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
or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk
Entries Close: Monday 29th April 12.30 pm
Races: Members - Restricted - Club Conditions 8yo+ - 4,5,6 year old Maiden (2m4f) – PPORA Conditions Nov Rdrs - Open Maiden - Mixed Open
The picturesque setting of Holnicote situated under Dunkery Beacon and overlooking Selworthy Church is the site of the first of two meetings at the course when the Devon and Somerset Staghounds hold their point to point on Sunday. Always a very popular course with owners, riders and spectators who can enjoy a picnic, a visit is thoroughly recommended. The course is in good shape ahead of the meeting with an excellent covering of grass and good going is expected on the day. A total of 70 entries have been received for the seven races and a great afternoon’s racing is in prospect.
The feature race, the Mixed Open, does contain an entry for the unbeaten Jack Snipe who has won all three of his races for his trainer Rob Hawker. However his preferred option is likely to be the 4 mile Hunter Chase at Cheltenham on Friday so in his likely absence Gallery Exhibition last seen running in the Aintree Foxhunters might be the one to support. Trained by Peter Mason he was previously second to the classy Salvatore at Kingston Blount and brings superior form to his rivals. Northgeorge was second to Pink Eyed Pedro who subsequently won the Dunraven Bowl at Chepstow and Tree Sparrow was awarded a race at Larkhill in March when the winner failed to weigh in at the correct weight. They can fight it out for the runner up spot.
The Conditions Race for 8 year olds and upwards has attracted a competitive looking entry of thirteen horses. Willem won a Novice Riders race at Kingston St Mary very easily for Gordon Treacy and it is his time of year to flourish. However he does an entry in the Novice Riders race and elsewhere over the weekend. Ramble On was a good winner of a Mens Open at Littlewindsor and Dragon de la Tour was an easy winner of a Restricted at Kingston St Mary. Blazing Tom brings good form from Wales and if travelling might be another winner for the promising Jack Tudor.
The Hunt race which opens the meeting may see the seasonal debut of Steel Brush who has a good record at the course. De Boitron continues to defy his advancing years and ran well in defeat at Badbury Rings behind Apple’s Queen who won again last Sunday. Kapricorne won over a longer trip at Trebudannon and is good heart, Woodford County who had a great relationship with Ciaran Gethings under Rules may make his pointing debut for trainer Molly White and this stayer is an interesting contender but has not raced for over two years. De Boitron would be a popular winner for Janet Ackner.
The Novice Riders race also holds an entry for De Boitron and Willem but in their likely absence this race may be between Chosen Lucky trained by Dean Summersby and ridden by Liam Harrison and the veteran Adrenalin Flight who will be ridden by Matt Fielding. Both are in excellent form with the former just preferred. High Hatton and Boher Call are others with a chance in this race based on their current form.
The Restricted race contains an entry for the promising Foxworthy. The winner of a Larkhill maiden he was transferred to Nicky Henderson’s yard but only ran once when down the field in a Hurdle at Chepstow. Now back with Ed Walker his return to pointing will be watched with interest as he looked very promising on his two runs in 2018. Amongst his likely opponents could be the Cotley winner Deshan if travelling from Wales, Cornflower Blue who has been consistent in her last three races and the Kate Bandey trained Twist on Ginge the winner of a Maiden at Penshurst. If Foxworthy shows the form from 2018 he should be too good for his rivals.
The remainder of the meeting consists of two Maiden races where Bubble O’Clock might be the one to support in the young Maiden race. Trained by Matt Hampton he showed much promise on his pointing debut at Charlton Horethorne behind two smart four year olds. Of the others in this race Schiap Hill and Monmouth Hill both trained by Hannah Clarke bring placed form with them having last been running at Maisemore and Penshurst respectively. Schiap Hill’s form looks good and he might be the biggest danger to Bubble O’Clock. So When is getting closer to a win with a fourth at Littlewindsor and The Garrison was second behind Earth Leader who won another race at Stafford Cross on Sunday. Fran Nimmo has entered the 4 year old Pass Rusher and if this is declared the Doyen gelding should be watched.
The Open Maiden also holds an entry for Schiap Hill but preference is for Ichifoot who ran with promise when finishing second at Littlewindsor having made most of the running on only his second outing. The unraced Chemin De Fer trained by Ed Walker and owned by Richard Kelvin-Hughes is one to note as is the Jonathan Tudor trained Sing the Anthem who was second in a Bumper at Hereford. Archirondel has a sequence of letters after his name but he was unlucky at Cothelstone and could be the surprise package.
Holnicote, off A 39, 3m W of Minehead and 2m E of Porlock Postcode TA24 8TF. First Race 2.00pm Entry Costs £30 per car and £10 per person on the gate, Tickets at the discounted rate of £8 per person and £25 per car can be booked online – www.holnicoteraces.co.uk until Saturday.
