THE Wessex point-to-point scene moves to the picturesque Quantocks for the Taunton Vale Harriers meeting at Fennington Farm, Kingston St Mary, on Sunday.
Taunton Vale Harriers at Kingston St MarySunday 2 March 2008THE Wessex point-to-point scene moves to the picturesque Quantocks for the Taunton Vale Harriers meeting at Fennington Farm, Kingston St Mary, on Sunday. All fences are new for this season and the course is looking in great shape for a seven-race card commencing at 12.30pm.The Men's Open holds centre stage. Former top-class chaser Seebald is a fascinating entry, along with Vigzol and Maxou Des Brosses, who both won at the South Dorset. Prolific winners Highway Oak and Jalons Star have chances if at their best, while Iris's Prince may be able to provide leading novice rider Rhys Flint with another success. The three to choose from are Talikos, who impressed at Wadebridge in December but failed to stay on a return visit, former good handicapper Merchants Friend, who opened his point-to-point account at Godstone, and Black Forest Lodge winner Croix De Guerre, who was knocked over by a loose horse with a subsequent race at his mercy. Talikos may find this course to his liking, but Croix De Guerre is fancied to resume winning ways.Seebald and Highway Oak hold entries for the Ladies Open, together with course winner Rye Brook and Dr Cerullo, who stayed on to win at Black Forest Lodge. Fleur De Nikos - a disappointment so far this season - may return to form here, but the Monique Pike-trained Simon's Seat is selected to make a winning Open-class debut.Simon's Seat and Merchants Friend are among the 17 Confined race entries. Three to catch the eye are Sliema, who may set a fast pace, Knightsbridge Hill - already a dual winner this season -and Lord Anner, a good runner-up at Milborne St Andrew and Badbury Rings. Whites Touch beat Lord Anner at Milborne and is chosen to contest the finish with Simon's Seat.The Restricted has attracted 34 entries and could take some solving. River Heights and recent winners Arthur Parker, Kiama and Winning Connection are sure to be supported. Niver Bai surged clear of his field at Larkhill and is selected to deny the Camilla Scott-trained Yufo.The hunt race entry includes Buckfastleigh winners Arctic Shot and Dad Says Heazle, also Harbridge, a resolute winner at Chipley Park in January. Arctic Shot gets the vote.The card also features two Maiden races. Jean's Joy, Lorrelini, Man Of The Moment and The Buddle have all been placed this season and may challenge promising Milborne third Briteside in the Young horse contest. Bringontheboys and Black Castle are two suggestions for the Older horse event.One pony race, a qualifier for the Wessex Area Championship, concludes the meeting.The course is 3 miles N of Taunton off the A358. First race: 12.30 pm. Admission is £20 per car including all occupants, £10 car and driver only, £5 pedestrians.