Michael Heard started the new year in great style by riding a treble at Wadebridge, hot on the heels of his first win under rules at Exeter during the week.
The going on the showground was soft and sticky following the recent wet spell, and the huge barn which houses the bookies, bars and changing rooms provided welcome relief from a steady drizzle during the afternoon.
12-year-old Faasel added £170 to his career earnings of over £400,000 with his first point-to-point success in the men’s open. A Grade 1 Aintree hurdle winner as a four-year- old, Heard’s mount just denied Kirkleigh on the slog up the hill to the judge. “We had him from David Pipe in the summer. He is laid back on the gallops and has come to himself in the last two weeks,” explained Okehampton owner/ trainer John Heard.
Heard junior, 19-years-old, also added to the family silver with a hard fought win on Googoobarabajagal in the confined. This followed a less straightforward victory on board The Wealerdealer from the Keith Cumings yard in the restricted. Batu Ferringhi held every chance when pitching on to his nose at the penultimate, and the winner just prevailed despite
hanging badly on the run-in.
Byerley Bear confirmed the favourable impression he had made on his English debut on the same course four weeks ago with a smooth ladies’ open success. Jo Buck’s mount was left in front when Just Amazing missed a marker after the seventh jump, and shook off the challenge of Mobaasher from the bottom bend. “He was quite keen and I was worried when he nearly followed the other horse out. I got a couple of breathers into him coming down the hill last time and he did it well,” said the winning jockey.
Wee Fly and Bryony Frost also repeated their December course win with an authoritative success in the novice riders’ event. Ross Oliver’s ultra consistent mare drawing right away from her rivals on the final climb.
The open maiden was divided on the day with 11 facing the starter in each section. Both divisions went to lightly raced five-year-olds, with the Leighton McGuiness-trained mare Lady Boru overcoming the favourite Degenerate in the slightly quicker time under Robbie Henderson. “She was very keen and I had to go on earlier than I wanted,” said the winning rider in the colours of Sara Biggins.
Laura Scott partnered the second winner of her career with a well judged ride on her mother’s Tinker Time in the other division. “Tinker Time does everything asked of her but is green as grass. We bought him in Ireland as a three-year-old and he is on the market,” reported the owner.
Buzz Me In opened his account after several placings in the two-runner hunt race. Ed Glassonbury’s mount powered clear of sole rival Shanafarahan in the home straight for owner/trainer Reuben Chapman.
Going; Soft, sticky
Fences 8 and 15 omitted all races – poached ground
1 Buzz Me In (Ed Glassonbury 4-11fav; 2 Shanafarahan (Leanda Tickle) 2-1;
2 ran; 7 lengths; 6mins 38 secs
1 Faasel (Michael Heard) 7-2; 2 Kirkleigh (Tom Chanin) 7-4 fav; 3 Lucette
Annie (Josh Guerriero) 100-30;
7 ran; 1/2l; 10l; 6m 19s
1 Byerley Bear (Jo Buck) 8-11 fav; 2 Mobaasher (Lucy Gardner) 7-2 3 Fiulin
(Bryony Frost) 12-1;
7 ran; 5l; 10l; 6m 10s
1 The Wealerdealer (Michael Heard) 5-4 fav; 2 Batu Ferringhi (Josh
Guerriero) 13-8; 3 Tamatown (Jo Buck); 12-1;
7 ran; short head; 7l; 6m 13s
PPORA Club Members’ Novice Riders’
1 Wee Fly (Bryony Frost) 1-2 fav; 2 dead heat Clew Bay Cove (Harriet
Skinner) 4-1; 2 dead heat Moment of Magic (Laura Parker) 20-1;
6 ran; 5l; dead heat; 6m 23s
Open Maiden Div 1
1 Tinker Time (Laura Scott) 3-1; 2 Hugo Where I Go (Josh Guerriero) 3-1; 3
Getaway Driver (Michael Heard) 11-4 fav;
11 ran; 4l; 2l; 6m 32s
Open Maiden Div 2
1 Lady Boru (Robbie Henderson) 7-2; 2 Degenerate (Josh Guerriero) 7-4 fav;
3 Lugo (Conor Smith) 20-1;
11 ran; 2l; 15l; 6m 25s
1 Googoobarabajagal (Michael Heard) 4-1; 2 Swansbrook (David Prichard) 3-1;
3 Ballabrook (Mervyn Woodward) 9-2;
6 ran; 1/2l; 3l; 6m 34s