Secretary: Mr Andrew Ransford
M: 07970 272804
Entries: Mrs Marie Handel
Address: Rose Cottage, Furley, Axminster, Devon, EX13 7TU
T/F: 01404 881699
M: 07831 537684
or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk
Entries Close: Monday 21st March 2022, 12.30
Races: Members - Restricted - Oriental Club Owner/Trainer Conditions (Level 3) - Maiden Conditions (2m4f) - Mens Open - Ladies Open (2m4f) - Open Maiden
First Race: 12.00 noon
Point to Point racing returns to the popular course at Cotley only a mile from the town of Chard in Somerset. After a two year hiatus caused by the pandemic, organisers will be pleased to see some well-known horses amongst the entries. The first race is at 12 noon and with the weather forecast looking to stay fine for the weekend, it should be a good day for families and racing enthusiasts alike.
The first race sponsored by Symonds and Sampson, has only attracted 2 entries with Master Dancer possibly having the stronger credentials. The Stuart Sampson-trained gelding accrued 10 wins under Rules both on the Flat and over jumps and has managed to win twice in his pointing career including when dead-heating with the bang in-form Southfield Theatre in January at Larkhill. However Lauren Reed will need to have her wits about her to defeat Will Biddick who is likely to aboard her opponent, Crown of Thorns, himself the winner of a Conditions race here in 2019. It should be an interesting contest.
The Restricted race sponsored by Barleymows Farm Shop includes top-rated Nuova Vita for the Ed Walker yard. He unseated on seasonal debut at Larkhill but made amends next time at the same course before running creditably in defeat since. He should be hard to beat. Benny’s Miracle won her maiden nicely at Bratton Down at the final meeting of last term and following two thirds early in the season, she showed up well for a long way at Chipley Park. She could give Nuova Vita most to do. Steel Express caused a bit of a surprise when opening his account at Chipley at the end of January in the Hunt race but hasn’t built on that win since. A winner on his pointing debut at Dingley as a 5yo, Halloween Harry showed up well for a long way at Great Trethew.
The Greenslade Taylor Hunt Men’s Open has the top-class Rose of Arcadia entered by trainer Colin Tizzard and will be the mount of his very talented grandson Freddie Gingell. The mare should complete a hat-trick following hugely impressive wins at Badbury Rings and Charlton Horethorne. Molineaux has also been entered by the yard and he has won three under the leading Novice Rider before being unlucky to be collared very late home at Cothelstone when Rocheston may have surprised with his late run. Whichever runs from the yard should take all the beating. Envoye Special is one who could pose a slight threat despite having been beaten in two Hunter Chases. His win over Sixteen Letters (re-opposes) at Larkhill in the December fog was followed by a fair second there to the talented Maitree Express. Sixteen Letters has won twice since then both at Larkhill before a fair third in a Leicester Hunter Chase and could be worth an each way bet. Out and out stayer Board of Trade ran well on debut at Great Trethew when third to Sykes while Beau du Brizais won at Barbury in December and has been placed three times since.
The Maiden Conditions race, sponsored by Beares, Hampton and Littlewood, and is for horses who have run at least twice. Ed Walker fields three entries including Aunt Lily who ran well at Great Trethew when just beaten by Honest Opinion and then probably bumped into a useful type in Rocktreerunner at Cothelstone last time. Sam Loxton’s Westhill too was placed behind a useful sort at the same course when running well until weakening into third behind Top Target. Zumbi has had three runs in points in Ireland and now appears for the Tom Malone stable. It would be no surprise to see this Irish import run well while No Risk With Lou has run well without troubling the judge so far. Between You and Me is by Presenting who tend to prefer a quicker surface and his form reads well. He could go close.
The Carter Jonas Ladies Open is run over the shorter trip of 2 and a half miles. Ed Walker again has three entered – the already mentioned Board of Trade as well as Danseur du Large and Field Exhibition. The former successfully combines Pointing with running under Rules and has racked up 5 wins overall. He has yet to win this season between the Flags but his placed form reads well. His final entry, Field Exhibition was a 6 time winner under Rules for Christian Williams and ran really well at Wadebridge under today’s rider when just beaten by Broadclyst. Veteran Princeton Royale was a prolific winner for Neil King over this shorter trip and he could appreciate the drop back. Copain de Classe is another who won over shorter when with Paul Nicholls. Now with Sam Loxton, he too could show improved form over the two and a half miles.
The Oriental Club sponsors a series for those Owners who also train their horses. The aforementioned Copain de Classe also holds an entry for this and connections may prefer to go for this easier option. Charlotte Budd’s Rien du Tout could well prefer this likely quicker ground than he has run on recently and could figure in the finish. Doctor’s Differ has won four times in his career but has not shown much for a while while Mister Dick would need to improve on his recent form.
