Secretary: Mrs Valerie Kemp
Address: Broadhayes Farm, Stockland, Honiton, Devon, EX14 9EL
T: 01404 881353
M: 07974 808318
Entries: Mrs Fiona Walker
Address: Greenway Farm North Newton Bridgwater Som TA7 0DB
T/F: 01278 663801
M: 07974 263157
or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries Close: Monday 15th April, 12.30 pm
Races: Members - Restricted - Conditions (Novice and Veterans) - 4,5,6 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Mixed Open - Intermediate - Open Maiden
Easter Monday sees the welcome return of the Taunton Vale Foxhounds and Harriers Point to Point at Fennington Farm, Kingston St Mary after succumbing to a waterlogged course last season. With the Bank Holiday weather looking promising it looks set to attract the usual large crowd and the 77 entries should ensure they have an entertaining day’s racing. The venue is well equipped for viewing with a big screen and there are plenty of trade stands, a bar and refreshments to suit everyone.
The first race the Hunt Members has attracted 8 entries which include two high class horses in Herbert Park, narrowly beaten in a Hunter Chase at Exeter last time while Tom Malone has The Last But One, already a three time winner this season but no match for Whenharrymetsally at Cherrybrook 2 weeks ago. Trainer Teresa Clark has the consistent Mujadel and also Prince of Poets who should improve on his first run of the season. Clerk of the Course Ces Mitford-Slade has Second Captain who improved to finish 2nd last time at Maisemore while Fixture Secretary Valerie Kemp has Minella Rising 3rd at Cotley and also the admirable mare Annwyl who was drafted in as a hunt horse this season. Preference is for Herbert Park who should outclass his rivals.
The Maiden for younger horses has 13 entries and of these Sylvies Dance catches the eye based on her staying on 3rd to Ramillies at Buckfastleigh. That winner was then sold for a substantial sum and Will Biddick’s mare could enhance the form. Field Master, trained by Rob Hawker has two decent 2nds to his name and this front running gelding could be hard to peg back if getting an easy lead. Mark Pendarves’ Hurlstone Point ran well last time when 2nd at Cherrybrook and Ed Walker’s Minella Beag should come on from her debut at Kilworthy.
The Conditions Race is for Novice and Veteran riders and Chosen Lucky looks to be the likely favourite. Trainer Dean Summersby targets these races with his admirable gelding who he feels falls slightly short of Open class and his 4 wins this season backs that theory up. Liam Harrison has struck up a good partnership with him and he could be hard to beat. Gingili won a similar event at Ston Easton in March before unseating at Larkhill (Kinari 2nd) and taking a walkover at Penshurst. Boher Call won under a good ride from George Bingham at Milborne St Andrew. Willem could be one for the each way punters.
The Intermediate race includes George Hiscock’s Doctor’s Differ who regained his winning thread when taking a Confined race at Larkhill. He seems to prefer a quick surface. Foxworthy went into plenty of notebooks after his easy win last season at Larkhill. He then went to Nicky Henderson but didn’t fire in a novice hurdle and now returns to pointing – he is also entered in the Restricted here and would be of interest in either race. Minim Mouse had a nice confidence boosting win at Littlewindsor last weekend and could make a quick reappearance.
The Mixed Open could see the return to pointing of Ballyknock Cloud for trainer Jade Barber. He had looked really useful two seasons ago racking up a three timer but has struggled recently under rules and could appreciate a drop in grade. Alex Dunn trains a few pointers for her family including How About It who took a Conditions race at Siddington and a Men’s Open at Andoversford (beating Premier Portrait) under her brother John Smith-Maxwell. Southfield Theatre has done well for rider Lily Bradstock this season but may head to Lockinge instead. Steel Brush and Kernel Victor could also enter calculations.
Arcal Fifty heads the ratings in the Restricted race and ran the classy Country Legend (a winner again since) to a head at Milborne St Andrew (Dragon de la Tour well held in 3rd) and could be hard to beat on that form. Ed Walker’s Journey Juice ran a fair race when 2nd at Cotley pleasing connections and could improve. On that occasion he was just in front of stable companion Minella Rising. And it would be no surprise if Dr Rhythm were to improve on his two runs this season. He had looked impressive on his maiden win at Holnicote two seasons ago but is clearly fragile.
The final race for older Maidens includes several already mentioned. Peddler has had one start under Rules for the Bradstock yard and is a half-brother to 7 time winner Arbeo. Archirondel has switched to pointing this season after 3 runs for Philip Hobbs and is now in the ownership of his wife Sara. He looked set to make a winning debut at Cothelstone leading two out until ducking out at the last. He then added to his bad luck by contesting a voided race at Ston Easton. Dancing Dave ran with credit at Cotley last time when 2nd to all the way leader Deshan while Thestopperdunne comes from Tom Malone’s yard and may prove better than form figures show.
Admission is £10 per person (under 16s free) and gates open at 10am. First race is at 1.30pm with Pony Racing preceding the main events – first Pony Race at 12.15. Directions – 3m North of Taunton off A361 - TA2 8AS.
