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.
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
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