Lamerton, Kilworthy, Sunday 25th March 2012 Report

THE car park was packed to capacity in the warm sunshine at Kilworthy, where a total of 75 runners contested the seven races on perfect going.

Deb’s Dasher and Jopero gave Richard Woollacott a riding and training double. Course winner Deb’s Dasher has never stopped improving and took the rise to Open class in his stride. Robbie Henderson brought Massimo with a well timed challenge at the last, but Woollacott’s mount responded gamely to settle the issue inside the final 50 yards. “He has been big and backward and we have taken him gently,” reported the Rose Ash rider, who is making up for lost ground after his early season injury..

Jopero’s win was an even closer affair as Woollacott’s mount flashed past the post locked together with Brook Castle (Josh Guerriero). The judge decided that Jopero had prevailed by a short head with the pair finishing clear of Gunpark (Darren Edwards).

The Open Maiden divisions were well filled with 15 and 14 runners respectively. Rush’n’roll was a convincing winner of the faster of the two divisions, drawing clear of the favourite Goodtimesarealgone up the hill. This was a family success since the winner is trained on behalf of his family by Nigel Legg, and ridden by his son Michael. “He is a very straightforward horse who jumps well,” said the trainer, whose family have long associations with the Cotley hunt.

There was a blanket finish to the other Maiden division with five or six in with a chance approaching the last. It was six-year-old Barney Again who stayed on best up the final climb to deny Ladfromhighworth and Five For Silver. Josh Guerriero had the mount on the winner who is owned and trained by Dartmoor Master Mike Weir. “He has done about 30 days hunting this winter,” said Mike.

Gorteenwood was allowed to start at 20-1 in the 16-runner Restricted, but made virtually all the running given an inspired ride by Micheal Nolan. Trainer Gordon Chambers said, “He has been unlucky and deserved this. He slipped up when leading at Ottery and his saddle slipped early on last week” The ex-Irish nine-year-old runs for a group from the Sun Inn pub at Buckfastleigh.

Sue Trump’s home bred Kirkleigh won for the third time this season in the Intermediate. This promising stayer was hard pressed by Googoobarabajagal all the way up the home straight, but battled on in determined fashion under Tom Chanin. “He appreciated the faster pace. We may look for a novice hunter chase at Exeter next month depending on the ground,” said Tom’s father Robert who trains the gelding.

Bathwick Breeze landed the hunt race in a tight finish, just ahead of Theicecreamfellow and Deimne. “We bought him out of David Pipe’s yard but he got a leg last year at Chipley,” said owner/rider Dean Summersby, who paid tribute to his partner Emma Boon for much of the gelding’s preparation.


Hunt race:

1 Bathwick Breeze (D Summersby); 2 Theicecreamfellow (M Heard); 3 Deimne (Miss J Buck); 4 ran; 3/4l; 1 1/2l;  6mins 18 secs

Open Maiden Div 1

1 Rush N’ Roll (M Legg); 2 Goodtimesarealgone (E Barrett); 3 Barney’s Niece (W Biddick); 15 ran; 10l; 1l;  6m 19s

Open Maiden Div 2

1 Barney Again (J Guerriero); 2 Ladfromhighworth (M Hampton); 3 Five For Silver (T Chanin); 14 ran; 2l; 2l;  6m 27s

Mixed Open

1 Deb’s Dasher (R Woollacott); 2 Massimo (R Henderson); 3 Dennis The Legend (J Guerriero); 6 ran; 1l; 5l;  6m 17s


1 Jopero (R Woollacott); 2 Brook Castle (J Guerriero)’ 3 Gunpark c(D Edwards); 11 ran; short head; 4l;  6m 18s


1 Gorteenwood (M Nolan); 2 Double bank (M Woodward); The Boogeyman (W Biddick); 16 ran; 5l; 6l;  6m 7s


1 Kirkleigh (T Chanin); 2 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 3 Blazing Whale (E Barrett); 9 ran; 2 1/2l; 8l;  6m 13s



Devon & Cornwall jockeys are riding high as we reach the half way point of the season. With 14 of the scheduled 29 meetings in the area completed, West country riders stand at the head of the four main National championship titles. Will Biddick added two weekend winners to take his total to 23, but he is now being chased by Darren Edwards on 16 after Darren recorded trebles at Cothelstone and Buckfastleigh at the weekend. Jo Buck enjoyed three winners over the weekend to elevate herself to the head of the National Ladies’ title race, and Leanda Tickle and Kieron Edgar lead their respective novice rider championships at the moment.

