Upcott Cross point-to-point treble for trainer Stuart Sampson

Runners bunched up

Runners bunched up - Credit: Archant

A good crowd turned up to enjoy the Monday point-to-point meeting at the popular Upcott Cross track near Halwill Junction, writes Donna Harris.

Culmstock based trainer Stuart Sampson enjoyed saddling another treble on the day with his horses all in flying form.

Fishy Story took the opening Penbode Vet Group-sponsored confined race under National leading jockey Will Biddick, having been sent off odds on favorite by the bookies.

“ She owes us nothing and has been consistent all season,” stated the trainer. Beat The Tide for the Stuart Sampson team gave the yard their second winner, having been sent off second favorite for the Dodson & Horrell men’s open race.

With jockey and owner Ben Robarts riding a tacticle race, stalking the odds on favorite Chosen Lucky to snatch the lead up the home straight and going onto win by eight lengths.


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Ben’s mother Georgie Robarts who works for the BHA was delighted with her son’s win: “We bought Beat The Tide from bloodstock agent Tom Malone, he had previously run under rules with Tim Vaughan.” Ben added: “I ride out every morning for Phillip Hobbs, and also work selling race equipment for Duralock.” Ben was delighted with his win which made for a good weekend, having ridden Grissom for the Nikki Frost team to win at the Cothelstone meeting the day before.

The Sampson team were delighted when their third winner at the Upcott meeting came when Balthazar du Seuil took the first division of the two-mile-four furlong open maiden race. Under jockey Will Biddick Balthazar du Seuil had been kept handy throughout the race taking up the running down the home straight, then going onto win by half a length.

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There had been a nail biting wait for the Sampson team while the stewards held an inquiry into the race.

Delighted owner Martin Dare explained: “ We had the same situation when he last ran here, but we are pleased with the outcome, another excellent ride by Will and his normal jockey Christopher Barber should take some credit for bringing the horse on too.”

The restricted race was another thrilling finishing ending up in a dead heat between the Paul Geering-trained Bricks and Beams and Ryan Chapmans Winter Garden.

“My late father bought Winter Garden in Ireland in 2015,” explained the emotional trainer, and it is my first winner training in my own right.” explained Ryan

Midnight Appeal took the ladies open race under owner/trainer and jockey Charlotte Hawker. Charlotte works at her parents dairy farm near Frome, and milks the cows daily as well as schooling the horses. “ We have our own gallops and the horse didn’t get on in a racing yard enviroment. He has now had three wins in a row. Robert our son liked him having ridden Midnight Appeal in a few Hunter Chases, and we were able to purchase him at a reasonable price,” explained Charolotte’s mother Sarah.

The members novice race went to Seamus Mullins son James riding Adrenalin Flight. Giving the young assistant trainer his first ever winner having only ever had two rides. Adrenaline Flight was lying in third before the last fence, with the two leaders Honest Deed and Skylander having heavy falls, leaving Adrenalin Flight to give James Mullins a dream win for the team. “ I have trained the winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle but this win is above them all,” exclaimed the proud father

If It Be Your Will won the second division of the two-mile four furlong open maiden under jockey Darren Andrews for trainer Gordon Herrod.

The Axminster based trained explained: “ We bought him out of Doncaster sales in 2015, he had been in training with Dan Skelton, he has taken a while to settle. Our plans are to turn him away now and continue pointing next season.

The final race of the day which was another open maiden race, went to the Pippa Moorhouse-trained Zip The Lip for owner and breeder Paul Tyler.

Jockey Rob Stoneman who rides out at Sue Gardner’s yard rode a good tactical race and produced Zip The Lip over the final fence to snatch the race by two lengths ahead of Bally Bruff.

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