New Devon and Cornwall point-to-point season all set to get underway with meeting at Buckfastleigh
PUBLISHED: 11:08 14 November 2018
After enjoying one of the longest summers for many decades, it is time to dig out some warm dry clothing, welly boots and picnics, whilst enjoying the start of the new Point-to-Point horse racing season, writes Donna Harris.
The old historic racecourse at Buckfastleigh is the location for the opening event, where the Silverton and Mid Devon will stage their meeting.
There are six races on offer, attracting 70 entries, with a start time of noon. Local trainer Claire Wonnacott is based a few miles from the track and will be entering Heaney, for her daughter Millie to ride, in the Heltor-sponsored Conditions race.
Millie now works for Neil Mulholland, and recently saddled her first winner under rules when riding Ladies Dancing for Chris Down.
Last season Heaney’s wins in Point-to-Points came at the Flete Park and Wadebridge courses, then finishing the season with a head second at Upcott Cross.
Portrait King is also an entry in the Conditions race, now a veteran, has some good National Hunt form to his credit including a third in the Topham at Aintree.
Previous course winner Navanman, from the John Heard team, looks a likely favourite in the Mixed Open race which has attracted eleven entries. Local jockey Hannah Welch has O Maonlai entered, a runner up in two hunter chases in the spring, could provide the Welch family with a popular win here.
The two open maiden races have been well supported, trainer Joe Tickle has a cracking strike rate with maiden horses and holds two entries in the first open maiden, Robin Why Not who was a runner up here last season and Georges Legacy, another to have gone close on two occasions.
Banco de Logos, previously in training with Seamus Mullins, ran second at Towcester in March and is a new recruit for the Dean Summersby team and could go well in the second maiden race.
Exeter Racecourse sponsor the Intermediate race which looks competitive, with a Connollys Red Mills series final entry to the first two past the post, with the finals to be held at Cheltenham in May.
Outside raider Ballychan will have to defy top weight to figure here, Bubbles Arcade could be high in the betting having won a Bumper at Newton Abbot, followed by two Point-to-Point wins at Wadebridge.
Pointview Gale is one from the Woollacott team, with the Pointers now under the charge of long term stable hand Neil McLean. Local trainer Gordon Chambers has Predestined entered in the Royal Seven Stars Hotel-sponsored Restricted race and will be hopeful of a good run, along with Raloo Rocket for team Summersby, could be another to be well fancied on the day to run well.
The course at Buckfastleigh is accessed alongside the A38 at Dean Prior, and offers fabulous viewing.
On course facilities include bar, hot food and refreshments, on course bookies and trade stands.
Entrance to the course is £10 per person with children under 16 free. The course postcode is TQ11 OLT.
A list of fixtures for the point-to-point season ahead can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to Claire Hitch, Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD.
Check out the Devon and Cornwall pointing-dc website for latest going update.