Secretary: Mrs Rachel Stamp
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Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Thursday 10th May 2017 12.30pm
Races: Confined – CA Members Conditions 7yo+ Nov Rdrs, Ladies Open, Open Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, Young Maiden 2m4f
First Race: 4.30pm
Cothelstone belatedly opens its gates for its first fixture on Wednesday evening after the earlier meeting succumbed to the wet spring deluge. The Weston & Banwell Point to Point has a bumper entry of 168, it looks to be a case of trainers’ eager to run at this popular Somerset course and take advantage of the fresh ground.
The Confined Race boasts 17 entries amongst which Crackacan is the top rated. He was favourite to win at Holnicote but despite rallying from the last couldn’t reel in old rival Angles Hill. High Priority ran well last time when second to Hinxworth at Vauterhill. A course winner last season he should enjoy the quicker ground while It Has to Be has two wins to his name this season already including a Restricted at Larkhill. My Legal Lady ran an improved race when 3rd at Holnicote in a competitive Hunt Members. Louise Cabble’s Roseyroo would be of interest if recapturing her form from a few seasons ago when a dual course winner here. She was getting into contention when unseating last time in a mare’s Hunter Chase at Cheltenham. Trueflyingcolours has been a good servant to trainer Stuart Penny and it was good to see him back in winning form last time at Larkhill.
The young horse maiden has several unraced entries including Caroline Keevils’ A Tipple or Two out of winning pointer, Play with Fire; Enhancia for the Lacey team whose half-brother Sky Pirate won for them before being sold to Jonjo O’Neill for £150,000; Kayley Woollacott has the 4yo filly Waypoint. Of those to race, Beauchamp Monark ran a fair race in 4th last time while the well-bred My Dixie should improve on her debut 4th placing. Paint The Dream fell two from home when leading last time out at Pyle for trainer David Brace while Redmond Hall was unlucky not to win when second to The Coffee Hunter in a tight finish at Holnicote.
The Novice Riders could be set to be a thrilling Welsh showdown. Jockey Connor Brace has been carrying all before him this season and grandfather David has the season’s leading scorer William Money, and the improving Pink Eyed Pedro entered as well as the classy Robin des People, a dual winner this season. The first two continued their successful seasons by winning again at Holnicote ten days ago. However Mickey Bowen has Sir du Bearn who opened his account with an easy win at Pyle. He has now won 11 of his 15 points. Throw into the mix another Welsh raider, Repeat Business who took the Dunraven Bowl at Chepstow last year and may not have been seen to his best this season on the softer ground. He also claimed the scalp of Sir du Bearn at Howick last season. Robin du Souza hasn’t quite fired since winning back to back at Wadebridge while Larkhill specialist Subtle Sovereign may appreciate the drop back from hunter chasing.
The Restricted race has some interesting entries including Canada Kid for the Chanins who slipped up on seasonal debut before regaining his confidence with an easy win last time at Trebudannon. Luke Price has Mister Buddy who fell first time out but made amends at Lower Machen in April. Emma Moseley’s Design Plan looked unlucky first time out when hampered and unseating but made amends last time to win nicely. Similarly Earthly Reason who many thought had won in a photo on debut at Wadebridge, made sure his second outing was a winning one. Imogen’s Thunder put in an improved run when winning his maiden at Stafford Cross two weeks ago. Legendara beat subsequent winner, Gerties Garter at Flete Park but didn’t build on that back at the same course next time. Pointview Gale looked to have some potential when trouncing his rivals on debut at Ottery in November but hasn’t progressed as expected. Camilla Scott’s Tree Sparrow could enjoy the quicker ground judging on his win at Bratton Down while The Coffee Hunter gained a gritty win at Holnicote last week for trainer Colin Heard.
The Men’s Open has several entered in other races and are already mentioned. Beat The Tide was possibly lucky to win at Lockinge when his rival ducked out near the line while Jade Barber has the rejuvenated Golden Hoof who easily won his final two starts last season. Mickey Bowen’s Kelsey is probably better judged on his 10 length win at Lydstep than last time at Cheltenham when he pulled up. Likewise the former Donald McCain inmate Shantou Tiger beat Frelia in a Mixed Open race at Hereford before finding Cheltenham too hot. Ed Walker’s ultra-consistent mare The Flying Doc doesn’t know how to run a bad race and could well figure while Uppertown Hawk only just got beaten at the course last year and should improve on his seasonal debut.
The Ladies Open again includes several with multiple entries. Bankhall who got his act together in an all-the-way win at Maisemore last time. Good ground could be the key to him. Florence Mary has the form figures 1,2,3 in this race for the last 3 seasons and could also appreciate a quicker surface. La Madonnina had two wins on good ground under rules for Caroline Keevil. Now with Ed Walker, she broke her duck pointing under Will Biddick last time at Stafford Cross. Ni Sin E Mo Ainm showed a liking for this course when taking a Mixed Open two years ago. He won a Ladies Open on seasonal debut and would be of interest. However Claire Hardwick’s mare Western Diva took this race last year and could not have been more impressive. She comes here after an easy win at Edgcote and is strongly fancied.
