Secretary: Mr Jeff Fear
Address: Manor Farm, Southwick Road, Mark, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 4LH
T/F: 01278 783261
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race
Entries Close: Wednesday 6th May 2015, 9.00 pm
Races: Members - CA Club Members Novice Riders - Restricted - Mens Open - Ladies Open - Confined
Watch The Birdie is fancied to follow up her recent Lower Machen win in the Weston & Banwell Ladies’ Open at Cothelstone on Wednesday evening (seven races, 140 entries). Keith Pritchard’s 7yo mare, who underwent an operation on her near hind in December, looked right back to the form she showed when ending the 2013 season with four victories in a seven week period. Other entries include the Stuart Penny-trained stable companions Quedillac and Trueflyingcolours, who put up a fast time when winning at the South & West Wilts, the prolific Findlay’s Find, winner of the 2011 corresponding race, and Larkhill specialist Wak A Turtle, who should be suited by Cothelstone’s sharp course. Course winner Minella Fifty and dual 2015 winner Full Trottle are two more to consider, but Watch The Birdie is selected to make a winning journey from Wales.
Full Trottle is among the 13 entries for the Men’s Open and must be considered if connections take up this option. Opposition could include Cotley Hunt race winner Steeltown, Bedrock Fred, who would be suited by a fast surface, and the Ed Walker-trained stable companions Fiulin and Level Spirit, recent winners at Stafford Cross and Flete Park respectively. The consistent Posh Totty acts in all conditions, but the suggestion is Foynes Island, winner of the Mendip Famers Men’s Open before creditable placed efforts in Wincanton and Stratford hunter chases.
Foynes Island, Trueflyingcolours and Stafford Cross first and second Maxi Chop and Loose Preformer look the pick of the 28 entries for a potentially high class Novice Riders race. Brackenwood, third to Maxi Chop and Loose Preformer at Stafford Cross, Cockney Trucker, Flete Park and Vauterhill winner Pasternak Jack and former accomplished hurdler Ski Sunday, who opened his pointing account when finishing alone at Lower Machen, are four for the shortlist, but Maxi Chop can confirm Axe Vale form with Loose Preformer.
Cotley and Axe Vale winner Whataknight is the one for the opening Confined contest, which has attracted 17 entries. Foynes Island and Bathwick Scanno, who provided Will Biddick’s 50th winner of the season at Holnicote, can complete the 1-2-3.
Flete Park winner Bollin Spark and Hackwood Park winner Porlock Bay are the two for the Restricted.
Two Maiden races complete the card. Captain Camelot, Drift Wood and Rainbow Heights are three possibles for the 2m-4f contest. A Real Cliche and Bugsy Malone are two suggestions for the 3-mile event.
Two pony races, the Wessex Area Novice Finals, kick off proceedings at 3.15pm, followed by seven point-to-point races from 4.30pm.
The course lies north of Taunton off the A358, 3 miles NE of Bishops Lydeard (TA4 3DT). Admission: £25 per car and all occupants; £10 single occupancy; £5 pedestrians.
Confined (5 ran)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (5 ran)
CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) 7yo&up (10 ran)
Restricted (5 ran)
Mens Open (1 ran)
Gunner Be Quick (J Newman); walked over. (Monica Tory)
Ladies Open (3 ran)
Open Maiden (2 ran)
Te three pony races were won by Elena Nikou, 12, aboard Dutchess (138cms Div I), Lewis McDonald, 12, riding Helsington Vanetta (138cms Div II) and Ben Godfrey, 15 on Calypso (148cms).
Will Biddick equalled Oliver and Thomas Greenall’s British record of 56 winners in a season at Cothelstone. The champion-elect made all the running aboard Kostaquarta in the opening Confined before holding off Josh Newman’s challenge aboard Glenwood Present, who had jumped the last virtually upsides.
Josh gained compensation by landing his first-ever double, although Gunner Be Quick’s Men’s Open walkover took some of the gloss off the achievement. Josh initiated his brace aboard Sea Bear, who led throughout the Restricted. “He’s been suited by making his own running and has got into a fluent galloping and jumping routine,” said Josh’s aunt, Chloe Newman, who trains Sea Bear for Thorncombe owners Robert and Janet Gibbs. “He could be the sort to make a hunter chaser next season.”
Alottamo raced a distance clear for most of the 2m-4f Maiden to provide a first win for owner Nick Jenkins, trainer Scarlett Major and 19-year-old jockey Richard Patrick, who works for Pembrokeshire licensed trainer Peter Bowen. “I worked for [Bridgend owner-trainer] David Brace last season and he kindly sold Alottamo to me privately,” explained Scarlett, who rides out for Merthyr Mawr point-to-point trainer Jonathan Tudor. “They’ve called me ‘Charlotte’ in the racecard, but I don’t mind. In fact, I took it as a good omen following all the recent publicity about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby, Princess Charlotte.”
Tim and Irene Sage’s Presentandcorrect relished the fast surface to take the Novice Riders’ race under Laura Scott. “I’m pleased that this moves him off the 13-career win mark and proud that he’s raced for 10 consecutive seasons,” said Tim, who booked Laura on the advice of Presentandcorrect’s regular rider, Mark Wall.
Florence Mary earned the evening’s biggest cheer by taking the Ladies Open for Weston & Banwell point-to-point secretary, Jeff Fear. A second career success for 17-year-old Kings of Wessex Academy, Cheddar, student, Lucy Mager, who is in the middle of her A/S Level examinations, Florence Mary asserted over Amber River in the straight after their sole rival, Nishay, had swerved and ejected Emma Moseley at the fourth.
Gleann Ri shrugged off a catalogue of misfortunes to open his account in the 3-mile Maiden. “He suffered a saddle puncture which necessitated a 12-week absence last season, was kicked at the start at Larkhill, knocked over at the Beaufort and slipped up at the Seavington, so I think he deserved this,” smiled Mary Tory, who trains Gleann Ri for Libby Legg – celebrating her first success as an owner – and jockey Chloe Swaffield’s father, Tim Swaffield.