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COTLEY POINT TO POINT PREVIEW

22nd March 2022 Wincanton

Point to Point racing returns to the popular course at Cotley only a mile from the town of Chard in Somerset.  After a two year hiatus caused by the pandemic, organisers will be pleased to see some well-known horses amongst the entries.  The first race is at 12 noon and with the weather forecast looking to stay fine for the weekend, it should be a good day for families and racing enthusiasts alike.  

The first race sponsored by Symonds and Sampson, has only attracted 2 entries with Master Dancer possibly having the stronger credentials. The Stuart Sampson-trained gelding accrued 10 wins under Rules both on the Flat and over jumps and has managed to win twice in his pointing career including when dead-heating with the bang in-form Southfield Theatre in January at Larkhill.  However Lauren Reed will need to have her wits about her to defeat Will Biddick who is likely to aboard her opponent, Crown of Thorns, himself the winner of a Conditions race here in 2019.  It should be an interesting contest.

The Restricted race sponsored by Barleymows Farm Shop includes top-rated Nuova Vita for the Ed Walker yard. He unseated on seasonal debut at Larkhill but made amends next time at the same course before running creditably in defeat since.  He should be hard to beat.  Benny’s Miracle won her maiden nicely at Bratton Down at the final meeting of last term and following two thirds early in the season, she showed up well for a long way at Chipley Park.  She could give Nuova Vita most to do.  Steel Express caused a bit of a surprise when opening his account at Chipley at the end of January in the Hunt race but hasn’t built on that win since. A winner on his pointing debut at Dingley as a 5yo, Halloween Harry showed up well for a long way at Great Trethew. 

The Greenslade Taylor Hunt Men’s Open has the top-class Rose of Arcadia entered by trainer Colin Tizzard and will be the mount of his very talented grandson Freddie Gingell.  The mare should complete a hat-trick following hugely impressive wins at Badbury Rings and Charlton Horethorne. Molineaux has also been entered by the yard and he has won three under the leading Novice Rider before being unlucky to be collared very late home at Cothelstone when Rocheston may have surprised with his late run. Whichever runs from the yard should take all the beating. Envoye Special is one who could pose a slight threat despite having been beaten in two Hunter Chases. His win over Sixteen Letters (re-opposes) at Larkhill in the December fog was followed by a fair second there to the talented Maitree Express. Sixteen Letters has won twice since then both at Larkhill before a fair third in a Leicester Hunter Chase and could be worth an each way bet.  Out and out stayer Board of Trade ran well on debut at Great Trethew when third to Sykes while Beau du Brizais won at Barbury in December and has been placed three times since.

The Maiden Conditions race, sponsored by Beares, Hampton and Littlewood, and is for horses who have run at least twice.  Ed Walker fields three entries including Aunt Lily who ran well at Great Trethew when just beaten by Honest Opinion and then probably bumped into a useful type in Rocktreerunner at Cothelstone last time.  Sam Loxton’s Westhill too was placed behind a useful sort at the same course when running well until weakening into third behind Top Target.  Zumbi has had three runs in points in Ireland and now appears for the Tom Malone stable. It would be no surprise to see this Irish import run well while No Risk With Lou has run well without troubling the judge so far.  Between You and Me is by Presenting who tend to prefer a quicker surface and his form reads well.  He could go close.

The Carter Jonas Ladies Open is run over the shorter trip of 2 and a half miles. Ed Walker again has three entered – the already mentioned Board of Trade as well as Danseur du Large and Field Exhibition. The former successfully combines Pointing with running under Rules and has racked up 5 wins overall.  He has yet to win this season between the Flags but his placed form reads well. His final entry, Field Exhibition was a 6 time winner under Rules for Christian Williams and ran really well at Wadebridge under today’s rider when just beaten by Broadclyst.  Veteran Princeton Royale was a prolific winner for Neil King over this shorter trip and he could appreciate the drop back. Copain de Classe is another who won over shorter when with Paul Nicholls. Now with Sam Loxton, he too could show improved form over the two and a half miles.

The Oriental Club sponsors a series for those Owners who also train their horses. The aforementioned Copain de Classe also holds an entry for this and connections may prefer to go for this easier option.  Charlotte Budd’s Rien du Tout could well prefer this likely quicker ground than he has run on recently and could figure in the finish.  Doctor’s Differ has won four times in his career but has not shown much for a while while Mister Dick would need to improve on his recent form.

The finale is a maiden and Meyrick Design & Fabrication, Forest and Land Management are the sponsors.  Of those not already mentioned, Chris Barber has Inebranable who ran well on his debut behind the much fancied Salt Rock. That horse sold subsequently for £205,000 at the Cheltenham sale so the form could prove special.  Another for the in-form Barber yard is Mr Mahler as yet unraced but is well–bred being out of a Grade 3 placed mare who also won twice in Ireland.  Ninth Wave ran well when second to Top Target at Cothelstone. Stuart Sampson’s Nowo showed promise when second at Badbury Rings before possibly doing too much next time at Charlton Horethorne.

The meeting is at Cotley, Chard, Somerset TA20 3EP and can be found 1 mile south of the A30 and 1.5 miles south west of Chard.  Admission is £15 per person – cash only.   First Race is at 12 noon.  Refreshments and a bar are available plus there will be a band playing after the racing.

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