The going was good to soft and the course was in great shape for the second and final Buckfastleigh meeting of the season

Intermediate (Connolly’s Red Mills)

My synopsis of the South Pool Intermediate run at Buckfastleigh last month read: “This could turn out to be one of the most informative intermediates of the season.” I was nearly right because that race was by far the most informative of the season with nine subsequent winners amongst the cast that day. Lucette Annie had run her usual game race on that occasion in finishing third behind the very smart pair of Keppols Hill and Penmore Mill. Her turn came here as she made all the running to put a decent field in their place. Trained by Simon Partridge at Poundsgate on behalf of Chris and Janet Hunphrey, this gutsy mare acts well on soft ground and formed part of the day’s triple winning tally of Darren Edwards.“She acts well on good or soft ground but not on the firm. She is happier going left handed really and she could go for a hunter chase,” was the trainer’s post-race summary.

Men’s Open (Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company)

Benedictus is a progressive seven-year-old and came good here at his first attempt in Open company. Jack Barber sent the chestnut to the front before half way and shook off the attentions of Joaaci at the second last after a fine display of jumping. Accurate jumping always gives a spectacular sight down the back straight at Buckfastleigh. “I kept kicking him and asking him,” reported the rider who had just been touched off on Chapoturgeon in the Christie’s Cheltenham Foxhunter two days previously. Trainer Jane Western has her sights set on one of the Intermediate finals at Cheltenham or Exeter for Benedictus.

Restricted (AGL Accountants, Kingsbridge)

Leslie Jefford’s yard has turned out a succession of winners this month and Lizzy’s Lass added to a double for the yard at Cothelstone on the previous day. All three winners were partnered by the reigning Devon & Cornwall lady champion Jo Buck. Showing a mature judgement of pace, Jo was content to bide her time and delayed her challenge until the last possible moment to head Alysia’s Flame inside the last 100 yards. “Lizzy’s Lass stays well and they played into our hands. She produced her to perfection,” said the trainer. A likeable grey, the six-year-old failed to sparkle on her seasonal debut at Great Trethew when she had just recovered from a cough, but is surely destined to win more races.

Open Maiden

Division 1 (Winston Pincombe)

Will Biddick rode a confident race on the 6-4 favourite Provo, easing his mount into contention along the far side to track the leaders King Kash and Lightening Jack. King Kash put up brave resistance, but Provo quickened past him in style after jumping the last to win convincingly. Provo is a five-year-old by Presenting trained by Richard Barber on behalf of owners Hilton and Lyn Ramseyer, “I bought him at Doncaster sales as a three-year-old (for £35,000) and like most Presentings he is taking time to mature,” said Hilton. Provo ran with promise on his only racecourse appearance in an Ascot bumper last October and missed his intended pointing debut at Charlton Horthorne last week when he pulled a shoe off. He is destined to join Paul Nicholls to go hurdling when his pointing education is complete.

Division 2 (Brookwell Supplies)

It was fitting that the Edwards family should provide Darren with one of his weekend winners. Shanann Star is trained by Darren’s father at their Wheddon Cross base and had been placed in all three of her English points. She gained reward for her consistency here at the expense of Noble Legacy and La Soie, who each shaped like staying types. Ann’s Lottery looked booked for a place until jumping left at the last, and this was probably an informative Maiden. Shanann Star showed promise in Irish points at the end of last year and was bought by current connections at Ascot sales just before Christmas. “She settled better today and would prefer better ground,” said Gordon Edwards, who may be tempted to send her summer jumping. Keiron Edgar broke a collar bone when Miss Cupcake fell at the 15

Hunt Race (Mr John Bond in memory of his late wife)

Edward Darke’s fine old servant Karinga Coin (Richard Woollacott) took up the running after the second last, but stumbled on landing over the final fence and went down narrowly to Gunpark, despite rallying near the post. “I got a bit lucky winning this,” was the modest appraisal of jockey Darren Edwards. Gunpark is trained by Sam Holdsworth for joint owners Rebecca Welch and Charlie Eyston

Ladies’ Open (Bartons Solicitors)

Ha Ho Magregor (Suzy Berry) took the measure of his sole opponent Karley as he forged two lengths clear on the run to the last. It looked plain sailing until half way up the run-in, when the 10-year-old decided he had done enough and put the brakes on, allowing Karley to sail past for victory. Ha Ho was certainly no joke for Suzy Berry, who also trains the reluctant runner-up, and was having only her second ride back following a nasty injury at Larkhill ten weeks ago. The beneficiary of Ha Ho’s antics, Karley, was giving 25-year-old Cordelia Chugg her second career winner. Pat Glenn’s gelding is from the Ed Walker yard and Cordelia combines riding out at the Ottery yard at weekends alongside her job as a Norland nanny in London.

