Secretary: Mrs Linda Pugsley
Address: Zeal Farm, Hawridge, Dulverton, Somerset TA22 9QL
T: 01398 341317
M: 07890 662817
Entries: Mrs J Cumings
Address: Eastwood Bishops Nympton South Molton Devon EX36 4PB
T/F: 01769 550528
M: 07815 888625
Entry Fee: £30 for a single race, £10 per additional race same horse
or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk
Entries Close: Monday 1st May, 12.30 pm
Races: Members - Restricted - Club Conditions 9yo+ - 4,5,6 year old Maiden (2m4f) – Confined – CA Conditions Nov Rdrs - Open Maiden
Sunday sees the first of two meetings at the picturesque Holnicote course when the Devon and Somerset Staghounds host their event. Despite the recent prolonged dry spell, the course welcomed an inch of rain over the weekend and with the Clerk of the Course backing this up with watering available to him, the decent entry of 86 look to be rewarded with a suitable racing surface.
The opening Hunt Members, sponsored by Exmoor Luxury Loos, has 7 entries including last year’s winner the former Philip Hobbs trained Neville. The Mark Pendarves owned the gelding sprang a slight surprise when collaring the odds-on favourite In The Tub last year and has just had the one run under rules with Bob Buckler since. Keith Cumings has 2 in the race in High Priority and Steel Brush. The former had won his Restricted well at Cothelstone when beating Cloudy Lady before running into some decent sorts at Cherrybrook. He is preferred to stablemate, Steel Brush who was runner-up in this race two years ago. Mike Vanstone’s Lawson’s Thorns made all to take the maiden at Badbury Rings last time on his first completed start and may have further improvement while the trainer’s other entry, Gentle Duke comes off the back of a good win under James O’Connor at the same course. Kings Bench is reliable could run into a place under owner/trainer, Felicity Weeks.
The young horse Maiden run over the shorter trip is sponsored by bloodstock agent, Tom Malone and has 12 entries. Pyleigh Brae has the best form of these with 2 seconds from 2 starts, the most recent being a mares maiden at Buckfastleigh where she looked like winning before being headed at the last by She’s Dapper. She may not want the ground to dry out too much though. Gentleman Farmer ran a very promising race when only just beaten in a three-way finish on his only start at Upcott Cross and would be a danger for trainer Charlotte Hawker. Jack Barber has Ballyjim, yet to really fire this season and the unraced Shoreline, a 4yo filly who would be getting a massive weight allowance and is out of a French mare who won on the Flat. George Hiscock has the unraced Doctor’s Differ, a half-brother to 3 time winner under rules, Crazy Jack.
The PFG Fabrications Conditions Race has some interesting sorts among the 15 entries including recent Kingston St Mary winner, Subtle Sovereign for Teresa Clark who also has Bathwick Scanno in. Subtle Sovereign easily accounted for his 2 rivals in the Members race last time to add to his good win at Larkhill earlier in the season but was just touched off by Churchfield Champ back at Larkhill. That horse, who is trained by Kayley Woollacott, subsequently pulled up at Trebudannon but there should be little between the two. Kayley also has the rejuvenated Parkam Jack entered who picked up 2 wins over a shorter trip before being outstayed at Kingston St Mary. He ran at Vauterhill on Bank Holiday Monday where he was second to Whenharrymetsally. Brody Bleu contested a Hunter Chase last time at Ludlow however the rider lost an iron and could be forgiven this run having easily accounted for sole rival the time before at Paxford.
The Langdon Transport Open Maiden has the largest amount of entries with 19 including several already entered in the shorter version. Jack Barber has an interesting debutante in the mare, Roxy Belle. By Black Sam Bellamy, she is from the family of the tough Crossbow Creek, a multiple winner under rules for Mark Rimell. Also not previously mentioned is Prince of Thieves who had had two good runs at Great Trethew and Larkhill before falling at the 7th last time at Cothelstone. Don’t Doittome ran well on his reappearance after nearly 2 years off the course when 5th at Charlton Horethorne under Bryony Frost. He should come on for this and has some decent placings to his name when previously seen.
The Novice Riders Race sponsored by James Rowe, has several of interest amongst the 13 entries including Karinga Dancer for Laura Thomas. He has been in cracking form this season winning 3 times under Laura and could take some beating. Others to note are Our Chief, who would be dangerous if showing the form that won him the Restricted Final at Stratford last term. He may not reappear having run at Vauterhill though. Cornish Beau looked to appreciate the quicker ground last time at Flete Park for trainer Pam Roffe-Silvester when beating Swansbrook by half a length. Sebadee has 6 wins to his name under rules as well as 4 pointing and ran well in a Novice event to finish second to the talented Posh Totty last time at Badbury Rings and holds Weston Lodge (4th) on that running.
The Amhurst & Shapland Confined Race has a smaller entry of 8 with Dancing Olga looking the one to beat especially if Sean Houlihan takes the ride. A creditable 4th on her seasonal reappearance in a Hunter Chase at Exeter, she followed up with another 4th 6 days later at Kingston St Mary on Easter Monday. That was in a Mixed Open behind some decent sorts and the drying ground is definitely in her favour. Gentle Duke also entered in the Members could be a threat while Devon General could fill the placings.
The finale sees 14 entries for the Slee Blackwell sponsored Restricted. Trainer, Dean Summersby has had an incredible season this term with 14 winners and has Carrignagapple who effortlessly won his maiden at Upcott Cross last month. Too Much Too Soon was an easy winner on debut at Cocklebarrow for trainer Peter Mason but didn’t build on that next time at Lockinge dropped back slightly in trip. Don’t Wait for Me ran an improved race last time at Kingston St Mary when 3rd to Stay Tuned while The Editor seemed to appreciate being ridden prominently when winning at Barbury Castle.
