A good crowd turned up to enjoy some exciting horse-race action at last weekends Point-to-Point meeting which was held at the popular Upcott Cross track near Halwill Junction on Bank Holiday Monday.
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 shrewd race, stalking the odds on favorite Chosen Lucky to snatch the lead up the home straight and going on to win by eight lengths. 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 celebrating 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, going onto win by half a length. There had been a nail biting wait for the Sampson team while the stewards held an inquiry into the race. Owner Martin Dare explained " You could almost write the history book, as 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 giving up his ride on this occasion."
The Coodes Solicitors-sponsored Restricted race was another thrilling finish ending up in a dead heat between the Paul Geering-trained Bricks and Beams and Ryan Chapman's 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." added Ryan. Paul Geering was thrilled with the result for Bricks and Beams " I am very happy the judges called a dead heat, it seem's fair to us all."
Midnight Appeal took the Simpkins Edwards-sponsored Ladies Open race under owner/trainer and jockey Charlotte Hawker, having taken up the running in the home straight, leaving the odds on favorite Akideau six lengths back in third. 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 Midnight Appeal didn't seem to 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," stated Charolotte's mother Sarah.
The Langdon Transport-sponsored Members Novice race for Novice riders 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, who was lying in third before the final fence under jockey James Mullins, snatching 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 with a 15 length win 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, and 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 the PRJ Engineering-sponsored Open maiden race, this went to the Pippa Moorhouse-trained Zip The Lip for owner and breeder Paul Tyler under 23 year-old jockey Rob Stoneman who rides out at Sue Gardner's yard. Rob Stoneman 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.