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Exmoor at Bratton Down
Sunday 4th June 2017
by Donna Harris

The early rain showers didn't put off many race goers who attended last weekends Point-to-Point meeting at Bratton Down, where another good crowd enjoyed some competitive racing. It was a memorable day for North Devon trainer Kayley Woollacott who enjoyed saddling her 100th winner of her career.

Sabroclair, owned by the Big Brook Syndicate, ran away an eight length winner of the Old Station House-sponsored Open Maiden race. Ridden by jockey Josh Newman, who held Sabroclair up behind a strong field of seven runners led by Jack's Ranger, making his challenge two fences from home, Josh produced Sabroclair to secure the win for the Woollacott team. There had been some late action in the betting arena, and he was backed into 6/1 at the off. "The Big Brook Syndicate was recently set up as an affordable syndicate with two horses, the other horse is 'Iwouldn'tliketosay' who won at Cotley for the Syndicate. We are pleased to welcome Josh Newman who will be our regular jockey next year for the yard." quoted Kayley.

Another North Devon trainer, Claire Hitch also enjoyed saddling a winner at the meeting, when Every Breakin Wave came home an impressive 14- length winner of the RSM Beares and Brian Thorne & Son-sponsored Members Race. Having been sent off odds on favorite, the horse ridden by jockey Martin McIntrye didn't dissapoint his backers, taking up the running two fences from home. "He worked well on his last piece of work at home, and here he just kept on pulling out more. He holds an entry for Stratford next weekend, but we will see how he comes out of this race first," stated the trainer.

Clenagh Castle's win in the Rossettes Direct-sponsored Restricted race gave trainer Jack Barber a further hold over the trainers championship. Ridden by Will Biddick, who now also heads the area gentlemans jockey title along with Darren, was another combination which pleased his followers when sent off another odds-on favorite to win by nine lengths. "This ground suits him, we plan to send him hurdling next year and are looking for an owner for him to stay in the yard," explained the trainer.

It was a double on the day for jockey Will Biddick when he rode another odds on favorite, There's No Panic, to take the Moore Scarrott-sponsored Men's Open race. This time riding for his father Michael Biddick, Will rode a patient ride stalking the other two runners, until finally producing his mount over the last fence to stride on up the hill a four length winner. " Our plan is to keep him Pointing, he wil be turned away for the summer now," quoted the trainer.

Young jockey James Bowen, who recently broke the record for the riding the most amount of winners in a season as a novice jockey, enjoyed another win to add to his C.V. on the Micheal Bowen-trained Deadly Move in the Club Members Conditions race. The young Bowen who's father is National Hunt trainer Peter Bowen and brother Sean Bowen, is following in his family footsteps, this time judging Deadly Move's run to perfection, taking the running up over the last fence to snatch the race from early pace setter Return Spring. " It's James's 30th winner from 55 rides, he is five ahead of the previous record, he rode his first winner on his sixteenth birthday last year when he rode a double that day," explained his proud father. James will be riding as a conditional next season for champion trainer Nicky Henderson.

The fastest time of the day was recorded in the Bray Leino-sponsored Ladies' Open race by Lucy Proven riding Ladyvie. It was a thrilling finish with half a length between Ladyvie, second place Go Odee Go and another half length to Morbihan placed third. Lucy rides out at Phillip Hobbs yard and Ladyvie was bought mid-season by Lucy's mother Jackie Stephens from the Eyston family. Lucy trains Ladyvie herself, and enjoyed following up on her first ever ride at Flete Park with a win here. "It was a bit scarey, but the adrenaline gets you through," she said.

We can enjoy the third of the three meetings to be staged at the stunning location of Bratton next weekend, where it is the turn of the Tiverton to host their meeting on Sunday 11th June.

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