Early start at Bratton

PUBLISHED: 18:07 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:04 09 August 2010

The Dulverton West has attracted a total of 250 entries for their eight scheduled races at Bratton Down on Saturday (May 15). Pony races kick off the card at 11.45am.

WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR

The Dulverton West has attracted a total of 250 entries for their eight scheduled races at Bratton Down on Saturday (15th May). The first point-to-point race is a very competitive Confined at 1 o'clock, preceded by two pony races starting at 11.45am, with maximum fields in each pony race.

With five weeks of the season remaining, the season's championships are hotting up, and Devon & Cornwall riders and horses are well to the fore in their quest for National honours. Richard Woollacott's nine winning rides in the last two weeks have elevated him into the lead for the National Men's title, and he will be looking to add to his total of 30 on Saturday. He holds a strong hand in the Men's Open where he can choose between Sheriff Roscoe, Whizzaar (who won at the Wheatland last Sunday), Henri Prends Garde and Come What Augustus, who scored his seventh successive victory at Holnicote last weekend. The 29 entries for the Open also include the North Cornwall gelding Print the Money, unbeaten in four outings this season, and hunter chase winner Holly Walk. Parrain has won both of his races this year, and would be of interest if making the trip from East Anglia.

Polly Gundry is also looking good in her bid to retain the National Ladies' title, and she has a choice between Carrie On, Rockwithacaveman and Nobody Tells Me in the Ladies' Open. Zabenz, Rocklandslad, Innocent Rebel and Matako also figure amongst the 19 Ladies' entries.

The Devon & Somerset Staghounds qualified Fully Loaded has proved a revelation this season and he currently heads the National Leading Horse table with eight wins. He could turn out again for the Pugsley family in the PPORA Novice Riders' event which has attracted 34 entries.

There are plenty of good Maiden winners amongst the 37 nominations for the Restricted. Stealing Moments, Light Touch, Miss Nosey and Misstree Pitcher were all successful at Trebudannon, and Tatsu showed great determination when scoring at Flete Park. Forgive The Past ran quite well in better company last time following his Didmarton Members' win, and That'll Do looked a very promising type when scoring at Larkhill in January.

It is hard to look beyond Garton King in the Intermediate. This six-year-old had plenty of subsequent winners in his wake when winning his Larkhill Maiden, and followed up on his only other run at the same track in February.

The Open Maiden has already been divided, and it sometimes pays to seek out lightly raced, unexposed horses at this time of year. Gone That Way, Isitanywonder, Sir Tamburlane and Oscargo fit the bill in the first section. Certain Flight, Harry The Viking, Wayward Leader and Wonnabegood are worth inspection in the second division.

Entrance costs £20 per car with a £10 concession for car and single driver. Pedestrian entrance is £5 per person. Bratton Down is located alongside the A399, 11 miles North of South Molton and 3 miles South of Blackmoor Gate. Home made food is offered by Orswell Catering, and the usual bar facilities are available. A number of trade stands add to the Exmoor family atmosphere, A collection for "Help the heroes" will take place on the day.

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