Front runners to the fore

NEARLY 160 entries been received for Sunday s meeting at Stafford Cross in east Devon where the Axe Vale hunt are at the helm.

Axe Vale at Stafford Cross, Sunday, April 25

Lucy Johnson

NEARLY 160 entries been received for Sunday's meeting at Stafford Cross in east Devon where the Axe Vale hunt are at the helm. It's horses for courses and this flat-as-a-pancake track suits those that can lay up with the pace. The first race is off at 1.30pm with two pony races starting at noon.

A seven runner member's race kicks off the card where the Polly Gundry-trained Dr Cerullo could prove popular in the market. Gundry trained last year's winner Labarynth and Dr Cerullo has finished in the frame in two good ladies' open races this season.

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The 16 in the confined include Ashclyst who made amends for his blip at Black Forest Lodge when jockey Jo Buck lost her stirrups by winning an intermediate in good style at Badbury Rings earlier this month.

Twenty five are entered in the mixed open and last year's winner Lisheen Storm is among them. Front running tactics paid off for the gelding who has proved he acts on any type of ground and has been thoroughly consistent this season. Also entered is the decent mare Sericina who may come back to her best in this company having fallen in the Foxhunters' at the Cheltenham Festival. She was then a beaten favourite at Taunton just under three weeks later but, prior to her forays under Rules she won two decent open races and a hunter chase at Taunton and is the likely favourite.

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Entries in the intermediate include Turtle Tim who has been running consistently well this season and the Harry Findlay and Paul Barber-owned Cappoquin. He has two wins under his belt and finished in the frame on his latest two outings.

The Countryside Alliance Club Race for novice riders has attracted its usual wealth of entries including Royal Auclair who provided Amy Derham with her first ever win at Milbourne St Andrew in February, Pastek and Scrappie.

There are plenty of this season maiden winners in the restricted and a competitive race is in prospect. Tom Bach, Deb's Dasher and Summer Liric and Tork To Me are just a handful who could go well.

The maiden for four, five, six and seven year olds has a good entry been split into two divisons with the market likely to provide the best clues.

The course is situated near Seaton off the A3052, 20 miles from junction 30, postcode EX24 6HZ.

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