the course. Little Cornham was the only danger at 2 out but Repeat Business quickly pulled clear, putting up a smart performance. Little Cornham was no match for the winner but ran well in 2nd and Argentato ran well in 3rd at 50-1. Supreme Danehill was the 6-4 favourite but could never get into a challenging position and ran below his best.
Good to see plenty of familiar local faces among the crowd and a few rare visitors to these parts.
The betting ring at Black Forest was particularly strong with 15 bookies providing a competitive market.
• Punters got off to a good start with Welstonedruid (11-4 to 5-2 fav) squeezing home by a short head in front of Mic’s Delight (9-1 to each way money).
• What About Will (9’s to 8’s) kept jumping to the left in the first of the divided Restricted, but still had 15 lengths in hand at the post. He can score again on a left hand track. Welsh cash was seen for the Nick Williams ridden Kerry Mganga (8’s to 6’s) but his effort was short lived. He should win a Restricted back in Wales.
• Vilja was backed from 12-1 to 8-1 in the other Restricted division but fell at the 11th fence when lying second. She is in a good yard and is worth another chance. The finish concerned the two at the top of the market with Full Throttle (11-10 out to 9-4) atoning for his unlucky fall at Cottenham in beating the favourite Soixante Six (2-1 to 13-8)
• Steeltown was well supported from 5-1 to 7-2 in a high class Men’s Open and ran extremely well. He was pegging back the winner Coombe Hill (strong at 7-2) near the finish, with former Lady Dudley Cup winner Rosies Peacock (5-2 into 2-1 fav) finishing a creditable third.
• According To Harry (5-1 to 4-1) had fallen at Wadebridge last week after a promising third at the showground in a race which is working out well before Christmas. With the in-form Darren Edwards giving him a perfect waiting ride, this promising six-year-old just denied Swingbridge (3-1 fav) in yet another race which had to be divided on the day.
• Bookies got some expenses back in the other division of the Maiden when Genermouse (33-1 and not a friend in sight) put in an exhilarating round of jumping to score under Joshua Newman.
• Infamous Grouse provided another shock in division two of the maiden. This big gelding started at 12-1 but had been seen at 20’s and it was left to Darren Edwards to follow in the hoof prints of his previous two winners.
* As it got colder the number of punters dwindled. Only the needy and the greedy (including me) lingered around for the final event of a long afternoon. Two of the eight Intermediate runners were offered at 66-1, but it was the Llangeinor qualified Repeat Business (5-2 to 7-4) who took the prize across the Severn bridge to Wales.