The first fixture of the point-to-point season is to be held at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary, this coming Saturday, October 24, writes Donna Harris.
It is thanks to a herculean effort from Devon and Cornwall Point-to-Point chairman Frank Yeo and secretary Gordon Chambers in combination with the Point-to-Point Authority and the fantastic efforts of the East Devon team.
Following the disappointment of the early abandonment of racing in March due to Covid-19 pandemic, a huge thanks must go to the Totnes and Bridgetown Racing Co Ltd for their generous sponsorship to help fund the three fixtures scheduled to take place in the area up until Christmas.
Tattersalls are also on board for sponsorship of the maiden races. Eight races are on offer with a start time of noon.
It will be the first fixture to offer live television streaming, headed by Cornelius Lysaght and a team of presenters offering the action as it happens.
The card looks really exciting with 142 entries received.
The Men’s Open looks to be the feature race of the day which includes multiple winning pointer Navanman, last seen when winning by 70 lengths at Buckfastleigh in March under jockey Darren Edwards for trainer John Heard.
There are plenty entered who will try to reel him in, these include the Bethan Childs-trained ex-National Hunt entry Jatiluwih, who could be a ride for Will Biddick.
The horse has to be respected on his previous National Hunt form, which includes a hurdle win at Cheltenham last November when in training with Phillip Hobbs.
Other’s among the entries are the highly rated Wick Green for trainer Peter Mason, Vivaldi Collonges and Ucello Conti, a half brother to Silviniaco Conti, Ucello Conti had good form in Ireland when in training with Gordon Elliot and now with Melanie Rowley for Ben Bromley to ride.
Art Mauresque (Tom Malone) is also entered in the Men’s Open, but the trainer could run him in the opening Hunt members race.
Here he could be the likely favourite along with Raddon Top who holds an entry for trainer Les Jefford with the booking of talented young jockey Conor Houlihan to ride.
Tattersalls have sponsored the maiden series, and in the race for four- and five-year olds there have been plenty of entries.
Those catching the eye are the Getaway-sired gelding Gone Surfing for trainer Jill Dennis, who has a good strike rate with her maiden horses.
Mac’s Frontier is the highest rated, with Getaway Cory another who could go well for the Neil McClean team.
In the Ladies Open race, The Last But One is another out of Tom Malone’s yard with decent form, along with Master Baker (Les Jefford) for Jo Supple to ride.
The club Members race entry Ueueteotl could follow up on his form when third at Barbury, Rolling Dylan looks an exciting prospect for trainer Laura Parker, and Every Breaking Wave for Devon based trainer Claire Hitch could run well having been placed on eight of his ten starts to date.
The Restricted race could be between Buckfastleigh maiden winner Steven Steel, Thechaseison after his second at Badbury Rings and Schiap Hill having scored second at Charing in February.
Finally, up two divisions of the Maiden race for horses six years and over looks to hold plenty of talent of the future.
Suggestions in the first could be A Tipple Or Two, Buisnessman, Grey Getaway and Some Boy McCoy. Whilst in the second division, I’m Wiser Now and Starsky should be well fancied.
Organisers at the Ottery course would like to thank all who have helped and supported getting the event together, along with support staff on the day which include the essential Doctor team of Suzannah Hoult and Lee Humphreys, also the vet team led by James Bosley, Graham Potts, Nigel Woodford and Philip Brown.
Sponsorship has come in the way of Banner funds, and the team would like to thank all those involved who have contributed.
Sadly, owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic situation, the Ottery meeting is NOT open to the general public.