Secretary: Mrs Rachel Stamp
Address: Bowbridge Farm Southwick Rd Mark Highbridge Somerset TA9 4LJ
T: 01278 795587
M: 07980 001330
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries Secretary: Sue Francis
Address: - Teal Farm Sand Wedmore Somerset BS28 4XD
T: - 01934 710198
M: 07811 452849
E Mail: - email@example.com
Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Thursday 6th May 2021 12.30pm via the entries secretary Wednesday 5th May 9.00pm
Races: Confined – CA Members Conditions 7yo+ Nov Rdrs, Ladies Open, Open Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, Young Maiden 2m4f
First Race: 4.30pm
The final meeting of the Wessex Area Point to Point season takes place at Cothelstone on Wednesday when the Weston & Banwell hold their traditional evening meeting. Always well supported, it has attracted 133 entries and although owners are allowed, the public are still not able to attend. First race is at 4.30pm
Pony Racing sponsored by Brean Leisure Centre precedes the evening racing with jockeys of the future honing their skills before a Conditions race kicks off the main racing with an entry of 16. Trainer Chris Barber had planned to finish Famous Clermont for the season after his facile win here last time but the recent rain could have prompted a rethink. Moscow Prices too won at the course last time out and has an excellent record left handed under trainer/jockey Lucy Mager. Lucy also has Prince of Poets. First time cheek-pieces may have helped The Last But One take the Open at Trebudannon last time when he won by 15 lengths from Master Baker. Sam Loxton has Copain de Classe entered who was formerly useful for Paul Nicholls. He had a long break from racing before returning in a Ludlow Hunter Chase and may be best watched. Thumb Stone Blues won a Conditions race here for Byron Moorcroft in 2020. Now with James King, he has won his last three races and should be respected. Country Legend was scoring for the fourth time in 2019 when winning here. She hasn’t recaptured that form yet but could run well.
There are 27 in the shorter Maiden for younger horses and Francesca Nimmo has Hope des Blins, a French bred 4 year old filly who ran a nice race on debut when 3rd at Dingley. Will Biddick trains Lassue for father-in-law, Rupert Nuttall. This mare by Geordieland ran a race full of promise when 2nd here in April and could go one better. Neil Maclean has a once raced 4 year old entered in Park This One as well as Evron who ran a promising race at Trebudannon on his pointing debut and should improve. Alan Hill has acquired Le Grand Fromage, a full-brother to Ballyandy, from Tom Lacey and he has placed form under Rules.
Briarwood Products sponsor the Novice Riders Race and among the 15 entries is Diplomate Sivola, a winner of his last two races for trainer Alan Hill. The horse has several entries this week but would be fancied if coming here as would More Buck’s for the shrewd Mickey Bowen yard. Tom Malone may well choose this easier race for The Last But One under the promising Conor Houlihan. Others who could run well include Polo The Mumm who was running a good race before ducking out at the second last and unseating his jockey at Flete Park.
The Skinner’s Ladies Open is co-sponsored by The Clifton Club and has attracted 17 entries. The extremely classy Virak could be hard to beat if appearing here but holds several entries while Old Guard enjoyed his drop into pointing when winning a Conditions race nicely from Robin des People at Mollington in April. Old Guard had some serious form under Rules including a G2 hurdle win and it could turn out to be a fascinating clash between the two former stablemates. Zamparelli won a hunter chase cosily at Ludlow in March before falling at Cheltenham and could run into a place. Uppertown Hawk has won three times here but hasn’t run for two years while his stablemate Shometheway has run creditably this season bagging the runner-up spot twice. Purple ‘n Gold won five times in 2019 including two here, beating Moscow Prices (could re-oppose) on the second occasion.
The Maxwell Chartered Accountants Men’s Open has 15 entries with several already mentioned and it will be interesting to see which horses go where. Chameron won a hunter chase at Leicester in February beating the subsequent Aintree Foxhunters winner, Cousin Pascal. He then ran at Cheltenham and Exeter but jumped poorly on both occasions. If trainer Sam Loxton has managed to address this issue, he would be interesting. Luke Price has Los Alamos entered who opened his account when winning the Men’s Open at Trebudannon in April. The enigmatic Dom Bersy won here in a canter in 2019 but has since become temperamental. If his trainer has managed to sweeten him up, he has plenty of ability. Fifty Shades gave his young pilot, Daniel Ellis a nice win here in April before finishing third at Cheltenham. He should run well again.
The 18 entries in the Beachcomber Inn, Brean Restricted Race include Florrie Webb who won a Members race here in April easily under Will Biddick from Mixboy and should progress. Another entered who won that day is Clever des Assence who took the first division of the maiden. Man of Means was only beaten a length by For Rita at Aldington while Lucky Lucarno may have surprised under a canny ride by Tommie O’Brien when winning at Flete Park at the beginning of the month.
