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Between the flags at Ideford

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

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POINT-to-point resumes in Devon on Sunday at Ideford Arch near Chudleigh for the South Devon Hunt Club meeting.

More than 80 entries have been received and racing starts at noon with the South Devon Hunt Club Members race.

Never So Blue won this race last year and scored again at Brampton Bryan for Ledbury trainer Claudia Wilesmith, Lucette Annie is game and made all to win at both Buckfastleigh and Wadebridge for jockey Darren Edwards, Amber Love is another entry that goes well for Darren Edwards.

Next up is the South Devon Hunt Club Members race for novice riders. Idle Talk provided jockey Anna Pycroft with her first winner in a three-runner race at Kingston St Mary, Stitchnick may have needed the run when travelling well until pulling up two out at Wadebridge for Ollie Barrett.

Following on is the 2m4f open maiden. Of the 23 entered, Driftwood Pride ran a creditable fifth behind the Wealerdealer at Blackforest Lodge for trainer Kayley Jones, Marlpit Oak has been in contention on a few of her outings the latest when she fell at the 12th at Barbury earlier this month.

The mixed open has attracted eleven entries and of these That's Rythem collected Hunter Chase wins at Bangor and Uttoxeter last season and only just missed out on another at Stratford in June when two and a quarter lengths behind Salsify for trainer Sally Duckett, Hugh Wilson's prolific Divine Intavention (Coronation cup winner) maybe looking to follow up on his recent impressive win at Blackforest Lodge for Mark Wall.

Exeter racecourse sponsor the intermediate, Mister Tiger is clocking up wins fast and looks set to progress to open company soon for Sam Alwood, the Robert Chanin-trained Ned White set a strong pace at Wadebridge and only got mugged for the race in the last 50 yards by Alright John and Batu Ferringhi.

The concluding race is the open maiden.

HEAVY rain forced the abandonment of Exeter's pre-Christmas meeting last Thursday and course officials will be hoping the weather relents in time for the New Year's Day fixture.

Last week's loss was the second blow to the course this season and made a for a disappointing end to the year for Devon's two tracks, after Newton Abbot saw five of its summer meetings fall foul of the weather.

If all goes well, the New Year's Day fixture will feature seven races and get under way at 12.25pm with the peninn.co.uk "National Hunt" Novices´ Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs. The last race is the Thurlestone Hotel Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race, due off at 3.50pm.

The long-distance Billy Williams Memorial Novices´ Handicap Hurdle is run in memory of the former jockey and trainer, who was based at the now defunct Buckfastleigh racecourse. Williams won on his very first ride back in 1952, when scoring on Arbitration at Newton Abbot for Taunton trainer Les Kennard. He was the leading jockey at Buckfastleigh, riding a total of 17 winners and, after the course closed, he trained there until 1982.

The most valuable race on the card is the Class 3 Bathwick Tyres Taunton Novices´ Chase over three miles.

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