Race 1: Members
1st Hurlstone Point
2nd De Boitron (Fr)
3rd Kapicorne (Fr)
Runners: 5 Distances: nk, 10l Time: 6m 28s
Race 2: Maiden 2m4f
1st Bubble O’Clock
Runners: 2 Distances: l, l Time: 6m 19s
Race 3: Mixed Open
1st Tree Sparrow
Runners: 5 Distances: 5l, l Time: 6m 23s
Race 4: Open Maiden
1st Sing The Anthem
3rd Italian Symphony
Runners: 5 Distances: 8l, 3l Time: 6m 41s
Race 5: Conditions Novice Riders
1st High Hatton
Runners: 2 Distances: 2 ½ l, l Time: 6m 29s
Race 6: Conditions 8yr +
1st Dragon de La Tour (Fr)
2nd Ramble On (Ire)
3rd On Your Max
Runners: 4 Distances: nk, 8l Time: 6m 33s
Race 7: Restricted
1st Desham (Ger)
Runners: 2 Distances: l, l Time: 6m 53s
A welcome reappearance by the sun ensured the sizeable crowd enjoyed the day’s events at the Devon & Somerset Staghounds point to point meeting at Holnicote on Sunday. For young jockey Jack Tudor it was a chance to revisit the course he had ridden his first ever winner on twelve months ago and he was rewarded with a double courtesy of Sing The Anthem and High Hatton. Will Biddick notched another winner in a tight finish and Bryan Carver continued to add to his season’s tally.
The Hunt Members race is one of the more popular of its kind possibly due to the huge bronze trophy of a stag presented to winning connections. In the last few seasons there has been a friendly rivalry between Mark Pendarves and Maurice Scott as to who was to house the trophy for the forthcoming year and it was the former who prevailed on this occasion with Hurlstone Point who narrowly denied De Boitron with favourite Kapricorne back in third. Maurice Scott’s Steel Brush who had won this contest last year was further back in 4th but should strip fitter next time as this was his seasonal debut. Mark explained that his homebred-mare who is a half-sister to Neville, had needed plenty of time and he hoped that she would be good enough to go Novice Chasing next season. Named after a point on the coast visible from the course, Hurlstone Point is trained by Mark at Porlock Vale House which is where the 1952 Olympic Eventing team were trained.
The young horse Maiden became a stroll round for Matt Hampton and Bubble O’Clock after his sole opponent So When unceremoniously dumped Will Biddick at the start. The winner was owned, trained and ridden by Matt Hampton and had been bought from Paul Nichols after showing some form over hurdles. Treated by Piers Wilmot (a manual therapist of Equine Osteopathy), he certainly put in a fine display of jumping on his solo trip including some spectacular leaps in front of the crowd. He had shown plenty of promise in his pointing debut at Charlton Horethorne and should be capable of going on to better things
The first leg of Jack Tudor’s double came in the Open Maiden when Sing The Anthem confirmed the promise he had shown in two pointing bumpers. Trained by Jonathan Tudor for The Anthem Partnership, which included his brother-in-law Jeff Bird, the five year old won comfortably by 8 lengths from Thelastwon. Still quite an unfurnished lengthy gelding, he should come on a lot for this run. For his beautifully bred sire Eastern Anthem, who stands at Withyslade Stud in Wiltshire alongside Indian Haven and Kier Park, this was a first ever winner in the UK.
The Novice Riders Race was a showcase duel between two talents for the future – Jack Tudor and Luca Morgan. With Jack back on High Hatton, his debut pointing winner at this course a year ago and Luca on Gingili, the two matched strides for most of the way until High Hatton hit a fence down the backstretch giving Gingili the advantage. However turning for home High Hatton again regained the lead and was just over 2 lengths to the good at the finish. Jack said his horse had clouted the fence and sulked confessing it was possibly down to rider error. Owned again by the Bird family, High Hatton comes from a long line of family horses and had been bought at Ascot Sales for £3,000. Jeff Bird explained “he’s such a lovely character and so good to hunt that everyone in the yard is queuing up for him when he retires.”
The Mixed Open went to favourite Tree Sparrow ridden by Bryan Carver and trained by Camilla Scott. Market rival, Guy Disney on Gallery Exhibition suffered a stirrup issue and pulled up with a circuit to run leaving Tree Sparrow to win cosily from Northgeorge. With the trainer absent, owner John Pengelly explained that the horse had suffered with his wind and a subsequent operation had made a real difference. A winner at Bratton Down for the last two seasons, he will now head back there and would be more than capable of achieving the hat-trick in this form.
Will Biddick was convinced he had won the Conditions Race as he returned to the winner’s enclosure despite protestations from the runners-up and the judge confirmed Dragon de la Tour had indeed prevailed by a neck. Trained by Neil McLean, Dragon de la Tour had been described as “unreliable and inconsistent” but this third win of the season showed he was far from such and his connections thought he may too probably head to Bratton Down next.
Byron Moorcroft who had been denied in the previous photo finish took the finale Restricted on Deshan for trainer Luke Price. An impressive winner previously at Cotley this season, Byron settled the gelding in behind Minella Rising biding his time. With his opponent pulling up before the last, Deshan was able to coast home. Explaining his last run when he pulled up at Bonvilston to be on the sharp side, Byron felt that the gelding was happier on a course where stamina was necessary.