01 March 2012 Preview: East Devon - Bishops Court
by Donna Harris
Bishops Court at Ottery St Mary, is the venue for this Saturday's Point-to-Point where an early start of 11.30 am ensures an action packed day. More than 160 entries have been received.
The first of the eight races is the Hunt Members race which has been kindly sponsored by East Devon Associate Financial Advisors.
Ten are entered and these include Blazing Whale. Trained by Ed Walker, he was unlucky to fall at the last fence at Buckfastleigh and prior to that he had won the Restricted at Chipley Park when ridden by Ed Barrett beating Tamatown into third.
The Les Jefford-trained Rocklyn is a previous course winner. Tamatown another, Les Jefford runner, will be looking to improve on his second to the Richard Barber-trained Glass'N A Half at Buckfastleigh in the Restricted.
The Open Maiden has already been split into two divisions with 23 and 22 in each. Parsons Transport and Otter Brewery are kindly sponsoring. The bookies will be a good indicator of the favourite in these.
Next up is the Mixed Open, sponsored by the 'Devon Straw Man' Michael Princely. This race is full of talent with 19 potential runners.
Any The Wiser started his season off with a win at Chaddesley Corbett in December, but then failed to follow up for his jockey Sam Waley-Cohen when fifth in a Mens Open at Larkhill in a race won by According To John.
Deb's Dasher, a previous course winner here, clocked up five wins last season. Trained and ridden by Richard Woollacott, the horse prefers left handed tracks.
Deimne looks interesting. She was beaten just once in her first seven races when runner up to Wee Fly in her only Ladies Open.
Sericina started the season with a win at Wadebridge but was then beaten in the AGA Ladies open by Monkerty Tunkerty. The latter then went on to win a Hunter Chase at Wetherby and is a leading fancy for the Christie's Foxhunter at the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks time.
The Intermediate is sponsored by Exeter Racecourse, serving as a qualifier for both the sponsor's final on May 8th and the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Final at Cheltenham's Hunter Chase meeting on May 2nd.
Sixteen are entered and Any The Wiser may score here if not entering the Mixed Open. Several others may be in the mix including Hameldown Tor, Hilda Wild and Hincheslea Moor - they all have creditable wins this season.
Rumbavu, another Robert Waley-Cohen-trained horse, could fair well having won his Restricted at Thorpe Lodge in January when sent off joint favourite clocking up his win in a faster time than the other division on the day.
The PPORA Club Members (Novice Riders) race has 17 entered. This race is kindly sponsored by Ford Finey Solicitors.
The Richard Barber-trained Barneys Mate provided a first winner for his rider Conor Smith when clocking up an easy win at Chipley Park.
Karshaan was third to Double Mead at Milbourne St Andrew two weeks ago and had previous wins at Larkhill and Badbury Rings.
Stone's Solicitors sponsor the Restricted which has attracted 32 entries and may well be divided on the day.
One note is Battlebridge, who won his Maiden at Tweseldown in December and was second to Delta Borget at Blackforest Lodge in January having been sent off favourite.
Horatio Caine is an improving horse winning his Maiden at Ston Easton two weeks ago by 15 lengths and Threapwood is another to have won his Maiden recently by a head in a quick time at Chaddesley Corbett.
The final race of the day is the Open Maiden with 25 entered. This has been sponsored by Country Leisure. The bookies will again be ones to follow for form on these.
Entrance is £20 per car load and £10 per car and driver. The bar is provided by Kings Arms and run by the East Devon Hunt, hot food is available and bookies are on course. Post Code is EX11 1RJ .
For going updates and meeting information, call Talking Point on 09068 44 60 61. For a list of entries via fax, call 09068 44 99 88. All calls cost 61p/min plus network extras.