Secretaries: Mrs B Tully & Mrs S Baker
Address: Bincombe Barton, Over Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset TA 5 1HR
Contact Details Tel: 01278 732944 Mob: 07970 781087
Entries Secretary: Mrs F A’Brook
Address: Venne Cottage, Upton, Taunton Somerset TA$ 2JE
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 13th March 2017 12.30pm
Races: Hunt, Open Maiden, Mixed Open, 4,5,& 6yrsOpen Maiden (2.4m), Restricted, PPORA Members Conditions for 9yrs +
First Race: 12.30 pm
This Saturday sees the first of 3 meetings at the popular Cothelstone course situated at the foot of the Quantocks and it is the hunt bearing that name who commence proceedings. Evolution Farm Vets are once again the main sponsors with Hawkins Agri also being involved. A huge entry of 162 make for some potentially exciting racing and the day’s sport gets under way with the Hunt Members. Of the 9 entries received, preference is for Louis Pasteur, winner of this race last year under a canny ride from Ryan Withey for Peter and Sheena Doggrell. He had Little Cornham, who seems to relish the course and is a four-time winner of this race, back in third. He was close up in 3rd when unseating on the bend at Badbury Rings last time. Handy Andy formerly with Colin Tizzard would be a hugely popular winner for local young rider, Imogen Greenway whose father, Martin is currently Master of the Quantock Staghounds. Martin co-owns Handy Andy with Ben Bartlett. Prince of Thieves (formerly trained under rules by Anthony Honeyball) is still a maiden only having had the 2 runs pointing but he made a pleasing debut at Larkhill for the Teresa Clark stable and followed that with a decent close-up 4th at Great Trethew.
The shorter of two maidens, has 27 entries. The selection, Kintamini made a very pleasing debut at Black Forest Lodge when made favourite and was just touched off by Agentleman. She was favourite next time at Buckfastleigh but may not have enjoyed the sticky going. A 4yo filly, she receives plenty of weight from the others. The danger may come from once raced Ticket to Ride from Ed Walker’s yard who finished 2nd on his only start at Great Trethew at the end of February. Doctor Haze has 2 good runs at Barbury Castle and Didmarton under his belt. Of the unraced entries, NH trainer, Tom George has an interesting debutant in Doctor Wong.
The Mixed Open boasts a healthy entry of 29. Veteran Presentandcorrect would be making his seasonal debut after back to back wins at Bratton Down and Umberleigh. Former Camilla and then Jeremy Scott trained Ladfromhighworth is now under the care of owner/trainer, Keagan Kirkby and should have a course win to his name but for the jockey failing to weigh in. Steeltown clearly thrives in the spring rattling off a five-timer this time last year including a course win and a Hunter Chase at Newton Abbot. Two runs this season should put him bang there with a chance. Rusty Nail now in the care of Sally Godfrey, is another with a course win to his name under former jockey and trainer, Katie Bellamy. Universal Soldier was thought good enough to contest the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock last season and returned there this time last year to record a bloodless 20 length success. A former Stratford Ladies Open Hunter Chase Final winner, his return to the pointing scene looks all the more intriguing if he makes the journey from the Bowen yard. Stuart Penny’s game mare, Champagne Rosie has shown her liking for the course with 2 wins under Will Biddick. The Louise Cabble trained mare, Roseyroo thrilled connections after a near two year lay-off with a good third at Didmarton. This dual winner here could again show her liking for the course. Another to come back after a lay-off, Before the War has won twice at Wadebridge this season beating Robin de Souza both times. Whilst Welstonedruid made rapid progress late on to finish 2nd to Robin de Souza at Black Forest Lodge last time. Ed Walker’s The Flying Doc won well at Larkhill in January. Our Chief capped a fantastic season for Teresa Clark by winning the Restricted Final at Stratford. He may be another who enjoys the spring weather. Ex-Robert Walford inmate, Brody Bleu has 7 wins to his name under rules and his pointing debut was certainly eye-catching as he just failed by a head at Bangor on Dee behind odds-on shot Temple Grandin. He may give Steeltown most to do while a close look is recommended on Universal Soldier.
