The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Taunton Vale
Date: 18-04-2022
Pony Racing: Yes
Course: Cothelstone
First Race: 1.30 pm
Extra Info

Jt Secretaries: Mrs Janet Burley and Mrs Fiona Walker

M:  07974 263157


Entries to The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd ( )

Entries Close:  Monday 11th April, 12.30 pm

Races:  Members - Restricted - Conditions Level 2 (Veterans) - Maiden (Conditions) (2m4f) - Mixed Open - Intermediate - Open Maiden

First Race 1.30pm


This year the extremely popular Easter Monday Bank Holiday meeting formerly at Kingston St Mary relocates to nearby Cothelstone which will become its permanent venue for hosts, the Taunton Vale.  A total of 82 entries have been received and organisers are offering “Early bird” tickets at £12.50 (includes racecard) per person via until Wednesday 13th April. There is also the facility to pay on the gate using cash or card but tickets are £15 to include a racecard. All children under 16 are admitted free. 

The first race is a combined Members race and of the five entries received, Beau du Brizais looks likely to start favourite. A winner at Barbury on his pointing debut for trainer Teresa Clark, he posted some good efforts in defeat since before winning a Conditions race at Trebudannon at the end of March. His consistency should be rewarded here.  Morpet, for Carroll and Chrissie Gray won here four years ago, showing his liking for the course while Halloween Harry could be one for the places under trainer/jockey Lucy Mager who often does well here. 

The Maiden Conditions Race has attracted 21 entries. Chris Barber has two entered and his Campsie Linn looked like the winner here last time when she blundered when clear forcing the rider to lose his stirrups and had to be pulled up. She could be hard to beat if reproducing that form.  His other entry, Young William ran well for Heidi Stevens last time at Cotley and could figure. Between You and Me looked sure to break his maiden soon after three placings this season but disappointed last time at Cotley. Crews Pitch won a bumper for trainer James Ridley last season but has yet to run this year. 

The Veteran’s Conditions race is for older horses and has ten entries including Garrane who is making his second appearance in this sphere for trainer Kieran Buckley having won two under Rules for Jeremy Scott including when beating Steel Express. He made a satisfactory debut under today’s rider at Maisemore and could prove to be a nice recruit. Bistouri d’Honore has run well in defeat this year for his young rider too and finished one place ahead of Imogen’s Thunder at Milborne St Andrew. Six time winner, Imogen’s Thunder then took a Conditions race last weekend at Dunsmore and could go close if reappearing quickly. Talented Calett Mad was a six time winner under Rules in the “Double Green” of owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. On paper he is vastly superior to his rivals here but hasn’t yet found his form pointing.

 The Intermediate Race is a really tight contest with several coming here in good form. Steel Express took a Restricted race last time at Cotley when his rival crashed out at the last but he looked like he was only idling and there could be more to come. Prior to that run, he was third behind Nobodydoesitbetter (who re-opposes) at Buckfastleigh.  Nobodydoesitbetter won comfortably that day and could well confirm his superiority.  Dr Rhythm won nicely at Badbury Rings in February and has since been second to the well-regarded The Big Sting.  He has also won at the course in the past as has Annie Bacon’s Tomb Storme.  Jeremy Central appeared at Buckfastleigh in January and quickly made a good impression winning his maiden before following up in a Restricted at Great Trethew. He was then narrowly beaten for trainer Syd Hosie but is now back with Tom Malone and would be strongly fancied to regain his winning form. Chris Barber has had his team in incredible form this season and his fast-improving Knockmoylan is three from three. If he appears here instead of the Exeter Intermediate Final, he could just take the edge in a hot race. 

The Mixed Open has attracted nine entries with several high quality horses amongst them. Former dual Punchestown Champion Hunter Chase winner Caid du Berlais heads them and although in his later years, he is unbeaten pointing.  In February he took the Ladies Open under Natalie Parker and then routed the opposition at Ston Easton in March. Queuing up to dent his unbeaten record is young pretender Envoye Special who beat Sixteen Letters in the fog at Larkhill before winning again last time out at Trebudannon.  Sixteen Letters has been in really good form since winning twice at Larkhill followed by a win at Cotley and then a Hunter Chase at Wincanton last weekend.  Chameron took some fair scalps last season but looked to have lost his confidence jumping recently. Martin McIntyre took over last time giving him a good ride to beat Danseur du Large and hopefully regular pilot Ben Sutton will reap the benefit. Prolific winning mare River Myth may not be quite good enough in this company. 

The Restricted could go to Ninth Wave who ran at Dunsmore last weekend after winning nicely at Cotley. However he pulled up when odds-on favourite at Dunsmore but if nothing is amiss and he reappears, then he should take this.  Nuova Vita won a maiden at Larkhill in January for trainer Ed Walker before placing back at that course and again at Didmarton. He could give Ninth Wave most to do.  