The finale is the Open Maiden has 43 entries so a division could be likely. Mickey Bowen has Awesomedestination who finished a good second last time at Pyle while Harriet Brown’s Country Legend has had two fair seconds recently. Dragon de la Tour must surely break his maiden soon after some good runs this season. Ivebeentold put in a much improved display last time when 3rd at Stafford Cross. Pancrace has shown fair form this season as has Shanoule Wood while The Dartmoor Rose comes here off a good second at Flete Park and would be the selection.
Admission is £10 per person (max £30 per car) Bar and Refreshments available. The course is situated north of Bishops Lydeard TA4 3DT. Pony Racing is set to start at 3.15pm preceding the main events. The first main race is scheduled for 4.30pm and preliminary weather forecasts look set for a dry evening.
The Weston & Banwell Evening meeting at Cothelstone was well supported by both trainers and public with a decent crowd there to witness some exciting racing. The Ladies Open was a thriller with a three-way photo in which David Jones’ Bankhall prevailed over former course winners Western Diva and Ni Sin E Mo Ainm. Jockey Emma Jones explained that at the start “everyone wanted to make the running and it was really messy, so I just tried to keep out of trouble” Having made the running to win at Maisemore last time, she had to change her tactics early on and desperate to get a position, he found another gear once he saw daylight. She had purchased the horse via Facebook after she lost another at Chipley Park and he showed he is starting to thrive under her care.
Nine went to post for the Confined and Keith Cumings’ High Priority once again showed his liking for the course when accounting for Trueflyingcolours with It Has to Be back in 3rd. Josh Newman who steered the half-brother to Woodford County to a 2 length success said “I was never going to be in a rush early on as he needs to be kept really relaxed. The ground is the key to him and I had a plan!” As this was a Confined race he is still eligible for an Intermediate and Keith confirmed he may next go to Upcott Cross on Bank Holiday Monday as he prefers a flatter track.
The Young Horse Maiden proved to be too steep a learning curve for some with only 3 of the 9 starters finishing. They were well strung out after a fair early pace set by Rubheira and when he departed going down the hill, it was left to Limoncello and newcomer A Tipple Or Two to fight it out. The more experienced Limoncello eventually gained the upper hand under Dave Prichard to record a 2½ length success but the second was certainly one to take from the race. Trainer Ian Prichard for whom it was a first winner of the season explained they had been waiting for the good ground for him. He had purchased the horse from Jane Williams to replace the retired Ballytober and this was a welcome tonic after losing the mare Massini’s Vision at Lower Machen recently.
Jockey Dave Prichard notched a Maiden double when he took the first division of the later race for older horses. His second win could not have been more impressive aboard Massini’s Blade for trainer Mike Watson. Mike’s wife Sheila was leading the horse up and said “we have waited so long for a winner, we have forgotten what it’s like! The horse is an 11yo and has come off Exmoor a year ago, un-named and unraced!” Made up of Stuart and Clare Stevens, Martin Tuck and Vicki Browne along with the trainer and his wife, The Not So Innocent Partnership were busy taking cheeky offers from NH trainer Nigel Hawke and Philip Hobbs’ assistant Johnson White in the winners enclosure as to where the horse should go summer jumping. The second division was the quicker of the two and as expected the Sophie Lacey trained 4yo Enchancia was a hot favourite. Making his debut he settled well in mid-division and although still green, won nicely for jockey Tommie O’Brien from West Chinnock who rather spoilt his chances with some errant steering.
Welsh trainer David Brace clearly enjoys his raids across the border and it was no surprise to see him back in the winner’s enclosure after the Novice Riders race. Grandson Connor showed why he is the leading novice rider this season when coolly easing Robin des People to the front to record a 6 length winner over fellow Welshman Repeat Business. It was an 18th victory of the season for Connor and David confirmed the winner may now head to Stratford in June where the flat tight track should suit him.
The Restricted Race resulted in a popular local winner when Carroll and Chrissy Gray’s Morpet took advantage of a last fence mistake by favourite Pointview Gale to get up and win by a neck in a thrilling finish. With four in line coming to the last, jockey Jake Bament got the better jump and was able to stay in front for a well-earned success for owner/breeder Sally Hutchings. Sally was very relieved afterwards and confessed she had thought the ground would have been on the firm side for this big framed son of Morpeth.
In the Men’s Open, the bookies made Shantou Tiger favourite but jockey Sam Jukes had other ideas on Uppertown Hawk and gave the eventual winner an enterprising front-running ride being 20 lengths clear at one stage. With the favourite starting to labour four out, Sam who also trains for owner Clive Bennett at his Dymock yard, got some impressive leaps from the chestnut gelding who held on to win from Mont Choisy with Mitebeallforluck back in 3rd.
The Pony Races preceded the evening with two divisions of the 138cm ponies. The first division went to Edward Vaughan who came from last to first on Nomoranun while the second division was won by William Dunlop who rode a well-judged race on Talponiau Perfect Print. The 3rd Pony Race for 148cm ponies was a second winner for Edward Vaughan on Humbel Mind who came out best in a tight finish with Otis Morgan on Tarka and Harry Brown on Little Bull.