Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Picturesque Littlewindsor stages the Seavington Hunt’s point-to-point this Sunday, April 22. The seven race card begins at 2pm, preceded at 1pm by two pony races, qualifiers for the Wessex Pony Racing Series Finals in May.
Double Mead, Swift Counsel and Screenscraper look the three to choose from in the 16-entry Ladies’ Open race. The former is unbeaten in her three races between the flags this season and was not disgraced when chasing up the progressive Divine Intavention in a Ludlow Hunter Chase last month, while Diana and Jane Williams’ Swift Counsel has justified three long distance journeys from Wolverhampton this season, including an easy success at Tabley on Sunday. The fascinating runner is Screenscraper, an Irish point-to-point and a Perth hurdle race winner who returned from a near two-year absence to get within a length of Wales’ most popular pointer, Chesnut Annie, in February. Ross Oliver’s prolific Wee Fly and the Leslie Jefford-trained Doof should also be considered. Swift Counsel is the selection, with Screenscraper fancied for the forecast.
Southwestern, who will seek a third Horse & Hound Cup win in June, can land his 25th career victory in the Men’s contest. Course winners Gunner Be Quick, winner of the 2010 contest, and My Minds Maid are among the 13 entries, but Southwestern is an automatic selection to take the trophy for the fourth time.
There are 11 entries for the Novice Riders’ race, including Barneys Mate, who is virtually unbeatable in this type of contest. 2011 Hunt race winner Sobre Tresor holds an entry, but Lady Connell’s Grafton-qualified stalwart Exceptionnel, a winner at Larkhill back in January 2008, may give Barneys Mate most to do.
Sobre Tresor is one of the three entries for the Hunt Members’ race and can retain the Cup by holding off the Marilyn Burrough-trained duo Denise’s Dip and On Oath.
The 20-entry Restricted may take some solving. Dancingtilmidnight – one of Will Biddick’s four winners at Trebudannon on Easter Monday – the Connells’ Thorpe Lodge winner Court Again and easy Badbury Rings winner Otis Tarda are three to consider, but the Richenda Ford-trained Somerby was third in a high-class contest at Upcott Cross on Sunday and gets the vote.
Two Maiden races also feature on the card. Barneys Niece can take the 2m4f contest. Ladfromhighworth disappointed at Kingston St Mary, but is the sporting suggestion for the 3m event.
●The course is on the Dorset/Somerset border, 3 miles south of Crewkerne off the A3066. First race: 1pm (ponies); 2pm (point-to-point). Admission: £20 per car with up to 4 adults; £5 per additional adult; £10 single occupancy; £5 pedestrians, under 16s free.
●The Axe Vale point to point takes place on Sunday, April 29 at Stafford Cross, Seaton. Pony racing at noon, first point to point at 1.30pm.