Race 1: Members
1st Mujadel (Fr)
Runners: 2 Distances: l, l Time: 7m 05s
Race 2: Open Maiden 2m 4f
1st Willies Dream
Runners: 5 Distances: l, l Time: 5m 22s
Race 3: Conditions (Novice and Veterans)
1st Willem (Fr)
Runners: 3 Distances: 25l, l Time: 6m 54s
Race 4: Intermediate
1st Doctors’s Differ (Ire)
2nd Prince of Poets
3rd Kicker King (Ire)
Runners: 3 Distances: 1 ½ l, 20l Time: 6m 50s
Race 5: Mixed Open
1st Ballyknock Cloud (Ire)
Runners: 1 Distances: l, l Time: m s
Race 6: Restricted
1st Dragon de la Tour (Fr)
2nd Arcal Fifty (Ire)
3rd Dr Rhythm (Ire)
Runners: 6 Distances: 15l, 15l Time: 6m 35s
Race 7: Open Maiden
1st Aero Majestic (Ire)
Runners: 2 Distances: l, l Time: 6m 46s
Twelve months ago the hugely popular Easter Bank Holiday Taunton Vale point to point meeting at Kingston St Mary was lost to waterlogging. Fast forward to 2019 and it was back to business as usual with a huge crowd basking in glorious sunshine enjoying picnics and keeping both the Beer Tent and ice cream vendors extremely busy. An early scare with the watering resulted in one fence being omitted but the organisers had worked hard and there were no issues. It was a day of doubles for jockeys Will Biddick and Ryan Withey and trainer Teresa Clark.
Locally based Teresa is one of the rare trainers who hunts her horses properly and she was rewarded with her double on the day courtesy of Mujadel in the Hunt Members and Willem in the Veteran/Novice Riders Conditions Race. In the Hunt Race Mujadel was allowed to coast home in his own time under Matt Hampton after his sole opponent, Annwyl pulled up (reportedly struck into herself). Teresa bought Mujadel from the Noel Meade yard for long-time supporter Ray Barrow and this was his second win of the year having taken a maiden at Wadebridge in January. His 7th run of the season, the attractive 6yo gelding by Derby winner Sinndar has been in the winner’s enclosure on every run and will now have a well-deserved holiday. He could be a nice type for next season when he strengthens up further.
Teresa’s second win was courtesy of Willem under an excellent ride by Gordon Treacy in the Veteran/Novice Riders Race. It won him the Ride of the Day judged by Taunton Vale Master, Guy Landau who was impressed at the way he put the race to bed going up the hill in an enterprising move to beat the odds-on Gingili by 30 lengths. Formerly with David Pipe, Willem is now owned by the Only Fools Buy Horses Partnership comprised of Sean Finn, Darren Marshall, Naomi Roe, Steph Bristow, Paul and Tracy Bargary. Willem seems to thrive at this time of the year having won in April last year and May in 2017 both under Bryan Carver.
Teresa was denied a treble on the day when the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate produced the closest finish of the day with favourite Doctor’s Differ just holding off her Prince of Poets by just over a length. Owned, trained and ridden by George Hiscock, Doctor’s Differ was following up his win at Larkhill at the end of March and clearly enjoys this quicker ground. If none the worse for his exertions, he may well go for the series final at Cheltenham on May 3rd.
Arcal Fifty was made favourite for the Restricted race which saw the biggest field of the day. He had to settle for second best however after Will Biddick managed to cajole Dragon de la Tour to a 15 length win after surviving a blunder at the second last. Will explained afterwards “you can’t use a whip on him as he just curls up but he was definitely the best horse in the race.” Trainer Neil McClean was completing an across the West Country double having scored with Earthly Reason at Trebudannon. Formerly owned by Peter Musgrave, Dragon de la Tour was sold to the Big Brook Racing Club but Peter then decided to take out a share with them. Peter’s wife Kathy had thought he’d win at Milborne St Andrew having gone 10 lengths clear before fading into 3rd but was thrilled by his win here as it is her local course.
Both Maidens resulted in sole finishers ridden by Ryan Withey. The early young horse maiden went to Willie’s Dream for a delighted Hawker family and owner Sharon Lee. Sent on early by Ryan, he put the sole schooling sessions he had been doing at home to good use. Sharon had bred the 6yo gelding by Dream Eater from her mare Willie’s Witch, unraced having broken her pelvis at a very young age. The mare had also produced Willie’s Way, a 6 time winner under Rules. The final Maiden was won by Aero Majestic for trainer Max Young who had only picked him up very recently for £600 having spotted that the horse had reasonable maiden form when trained by David Pipe. Ryan put the horse’s jumping experience to good use and he was far too good for his opponent who pulled up after struggling to keep tabs on the winner.
The Mixed Open only had one horse declared and former classy pointer Ballyknock Cloud and Will Biddick merely went through the formalities. He should however be noted where he goes next as he had decent form when last running in points and could be forgiven an unsuccessful stint under Rules. He certainly catches the eye on looks in the paddock.
Two pony races preceded the main racing and were both won by the extremely talented 11 year old Edward Vaughan who won the 138cm race on Little Replacement despite a determined challenge from Kelsie Bielby on Veno Star. The second race was much easier and his White Water cantered home in her own time. Many future stars of the saddle have cut their teeth on the Pony Racing circuit and Edward certainly looks to be worthy of going into the notebooks.