Junction 24 & Thorne Farm sponsor the finale, a Maiden Conditions race which has attracted 26. Of those Francesca Nimmo’s Hands Face Space should not be underestimated on his bare form. Luke Price’s Aracaras may have done too much at Flete Park when fading into 3rd. Henry’s Regime was third here last time and has placed form under Rules as does Teresa Clark’s Jasmin des Bordes. He finished second behind the useful Maitree Express on his pointing debut in December and should come on plenty for that run while Spring Break was 2nd last time for Will Biddick at Larkhill and has placed form here. Borrowed An Blue was 3rd last time and Businessman is another who could improve on his placed form.
The curtain came down on the Wessex Area Point to Point season at Cothelstone on Wednesday evening when the Weston & Banwell meeting staged an excellent card. The highlights were a first win on English soil for Irish jockey Georgie Benson, a winner for the recently injured Will Biddick training for his father-in-law, a riding double for leading rider James King and a one-two in the last for local trainer Teresa Clark.
Twenty-two year old Georgie Benson had been starting to doubt herself and a fall in February which resulted in a broken vertebra did not help. But encouraged by her employers, Alan and Lawney Hill, she returned to race riding and notched up her first win in the UK when taking the Novice Riders race on Knight Bachelor by a stylish 5 lengths. Having been told to stick to the inside by Alan, she had wisely moved to the outside and avoided being carried out when Bouggietopieces crashed out through a wing. An ecstatic Georgie said “He jumped like a proper horse – it was just amazing!” and was quick to thank owners Gillie & Richard Cranfield who had driven down from Suffolk to watch. She also thanked Dr Jerry Hill and Jennifer Pugh for the help she had received when injured. Georgie had previously ridden a winner when in her home country, Ireland, for top trainer Gordon Elliot and explained that she had first got into racing via her cousin Danny Benson who was now involved preparing breeze-up horses.
Another jockey to be on the side-lines is Will Biddick who fractured his ankle in a fall at Upcott Cross at the weekend. This didn’t stop him training a winner for his father-in-law, Rupert Nuttall who took the second division of the short Maiden with his home-bred Lassue. The mare is out of Annie Fleetwood who won multiple times for the Nuttall family, and she followed her encouraging debut run here in April when second. The first division was won by Risk and Co for Welsh trainer, Gareth Moore under jockey Evan David. Gareth explained he had missed last year due to Covid and he had jumped poorly on his reappearance at Maisemore. Some intensive loose schooling had improved the horse’s confidence and he ran out an easy 6 length winner from Coastal Capers with favourite Evron back in third.
The first race of the day, the Conditions race, was won by Famous Clermont for trainer Chris Barber with jockey Tommie O’Brien deputising for the injured Will Biddick. An impressive winner here last time, he again showed he has plenty of talent and won a competitive race by a cosy 6 lengths with Country Legend in second. This win secures the Print Concern Restricted Championship for his delighted connections and includes a prize of £1000. Chris had planned to put the horse away for the season but with the rain arriving the opportunity was too tempting to miss.
Another horse who looks as though he could be winning a National Award is Thumb Stone Blues who took his tally for the season to 4 when winning the Men’s Open under James King. His owner Jason Warner is also leading the Owners Championship and this was a tenth winner for him this season. With the persistent rain getting into the ground, Chameron and Thumb Stone Blues pulled well clear and although both horses were tired coming over the last together, James was able to squeeze a little more out of his game mount to record a length and a half victory.
The Ladies Open was won in convincing fashion by the favourite Virak under Natalie Parker for trainer Sam Loxton. Virak is jointly owned by Paul Nicholls and Clive Hitchings and it was good to see Paul there to support his horse. Paul explained the horse had a leg problem at the end of last season and praised Sam who had done a remarkable job to get him sound again. He thought he may go to Stratford and if he stayed sound for next season, there was a possibility that his daughter Olive would be able to ride him as she would be 16 having graduated from Pony Races.
James King notched his second win of the evening on Staple Head for trainer Mickey Bowen in the Restricted race gaining some compensation having been carried out by a loose horse on him at Holnicote on Saturday. Despite jumping markedly right for most of the race, it didn’t stop him and he was 18 lengths clear at the line. Mickey confirmed that the horse would stick to right handed tracks in future and would hope to take in an Intermediate with him before sending him back under Rules with his father who owns the gelding.
With the fading light and rain making conditions harder for the commentator and spectators, the finale was a local affair when trainer Teresa Clark had the first and second in the Maiden Conditions race, although possibly not in the order she was expecting! When regular pilot Will Biddick was injured, she replaced him with Robert Hawker on the more fancied of her two, Jasmin des Bordes switching Robert from the eventual winner, The Kitchenmechanic. Darren Andrews came in for the ride on The Kitchenmechanic and in a close finish just edged out stable mate Jasmin des Bordes.
There were two Pony races for jockeys of the future that preceded the main racing. The first for ponies 138cm and under was won convincingly by Katherine Sprake riding Little Replacement while Taylor Fisher took the 148am and under a stylish ride on Buddy’s Girl.