Secretary: Mr George Pullen
Address: The Coach House Greendown Chewton Mendip Radstock BA34NZ
M: 07879 645364
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries Close: Monday 18th March 2018, 12.30pm
Races: PPORA Conditions (Novice and Veteran), Ladies Open, Mens Open, Open Maiden, 4,5,6 year old Maiden (2m4f), Restricted (2m4f)
First race 1.00pm
The popular course at Ston Easton north of Shepton Mallet is the setting for the Mendip Farmers point-to-point due to be held this coming Sunday. The course alongside the A37 always attracts a good crowd from the Bristol and Bath area as well as many locals to enjoy the atmosphere, the various tradestands and the six point to point races as well as two pony races. This year there will be donkey racing before the point to point races with two races for children and a sulky race for adults. A total of 89 horses have been entered for the six scheduled races and with the going currently reported as being good with a few soft places it should be an excellent day’s racing.
The main races on the card are the two Open races beginning with the Skinner’s Pet Food Ladies Open for which twelve horses have been entered. These are headed by Virak, the likely mount of Natalie Parker, who has already won his three races this season and will be difficult to beat. Of his potential opponents those to consider are veteran Top Smart who won on his seasonal debut at Higham, Watch the Birdie who goes well for Hannah Lewis and Western Diva who will be ridden by Claire Hardwick. Chu Chu Percy ran well on his English debut when finishing fourth to Haymount at Chaddesley Corbett and he could be the one to chase Virak home.
The Mens Open race contains an entry for Jack Snipe already the winner of two races this season but as he is more likely to run at Milborne St Andrew this may give an opportunity to Herbert Park to go one better than finishing runner up to Virak at Charlton Horethorne. Ridden by 16 year old Fergus Gillard who works for David Pipe the novice allowance he will receive may be enough to defeat the potential challenge from Wales which will come from Ramble On, a close second to Don Bersy at Howick last month, Thegirlfrommilan the winner of a Conditions race at Ffos Las in December and Kings Cross a winner at Monmouth.
The meeting begins with a Conditions race for Novice and Veteran Riders. Blazing Tom was second to Dicky Bob at Ottery St Mary but meets nothing of that calibre in this race and may give Jack Tudor another winner. He also has the chance to ride Northgeorge who was fourth to Navanman at Charlton Horethorne. Others to consider are the veteran De Boitron who will be making his seasonal debut, Kernel Victor who has been placed twice already this season and the choice of Johnny Farrelly’s pair of Gingili and Victory Mill.
The young Maiden over two and a half miles may give local owner Roger Penny reason to celebrate as he has entered his promising six year old Earth Leader trained by Rose Loxton. Unlucky on his debut at Larkhill when unseating at the third last he has been placed third in his latest outings and this trip and course ought to suit him. A Tipple or Two was an excellent second to Ramilies at Ottery St Mary but was beaten last week at Cothelstone when a short priced favourite. If reappearing she may the one to trouble Earth Leader the most. Risk and Co placed in three Bumpers and a Hurdle for Jamie Snowden is worth a look as is Not at All placed in a Maiden at Monmouth last month.
The Restricted race again over the shorter trip of two and a half miles may give Gerties Garter owned by Audrey Goodwin and trained by Ed Walker a chance to progress further through the ranks. Runner up to Pistol Shoot at Ottery that horse has franked the form by winning last weekend at Buckfastleigh and a repeat of that form may be good enough. Matts Legacy won last weekend at Buckfastleigh and if running again may be the one to give the selection the most to do. Others to consider are Goldbury the winner of a Wadebridge maiden and Kalden Michael who won at Great Trethew.
The meeting concludes with an Open Maiden for which the biggest entry of the day namely 25 horses has been received. The debut of Chemin de Fer will be watched with great interest as he is a half-brother to the classy Santini placed at the Cheltenham Festival. Owned like Santini by Richard Kelvin-Hughes he is in the care of Ed Walker and will have been well prepared. Of those with form Archirondel ran out at the last at Cothelstone last weekend with every chance and if reappearing would be one for the short list. Doctor Wong and Field Master both ran in same race at Charlton Horethorne with the former finishing second behind a four year old owned by Tom Lacey. Both Loodeen and Niteinshininarmour should come on for their seasonal debuts and hold place possibilities.
First Race 1.00 pm. Ston Easton, Shepton Mallet alongside A37 Postcode BA3 4DH. Entry Prices £10 per adult but can be bought in advance for £8 from eitherwww.mendipfarmerspointtopoint.co.ukor facebook (facebook.com/mendipfarmersp2p).
