Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
POINT TO POINT: Blackstaff can score at Cothelstone
8:27am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Sport
BLACKSTAFF can make a winning return to point-to-pointing in the Quantock Staghounds Ladies Open at Cothelstone on Sunday.
The eight-year-old ran up an impressive four-timer including an easy win in an Exeter Hunter Chase in 2011, but failed to reproduce that form when upped in class to contest the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunters last season.
The 12 entries also include Katherine Smith-Maxwell’s prolific pair Double Mead and Rainbow Tree and Audrey Manners’ course winner and former Coronation Cup hero Man From Highworth, who prefers a fast surface.
Blackstaff gets the vote, with Doof, who took his career tally to nine at Ottery St Mary, and Miss Midnight, the winner of a Wincanton Hunter Chase in May, fancied to complete the placings.
Emma Oliver’s progressive Double Bank can complete a five-timer in the men’s contest.
The 10-year-old, who relishes soft ground, impressed at Buckfastleigh before successfully making the step into open class at Ottery St Mary.
Sue Popham’s Swansbrook, the winner of a bumper, hurdle race and chase under Rules as well as a Black Forest Lodge point-to-point, looks the main danger.
Course winner Little Cornham, Just Amazing and Ladfromhighworth are the three suggestions from the 12 entries for the Confined.
The former, last season’s Hunt race winner, gave subsequent Coronation Cup winner Mendip Express plenty to think about at Larkhill before winning at Badbury Rings. Just Amazing has failed to finish in his two outings for Natalie Parker, but had smart hunter chase form two seasons ago.
However, Ladfromhighworth, who opened his account at Black Forest Lodge, gave subsequent impressive Leicester Hunter Chase winner Robin Will something to think about at Buckfastleigh and is the selection.
Little Cornham is among the eight entries for the opening Hunt race and will get the vote to retain the cup if facing the starter. Nine-race winner Alroyal and course winner Amber Love may prove the strongest challengers.
Ladfromhighworth will be the selection if connections opt to contest the 20-entry Restricted. In his absence Canada Coombe and Piroulet can fight out the finish.
Two Maiden races complete the card. David Dennis’ selected runner from Final Nudge, Presenting William and Steel Summit can take the 2m 4f event. Ambrose Hill Lad is a sporting suggestion for the 3m contest.