The crowds flocked to the Point-to-Point course at Bratton Down, where glorious sunshine with plenty of exciting race action delighted the crowd, at the penultimate race meeting of the season. The Tiverton Staghounds hosted the event on Sunday, with two races divided on the day, giving a total of eight very competitive races.
Five came under the starters orders for the Winston Pincombe Land Rovers-sponsored Members Race, where the Kayley Woollacott's entry Le Clo De La Londe had been sent off odds-on favourite. Heidi Lewis had set the pace on the Woollacott team's other runner Pasternak Jack. For a while it looked to be a Woollacott team win, but jockey Lee Drowne had ridden a patient race on the Keith Cumings-trained Whenharrymetsally, getting the better of the three way tussle up the home straight to win by one and a half lengths. "She travelled well, jumps and stays, they set a nice gallop and I didn't panic. It is the second ride for Keith Cumings in two weeks and two wins." quoted the delighted jockey.
Trainer Nikki Frost clocked up her first of two wins on the day, in the first division of the Open Maiden race, which had been sponsored by Stags. Stop The Press, under champion jockey Will Biddick, came home the ten length winner, ahead of Peggy's Hero with Queens Law in third. The Frost's team second winner came when The Greendale Rocket literally rocketed up the hill in the second division of the Restricted race. He flew over the finishing line and jumped another fence before jockey Byron Moorcroft could pull him up. Go On Henry had tried to head the winner up the home straight, but The Greendale Rocket fought back under a strong drive by Moorcroft, to win by a half a length. " I have driven down from Scotland this morning just to ride for the Frost team." quoted the jockey, who used to ride as a conditional for Jimmy.
The second division of the Open Maiden went to Askers Lad, giving jockey Alice Mills a win riding in her last Point to Point before turning professional. The Reuben Chapman-trained Onwegoagain had travelled well having led over the final ditch, with Alice keeping a keen hold of Askers Lad, who had previously run out at the last fence at this course before, rode a thrilling finish to win by a length.
Broken Eagle, from the leading National trainer Alan Hill's yard took the Saul Kidston, Exmoor Hay & Straw Ltd-sponsored Intermediate race, winning by a distance under jockey Jo Hill. Joint owner Jake Exelby was thrilled with his bargain purchase, which they bought out of Doncaster sales. "We will step him up into open company next season, with the possibility of short distance Hunter Chases in the future."
The Men's Open was snatched by champion jockey Will Biddick on Queens Bay for the Jack Barber team, coming home seven lengths ahead of Findlays Find. The veteran 15 year old Barney's Mate ran really well in third, having led over the third last fence. "Queens Bay is a lovely horse, she is game, stays well as she has proved today." said the delighted trainer, who added "Barney's Mate gave Chris such a good ride, you wouldn't believe he was 15." This race had been sponsored by The Poltimore Inn, North Molton.
It Was Me had been sent off odds-on favourite in the Ladies Open, but had to settle for third. The front running Ned White, under Leanda Tickle, had only been headed for a short stretch after the second last when Fiulin put up a challenge, with the 13 year old Ned White realishing the drying ground. He was determined to make his last race before retiring a winning one. His owner Jacqueline Elliot commented on his win saying "He has done us so well, always being placed. We are looking for a good home for him now, maybe along the lines of racehorse rehab."
The first division of the Witheridge Garadge-sponsored Restricted race resulted in the first horse over the line Golanzine, being disqualified for his trainer/jockey Mark Wildsmith missing a marker on the course. The race was awarded to the Andrews family's Craigbenn under jockey Gina Andrews, who is soon to be awarded the National Ladies title.
Will Biddick was awarded the leading jockey trophy for the most wins over the three Bratton Down meetings. Owners of Whataknight and Queens Bay were jointly awarded the leading horse title.