The finale is an all aged Maiden and there are several amongst the 22 entries who look interesting. Four year old Straightupsnicket ran well for a fair way at Ston Easton while Chris Barber’s other entry Meditur is an unraced French bred and would be worth looking at in the paddock. Gingerbred ran with promise on debut in a bumper at Great Trethew but then ran green in a similar race at Exeter under Rules. Will Biddick’s Rock d’Ete ran well in his only start at Kilworthy and should improve.  Furioso des Bordes was narrowly beaten at Badbury Rings, and was then third at Ston Easton with Wise Garden who re-opposes, 4 lengths ahead in second. 

Cothelstone is 2 miles NE of Bishops Lydeard off A358 –Postcode TA4 3DT.



Pony Results



The annual Taunton Vale Bank Holiday meeting has always attracted a huge crowd with regulars and “once-a-year racegoers” keen to be entertained after overdosing the day before on Easter Eggs and hot-cross buns and the switch in venue to Cothelstone or dreary grey day did not deter them.  Long queues of traffic could be seen in the approaching lanes for some time and those sensible enough to get there early were treated to seven excellent races.  The theme of the day seemed to be “Young and Old(er)” with riding doubles for rising star Charlie Sprake bagging his second in a week while Will Biddick did not let his supporters down.  A first winning ride for Ella Herbison in the finale and the evergreen Caid du Berlais giving a masterclass in “class is eternal” in the feature race were further highlights. 

Will Biddick kicked off his double in the opener on the in-form Beau du Brizais who was winning for the third time this season for the Notre Cheval Partnership.  Making all the running, the odds-on favourite was briefly challenged by Kilronan Castle but easily shrugged him aside to win by just under 2 lengths. Will explained “he was literally doing nothing in front and only locked on when he heard the other horse.”  Trainer Teresa Clark admitted that he only just did enough but had got the most excitement later when he saw the hounds parading on the course as she regularly took him out hunting which he thoroughly enjoys. 

Will’s second winner was on Nobodydoesitbetter in the Intermediate in which the two runners matched strides for a long way until Will injected some pace down the back straight. “In front and in command” was the commentator, Dan Davis’ comment and the favourite finished some 40 lengths clear of his rival. Trainer Andrew Jackson said afterwards that the ground wasn’t ideal for him but he had wanted to support Will in his title race as they has been friends for a long time.  He credited his wife Olivia with doing all the hard work with the horse who he owns in partnership with Derek Lovell, as he had been fragile to train. 

Imogen’s Thunder too had been afflicted in the early part of the season but has bounced back to form for trainer Mary Tory winning for the second time in just over a week when taking the Conditions race under Charlie Sprake.  Charlie initially settled the favourite in behind the leader but he soon found himself in front and only Little Billy Boy was able to stay with him.  A thrilled Mary explained that he was found to be suffering from a respiratory infection after his seasonal debut which needed treatment with antibiotics.  “He seems to have come back better than ever,” she said while adding that his jumping was so good, he could have made an event horse. 

The winning jockey had earlier taken the Maiden Conditions race on Balinesker Beach for trainer Stuart Penny for whom it was the first winner of the season.  Owner’s son Chris Awdry was on hand to collect the trophy on behalf of his mother and explained that “this is for my later father, Pat Awdry who was such a supporter of Pointing.”  A relieved Stuart thought he would probably go for a Restricted race next possibly over the same distance but he could get an easy 3 miles as well. 

The veteran Caid du Berlais has been one of the classiest recruits to Pointing in recent years winning the Foxhunters at Punchestown twice adding to his Rules CV that included the Paddy Power Gold Cup.  And he proved that his advancing years make little difference when adding to his unbeaten Pointing record under Natalie Parker.  He was so superior to his rivals that Natalie was struggling to hold him and it was a case of when she was going to let her foot off the brake.  When she did so, she instantly put 20 lengths between herself and eventual second, Finisher with Duc Kauto back in third.  Winning for the third time this season on him, a smiling Natalie did admit that he is currently her favourite pointer now that Virak has become the ride of Olive Nicholls.  Trainer Sam Loxton thought he would probably now keep him fresh for the Ladies race at Stratford. 

Jockey Lucy Mager was winning her fifth race at Cothelstone when she took the Restricted race on Halloween Harry whom she also trains.  Co-favourite Mad For Action took up the running after leader Spike’s Princess fell with Lucy biding her time on Halloween Harry. Joining the leader at the second last, she kicked on to record an 8 length verdict over Mad For Action at the line.  Lucy explained that she bought the horse from James Ridley as a fun pointer for owners Jeff Fear and Paul Brace and would hopefully return to the course for the Weston & Banwell meeting in May. 

The finale was an Open Maiden which saw the biggest field with 14 runners going to post and was won by Pyleigh Court giving Ella Herbison her first ever winner in what looked a very accomplished ride.  Ella works for Philip Hobbs and rides out one of the stable’s stars, Thyme Hill, every day. She has also ridden in a few races under Rules for the yard including a second on Rolling Dylan in November. Brought up around horses, Ella was taught to ride locally by former amateur jockey, Barry Venn in Bradford on Tone.