Robbie Henderson and Josh Guerriero shared the riding honours at Wadebridge where the permanent Royal Cornwall showground facilities provided much needed shelter as heavy showers peppered the track.
Trainer Kayley Jones provided Henderson with his double in the shape of Checkerboard and Miss Tinks. Formerly a useful performer under rules, Checkerboard drew clear of runner-up Osric to win the Men’s Open in workmanlike style. The omission of the final fence in all races due to a waterlogged patch of ground resulted in a long, gruelling run-in from the bottom of the hill, putting a premium on stamina in the soft ground.
Checkerboard is leased to the jockey’s father Guy Henderson, having joined the yard on the recommendation of Paddy Brennan. “He has done a lot of hunting and loves it since we are trying to cheer him up,” explained Kayley, who had earlier saddled Miss Tinks to give Robbie Henderson the first leg of his double in the first section of the Maiden. “We bought Miss Tinks for only £400 at Ascot sales and couldn’t sell her so she runs for our Big Brooke Racing Club and is so tough,” said the delighted trainer.
Josh Guerriero initiated his double on the odds-on favourite Print The Money who ran on strongly to collar Bathwick Breeze on the final climb. The winner missed a couple of seasons after winning all four starts as a seven-year-old and is now trained for owner Charlie Rush by Jill Dennis.
Guerriero had an easier task on Hugo Where Igo who drew well clear on the final bend to win his section of the Maiden. This improving six-year-old was bred by his owner Brenda Bowditch and is trained by Chloe Roddick.
Josh Guerriero’s bid for a treble was thwarted when Combehay, also from the Roddick yard, had to play second fiddle to Cherry Vine in the Restricted. Darren Edwards had the mount on Cherry Vine who became the third winner from the last four runners saddled by his owner/trainer Dean Summersby. “I got him at Doncaster sales out of Kim Bailey’s yard and he really needs better ground,” said Dean, who trains his small string on Dartmoor from his Lifton base.
Double Mead repeated last year’s Ladies’ Open success in the hands of Alex Dunn who also trains the mare near Taunton for her mother Kathryn Smith-Maxwell. The winner is one of the most consistent pointers in training. “She is likely to be seen out again over Easter,” commented the owner,
Vicky Wade partnered her fourth winner of the season when Roy Smith’s King of Alcatraz just outstayed course winner Sobre Tresor in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate qualifier. “He was a bit novicey at Ottery but is getting stronger and could run in a hunter chase by the end of the season,” reported Kerry Harris who was representing connections.