Confined Novice Riders’ (Luscombe Maye)

Vic’s World (Bryony Frost) defeated Fier Destrier (Ben Keatley) in a match with the winner making all the running and jumping accurately. Bryony had ridden her first winner just a week ago and rode an assured race on the 10-year-old trained by her mother Nikki. “He belongs to a small syndicate we have formed called The Wellie Boot Group and as a way of encouraging owners they have three horses in training for the price of one,” explained Bryony.



It was a memorable day for two promising young lady jockeys at Treborough Hill with Bryony Frost and Natalie Parker each achieving their first winners. Richard Woollacott has over 200 winners in his CV, but his four-timer would have been just as important to him after a wretched start to this season through injury. The racing surface drew much praise and wall to wall sunshine replaced the early mist.

Mixed Open, 4 miles; (Dunster Heat Ltd)

Eleven faced the starter for the first four miles staying test in the area this season. King’s Wood was the punters choice with his proven stamina , but there was good support for King of the Road who ran a personal best over an extended four miles at Cheltenham last May. Matt Hampton soon had King of the Road in front with Cowboyboots and Ice Tea prominent. Richard Woollacott eased Thirtytwo Red into the lead racing into the home straight, and never looked like being caught despite a late flourish from Mister Moonax who ran on strongly under young Hannah Hawkins. Now 11-years-old, Thirtytwo Red is the only pointer in training with Guy Weatherley at Tiverton and started at 20-1. Guy rode this gelding to his first three pointing victories but gave up race riding four years ago. The dice has not rolled in favour of Thirtytwo Red for the past couple of seasons and it was good to see him return to form in a race which took nearly ten minutes.

Confined (Fallen Stock Company)

Richard Woollacott made the worst possible start to the season with his fall at Black Forest Lodge which left him sidelined for nearly three months. His comeback to the saddle at Buckfastleigh last month was a prelude to three blank weeks, but he hit sparkling form at Treborough Hill on Sunday (March 11th) by riding four winners and training three of them. His winner here was the progressive Deb’s Dasher who is steadily climbing the ladder and defied his 6lbs penalty with ease. Dandooley stayed on late to finish second with long time leader Tallow Bridge in third. “Some of our horses have been coughing a bit,” said Richard, adding: “this horse would be better with firmer ground.” In my book he is potentially an open horse.

Intermediate (Exeter Racecourse)

Kirkleigh was a shade of odds-on to complete his seasonal hat trick after wins at Chipley and Great Trethew. In the end he was just touched off by Richard Woollacott’s mount Allerford Jack. Kirkleigh (Tom Chanin) went on five out but had pulled hard and did not jump fluently in the home straight. He had to give best to Allerford Jack on the run-in. “Allerford Jack needs to be switched off to make sure he stays,” said Woollacott of his winner. He also trains the gelding for a small syndicate.

Open Maiden (Winston Pincombe LandRovers)

Richard Woollacott capped a memorable day by riding his fourth winner of the day here on the previously unraced Midnight Whisper. The six-year-old showed in front rounding the final bend and stayed on strongly over the line of four fences in the straight. “I didn’t really want to be in front so early but he jumped magic and will stay forever,” said the elated rider/trainer. The strong topped gelding by Midnight Legend is out of Spread The Word, who won four point-to-points and a handicap chase for Pam Pengelly.

Open Maiden 4 to 7-year-olds only, 2m 4f (Great Bradley Estate, Withypool)

Bryony Frost is just embarking on her career and the former pony racing champion partnered her first winner over jumps on Top Green, who ran on well to beat Palfrey Boy and Ellvis. The Frost family need little introduction, and Bryony, who turns 17 next month looks like upholding the family tradition. “He was always going well and I didn’t want to get there too early,” said the delighted youngster. Five-year-old Top Green was placed in cross country races in France before joining the Nikki Frost yard. “Jamie Thomas did a good job with him in his first two points and he will be better on good ground,” said owner Jimmy Frost.

Restricted (A1 Gates & Securities)

It was a good day for youth as well as experience and Dashing John provided 19-year-old Natalie Parker with her first winner in quite a competitive looking event. Mister Trigger held the advantage down the back straight, but was overhauled by Dashing John approaching four out. The winner kept up a relentless gallop up the home straight and extended his advantage to 10 lengths on reaching the judge. This was another family success since Dashing John is owned by the rider’s mother Tracy and trained by her father Kevin at Bilbrook, just three miles from the course. “I work for Philip Hobbs and originally rode out there when I was 13,” said Natalie, who does Colour Squadron at the Hobbs yard and was looking forward to accompanying him to the festival.

Hunt race (Yeo Barton Bloodstock)

Delta Borget was always travelling well and got the better of Prince De Bersy after jumping the third last to win comfortably. Leanda Tickle was riding her fourth winner of the season on the Leslie Jefford trained gelding which gave her the lead for the National Novice Riders’title. Leslie described his winner as, “very genuine and very uncomplicated,”