Secretaries: Mrs B Tully
Address: Bincombe Barton, Over Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset TA 5 1HR
Contact Details Tel: 01278 732944 Mob: 07970 781087
Entries to: The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 7th March 2022 12.30pm
Races: Hunt, Open Maiden 2m4f (Mares and Fillies), Mixed Open, Open Maiden, Restricted, PPORA Members Conditions for 9yrs +(level 1)
First Race: 12.30 pm
The Quantock meeting at Cothelstone was one of the few meetings last season that decided to run despite being behind closed doors and organisers will be pleased to welcome the public back on Saturday to this popular event. Trainers are always keen to support the meeting and a healthy 107 entries have been received. The first race is at 12.30pm and early-bird tickets can be purchased online via www.pointingwessex.co.uk at £12.50 each (to include racecard) with all children under 16 admitted free. Cash or card on the gate (£12.50 no racecard included in price). The ground is currently soft with a reasonable forecast which may lead to it drying out a little.
The Hunt members has attracted 7 entries including in-form Molineaux and Footloose. Both horses have been ridden by young stars of the future, Freddie Gingell (fresh from a double at Charlton Horethorne including on this horse) and Arron Butterfield who also owns and trains Footloose and who has supplied him with two wins and two seconds. Molineaux is trained by Freddie’s grandfather, Colin Tizzard and if he does appear again quickly after his facile win over Old Guard, he should be too good. The remainder of the field include Rien du Tout trained by Charlotte Budd who is also Clerk of the Course here. A winner of his maiden here, he has added to that tally with wins at Larkhill and Holnicote since. He could be one for the minor honours. Earth Storm took this race two years ago at a huge price so has course form.
The Mares Maiden series, sponsored by the Jockey Club is becoming more popular and there are 27 entries. Ed Walker’s Aunt Lily ran Honest Opinion to a neck at Great Trethew and could go one better. Ed has also entered several others including Lady Valkyrie who showed promise at the same course. Polly Sans built on her debut when a good 3rd at Chipley Park and it would be unwise to underestimate her while Miss May Hill will be making her jumping debut for trainer Lucy Smith and showed ability when second in a Flat race at Barbury. Will Biddick too has a promising sort in Rocktreerunner who was also placed in a Flat race at Larkhill.
The Evolution Vets Mixed Open is always competitive and is being run over 3 and a half miles for the first time. Of the 17 entries, top-rated Chameron has plenty of ability but his jumping has recently let him down including last time at Badbury Rings when jockey Ben Sutton performed the recovery of the season to stay on board. Ben also has Diplomate Sivola who has yet to win this season after scoring a hat trick last term. Board of Trade won the 4 miler at Flete last May and has posted a 3rd on his seasonal debut. Bea Coward’s Gran Paradiso won at Charing in December but was outclassed by Rose of Arcadia last time. Broadclyst has been well-placed by trainer Les Jefford to win twice for his novice pilot in Cornwall recently but may find this company hotter. The Bradstock family have been in flying form this season and their Myth Buster took a Hunter Chase under daughter Lily at Musselburgh before a creditable second at Horseheath. Veteran Vivaldi Collonges has been a good servant to the Bromley family with son Ben riding and won a Men’s Open at Horseheath and then wasn’t beaten far at Cocklebarrow when 4th.
The Brean Splash & Play Restricted race is for horses who have won their maidens and are taking the next step forward. ITV Racing’s Luke Harvey produced a taking individual at the South Dorset meeting in the shape of Spanish Jump and he looked a horse to definitely keep on the right side of when not seeing a rival to break his maiden. Dangersto the probable favourite include Midnight Jitterbug who made all to take a maiden at Knightwick in November. Another one who may take him on for the lead is the Welsh challenger, Ask Dai who took an older maiden at Wadebridge in January under Bradley Gibbs and it could be unwise to allow him to dictate. The Angela Yeoman silks have been successful several times this season and her Southfield Megan foiled a big gamble on runner-up Highland Glory at Chipley Park, when Will Biddick used his course knowledge to his advantage. Neil McLean’s Sake of Secrecy built on two promising runs at Wadebridge by winning at Great Trethew two weeks ago while Outlaw Dream, a winner at Charing also has an engagement at Dalton Park.
The PPORA Conditions race gives horses a chance who may not quite be up to Open level. With 24 entries, there are several interesting contenders. Tuff Nano has always been held in high regard by trainer, Teresa Clark and this mare won the Mixed Open here two years ago. A fall last time out, she may need to regain her confidence. Moscow Prices took this last year and always runs well here under trainer and joint owner, Lucy Mager. Shrewd local trainer Tom Malone has Story of Friends entered and this three time winner under Rules for David Pipe could be worth a look in the paddock. Speredek too had winning form under Rules and now appears for Kieren Buckley for whom he could show rejuvenated form for a switch to pointing. Rio Quinto took a fair scalp when just holding off The Big Sting at Badbury Rings under George Hiscock. Doc Carver has run well without winning this season and comes here instead of his home track at Howick.
