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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Pack up your turkey sandwiches, fill your hip flasks and head to Ideford Arch near Chudleigh for the South Devon Hunt Club Point to Point meeting on Christmas Bank holiday Tuesday, December 27. More than 100 entries have been received and there promises to be some festive fun, good hospitality and plenty of fresh air. On course bookies and a licensed bar are sure to add to the seasonal spirit, writes Donna Harris.
The first race is off at noon with United Molasses kindly sponsoring the South Devon Hunt Club Members race. Ten are entered and these include last year’s winner Deloughtane, a course specialist here. Trained by Richard Wollacott, he is a tough, consistent type and goes really well for Alice Pearn, who rides him for her father John Pearn. Also entered is the Sam Holdsworth-trained Turning Tide who won at the course last season.
The South Devon Hunt Club Members race for Novice riders is the second race on the card. Sponsored by St Andrews House Retirement Home in Ashburton this race also attracts ten entries. There are several interesting newcomers to pointing. Keyneema, a Kayf Tara gelding, has some good form under Rules with both chase and hurdle wins and goes well on soft ground, Sarahs Gift has six chase wins under his belt and The Shoe, formerly with Nicky Henderson, has won on the flat and over hurdles and jumps.
Kingswood, trained by Ashley Farrant is a great stayer, winning the Mixed open here last season and twice over four miles at Upcott Cross and Vic’ s World comes from in form Nikki Frost’s yard at Buckfastleigh. The mare has had 21 starts in National Hunt races and has been placed 10 times. Bryony Frost, having had a very successful pony racing career, took her point to point licence out at the end of last year and is looking forward to getting her first win under her belt. Vic’s World is owned by the newly formed Welly Boot Group.
The 2m4f Open maiden is sponsored by Molecare Vets and Mole Valley Farmers. There are some 30 entries and the race could reveal some promising stars of the future.
The Mixed Open is sponsored by Marksway Horsehage. Armenian Boy, trained by Jackie du Plessis, showed some good ability when third last season to Sericina and Double Mead.
Awsome George collected six wins under rules when trained by Alan King, the seven year old gelding sired by Exit to Nowhere lost his way for a year, but may find this track suits and seems to act on any.
Comprimario, a lightly raced five year old, was a previous hurdle winner when with Nigel Twiston Davies and also likes soft going. Special Occasion is another hurdle winner and had been ridden by Ruby Walsh. Start Royal is an Open specialist, he usually takes a keen hold, the Alan Hill trained gelding is reported to like speed orientated tracks so could be the one to beat.
Exeter Racecourse sponsors the Intermediate. Blue Monster is one to note, by Flemensfirth, he is a half brother to the prolific winner Bishy Barnaby, and was ridden by AP McCoy when trained by Nicky Henderson.
John Daniell, trained by Olllie Bush at Tiverton, showed some good promise last season, but requires a persuasive jockey. Josiah Bay owned by George Welsh had been knocking on the door for several races and finally won a 15-runner maiden at Flete Park so could have got the winning habit.
The final race is the Open Maiden with 29 entered is likely to be divided. The race is sponsored by Andrew Hill Salon at Newton Abbot.
The course at Ideford Arch consists of an undulating oval track with a sharp climb entering the back straight, and decent from brow of hill at end of back straight with usually a 150 yard run in after last fence. Viewing is from inside track and makes for exciting finishes.
The course is 2m SE of Chudleigh just off A380 Between Exeter and Newton Abbot TQ13 0AE . Entrance is £20 per car or £10 per car with one occupant.