Secretary: Miss Katherine Cooke
Address: Brook Fram, Bath Road, Upper Langford, Bristol BS40 5DN
Tel: 01934 853330 Mob:
Entries Secretary: Mrs Lucy Kenny
Address: - Headweir House, Wick, Stogursey, Bridgwater, TA5 1TL
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Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 21st May 12.30pm
Races: PPORA Members Conditions Nov Rdrs, Mixed Open, Open Maiden, Restricted, Young Maiden 2m4f - Confined
First Race: 2.00pm
This Sunday sees the final Point to Point fixture for the Wessex Area when the West Somerset Vale host their meeting at Cothelstone. A strong entry of 95 has been received with some notable names amongst them and organisers have confirmed that the ground will be watered to maintain a safe racing surface. There are two Pony Races for aspiring jockeys that precede the main races and leading NH trainer Paul Nicholls has generously offered all Pony Racing entrants a visit to his yard.
The Confined Race has 9 entries of which High Priority could be looking to repeat his win from 10 days ago when accounting for Trueflyingcolours who resumes rivalry here. Now a dual winner on the course, High Priority may well confirm his liking for the track. Abyaat outran his odds at Holnicote when second to Pink Eyed Pedro and this flat-bred gelding could appreciate this quicker surface. French-bred Alternatif had some useful NH form when trained by David Pipe and showed he too appreciated quicker ground when winning at Larkhill in February. He then ran an excellent second to be collared by Master Baker at Milborne St Andrew before possibly finding the ground too slow at Axe Vale.
There are 11 entries for the Young Horse Maiden in which the Jade Barber trained Eggardon Hill would be a popular choice. Making his debut at Littlewindsor, he led three out only to get headed on the line. Beauchamp Monark is improving with racing and was third here ten days ago in a similar contest. Inner Loop was second last time at Lower Machen after racing prominently. Richard Bandey’s unraced 4yo Elyaqim is by a little-known French stallion who has sired a multiple winner in France last season and would be in receipt of a hefty weight allowance.
The second Maiden is open to all ages and features Harriet Brown’s mare Country Legend. A second to the useful Cona River at Badbury Rings was followed by another second to Kinlochspelve at Hackwood Park in early May while Rockabay also has 2 second placings to his name including one behind Robin de Souza at Trebudannon early in the season. Manofmanywords and Le Souris Noire both departed mid-race at Holnicote and could both improve as could Serralunga who was prominent when departing at the seventh at Charlton Horethorne in mid-March.
The Mixed Open has a decent entry of 22 and has recent course winners Uppertown Hawk and Robin des People amongst them. The former took the Mixed Open here ten days ago under an enterprising front-running ride by Sam Jukes. The David Brace trained Robin des People ran out an easy winner of the Novice Riders contest that day. David Brace also has the admirable Pink Eyed Pedro, a dual winner at Holnicote this season who showed no ill effects when rattling off a third win in under 2 weeks taking the Men’s Open at Bredwardine. Golden Hoof resumed where he had left off last season with an easy 30 length win at Trebudannon for trainer Jade Barber as did the talented Sir du Bearn who couldn’t have been more impressive at Pyle a month ago in a Novice Riders race. Ni Sin E Mo Ainm runs well at this course and was slightly unlucky not to win the Ladies Open here ten days ago.
The Novice Riders race can often be more about the rider than the horse and this contest includes Bay to Go who held on well to deny Uncle Jimmy at Holnicote under jockey Shaun Graham to record his first riding success. That day, 16 year old Jack Tudor steered home High Hatton (also entered here) to record his first ever winner. In the process he over-turned the seasons leading horse, William Money who reopposes under leading novice rider, Connor Brace. Ella Pickard too is proving herself to be a most capable pilot and she made all to win at Vauterhill on Cinevator whom she also trains. Teresa Clark has Mistress Massini in here and she may take this option over the Mixed Open after she found a Hunter Chase at Exeter a step too far last time.
The Restricted concludes the meeting and there are 20 entries with plenty of progressive types amongst them. Nicky Martin has Just Another Vodka who built on a pleasing debut third at Flete Park with a facile win there next time. Her other entry, Mole Trap has a similarly pleasing profile having followed her good second at Trebudannon to Canada Kid with a very smooth 20 length win on her return visit. Byron Moorcroft’s mare Free Scorpion also comes here off the back of an easy win at Bredwardine and will appreciate conditions. Gask Ridge went one better at the second Holnicote meeting having earlier finished second to River Wye. Jack’s Ranger was favourite here to win his maiden last season but had to settle for second. He opened his account this season with an all-the-way success at Cold Harbour and should again run well. Massini’s Blade was a welcome winner for trainer Mike Watson and his wife Sheila here at the last meeting while Welsh entrant Mister Buddy, a winner at Lower Machen could also make his presence felt.