The Restricted has another good entry with 29. Of those Bruton, out of the prolific Robert Alner trained mare, Hops and Pops, is lightly raced but did win his maiden at Black Forest Lodge last season under Will Biddick for trainer, Fiona Read. Cloudy Lady was in the process of running well here last season when unseating having previously taken her maiden at Flete Park. Trained by Ed Walker, she has had one run this season and looks of interest. Camilla Scott has Guerrilla Tactics, a winner at Badbury Rings last season before returning there on his seasonal debut and running into the talented Master Tradesman. That form could look good. Behind that day was Maryam Jaan, who may have been unlucky not to have won her Restricted at Umberleigh last June. Mr Jaggers showed improved form last time to win at Buckfastleigh in a blanket finish and may improve again.
The penultimate race is a Conditions race for horses 9 years and over. The lightly raced Katkolys is 4 from 9 and could build on his facile win last time at Great Trethew for David Stephens. Overafrica has a largely consistent profile and would be of interest if returning to the form that saw him beat Miss Cupcake at Stafford Cross last April. Return Spring, now with Ian Prichard, won off 138 at Exeter for Philip Hobbs, one of 5 wins under rules. A horse who seems suited by being up with the pace, he could enjoy this track. Former useful Nicky Henderson inmate, Shakalakaboomboom won a similar race at Whitfield last season under daughter Camilla. The selection is The Dapper Fox who is in great heart this season, easily winning last time at Black Forest Lodge under a penalty following up his earlier course win in January.
Ces Mitford-Slade has his horses in cracking form this season and he could take the finale with Ruby Fool who was unlucky to be beaten by the narrowest margin here last season. Teresa Clark’s Prince of Thieves is the obvious danger if this race is chosen over the opener. The two met last time out and were joint favourites with the latter finishing one place ahead. The drier ground may just help Ruby Fool.
Cothelstone is 2 miles NE of Bishops Lydeard off A358 –Postcode TA4 3DT. First race 12.30pm. Entrance costs £10 per person with a maximum of £30 per car.
Meeting: Quantock @ Cothelstone
18th March 2017
Race 1 – Members:
1st: Ballygan (Ire) 2nd: Louis Pasteur (Ire) 3rd: Handy Andy(Ire)
Runners: 5 Time: 6min 24.2s Distance: 4l 3l
Race 2 – Open Maiden 4,5&6 yo 2m4f Div 1:
1st: Artcic Fern 2nd: Iwouldntliketosay(Ire) 3rd: Canada Kid
Runners: 9 Time: 5min 50.5s Distance: 2l 3l
Race 3 – Open Maiden 45&^ yo 2m4f Div 2:
1st: Doctor Haze 2nd: Quick Question 3rd: Somethingomothing
Runners: 9 Time: 5min 28.0s Distance: 15l 20l
Race 4 – Mixed Open:
1st: Universal Soldier (Ire) 2nd: Before The War (USA) 3rd: Willem (Fr)
Runners: 13 Time: 6min 33.3s Distance: 4l 15l
Race 5 – Restricted 2m4f Div 1:
1st: High Priority 2nd: Cloudy Lady 3rd: Alottamo
Runners: 10 Time: 5min 17.6s Distance: 10l 4l
Race 6– Restricted 2m4f Div 2:
1st: Flemensgael (Ire) 2nd: Guerrilla Tactics (Ire) 3rd: Jonimo
Runners: 9 Time: 5min 18.7s Distance: 1.5l, 4l
Race 7– PPORA Club members Conditions 9yo&up:
1st: Presenting William (Ire) 2nd: Ballydub (Ire) 3rd: Driftwood Pride (Ire)
Runners: 17 Time: 6min 29.1s Distance: 3l, 1/2l
Race 8– Open Maiden Div 1:
1st: Norman Conquest 2nd: Faraway Star (Fr) 3rd: Country Legend
Runners: 10 Time: 6min 37.6s Distance: 6l 5l
Race 9– Open Maiden Div 2:
1st: She’s A Gangster (Ire) 2nd: Classic Edition (Ire) 3rd: Fazakerley (Ire)
Runners: 9 Time: 6min 46.6s Distance: 5l 8l