Race 1: Conditions (Novice and Veterans)
2nd De Boitron
3rd Kennel Victor
Runners: 7 Distances: 6l, 15l Time: 6m 01s
Race 2: Open Maiden 4,5,6yrs 2m4f
1st Earth Leader (Ire)
2nd The Garrision (Ire)
3rd Nat At All (Fr)
Runners: 7 Distances: 20l, 30l Time: 4m 48s
Race 3: Ladies Open
1st Dry Ol’Party
2nd Western Diva (Ire)
3rd Tiger Sam (Ire)
Runners: 6 Distances: 4l, Dist Time: 5m 56s
Race 4: Mens Open
1st Im All Set (Ire)
2nd Beat the Tide
3rd Joxer (Ire)
Runners: 3 Distances: Short hdl, 15l Time: 6m 3s
Race 5: Restricted 2m 4f
1st Knockan Run (Ire)
2nd Gerties Garter
3rd Kaiden Michael (Ire)
Runners: 11 Distances: 3l, 10l Time: 4m 52s
Race 6: Open Maiden
Runners: 14 Distances: l, l Time: m s
A glorious spring day greeted racegoers who attended the Mendip Farmers point to point at Ston Easton and a huge crowd enjoyed not only the weather but also some exciting racing on going which riders described as just about perfect. The highlights were an unexpected victory in the Skinner’s Ladies race, a very tight finish to the Mens Open race which led to a riding double for Martin McIntyre and first training double for Claire Hitch and a poignant victory for Rose Loxton. The final race on the card the Open Maiden was declared void for health and safety reasons as one of the runners had run out through the wing of a fence making the fence not safe to jump on the final circuit and with the rider lying in the area where the horses would have by passed the fence there was no other option but to halt the race.
The Skinner’s Ladies Race looked on paper to be a match between the favourite Watch the Birdie ridden by Hannah Lewis and Western Diva ridden by Claire Hardwick. However after the favourite pulled up at the twelth fence Western Diva looked to have the race at her mercy until Dry Ol’Party ridden by Chloe Emsley closed her down approaching the penultimate fence and drew away to win by three lengths. A former Philip Hobbs trained mare who had won both a Bumper and Hurdle for him she had been in the care of Stuart Kittow until being sold for a meagre £600 at Ascot last December. Now owned by Chloe’s partner Stuart Payne who rents a few boxes from the Newman family at Woolminstone near Crewkerne he described the mare as very straightforward and Chloe added that ‘she jumped very well and stayed on strongly’. Stuart, whose main job is as driver to leading National Hunt jockey Harry Cobden, has four horses in his care and was thrilled with the success of his mare.
The Mens Open race only had three runners but it had the closest finish of the day with the judge deciding that it was only a short head that separated Im All Set ridden by Martin McIntyre from Beat the Tide ridden by Ben Robarts. They had duelled over the final three fences with neither wanting to give way. Claire Hitch the trainer of the winner did say that her charge does not do any more than necessary and was delighted with this return to the form which he had shown in 2017.
The same combination quickly doubled up when Knockan Run made all the running to beat his ten rivals in the Restricted race. He maintained a fast pace all the way to the line beating the favourite Gertie’s Garter ridden by Matt Hampton by three lengths. Owned by Gillian Grimwood from Exford he had been purchased about a year ago having won a point to point in Ireland and was then trained by Janet Ackner. Now in the care of Claire he provided her with her first ever training double after several seasons of training. Martin’ Fly ‘McIntyre was registering his third victory of the weekend having won one of the divisions of the Bumper at Milborne St Andrew for Chris Barber.
Gingili was a comfortable winner of the Novice and Veteran Riders race for owner Johnny Farrelly and rider Luca Morgan. Previously in the ownership of Paul and Clare Rooney who have retained an interest in the gelding he had previously been placed at Badbury and Alnwick so was not winning out of turn. His owner was away saddling two horses at Exeter but was given a running commentary by his assistant at the course.
Earth Leader was a very comfortable winner of the Open Maiden race over two and a half miles for local owner Roger Penny. Previously in training with Paul Nicholls his form had not been very inspiring but the move to Rose Loxton’s yard at Bruton has brought on his improvement and he was unlucky on his seasonal debut at Larkhill when unseating Bryan Carver. Two third places have followed but with the application of a tongue tie for the first time and an able deputy in Matt Hampton the Presenting gelding disposed of his six rivals with the minimum of fuss. He was the horse responsible for breaking Rose’s leg earlier in the season whilst out on exercise but this may have proved to have been a blessing in disguise as whilst being checked out in hospital Rose was diagnosed with the early stages of ovarian cancer and she has now started treatment for this. In her words ‘this horse may have been responsible for saving my life’ and it is certainly hoped that she makes a full recovery.