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 1pm preceding the main events. The first main race is scheduled for 2pm and preliminary weather forecasts look set for fine weather.
After a night of spectacular lightning shows, the entertainment moved to Cothelstone for the West Somerset Vale Point to Point and the crowd were treated to some excellent racing. With some rain falling the day before, the ground was in good shape and there were plenty of runners. For French jockey Nathan Vergne his mount in the Open Maiden could not have been more wrongly named as he steered home Rien du Tout (translates to “Nothing at all”) to record his first ever winner on either side of the Channel. In doing so he brought a welcome change of luck for popular local trainer Charlotte Budd who had only bought the horse at Ascot Sales in March. Charlotte thought the horse may be “done for toe” but he stayed on strongly to win an eventful race. Nathan who works for Philip Hobbs arrived in the UK 2½ years ago to study the British way of training having worked for Arnaud Chaille Chaille and Patrice Quinton in France. His intention is to train eventually and he was quick to thank fellow jockey Nick Lawton for all his help and guidance since he arrived unable even to speak English. He suffered a broken collar bone at Badbury Rings early in the season and thought his chances of riding a winner this season had vanished so was particularly grateful to Charlotte for whom he had also ridden last season.
Nick Lawton was also in the winner’s enclosure after the Confined Race when Abyaat showed his previous second behind the useful Pink Eyed Pedro to be no fluke when accounting for favourite High Priority. Trained by Nick’s partner Beth Childs, Abyaat was bought by Robyn Morris who used to ride him out for Victor Dartnall. Convinced he needed a step up in trip, Robyn who owns the Halling gelding in partnership with her step-mother, Barbara Miles, heard he was up for sale and after a spell doing dressage and hunting, sent him to Beth. Slightly keen early on, this former Flat racer showed a nice turn of foot to quickly put himself 3 lengths clear after a good jump four fences out and definitely looks one to keep on the right side of especially on the quicker ground.
The drier ground conditions so often favour those with Flat breeding and the Young Horse Maiden was no exception with the Khalid Abdullah-bred Dissertation appreciating a return to the sort of conditions when she was a neck second at Barbury. Welsh trainer Andrew Quick had picked the mare up for 800 Euros from Goff’s in Ireland and praised Jodie Hughes who drove her out to win from Behomebymidnight in second with favourite Inner Loop making a bad mistake at the last.
It is rare that the Welsh leave empty handed from Cothelstone and their second of the afternoon was courtesy of David Brace who was making a regular appearance in the winner’s enclosure after grandson Connor cosily won the Novice Riders Race on Robin des People. David had assembled a strong arsenal of suitable horses for Connor in the hope that he may win the Wilkinson Sword Trophy. This was Connor’s 20th win for the season and he has more than justified his grandfather’s confidence. With more talk about him turning professional next season, this talented 17 year old looks set to have a very bright future.
The Mixed Open was a repeat of the Men’s Open ten days previously when Sam Jukes sent Uppertown Hawk into the lead and taunted the remainder to take him on. Keen to get a good start after an initial false one, Sam sent Uppertown Hawk on controlling the pace and getting some great jumps from him and prevailed by 3 lengths from Ni Sin E Mo Ainm. A delighted owner, Clive Bennett explained that the horse had won 3 points in Ireland before he bought him but had become reluctant to race. The combination of faster ground, sun on his back and plenty of TLC from Sam has obviously done the trick and this handsome chestnut gelding is really thriving.
The final race was a rather poignant one for Kayley Woollacott when Pointview Gale reconfirmed the promise he showed when he had won at Ottery in November. Pointview Gale is now in the care of Claire Harris but Kayley was in the winner’s enclosure with owner Dick Grant who had bought the horse from Kayley’s father and has been very supportive of her. Kayley was quick to explain how well Josh Newman got on with the gelding and he certainly showed their partnership had gelled when making all when no-one wanted to go on. Gask Ridge and Neville had looked threatening at one stage but they were left to battle it out for second place under earlier winning jockeys and close friends Nick Lawton and Nathan Vergne.
Pony racing had preceded the day’s events and Kelsie Beilby took the 138cm race on Veno Star from Angelic (Taylor Fisher) and Nomoranun (Edward Vaughan) while Archie Frank won the 148cm race on Judge Fox from Tarka (Otis Morgan) and Humbel Mind (Edward Vaughan).