The meeting concludes with the Peter Stokes Memorial Maiden race. Chris Barber’s horses have been running exceptionally well this season and he has 4yo Top Target entered. Fifth in an Irish point in February, as a four year old, he receives hefty weight allowance. Tom Malone also has an ex-Irish pointer entered in Zumbi and he should be noted in the betting. A third making his English debut having run in Ireland is Hold Your Fort for Luke Price and it would be no surprise to see this horse prominent in the market given connections. Will Biddick has Ninth Wave who showed form when second at Ampton in January.
Cothelstone is 2 miles NE of Bishops Lydeard off A358 –Postcode TA4 3DT.
Last Saturday’s meeting at Cothelstone produced some excellent racing and the judge had to resort to the newly introduced iPad technology to determine a couple of finishes. A double for jockey Martin McIntyre, highly impressive winner for ITV’s Luke Harvey and a memorable first win for jockey Purdy Peaster were just some of the highlights.
It has long been local girl, Purdy Peaster’s dream to ride in point to points (much against her father’s advice) and following her debut at Badbury Rings last month, she belied her inexperience to collar odds-on favourite, Molineaux on the line in the opening Hunt member’s race. The tacky ground following overnight rain possibly contributed to the favourite being caught having led from the start with market rival Footloose sitting in his slipstream. Purdy sat quietly in third place and galvanising Rocheston over the last, produced a perfectly timed finish to rapturous applause from her local fan club. Rocheston had won a hurdle race for Paul Nicholls but had disappointed afterwards including when moved to Tom George for whom both Purdy and trainer Tom Doggrell work. There were huge cheers in the winner’s enclosure when the result was announced and this combination should continue to build on this first success together.
The Mares maiden race was divided and the first division went to the regally bred Miss May Hill who is a half-sister to none other than the mighty Shishkin. Following a nice introduction when second in a bumper at Barbury in December, the Clive Bennett owned and bred mare looked like she may have had cause for concern when Campsie Linn headed her going to the second last only for that rival to blunder and the jockey lost his irons necessitating pulling up. However jockey Tommie O’Brien who was aboard the winner felt he was always going to win. For trainer Lucy Smith it was a huge relief and she said “there’s been a lot of pressure on with her being a half-sister to Shishkin and its lovely to win with her. She’s far and away the best I have in the yard.” Plans were undecided for her next outing. The second division was slightly faster and went to Will Biddick on the diminutive Rocktreerunner who may have been dwarfed by others in the paddock but was very professional throughout the race, jumping well. Owners Kevin Corcoran and Chris Weare were present to see this half-sister to the prolific Bitofapuzzle, a 7 time winner for Harry Fry, win. She is by Saddler’s Rock for whom it is believed she was a first point to point winner and she could be one to follow.
The Mixed Open was run over three and a half miles for the first time and was an eventful contest. Eight runners went to post but with Cristal Spirit refusing to race and Chameron continuing with his jumping errors and unseating at the second, three more unseated and it was left to Gran Paradiso and Broadclyst to produce the tightest finish of the day with the favourite Beau du Brizlais crying enough between the last two fences. Once again the judge had to resort to his iPad and while Grand Paradiso was eventually given as the winner under jockey Martin McIntyre, the second’s connections can rightly be proud of both their horse and jockey too. Gran Paradiso has a rather unusual point to point pedigree being by Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare herself a half-sister to Derby winner Ruler of the World and Duke of Marmalade and he also started his career with Aidan O’Brien. While he may not have quite had the ability for that establishment, he certainly has toughness in abundance. Owned by the Barrow Racing Club made up of friends of Will Shields, step father to trainer Bea Coward, Gran Paradiso had won at Charing earlier the season and couldn’t get a blow in behind impressive winner Rose of Arcadia last time.
The Restricted race can often throw up a future star and Luke Harvey brought Spanish Jump who had so impressed at Millborne St Andrew in January. James King always had the 6 year old well placed and he cruised into the lead with half a mile to run to win unchallenged. Bought from Jonjo O’Neill’s yard after three placed efforts under Rules, the horse now known himself as “Jonjo” once again showed what a shrewd purchase he was by Luke. A jubilant Luke explained that ordinarily he would not have run him on ground as soft but due to work commitments at Cheltenham next week, he had no option as he rides him out at home and this meant the horse could have an easy week. In addition he confessed “I promised to take my fiancée, Charlotte to watch her beloved Crystal Palace play in the FA Cup quarter final next weekend so that ruled out a run then!” Charlotte herself had played a part in the horse’s education by taking him cross country schooling.
The Conditions race went to Rio Quinto who followed up his win at Badbury Rings under George Hiscock for owner/trainer Tacky MacGregor. Tacky explained how much the horse, who was formerly with Olly Murphy, was enjoying himself pointing. Known as “The Dinosaur” at home due to his size, he was led up by Natalie Craig who also rides him at home. Natalie had never ridden racehorses before having been a dressage rider and according to Tacky “loves Rio Quinto to bits!”
The finale was a maiden and this went to the 4 year old Top Target (completing Martin McIntyre’s double) who was making his debut for the Chris Barber stable having run once in Ireland. Handily placed throughout the race, he took up the running three fences from home and coasted in by a facile 17 lengths with his ears pricked. Although Chris admitted he was still a bit weak, he looks a nice genuine sort who could now go to the sales and on this appearance he should attract plenty of interest.