Point-To-Point: Chase provides hope for Goschen

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The Independent Online

Polly Gundry goes to the final meeting today at Umberleigh, north Devon, with a two-winner advantage over her nearest rival, Rilly Goschen, which virtually assures her of the ladies' title for the fifth consecutive season.

Polly Gundry goes to the final meeting today at Umberleigh, north Devon, with a two-winner advantage over her nearest rival, Rilly Goschen, which virtually assures her of the ladies' title for the fifth consecutive season.

However, it is not over until the fat lady sings, or in pointing's case, two slim ladies and Goschen is not giving in without a fight even though the horse she trains, Chasing The Bride, will not run in the Ladies' Open.

Her two possible rides are Caundle Chase, who would have a favourite's chance in the Intermediate (4.20) and what ever the evergreen West Country permit holder Oliver Carter decides to run in the concluding Maiden (4.55) - either First Thought or Lost Direction, both of whom will be making their seasonal debuts.

In a race full of non-stayers it would be no surprise if the Ottery St Mary wizard pulled one out of the hat on the final day.

Gundry, who fits in race riding with her full-time job as a Spillers' horse-feeds representative, rides only Wieser Bud in the Maiden and the outsider Rifton Bramble who will be blinkered for the first time in the Restricted (2.35). She generously admits that "it would be nice if we could share the title on the last day".

She added: "This will probably be the last season I will have a chance to win the title as I intend to cut down next year. I've enjoyed it, but I don't want it to dominate my life.''

The season's two leading horses, Rimpton Boy and Canon Bridge, have simple tasks in their races. Rimpton Boy should extend his winning run to nine in the Ladies' Open (3.45) and it would be a surprise if Canon Bridge does not complete the same sequence in the Men's Open (3.10).

However, if both horses win the former will collect the Horse And Hound Trophy by virtue of his third at Larkhill in January.

The Restricted (2.35) could provide the most competitive race of the day and, despite recent rain, the ground should be lively enough for the Surrey raider Idaho Falls who has fast-ground form in Ireland and was touched off at Chaddesley Corbett last week.

Today's Final Fixture: Torrington Farmers at Umberleigh, north Devon. (First race 2.0). Off the A377 at 5m SE of Barnstaple.

Men's Champion

R Burton 43

Ladies' Championship

P Gundry 19

A Goschen 17

F Wilson 16

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