The late abandonment last weekend at Charlton Horethorne has resulted in a bumper entry of 189 for this Saturday’s meeting at Cothelstone, hosted by the Quantock Hunt. Organisers report the ground to be soft with some heavy patches and an excellent covering of grass.
The meeting kicks off with the Members' Race, for which nine entries have been received. These are headed by recent Larkhill winners Rien du Tout and Faraway Star. The latter upset favourite Captain Buck's in a match under a cool ride by Paige Topley, while Rien du Tout, one of two entries for Charlotte Budd, took a Restricted in good style under Will Biddick. Charlotte's other entry, Taken by Force, won his maiden here in May, also ridden by Will. Mujadel should come on for his seasonal debut at Wadebridge in February.
The Mares' Maiden is well supported with 37 entries, with Boss Baby coming here off a very promising second to Minella Beag at Chipley Park. Lilith was held in second when falling at the last at Chaddesley Corbett but could improve. Mrs Davies is trained by Tom Malone and, judged on her two runs this season, would be more than capable of winning a Mares' Maiden. The ex-Irish-trained Ask The Lady finished second on her latest start in Ireland and is of interest on her UK debut, while her trainer Jake Slatter also has Rose Iland, who was second on her only start for him.
The Evolution Equine Mixed Open has attracted 29 entries, including Navanman who quickly rattled off a treble early in the season. He didn't seem to fire last time at Wadebridge, finishing third behind Millanisi Boy in second, who again re-opposes. Tuff Nano had looked a promising recruit for Teresa Clark last season, winning her only three starts, but a bad mistake at Badbury Rings on her seasonal reappearance put pay to any chance. On that occasion, Curious Carlos and Sixteen Letters filled the one-two and they, too, are entered. Kernel Victor has two course wins to his name and should improve on his run at Wadebridge. Kelvingrove went very close at Charing in a Veterans' Race. Trainer Philip Rowley has been plundering the Wessex Area pot this season, notching up five wins, and his Cottenham winner, Vivaldi Collonges, would be of interest if turning out but may just head elsewhere under his young rider, Ben Bromley. Don Bersy is not without ability but showed his temperamental side again last time. Thumb Stone Blues showed up well last time and could figure judged on his Rules form, as could Goodthyneaway. Arthur's Secret probably boasts the classiest form, with four Hunter Chase and eight Point wins to his name. He could be forgiven his last run when he took on the much-improved Ravished for the lead and probably paid for it by weakening into third.
There are 30 entries for the two-and-a-half-mile Restricted, with Laura Thomas' Voie Dans Voie heading the ratings. He won his maiden at Wadebridge in December but wasn't able to reel in The Galloping Bear back there in January. Chief Sittingbull, a winner at Chaddesley Corbett last season, may want better ground, as could Seniergues, while the front-running Dr Kanaga possibly did too much on sticky ground at Milborne St Andrew. Cornflower Blue returns to the scene of her win in a Mares' Maiden last season. Shrewd Welsh trainer Mickey Bowen does well when he ventures over the Severn Bridge, and his Fateh had two Hunter Chase placings to his name last year. Teresa Clark has the former Peter Bowen inmate Princess Roania entered but this dual winner on the level may need this.
The PPORA Conditions Race for nine-year-olds-and-over has 41 entries, including prolific Rules winner Buachaill Alainn, who is making his pointing debut. He won by seven lengths on his last racecourse appearance for Peter Bowen but that was over 18 months ago. Now 13, it would be a fine training performance to bring him back to form. His opponents include recent Badbury Rings winner Curious Carlos (Its All Or Nothing held in third), and Frelia, who easily accounted for her two rivals at Ffos Las in a Hunt race before running into an in-form Navanman at Chipley Park. Petrou won twice during March last year and probably ran better than his finishing position suggests at Charm Park three weeks ago. Three Faces West ran a solid race when second to Champagne Lily at Badbury Rings, having previously won at Buckfastleigh.
The largest entry of the day (43) is for the Open Maiden. Recently retired National Hunt jockey Liam Treadwell has a couple of four-year-olds entered for his first foray into the training world, in the shape of Grooveur, a half-brother to two winners, and the French-bred Risk d'Argent. Glen Mooar got no further than the eighth fence at Larkhill and could improve for the Francesca Nimmo yard. Kings Cave was second to the useful La Tueur at Chipley Park but got no further than the second at Badbury Rings. Philip Rowley's No Authority is a half-brother to five-time winner River Maigue. Saquon was running prominently when his saddle slipped after the tenth fence at Chaddesley Corbett.
Sponsors are integral to any Point-to-Point meeting and the organisers wish to thank Evolution Equine, Eastleigh Care Homes, Roberts Waste, The Jockey Club, Brean Leisure, Hawkins Agri and the Rising Sun, as well as the Badgeworthy Trust.
The first race is at 12.30pm, and the course is situated 2m NE of Bishop's Lydeard (TA4 3DT). Entry is £10 per person (under-16s free).