The ever improving Batu Ferringhi gave a superb exhibition of jumping to win the Cornish National in front of a good crowd at Trebudannon. The seven-year-old was contesting his first Open, but continually out jumped the useful Faasel over the three and a half miles trip. Batu Ferringhi, who put his jockey Josh Guerriero on the 13 winner mark for the season, runs in the colours of Claire Hitch and her family, and is trained by Claire who does well with her small string on the edge of Exmoor.
The Ladies’ Open saw Double Mead continue her winning ways but she gave her backers a real fright when crashing through the open ditch in front of the enclosures on the final circuit. Alex Dunn did well to retain the partnership, and the useful mare had too much pace for Miss Midnight after the challenging Miss Saffron had given Lucy Gardner a nasty fall five from home.
Hallo Dolly, owned and trained by Sarah Prouse, also proved a game mare, running on well under Darren Edwards to withstand the late burst of Point West in the 10 runner Restricted. Vicky Wade took a crashing fall from Santiago Sun in the event, but had earlier steered the progressive King of Alcatraz to a smooth success in the Confined. Roy Smith’s likeable grey gelding is stabled with Neil Harris and is likely to be aimed at a maiden hunter chase later in the season. “I got him for Roy at Fairyhouse sales and he got his name because Roy was in San Francisco at the time doing the tourist bit and visiting Alcatraz,” laughed Neil.
Richard Barber has an enviable strike rate at Trebudannon and a Maiden race double brought a reminder of his four wins here last Easter. This time his two winners, both ridden by champion jockey Will Biddick, were making their racecourse debuts and wore the colours of local owner Graham Roach. The Presenting gelding Port Melon made steady progress to overhaul Hallo Dolly’s half brother Cracking Habit in the home straight in the two and a half miles Maiden.. “He hasn’t had a hard race and will come on for that,” exclaimed Biddick.
Pamplona Run completed the Dorset yards double after running loose prior to the start. The gelding ran a little green in the race but showed plenty of determination to see off the gallant effort of Little Wadham approaching the last. The winner’s dam was placed in a champion hurdle for Francois Doumen, and this Flemensfirth youngster was bought privately in Ireland as a foal.
Bryony Frost has a great chance of landing the National Novice Riders’ title this year and took her score to six when Ross Oliver’s Fiulin won the farmers’ race. Fiulin is, “a big baby in the stable and a kid could ride him at home,” smiled Ross, who trains with much success a short distance from this Cornish track.