Teenager James Tudor set to win point-to-point Fullers' National Men's Novice riders championship
PUBLISHED: 21:30 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 21:30 22 May 2019
Last weekends area point-to-point was hosted by Dulverton West and, at the meeting, every effort was made to offset the dry spell on the top of Exmoor, writes Granville Taylor.
Jockeys reported a safe and consistent racing surface after the course had been spiked, but the runners were down to a minimum.
The highlight at Bratton Down was a treble for young jockey James Tudor amongst a quartet of Welsh trained winners on a card restricted to six races (five plus a walk over).
Tudor, recently turned 17, missed three months of this season after breaking a leg in a freak accident last December.
The youngster, who hails from the coastal haven of Ogmore-by-Sea, not that far from Bratton Down as the crow flies across the Bristol Channel, has made up for lost time, and took his seasonal tally to 22 on Sunday.
He is now assured of the Fuller's National Men's Novice riders championship this year, and looks to turn conditional under the guidance of his employer, NH trainer Christian Williams.
Seniergues, the horse that Tudor was riding when he broke his leg, set the ball rolling on Sunday.
The gelding stayed on well up the hill to hold Basher Brian in the Open Maiden run in memory of bookmaker Bob Pittard. Jack's father Jonathan trains the seven-year-old, who is owned in partnership between Mrs Jeffrey Bird and John Edwards, who said, "I was persuaded to buy my share after a good time at the Glamorgan show last summer"
Tudor had to be at his strongest on Northgeorge, who was well backed to win the four miles staying contest for the Brends Hotel Mixed Open.
Will Biddick's mount There's No Panic made much of the running, but dropped away up the final hill as fellow Welsh challenger Ramble On (Byron Moorcroft) tackled the winner inside the final furlong. Despite hanging into the path of the runner up, Northgeorge just held on to win by half a length. A £75 fine for careless riding handed out by the stewards came Tudor's way.
High Hatton enjoyed an easier passage in the PPORA Novice Riders race sponsored by Langdon Transport to complete the Welshman's treble.
"This horse loves fast ground and can come back here for the Exmoor meeting" remarked his trainer Jonathan Tudor.
Byron Moorcroft's frustrating afternoon (two seconds, a third and a £100 fine for a whip offence) ended in better style when Matts Legacy, another successful raider to cross the Severn Bridge, took the James Pryce Tractors Intermediate despite a tardy start and some indifferent jumping. "He might go back under rules where hurdling would suit him better" remarked his Pontypridd based trainer Luke Price.
Lawsons Thorns was one for the locals in the Brewer Harding & Rowe Restricted.
After a protracted duel with runner up Ichifoot, Bryan Carver's mount got the upper hand approaching the last, and held on well on the stiff climb to the judge."
"He loves it here and the fast ground suits him. He can come back here for the next meeting," said Rackenford based trainer Mike Vanstone, who handles the seven-year-old gelding for owner Nigel MacKenzie.
The Open Maiden for four to six-year-olds, sponsored by My Racing Manager, unfortunately attracted no runners from the 10 entries, and Le Clo De La Londe (Emma Watson) walked over for the Sandhill Racing Conditions race.