Joint Secretaries: Bridget Tully & Sharon Baker
Address: Bincombe Barton, Over Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 1HR
T: 01278 732944
F: 01278 733059
M: 07970 781087
Entries: Mrs F A'Brook
Address: Venne Cottage, Upton, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 2JE
T/F: 01398 371279
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race, £15 per additional race same horse
Entries Close: Monday 24th February, 12 noon
Races: Members - 4,5,6,7 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Mixed Open - Restricted - Confined - Open Maiden
Kirkleigh is selected to take the Quantock Staghounds Mixed Open at Cothelstone on Sunday. The strong stayer, who bids to take his win tally into double figures, looked as good as ever when narrowly outpointed by Minella Stars in Buckfastleigh’s prestigious £1000 Westcountry Champion Chase Mixed Open a fortnight ago. Challengers include Coombe Hill, in the frame in each of his three outings this season, course winner Johnny’s Way, and Swansbrook, the winner of four of his 10 races for Sue Popham, including one at last season’s corresponding meeting. Former top chaser Michael Muck is interesting, but the Ruckers have a strong hand with Sagalyrique and Stonemaster and their chosen runner may be the one to challenge Kirkleigh.
Swansbrook is among the six entries for the opening Hunt race and will get the vote if facing the starter. In his absence, Little Cornharn will be an automatic selection to win the Cup for the third year running, with Amber Love fancied for the forecast.
The Greenways’ Justabout is fancied to follow up his Tiverton win by taking the Confined, which has attracted 18 entries. For The Staff, a winner at Chipley Park before disappointing at Black Forest Lodge, the Goulds’ former high class Rules performer Silverburn, a full-brother to Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman, but a non-finisher in two 2014 point-to-points to date, and Carrickmines are three for the short list. Yufo was not disgraced when runner-up to Start Royal at Bratton Down in June and may be the one to chase up Justabout.
Ladfromhighworth will be the selection if turning out for the 27-entry Restricted. Chipley Park runner-up Whenharrymetsally and Lower Machen winner Fourstar River can complete the placings.
Two large entry Maiden races complete the card. Woodford runner-up Crackacan, Wadebridge third The Copper Jug, Vine & Craven third Paddy B and the David Brace pair Alottamo and Nurse Brace are five to consider in the 2m 4f event, which has attracted 43 entries. Dizzy Delights, Third Chance and Mike The Poacher are three suggestions from the 36 entries for the 3m contest.
The course lies north of Taunton off the A358, 3 miles NE of Bishops Lydeard (TA4 3DT). First race: 12.30pm. Admission: £20 per car and all occupants; £10 single occupancy; £5 pedestrians
Hunt Members (4 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 1) 456&7yo, 2m4f100y (12 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 2) 456&7yo, 2m4f100y (13 ran)
Mixed Open (6 ran)
Restricted (Div 1) (10 ran)
Restricted (Div 2) (9 ran)
Confined (8 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 1) (9 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 2) (9 ran)
Trainer Charlotte Fear and jockeys Darren Edwards and Will Biddick landed doubles at Cothelstone on Sunday. Charlotte led off when Little Cornham became the first horse to win three consecutive Quantock Staghounds Hunt races in recent times. The seven-year-old made all at a slow pace under Ciaran Gethings before quickening clear of his field in the last half-mile. Owned by Andy Pollard, Helen Stoneman and Janet Down, sister of Quantock Staghounds huntsman Rick Down, Little Cornham will now go hunter chasing.
Charlotte and Darren combined with Geoff Thompson’s Coombe Hill, who got the better of a dour battle with 4/9F Kirkleigh (Tom Chanin) in the Mixed Open. “I didn’t want to be outstayed by Kirkleigh, so the plan was to let Tom get in front and then gain a few lengths turning in if I was still going well enough,” said Darren. “It worked out, although the petrol was all gone and we were running on fumes at the end.”
Darren completed his double aboard Reliable Richie, who overcame a slow jump on the final circuit to take the first Restricted. “We train near the Trebudannon course and box him for 40 minutes to exercise on Bodmin Moor,” explained Ryan Chapman, son of winning owner-trainer Reuben Chapman. “He likes this soft ground and would have welcomed racing on his own after the field split under the early fast pace.”
Will Biddick took both divisions of the 3-mile Maiden aboard Corton Ridge and Third Chance. The former came clear in the straight to provide another win for Sutton Montis trainer Charlotte Davis and the syndicate headed by her father, Graham. Third Chance only needed to be pushed out with hands and heels to open his account after three previous placed efforts.
Longstanding hunt racing supporters recalled Twyford’s striking red and white hooped colours after the seven-year-old had taken the first 2m-4f Maiden. “Priscilla Boundy passed the colours on to me when she died in April,” explained Parracombe beef and sheep farmer Phil Rawle, who owns Twyford jointly with farrier Keith Parkin and trainer Claire Hitch. “I rode several winners for Priscilla aboard Dull Light in this woolly jumper, which must be at least 40 years old.”
The Chanin family gained some compensation for Kirkleigh’s defeat when Five Journeys made all in the second 2m-4f Maiden. “He was our first homebred out of Pebble Dasher who we bought 13 years ago as a hunter for Tom,” explained trainer Robert Chanin’s wife, Maureen, mother of winning jockey Tom. “He ran a good race at Flete Park two years ago but missed last season, firstly following an overreach and then sustaining a stone puncture wound to the back of a hind fetlock.”
Sax and Julie Purdie’s Master Hooper maintained his unbeaten record in the second Restricted and Jamie Thomas reached the five-winner mark when John Pearn’s Lightening Jack fought back after the last in the Confined.