by Brian & Gill Armstrong

Ashley Farrant rode two winners at the Minehead Harriers & West Somerset Hunt point-to-point meeting at Holnicote, near Minehead, on Saturday to take his seasonís tally to 40 and join Richard Burton at the head of the Menís Championship table.

The opening Restricted race went to Hill Trail, who made all the running under Tigger Barnes. Hill Trail is trained by Clare Parfitt at Rode, near Trowbridge, for owners Jill Haines from Reading and Bradford-on-Avonís Enid Wicheard, who was represented on Saturday by grandson Ryan Bliss, former trainer of the horse.

Toon Society and Neil Harris regained the lead at the last to beat only other finisher Mr Baloo in Division One of the Open Maiden race. Toon Society is trained by Jeremy Scott at his stables on the edge of Wimbleball Lake near Dulverton and was bought privately out of Jonjo OíNeillís stables last autumn for an 11-strong syndicate of friends headed by Exford fencing contractor John Atkins. Division Two was won by Gone On who led two out under Alex Charles-Jones. Gone On is trained at South Barrow by Rose Vickery for Highbridge owners Brian and Anne Watts who bought the horse from Michael Oliver Ė trainer of 1985 Grand National winner West Tip Ė in February after their promising Big Brendan was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Doublet and Richard Woollacott overcame a bad blunder three out to win the Mixed Open by a head from Porlock Hill and Ashley Farrant. Doublet is trained at Parracombe near Lynmouth by Debbie Cole and was a gift horse to Debbie and owner Robbie Rawle out of Rod Millmanís stables two years ago. Ironically, Ashley had ridden the then Martin Pipe-trained Doublet to victory in an Exeter Novice Hurdle race in May 1999.

The Countryside Alliance Club Members race for Novice Riders went to OpalíLou who forged well clear from three out. OpalíLou is trained at Forde Abbey by Jane Western, who bought the horse out of Paul Nichollsí stables last year, and was a fifth career success for owner rider Richard Pyman, 35, a London merchant banker. The winning Challenge Cup, in memory of the late Christopher White, was presented by to Richard and wife Corinna by Chrisí three children Anna, Lizzie and William.

Ashley Farrant got on the scoresheet when Ellofamonkey led throughout the final circuit of the Intermediate race. Ellofamonkey is trained at West Buckland by owners Ben and Mel Dixon, who bought the mare at Ascot Sales last year and were keen to help Ashley in his Championship bid.

Ashley completed his double when Colquhoun got the better of a sustained duel with S B S By Jove in the closing Confined race. Winning trainer David Pipe was on holiday in Barbados, but was quickly brought up-to-date by representatives Raymond Alford and Ollie Jackson who telephoned him immediately after the race.