BRATTON DOWN NEAR BARNSTAPLE
Saturday 21st May 2005
by Lee Glanville
Good young racehorses with a great future ahead of them were on show at the Dulverton West point to point, but they had to deal with the worst May weather that Exmoor could throw at them. Thunder and lightning before racing then rain and hail turned jockeys' colours brown with kicked back mud by the end of the card.
Sue Wilcocks, who owned and trained Comedy Gayle to many successes, was back in the winners' enclosure with Pipersland, an eight-year-old by Lir which flew round under Leslie Jefford to take the second division of the maiden. Pipersland pulled up in his only previous point to point this season, but had a bit of form under rules which gave him the experience he needed to speed away up the final hill from the Monique Pike-trained Castle Cazza (Polly Gundry). The latter is a half sister to Area Weatherbys/Chase Young Horse Award winner Bally Blue, who had kept Pipersland company for much of the way.
The first division saw Charliebob, a six year old mare by Nomadic Way, make the trip down from the Beaufort country pay off for rider/trainer Richard Hawker. Jefford was second, for the third time this season on Alfie Ford's 17 hands high Heathfield Flyer, a five-year old son of Karinga Bay who is still growing.
Mike Trickey had a first time out winner of the third division in Elegant Eskimo, a six year old Elegant Monarch mare, ridden by Dominic Alers-Hankey.
The Restricted saw a ding dong battle between two other five year olds - top NH owner David Johnson's Getoutwhileyoucan, ridden by Guy Weatherley and Axminster Carpets' supremo Simon Dutfield's Freedom Bay ( Emma Tory) a winner last time out of the Axe Vale members' race, trained by his wife Nerys near Axminster. It was Weatherley's 14th area win of the season.
Richard Barber sent out the winner of the Mixed Open race, Caspers Case (Nick Williams) who, this season, seems to either win or fall. Sarah Gaisford, a much under-used jockey, took second on Sea Snipe, and Roger Oliver's Mister Club Royal was third and there was a classy field behind them.
Caroline Prouse rode her first winner of the season when her family's Shobrooke Mill won the Confined hunts, beating Guy Weatherley on the favourite, evergreen 15-year-old Stepasideboy.
Ian Chanin is having a great season and took the Novice Riders PPORA race on the Gordon Chambers-trained Mystic Warrior - the horses' third area win of the season.
Biltons Nap recorded his third win of the season for trainer Sally Alner, ridden by Daryl Jacob to take the Intermediate and Ryan Bliss got the meeting under way with a win in the members' on Bessie Bunter.
With the muddy ground having to be put back following racing, it was a dose of reality for secretary Claire Wright and her father Mike who had been chatting to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Camilla at the Devon County Show on Thursday. "It was a good day. Our Devon heifer ended up reserve female champion and then, next thing I know, father is bending Prince Charles's ear about TB! They asked how we had got on. Camilla was very down to earth, " Claire said.
Members: 1, Bessie Bunter, R Bliss; 2, Callitwatulike, W White; 3, Happy Team, Miss O Jackson. Four ran, 5l, 15l, 6.48.
Mixed Open: 1, Caspers Case, N Williams; 2, Sea Snipe, Miss S Gaisford; 3, Mister Club Royal, R Woollacott; Nine ran, 6l, 6l, 6.17.
Open Maiden Div one: 1, Charliebob, R Hawker; 2, Heathfield Flyer, L Jefford; 3, Cattle Class, P Mason. 11 ran, 3l, 4l, 6.35.
Division Two: 1, Pipersland, L Jefford; 2, Castle Cazza, Miss P Gundry; 3, Grande Bretagne, Miss C Prouse. Nine ran, 10l, 3/4l, 6.35.
Division Three: 1, Elegant Eskimo, D Alers Hankey; 2, Bluebell Hill, T Dennis; 3, General Short, R Woollacott. Nine ran, 8l, 12l, 6.31.
Intermediate: 1, Bilton's Nap, D Jacob; 2, Burley Don Carlos, D Alers Hankey; 3, El Nombre, N Williams. 12 ran, 25l, 3/4l, 6.28.
PPORA members, Nov Riders: 1, Mystic Warrior, I Chanin; 2, Saint Romble, Miss K Hobbs; 3, Starpath, G Tumelty. Nine ran, 5l, 12l, 6.28.
Confined Hunts: 1, Shobrooke Mill, Miss C Prouse; 2, Stepasideboy, G Weatherley; 3, Derosa, W White. Five ran, 5l, 6l, 6.27.
Restricted: 1, Getoutwhileyoucan, G Weatherley; 2, Freedom Bay, Miss E Tory; 3, O'Ech, D Alers Hankey. 13 ran, 1 1/4l, 15l, 6.31.