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Saturday 17th June 2006

by Lucy Johnson

RICHARD Woollacott has been crowned the Devon and Cornwall area point-to-point champion after a nail biting finish which wasn’t concluded until the final race at the Torrington Farmers point-to-point in Saturday.

Woollacott had been neck and neck with Neil Harris and the pair went into the final meeting of the season on level points. After Harris won the restricted, the second race of the day, it looked like victory was assured.

Harris had picked up the ride on Janet Perry’s Sanderstead who is trained at Bridgwater by James Young. Mrs Perry’s mother is Phyllis Wickett whose Soldier of Rome won the area’s leading novice title after being steered to three wins and two seconds by Harris.

Woollacott then finished third on Eric’s Way in the men’s, won by Itzacliche with Paul Mason on board.

It looked like Harris had clinched the title by three points, but a spare for Woollacott in the concluding open maiden race on World Famous, an 11-year-old trained in Pembrokeshire, meant he pegged back the lead in the final strides of the season and won by a solitary point.

Harris, ended the season riding 15 winners, and Woollacott rode 14 in the area.

However, in the Devon and Cornwall area the champion is decided on points and Woollacott was awarded the championship in glorious sunshine at the north Devon track.

Tiverton farrier Rodney Grant saddled a double at the meeting. Harnage gave Caroline Farrant a belated first win of the season when he finished alone in the confined hunts race. Stablemate Spinning Mate followed up in the intermediate for Mervyn Woodward who was recording his third success of the campaign. The area’s champion novice rider Alice Mills finished third on the Heard’s Coffee Morning.

The area’s champions will be celebrating their successes at the annual dinner and dance and award ceremony held at The Holiday Inn, Plymouth on Friday, July 7. Tickets can be obtained from Gordon Chambers on 01364 642755.

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