Ed Walker saddles winner at Buckfastleigh point-to-point

East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH

East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH - Credit: Archant

The South Pool Harriers meeting featured three separate riding doubles on the testing Buckfastleigh track, where race times in excess of seven minutes proved the norm on the soft ground, writes Granville Taylor.

Jockeys Jo Supple, Will Biddick and Josh Newman farmed the six-race card between them.

It is good to see Jo Supple in such good form this year after a bad fall at the end of last season.

She was quickly on the mark thanks to It’s All or Nothing, who took the opening Hunt Conditions race in good style. Okehampton-based owner/trainer Charlotte Rowe is now looking for a hunter chase for her popular ten-year-old grey.

The reigning area lady champion jockey went on to ride her sixth winner of the season by taking the three-runner Westcountry Champion Chase on Janet McCullough’s useful Master Baker. Trainer Lisa Jefford rides this gelding out every day and said: “He is so good and nothing can go with him at home.”

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The ten-year-old will go hunter chasing again, but an imminent flu jab now beckons to comply with the recently changed BHA regulations.

Will Biddick chased Master Baker all the way on The Last But One. Tom Malone’s gelding just failed to achieve a unique third win of the weekend, having easily won a two-runner race plus a walkover on the previous day at Wadebridge.

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Biddick went one better on another Tom Malone charge, five-year-old bumper winner Isla’s Dream, who made a winning debut over fences in the Jockey Club Mares Maiden.

This left the Taunton bloodstock agent rubbing his hands in glee as his fine prospect jumped well and led all the way to hold the strong challenge of Neetside.

“She will improve so much and was very green,” remarked the rider.

Crown of Thorns followed up his Chipley Park success to give Will Biddick his eighth winner of the season. The well-made gelding pulled well clear of his nine rivals from the top bend to win the Restricted.

The Sarah Pidsley-trained six-year-old had started odds-on and was given a typically smooth Biddick ride to beat Journey Juice by 10 lengths.

Crown of Thorns runs in the colours of Michael and Judith Pidsley, and daughter Sarah has her eye on the East Devon Hunt race at Ottery St Mary next month.

Josh Newman was the other jockey in form. This Cheltenham festival-winning rider (National Hunt Chase in 2014) was seen to good effect on Wind Tor, who stayed on well to beat a strong field for the Intermediate.

Ed Walker trains this improving mare for the six members of The Otter Club.

“She was really on song today and her jumping was excellent,” reported the rider, who rides out regularly for the Harry Fry yard.

Local trainer Nikki Frost supplied Newman’s other winner, Minimalistic, owned by Edwards and Susan Darke.

The fast improving seven-year-old drew right away from her rivals down the hill to score impressively in the Confined Maiden.

“He was a bit sharp when he came to us but has lots of potential,” remarked the trainer, who has earmarked a return to this course for the Dart Vale Members race next month.

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