by Lee Glanville

A first and last race double for Ashley Farrant and trainer David Pipe and a 25-1 winner which paid out £115 on the tote were the highlights of the opening meeting of the Devon and Cornwall point to point area on Sunday.

Pipe and Farrant got the ball rolling with a win for Classic Masquerade in the hunt race, and finished proceedings with a maiden win for Oneminutetofive - both were also owned by Pipe. The pair were following up a menıs race victory at Larkhill the previous day.

The pair had to settle for third spot in the Land Rover Menıs Open with favourite Leading Optimist as the race was turned into a procession by the impressive County Derry ridden by Neil Harris - the duo who had won the race in 2002 and followed up with the hunter chase final. Both County Derry and second-placed Cahors  qualify for this year's hunter chase final at Uttoxeter on May 21.

The Gerrard Ladies race went to 25-1 winner Faith Again trained near Chard by the Newman family and ridden by Tanya Newman. Those who backed it on the tote picked up £115 for a £1 stake!

Second place Let’s Fly, trained in Cornwall, and ridden by Mandy Hand also qualifies for the Gerrard hunter chase final and is sure to win soon.

The course at Black Forest Lodge near Kenton was in great shape and the natural amphitheatre was packed with spectators keen to watch a great card.

Keith Cumings opened his account for the season with Sir William, ridden by Darren Edwards, in the Confined race where favourite Vercheny blundered and unshipped champion lady rider Polly Gundry at the second fence. Gundry was unexpectedly in the winners enclosure later in the day. She partnered Bak On Board for Lucy Gardner, who was injured in a fall, to win Division Two of the maiden, holding off Edgar Gink (R McCarthy) by a head.

Welsh raider Spirit Prince won the first division under James Tudor - second horse Mister Swallow (Michael Miller) will come on for the run.

Former jockey Edward Chanin, who was in a coma following a schooling fall at Philip Hobbs’ yard, was presented with a cheque for £2,600, the proceeds of the Alternative Point to Point Awards Night organised by Katie Langdell and Louise Cole last summer.

Results: Members; 1, Classic Masquerade, A Farrant (D Pipe) 5-2; 2, SBS By Jove, A Charles Jones; 3, Province, R Woollacott. Six ran, 10l, 3l.

Confined; 1, Sir William, D Edwards (R G Westacott) 10-1; 2, Don Royal, N Harris; 3, Tell Tale, A Charles Jones. 15 ran, 10l, 12l, 5.56mins.

Gerrard Ladies: 1, Faith Again, Miss T Newman (C Newman) 25-1; 2, Letıs Fly, Mrs M Hand; 3, Hees A Dancer, Mrs L Rounsell.11 ran, 6l, 6l, 5.56

Land Rover Mens: 1, County Derry, N Harris (G Lever) 7-4; 2, Cahors, M Miller; 3, Leading Optimist, A Farrant.18 ran, 20l, 4l, 5.58.

Maiden Div One: 1, Spirit Prince, J Tudor (P Miles) 2-1; 2, Mister Swallow, M Miller; 3, Sajomi Rona, K Rixon. 15 ran, 15l, 10l, 6.04.

Division Two: 1, Bak On Board, Miss P Gundry (L Gardner) 4-1; 2, Edgar Gink, R mcCarthy; 3, Warren Hill, Miss T Newman. 13 ran, hd, 6l, 6.11.

Division Three; 1, Oneminutetofive, A Farrant (D Pipe) evens ; 2, Mrs Peggoty, J White; 3, Kings Knight, N Williams. 14 ran, 3l, 20l 6.11.