Champion chase tops busy card

13:11 14 February 2012

Stafford Cross Point to Point meeting on Sunday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 6054-18-11SH.

Stafford Cross Point to Point meeting on Sunday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 6054-18-11SH.

Archant

he old racecourse at Buckfastleigh is the location for this Sunday’s point-to-point, and with the recent hard frosts claiming several race meetings, all roads will lead to the meeting where a bumper day of action is on the cards, writes Donna Harris.

A total of 150 entries have been received in all with a high class mixed open the feature race. Prior to the main card which kicks of at 12 noon, two pony races will take place at 11am and 11.20am. Many top jockeys, including Sam Twiston-Davies and Hadden Frost, have graduated from pony racing and it’s a chance to see future stars in action.

Highlight of the day is The Westcountry Champion Chase Winners Only Mixed Open Race. Sponsored by Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co this is the Devon and Cornwall Area Classic race, and has a total prize fund of £1,000. It has attracted 23 high class runners and looks to be a thrilling battle.

The prolific winner Southwestern could be looking to add to his two wins at Wadebridge already this season. He won this race here last year and is on track for another cracking season for his trainer Camilla Scott and jockey Neil Harris.

Lining up to challenge could be Chapoturgeon. He won the Jewson Chase at the Cheltenham festival in 2009 when trained by Paul Nicholls who jointly owns him. He impressed again on his Hunter Chase debut when winning at Newbury last month.

For The Staff won at Chipley Park when pleasing his jockey Jo Buck making virtually all of the running. Trained by Nigel Edmonds the horse is reported to have benefited from a wind operation.

Gwanako, trained by Richard Barber, was second in the Ladies’ Open at Larkhill in January. He has previously won chases at Ascot and Aintree when ridden by Ruby Walsh. He is likely to be aimed at the Aintree Foxhunters this season.

Mustangsallyrally could improve on his second at Larkhill in January and Bishy Barnaby, a previous course winner, needs to find his old form having disappointed his connections on his first run this season in a hunter chase at Warwick.

The card also features an Exeter Racecourse Intermediate race which is a qualifier for a Hunter Chase final at Exeter on Devon Life Ladies’ Night which takes place on Tuesday, May 8. Twenty three are entered and these include Benedictus who ran well last season when a surprise 20-1 winner in an 18 runner Restricted race in a quick time.

Wrays & Co Jewellers, Kingsbridge & Plymouth sponsor the Open Maiden Race for Mares and Fillies only. With 29 entered this race could well be split.

Co-Op Funeral Care sponsor the Confined race and 22 are entered. Alpha Native won at Ideford Arch when sent off favourite. Ballybrown had some creditable form in 2009.

PSP Insurance & Financial Solutions Limited sponsor the Restricted. This race has already been divided with 19 entered in each.

In the first division Buck’s Bond was unlucky at Larkhill when sent off the odds on favourite and was hampered and unseated his jockey Will Biddick. Battle Bridge started the season with a win at Tweseldown and followed up with a second at Black Forest Lodge to Delta Borget.

In the second division of the Restricted Blinding Lights impressed at Chipley Park with an easy win. Googoobarabajagal is progressive and worth noting.

The old racecourse at Buckfastleigh provides excellent viewing for all and has easy access off theA38. Postcode TQ11 OLT. There are several trade stands, bookies, a licensed bar (with real ale) and catering marquee serving great hot food/drinks and homemade cakes at affordable prices.

Entry fee £20 per car load, £10 car/driver only £7, pedestrians.

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