The Cheltenham Festival may be over for another year but one of the eye-catching memories will be the emergence of young Jack Kennedy. While perhaps at an earlier stage, the Quantock Staghounds meeting on Saturday at Cothelstone saw the continued talent of James Bowen who had made his debut the previous Sunday at Howick on his 16th birthday clocking up 2 winners from 5 rides. On only his second day riding between the flags, this former Pony Racing graduate gave a highly polished performance on Universal Soldier to take the Mixed Open. Mum, Karen was quick to praise her other son, Mickey who trains Universal Soldier whom they kept as a “bad debt” from a non-paying owner when trained by father, NH trainer Peter. Initially plans were to send the horse to the sales at Ascot but the family then rethought the decision having realised he’d make the perfect schoolmaster for James. Despite being new to the pointing ranks, James has plenty of experience with over 80 rides in Pony and Arab races and he has also spent the last two summers at Gordon Elliot’s as well as riding out daily for father Peter. With an expected ambition of being Champion Jockey, this young man definitely looks to be a rider with a very bright future.
Owner/trainer Will Gaskins would readily admit he is not in the first flush of youth but can still ready a horse as proved by Presenting William who jumped superbly and collared the leader Driftwood Pride going into the second last to win the Conditions Race. Jockey Ed Bailey credited Will with doing all the work on this quirky son of Presenting including riding him out at home. Smallholders, Will and Diana who have had the horse 3 years, combine the training with their other jobs. Their plan to come to Cothelstone for the better ground was the furthest they had ever travelled a horse and the decision clearly paid off.
The Members Race with its first prize of a set of antlers had always been the much coveted dream of local trainer, Bob Buckler. Taking time out from his stewarding duties, he saddled Ballyegan who romped clear of last year’s winner Louis Pasteur under a confident Sean Houlihan. Bob confessed he had felt more pressure in running a horse in this race than any under rules but Ballyegan has certainly thrived under his new regime of hunting and leading youngsters around Pontispool. He would return to running under rules but still enjoy some more hunting which jockey Sean Houlihan was quick to volunteer for.
The 2.5 maiden was divided as expected and the first division caused an upset with likely winner, Jabbea crashing out at the last when well clear and handing the race to 25-1 shot, Arctic Fern for trainer Robert Pudd and jockey Chris Barber. The second division was won comfortably by favourite Doctor Haze under Connor Orr. Doctor Haze was coming off the back of 2 good runs including a 3rd behind Santini who had sold for £150,000 at this week’s Cheltenham Sales.
The 2.5 Restricted was also divided. In the first division, High Priority won well from the favourite Cloudy Lady. Josh Newman confessed to trainer, Keith Cumings after the race “If I’d known I was 10 lengths clear, I wouldn’t have asked for a long one!” Keith was pleased the horse had now learnt to settle and this half-brother to out and out stayer, Woodford County, should have further races in him. The second division went to 25-1 shot Flemensgael who improved on his 3rd in the race last year to nail the odds-on favourite Guerrilla Tactics. Trainer Robert Harraway attributed the win to a soft palate operation since last season and an excellent ride by last minute booking, Vicky Wade who had only been contacted the previous evening. A beaming Vicky was full of praise for the horse’s “awesome jumping” and added “he was flying at the finish!”
The final maiden over 3 miles was also divided and the first division went comfortably to the Robert Chanin trained Norman Conquest for owner/breeder Chris Tory. Owner Chris admitted the victory was a bit of a surprise as the horse had had leg trouble but the application of a visor had seemed to help and he thanked Robert and jockey Tom for doing a fantastic job with him. The second division saw somewhat of a gamble landed for the Gibbs family when She’s A Gangster took off round the home bend to land the spoils at the narrow odds of 1-2 having opened at 10s, coming right away from Classic Edition.