THE afternoon began with a respectful one minute's silence in memory of the late Richard Woollacott, whose Chipley Park winners in the saddle included the Hunt Members' on three occasions on Come What Augustus.
Testing ground was the order of the day as Welsh trained pointers cleaned up three of the seven races.
Bradley Gibbs partnered the three successful raiders from over the bridge. The 23-year-old Welsh jockey took the featured £1000 Timico Mixed Open on 20-1 outsider Asockastar, who stayed on strongly from the second last to narrowly deny the game Dicky Bob (Jo Supple).
Ten-year-old Asockastar was a first winner for Pontypool based owner/trainer David Bourne. "I bought him privately out of Tim Vaughan's yard and this was meant to be a pipe opener for a local point in three weeks time. He is my first point-to-point runner," added the delighted owner, who once worked for Milton Bradley.
The Glamorgan qualified Exeter Racecourse Intermediate winner Blazing Tom landed a nice touch, having been backed from 10-1 into 3's. The seven-year-old made steady progress under his confident rider to tackle the Will Biddick ridden Inch Rock at the penultimate before staying on doggedly for Bradley Gibbs up the final incline. Jonathan Tudor trains the Dr Massini gelding for Cowbridge based owner Philip Thomas who said, "This will be a nice tonic for my father Ralph who has not been too well. We bred Blazing Tom out of our winning pointer Blazing Ember.
There was no stopping the Welsh band wagon now and as the race times stretched to over seven minutes, Bradley Gibbs completed his hat trick to lift his seasonal total to five. This time the ex-Irish mare Nuevo Molino, trained by the jockey's father David, and in the colours of Claire Sherriff, got the better of newcomer Kayf Farmer.
It proved to be quite a day for mares. The Midnight Legend six-year-old Wind Tor, partnered by Josh Newman, just outstayed One Big Love in the 14-runner Open Maiden for mares and fillies. "Wind Tor is so tough and has improved for the summer. I told Josh to be positive on her," said Ottery St Mary trainer Ed Walker, who was turning out the winner for his newly formed Ed Walker Racing Club. "Room for more members," he joked.
Lady Sutton's Palmaria gave 20-year-old County Cork born jockey Brian Carver his third career winner in the Restricted. "She stays well and goes on any ground," reported trainer Caroline Keevil of this well made Kayf Tara mare, who had opened her account at this track last year.
Whenharrymetsally ran away with the eight runner Hunt race under Matt Hampton to record her 12th point-to-point win. "We knew she was well when she was bucking riders off on the gallops and kicking the trailer." laughed Janet Cumings, whose husband Keith has trained the mare to all her successes. Owner Hannah Broggio has high hopes of breeding from her King's Theatre mare eventually.
Form students will have latched on to the PPORA Novice Riders' winner Robin De Boss. His form ties in closely with Palmaria and Saturday's runaway Larkhill winner Sarazen Bridge, not to mention his recent Wadebridge third just behind subsequent Taunton hurdles winner Applesolutely. "We bought him at Doncaster last May after he had won twice at Garthorpe. My mother (Jo) trains him for a small syndicate on the farm at Cranborne Chase, said jockey James Hepburn. The 28-year-old rider, who works in London, was enjoying his third pointing success. "My other two wins were back in 2014," he related.