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 30th March 2015, 12 noon
Races: Members - 4,5,6 & 7 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Confined - Intermediate - Mixed Open - Restricted - Open Maiden
Aiteen Thirtythree and Chapoturgeon are the two suggestions for the Taunton Vale Mixed Open at Kingston St Mary on Easter Monday, if connections bypass Saturday’s Portman fixture. The former, unbeaten in four 2014 point-to-points last season, won a Lingfield Hunter Chase before being pulled up in the Cheltenham Foxhunter this season. The top-class Chapoturgeon finished runner-up in the 2012 Cheltenham Foxhunter, but has not appeared since finishing second to Mossey Joe in the Stratford Horse & Hound Cup 22 months ago. Posh Totty, course winner Certain Flight and Cotley winner Steeltown are three more to consider. Chapoturgeon and Aiteen Thirtythree can fight out the finish if facing the starter, with Cockney Trucker and Satou – first and second in the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Men’s Open – and Great Trethew winner Bradley Brook disputing the minor placings.
Posh Totty and Cockney Trucker are among the 15 entries for the Confined, along with 2014 winner Steeltown and course winner Special Occasion, who returned to form at Ston Easton. Others to consider include Fiulin, who spoiled his chance by swerving to his left at Ston Easton, Wadebridge winner Supreme Danehill and Black Forest Lodge Restricted winner Tolatetobeearly. Steeltown is fancied to retain the Cup.
Sonoftheking has impressed this season and can make it three out of four in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate. Umberleigh winner Kawana Cove, dual Buckfastleigh winner Miss Gotaway and Charlton Horethorne victor Turtle Boys can complete the frame.
The Restricted has attracted 14 entries including Cotley winner Trumpet Master, Kilworthy victor Doyen Dynamo and Jack Barber stable companions Siege Of Troy and Ruddy Article. Molly Oscar chased up the prolific Dicky Bob at Ottery St Mary and is fancied to go one better.
Hedley Webb’s Loose Preformer is a confident selection to complete his seasonal hat-trick in the Hunt race. Course winner Dancing Olga, 2013, corresponding race winner Alysia’s Flame and Glenwood Present have chances, but Cockney Trucker will be the danger if facing the starter.
The card also features two Maiden races. Athreeothree and Judge John Deed are the suggestions for their selected contests. Kernel Victor and Spendajennie may be the main challengers in the 2m4f contest. Annwyl and Kilworthy runner-up Steel Brush are two alternatives to consider in the 3-mile event.
Two pony races, qualifiers for the Wessex Finals in May, complete the afternoon’s racing.
The course is at Fennington Farm, 3 miles N of Taunton off the A38 or A358 (TA2 8AS). First race: 1.30pm.
Hunt Members (4 ran)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (10 ran)
Confined (9 ran)
Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate (8 ran)
Mixed Open (4 ran)
Restricted (8 ran)
Open Maiden (10 ran)
The two pony races were won by Daniel Cox, 14, aboard Wee Antony in the 138cms race and Finley Marsh, 16, riding Song Bird (148cms).
Will Biddick rode five winners at Kingston St Mary to make it nine for the weekend and 41 for the season. The Jack Barber-trained quartet Judge John Deed, Ghizao, Chapoturgeon and Siege Of Troy and the Marie McGuiness-trained Soul Native provided the 28-year-old’s five successes.
Four-year-old Judge John Deed was ridden out to make a winning debut in the 2m-4f Maiden. Bought for €57,000 at Tattersalls Ireland Derby National Hunt Sale in June, Judge John Deed is owned by Ian Fogg, Paul Nicholls and Richard Webb. “He’ll come into training with me next season, but he’s run green today and another run in six weeks’ time probably wouldn’t go amiss,” said Paul.
Will took the reins for the first time aboard Confined winner Ghizao, who returned to his best after six wayward efforts earlier in the season. Held up in rear, the 11-year-old former top chaser sprinted clear to win as he liked. “We’ve ridden him like that to get him jumping fluently again,” said Jack. “He’s a serious horse and one I’ll put into my Jack Barber Racing Club which I’ll launch next season.”
Soul Native will be aimed at longer distance contests after getting the better of favourite Sonoftheking in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate, despite diving through the last. “We’ll be looking for a 4-mile point-to-point,” said trainer, Marie McGuinness. “It’s a shame they are all in a batch, but the Dartmoor’s Mixed Open at Flete Park on 18 April is one we’ll look at.”
Chapoturgeon, making his first appearance since finishing runner-up in Stratford’s 2013 Horse & Hound Cup, sauntered home in the Mixed Open. “He’s a very special horse to us and I’ll always remember him and Jack coming up the Cheltenham hill to finish second in the 2012 Foxhunter,” said Jack’s mother, Sarah. “We took him to the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale (B&SV), but didn’t race owing to the soft ground, and then it was too testing at Cheltenham. The plan is to run him in small races this season, but Jack says he’s been jumping out of his skin and feels better than ever.”
Siege Of Troy outsprinted Doyen Dynamo after the pair had been held up in a slowly run Restricted contest. “We rode him like that to get him jumping when he won at the B&SV,” explained Paul Barber, joint owner with Ken Biggins. “He’s been an unlucky horse, as he fell when in contention at Woodford two years ago, missed last season and was concussed when brought down at Larkhill in January.”
Will’s hopes of becoming the second jockey to ride six winners at a meeting – John Mathias achieved the feat at Cilwendeg in March 2011 – were dashed when Athreeothree never looked like catching Maurice Scott’s Steel Brush (Matt Hampton) in the 3-mile Maiden. “Tom Malone found him in Ireland two months ago and he’s better for a very good run when runner-up at Kilworthy a fortnight ago,” reported Bishop’s Nympton trainer Keith Cumings.
Loose Preformer and 26-year-old Somerton farrier Hedley Webb made much of the running to complete a seasonal hat-trick in the Members. “I bought him privately from Mike Hawker in May on Liz Dorse’s recommendation,” said Hedley. “I was in cloud cuckoo land when we beat Double Bank at Kilworthy, but the dream is to contest a Hunter Chase. He must have good ground.”