Secretary: Valerie Kemp
Address: Broadhayes Farm, Stockland, Honiton, Devon, EX14 9EL
T: 01404 881353
M: 07974 808318
Entries: Mrs Fiona Walker
Address: Greenway Farm, North Newton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 0DB
T/F: 01278 663801
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race, £10 per additional entry same horse
Entries Close: Monday 14th April 2014, 12 noon
Races: Members - 4,5,6 & 7 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Confined - Intermediate - Mixed Open - Restricted - Open Maiden
Former top chaser Aiteen Thirtythree can complete a pointing hat-trick in the Taunton Vale Mixed Open at Kingston St Mary on Easter Monday. The ten-year-old, winner of a bumper, a hurdle and two chases under Rules, made a winning return to points at Kilworthy before easily outclassing his field at the Portman. The 25 entries include Round Tom, yet to show his best in two outings this season, the Targetts’ prolific Mendip Farmers winner Thinkaboutthat, Wadebridge and Cotley winner Bellflower Boy and Classic Swain, who seems to show his best in the spring. Former Alan King stable companions Lake Legend , who is unbeaten in his five races between the flags to date, and Iron Chancellor – a good third in a recent Wincanton Hunter Chase – may be the two to chase home Aiteen Thirtythree.
European cross-country specialist Shalimar Fromentro and four-timer seeking Subtle Sovereign are the two to take from the 14 entries for the Confined. The former, winner of his Maiden here in 2010, made a successful return to pointing with a comfortable Novice Riders race success at Great Trethew. Subtle Sovereign, the flagbearer of Jack Barber’s first season stable, has impressed at Larkhill (twice) and Charlton Horethorne. Three other suggestions are Before The War, who chased up the prolific Bellsinni Ron at Littlewindsor, Saturday’s West Somerset Vale Hunt race winner Carrickmines and course winner Mister Moonax, who is sure to be finishing like a train. Shalimar Fromentro may just get the better of Subtle Sovereign.
Silver Warren impressed here twice last season and can complete a Kingston St Mary hat-trick in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate. Badbury Rings winners Driftwood Pine and Posh Totty and Keith Cumings “selected” from Thetalkinghorse and Whenharrymetsally can fight out the placings.
The Restricted has attracted 19 entries including Countryside Alliance (Wessex) winner Go On Henry and Richard Barber stable companions Overtown Express and Ruddy Article. Treborough Hill winner Glacial Oscar disappointed at Larkhill but is selected to resume winning ways.
The Hunt race entry includes former Cheltenham and Newbury handicap chase winner Sound Stage, Lamerton winner Raffa, 2013 corresponding race winner Alysia’s Flame and Maidstone Mercury, a winner at Kilworthy for Ray Alford’s in-form yard. Raffa and Maidstone Mercury are the suggestions.
The card also features two Maiden races. The Doom Bar is selected to recover Cottenham losses in his selected contest. Vivant Poeme and Kilda’s Rock may be his main challengers in the 2m 4f contest. Beaujolais Bob and Walker Ridge are two alternatives to consider in the 3-mile event.
Two Pony Races, qualifiers for the Wessex Finals in May, complete the day.
The course is at Fennington Farm, 3 miles N of Taunton off the A38 or A358 (TA2 8AS). First race: 1.30pm.
Hunts Members (7 ran)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (5 ran)
Confined (6 ran)
Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate (6 ran)
Mixed Open (11 ran)
Restricted (11 ran)
Open Maiden (10 ran)
Will Biddick rode a treble to secure the Angie Burrough Memorial Trophy (for the season’s leading jockey at the Cotley, Seavington and Taunton Vale fixtures) with a record 33 points at Fennington Farm on Monday. He kicked off on Sara Biggins’ Sound Stage, who went into honourable retirement after taking the Hunt race. “We brought him back to pointing for a change of scenery in his final season,” revealed Sara, whose home is visible from the Somerset venue. “Win, lose or draw, this was definitely his last race and he’ll have a home forever with us as a hunter.”
Will combined with Richard Barber to complete his three-timer aboard Mixed Open winner Round Tom and Vivant Poeme (3-mile Maiden). The former came right back to his best under a typical “waiting in front” ride from the champion. “We had to go back to the drawing board after disappointing efforts at Badbury Rings and Larkhill,” said Richard. “Teresa Dufosee went over him with a fine toothcomb and sorted out his back. He’s best when fresh and would have preferred faster ground, so we’ve plenty of options for the rest of the season.”
Vivant Poeme took a bizarre contest dominated by his loose stable companion, Willow Bird, who caused havoc to the rest of the field throughout after departing at the first. Will took advantage of the slow pace to seize the initiative on Charles Whittaker’s five-year-old, who was never in danger after sprinting clear down the final descent.
Nick Williams' journey from Bridgend was justified when John and Floss Symes’ Steeltown outstayed his five Confined race opponents. “He was placed in 3m-1f hurdle races in Ireland last autumn and we didn’t want to give the others a chance, so Nick kicked on with a circuit to go,” explained John and Floss, who bought the nine-year-old out of Tom Taaffe’s yard at Ascot in October.
Third Chance took the Restricted under a fine ride from Cranmore trainer Sarah Gould, who started in rear before taking up the running on the farside. “The key is to get him jumping, so I started at the back and only moved up when he was focused,” said Sarah. “I was then determined we weren’t going to lose in a close finish, as he’s been second three times this season, including twice when caught close home. He’s a seriously nice horse and I think he’ll go on from here.”
Edeiff’s Lad and Alan King employee Danny Burton caught long odds-on favourite The Doom Bar at the last to take the 2m-4f Maiden. “He was homebred out of our nine-race winner Ede’iff, but was too useless to sell and too difficult to give away,” joked Bishop Caundle’s John Rawlins, who shares the 7yo with John Sunnocks and Michael Hill.
Posh Totty maintained her relentless progress through the ranks with a gutsy all-the-way win in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate. “She enjoys being in front and it was a good performance on patchy ground,” felt trainer-rider Jack Barber, celebrating his 10th training success in his first season.
The two pony races were won by Tamby Welch riding Angelic (138cm) and Olivia Weatherlake aboard Aries (148cm).