The finale is a maiden and Meyrick Design & Fabrication, Forest and Land Management are the sponsors. Of those not already mentioned, Chris Barber has Inebranable who ran well on his debut behind the much fancied Salt Rock. That horse sold subsequently for £205,000 at the Cheltenham sale so the form could prove special. Another for the in-form Barber yard is Mr Mahler as yet unraced but is well–bred being out of a Grade 3 placed mare who also won twice in Ireland. Ninth Wave ran well when second to Top Target at Cothelstone. Stuart Sampson’s Nowo showed promise when second at Badbury Rings before possibly doing too much next time at Charlton Horethorne.
The meeting is at Cotley, Chard, Somerset TA20 3EP and can be found 1 mile south of the A30 and 1.5 miles south west of Chard. Admission is £15 per person (cash only on the gate – under 16s free). First Race is at 12 noon. There will be refreshments and a bar available plus a band playing after the racing.
Racegoers were treated to an excellent afternoon’s entertainment at the Cotley Point to Point as the sun shone brightly. Another double from the bang in-form jockey Martin McIntyre, a further riding success for the season’s star novice rider, Freddie Gingell and an emotional win for the Warner family were some of the highlights.
The Oriental Club Sponsors a series for those horses trained by their owners and it was a fitting tribute albeit an emotional one, when Mister Dick prevailed in a tight finish for Marita and Rhondda Warner. This was the second winner since taking over the reins from their late father Jason, in November and proved to be a very special one. Marita explained “he was Dad’s favourite horse in the yard and such a character.” Jockey Geoff Barfoot-Saunt was shown some of that character when he made an “involuntary dismount” after the line as Mister Dick and he had a difference of opinion where to pull up but he laughed it off saying “it is quite something to ride a winner for Jason today – he was a friend for over 30 years.” The girls also had further reason to celebrate when hearing the news that their horse trained by Luke Price, Rose Iland, had earlier won at Howick.
Martin McIntyre is in flying form at present notching up a second riding double in the space of a fortnight. The first yesterday came courtesy of Steel Express who took the Restricted for trainer Mike Vanstone. Always travelling well in behind the leaders in what looked like a good pace Martin felt that the winner was only idling in front when rival Benny’s Miracle fell at the last. Owner Sue Quick had decided to let the horse try pointing this season following a career under Rules with Linda Blackford. Mike then persuaded existing owners, Nigel Mackenzie and Richard Dening to join her and they were instantly rewarded with a win on debut at Chipley Park. The 10 year old handled the ground yesterday but Mike felt he would prefer more cut in it so that would decide his next outing.
Martin’s second win came on Westhill for trainer Sam Loxton and owner Clive Hitchings in the Maiden Conditions race. With odds-on favourite Between You and Me clearly hating the ground and pulling up, it was left to Westhill who drew clear from Young William to win cosily. A smiling Martin said “he was absolutely loving it out there despite looking about a bit.” Sam thought he may return to the course in two weeks for the Restricted race.
Another jockey who has been enjoying plenty of success this season is Freddie Gingell who took the Men’s Open on Molineaux bringing his tally to seven and increasing his lead in the Novice Riders title. Winning by an easy 4 lengths from Minim Mouse, Freddie felt that the gelding trained by grandfather Colin Tizard had settled better for him despite being a “bit guessy” at a couple and was idling after the last. Having been unexpectedly caught on the line at Cothelstone, Freddie kept Molineaux up to his work. There was a good-humoured debate between trainer and rider afterwards as to where the horse would next run but Colin explained the horse was doing his job as a schoolmaster and all being well he would run every two weeks.
The Ladies Open was run at a strong pace and jockey Lucy Turner was happy to bide her time on Sixteen Letters sitting quietly in third place. As the leaders capitulated, she jumped to the front with three fences to go and drew clear to record an impressive win. Trainer Neil Maclean explained that the horse was very talented but suffered from a wind issue which due to a throat abnormality, meant they were unable to operate on it. As a result sometimes his wind affected him in a finish and he looked ungenuine. Neil said “that couldn’t be further from the truth as he’s the most genuine horse you could wish for.” He added that tracks with downhill finishes such as here at Cotley and Larkhill suited him and he would be kept to those.
The opening Hunt member’s race was a match between Master Dancer and Crown of Thorns. Will Biddick made the running on the latter and although they came over the last together, it was Master Dancer who had the better turn of foot under Darren Andrews to see off his rival. Garth Whisker jointly owns the gelding with Derek Prettejohn and explained that the last time he personally won this race was back in 1975 with Red Windsor. Trainer Stuart Sampson explained “the horse handles better ground but prefers a straightforward track and would probably head to Upcott Cross next.”
The finale was an Open Maiden and Will Biddick just held on Ninth Wave from Nowo with Kesa Great running a nice race in third. Also trained by Will, Ninth Wave is owned by Peter and Kathy Musgrave who only bought the horse in January after Will called Peter and told him he had a horse that he might be interested in. Due to the timing of the lockdowns Kathy had been unable to do anything for her birthday on the 24th March over the last two years so this was a fitting addition to the celebrations.