First race is at 2pm and the course is signed from the A39 between Minehead and Porlock – TA24 8TE. Admission is £10 per person (max £30 per car).
Meeting: Devon & Somerset Staghounds @ Holnicote
7th May 2017
Race 1 – Hunt:
1st: Steel Brush (Ire) 2nd: Neville 3rd: Gentle Duke
Runners: 4 Time: 6min 50.2s Distance: 4l 6l
Race 2 – Open Maiden4,5 & ^ yrs 2m4f:
1st: Horse force One (Ire) 2nd: Doctor’s Differ 3rd:
Runners: 4 Time: 5min 21.6s Distance: 3l
Race 3 – Club Conditions 9yrs+:
1st: Churchfield Champ (Ire) 2nd: Carrigkerry (Ire) 3rd: Bedrock Fred
Runners: 4 Time: 6min 33.9s Distance: dist, .5l
Race 4 – Open Maiden:
1st: Don’t Doittome (Ire) 2nd: Roxy Belle 3rd: Waitnc (Ire)
Runners: 9 Time: 6min 24.5s Distance: 6l, dist,
Race 5 – PPORA Conditions (Novice Rdrs):
1st: Subtle Soveriegn (Ire) 2nd: Sebadee (Ire) 3rd: Knight Blaze
Runners: 5 Time: 6min 35.6s Distance: 15l, nk
Race 6– Confined:
1st: Swanbrook (Ire) 2nd: Bathwick Scanno (Ire) 3rd: Dancing Olga
Runners: 4 Time: 6min 35.1s Distance: hd, 1.5l
Race 7– Retricted:
1st: Anglingforcharlie 2nd: Fountains Cider 3rd: Mongress Boy (Ire)
Runners: 4 Time: 6 min 58.8s Distance: 3l, 7l
A glorious sunny day at Holnicote rounded off the perfect week for trainer Beth Childs and partner and jockey, Nick Lawton. Beth who had given birth only 4 days earlier to their first child, daughter Pixie Rose, then proceeded to saddle their first ever double courtesy of Horse Force One in the 2.5 mile maiden and Anglingforcharlie in the Restricted. Horse Force One is owned by Ben Parker, farrier to Philip Hobbs and no stranger to the course having ridden in a Charity Race here. Allowing work colleague Nick to take the leg-up this time, Ben explained the horse had run once for the Hobbs yard before acquiring him and had possibly not been suited by the ground last time at Ottery. Jockey, Nick felt the horse needed a better race and certainly looked to have won rather easier than the winning margin suggested although second, Doctor’s Differ made an encouraging debut. Horse Force One is a half-brother to Grand National 3rd, Vic’s Canvas and may be heading for the sales next. Their second winner was in the finale when again their runner Anglingforcharlie outclassed the field to win in convincing fashion from Fountains Cider. Nick explained the horse almost won too easily and would either head for the Member’s Race back at Holnicote on Saturday or a Hunter Chase at Fontwell.
Jockey Lee Drowne was another to ride a double at the course with Churchfield Champ taking the Conditions Race for trainer Kayley Woollacott and Swansbrook the Confined. Churchfield Champ has been in good form this season with 3 wins to his name now and he certainly showed his class taking the 3rd race by an easy 20 lengths. The odds-on favourite nearly parted company with his rider at one point when diving at a fence but despite losing his reins, Lee was quick to recover and this classy sort may head to Stratford for the 2 mile Hunter Chase in early June.
Lee’s second winner came in the Confined Race which produced a thrilling finish when veteran Swansbrook just held on from a renewed effort by the ultra-tough Bathwick Scanno who had looked booked for third at one stage. Odds-on favourite, Dancing Olga, who was keen early on, had to settle for the minor placing. Swansbrook who is trained by Sue Popham hadn’t won for 4 years and despite his advancing years battled hard for the win on ground he so obviously enjoys. Sue explained they had bought him from trainer Brendan Powell who had been their stable jockey under rules.
The day’s racing had got off to a fitting start when Steel Brush took the Hunt Member’s Race for Devon & Somerset legend, Maurice Scott and trainer Keith Cumings. Maurice and his wife Diana had been joint-masters of the hunt for over 30 years but they had never won this race. The horse who is appropriately named Basil at home, took up the running after a circuit and put his authority on the race with some good jumping under jockey Josh Newman to deny last year’s winner Neville.
Novice rider, Lucy Mager is certainly advertising her talents with a polished performance on the Teresa Clark trained Subtle Sovereign in the Novice Riders event coasting home by 12 lengths. Lucy who had ridden a double at Tedworth in April had previously won on Subtle Sovereign at Kingston St Mary and clearly gets on well with the grey gelding who she also hunts. The gelding is owned by the Notre Cheval Partnership who also had Castleboy Warrior with Teresa.
The second Maiden race was won by Don’t Doittome under a typically cool ride from Bryony Frost for newly-weds, Mike and Lucy Felton. With the leaders taking the field along at a strong pace, Bryony sat patiently in third before kicking clear to win with plenty in hand from pointing debutant, Roxy Belle. Former 3-time Champion Rider, Mike was full of praise for Bryony and wife Lucy could not hide her delight at “the best wedding present ever!” after their “family pet” had finally rewarded their patience. Multiple problems including a stress fracture of the pelvis had kept the horse off course since 2015 when he had some decent placings to his name. The venue at Holnicote could not have been more appropriate either as Mike had ridden his final winner there (albeit at the old course) on Tangle Baron for trainer Keith Cumings.