25 February 2008 Duke of Beaufort's - Didmarton
The Duke of Beaufort's Point-to-Point has been held at Didmarton for the past 60 years. That longevity is due to a number of facts but one is that it is one of the best viewing courses in the country.
With several other meetings in close proximity over the weekend, the organisers have done well to attract 158 entries for Saturday's fixture.
The Intermediate and Mixed Opens have modest entries but both divisions of the Maiden (40 in each) and the Restricted (37 entries) may require division on the day.
Emmet Hotel has to be one of the leading players in the Members race and the horse's Grittleton based owner Bruce Akerman should have the prize sitting on his mantelpiece by the end of the day.
Emmet Hotel joined Alison Dare's Sherston yard at the start of the season and showed his well being by hacking up at Whitwick recently. He looks sure to acquit himself well and it is not easy to find a chink in his armour.
Mister Putt finished second in last year's race and his chances should not be underestimated because this track obviously brings out the best in him.
It is always dangerous to ignore runners carrying the Bush colours at this meeting but Gossip's recent form means that place money may be her best hope.
Chris Bevan's small stable at Avening does not have many runners but it does have a good strike rate. Nun on The Run fulfilled the promise she had shown in early season last time out but she still has plenty to prove in this company.
The Mixed Open would be a formality for Twenty Degrees. The horse has been qualified with the promoting hunt and his Chippenham based owners Mike Hawker and Steve O'Connor will be keen to win at their home meeting.
Having beaten Cheltenham Foxhunters favourite Thisthatandtother in a Hunter Chase at Fakenham recently, Alison Dare may have higher priority targets for Twenty Degrees and this should leave Irilut to land the spoils.
Chipping Sodbury trainer Bradley Clarke has a chance of taking the 12 strong Intermediate with Blackcomb Mountain although Eaton Hall and Fergal's Find will be big dangers.
The Maiden races at this meeting are generally won by horses with some future potential. Those with form include Clintos and Iphar in the 5, 6 and 7 year old version, while Sullivans Cascade finished second at Whitwick recently so might be able to make the grade in the 8-year-old and upwards Maiden.