GRANVILLE TAYLOR REPORTS
A massive crowd flocked to hot and sunny Flete Park near Ivybridge for the Dartmoor meeting on Saturday. Overflow car parks had to be pressed into use to accommodate a record attendance for the track. Clerk of the course Mike Weir and his team had produced a good racing surface thanks to ample watering in the face of the current dry spell. “The ground is brilliant with no jar,” remarked Ladies’ Open winning jockey Suzy Berry.
Lord Mildmay of Flete Memorial Men’s Open-four miles. (Luscombe Maye & Bartons Solicitors)
The veteran Paddy the Piper started odds-on to defy his penalty and did so in fine style to initiate a double for his young rider Michael Heard. Dare Too Dream matched strides with the favourite until after half way, but Paddy galloped on relentlessly from the top of the hill to leave Wee Bertie and Karinga Coin fighting for the places.14-year-old Paddy The Piper is in great form and has now won three of his last four races.
Intermediate – Elizabeth May Memotrial (Full Circle Motors)
Only three went to the post with Roll on Rose and Turtle Tim fighting it out in the closing stages. Although she took her usual keen hold, 18-year-old Michael Heard got Rose jumping really well and she saw out the trip in fine style to hold Turtle Tim after out jumping him at the last. Michael was partnering his fifth winner of the season.
Confined (Rodgers of Plymouth)
Bryony Frost made a bold bid to gain her first pointing winner on the Frosts’ former selling hurdler Silver Sister in this four runner contest. The wily Woollacott was having none of it and eased the blinkered Turning Tide to the front just after the final ditch before putting the issue beyond doubt down the final hill. “He has ridden this horse to win three times for me this season and never left the inner,” exclaimed trainer Sam Holdsworth, based just four miles from the course at Modbury.
Confined Maiden (Francis Clark)
Richard Woollacott completed his double on Mike Tozer’s Moonberry to keep himself within striking distance of holding on to his Men’s National title. Josiah Bay and Award Winning shared the lead until the latter departed at the final ditch. Moonberry crept closer but found the loose Award Winning blocking her path on the run to the last. A quick side-step avoided trouble and the mare put in a fine leap at the last to seal the issue over the luckless Josiah Bay.
Restricted (Gillard Motors, Loddiswell)
Six-year-old mare Best Bette had created a favourable impression when winning her Maiden at Great Trethew, and followed up here under Ian Chanin, who was putting himself into double figures for the season. “I dropped my whip at the final ditch otherwise I would have won by 30 lengths,” reported the winning rider half in jest. Ansa The Question ran easily her best race of the season and was right in contention until the last. Prudent George was just delivering his challenge when blundering at the second last which saw an acrobatic recovery by Bryony Frost who was having her first point-to-point ride. Unfortunately she came adrift at the last as she struggled to regain an iron.
Ladies’ Open (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Co Ltd)
Punters opted for Miss Midnight (Jenny Carr) who had won her last three Ladies’ Opens and was backed into 11-8 on. Outsider Lisheen Storm made the running under Zoe Gray until Deloughtane took over at half way. Dr Cerullo had been stalking the leaders and joined Deloughtane at the penultimate. This pair fought it out as Miss Midnight faded. Deloughtane’s leap at the last looked to have settled it, but Suzy Berry got a renewed effort out of Dr Cerullo who secured the race on the line by the minimum distance. “He is as genuine as the day is long and really stuck his head out”, said trainer Ed Walker, who reported that the ten-year-old had been off colour with a virus earlier in the season.
Hunt Race (Mrs Sally Goodman)
Global Party was always holding the upper hand in a very slowly run affair. Tom Chanin pushed the nine-year-old clear after the third last to beat his solitary opponent Flora Springs by 12 lengths. A very proficient jumper, nine-year-old Global Party has now won three times between the flags for Dennis and Marion Turner.