JOCKEY Rob Hawker celebrated his 21st birthday at the end of last week and rounded it off in memorable style with a first and last race double at Vauterhill, North Devon, where the rain held off until the fourth race.
Whispering Wild, trained by Michael Watson for a small syndicate, set the ball rolling for the young jockey in the Hunt race. This promising eight-year-old was always holding runner-up Justforthebuzz in the closing stages.
Carheney River rounded off a good day for the rider by giving him his fifth winner of the season in the Open Maiden. Owned jointly by trainer Karyn Heard and Mick Evans, this good looking Flemensfirth gelding was never out of the first two.
“He is lucky to be here because he got himself trapped in the horse box at Trebudannon on Easter Monday and had to be cut out by the fire brigade,” reported Karyn Heard. The nine-year-old showed no ill effects anyway, coming home 30 lengths clear of his 11 rivals.
Steeltown found the Mixed Open easier than his recent Cheltenham hunter chase assignment. He had finished a creditable third in that event, and made virtually all here in the hands of Jamie Thomas. “We bought him at Ascot sales out of Tom Taaffe’s yard and he is a careful jumper,” said John Symes, who owns the former hurdles winner with his wife Floss.
Kayley Woollacott trains Steeltown, and spent a busy afternoon saddling a total of six horses in all. Her yard provided second and third in the Restricted which saw a very easy winner in Harry’s Kap. Jockey Ed Barrett was partnering his fifth winner of the season on this lightly raced gelding who readily followed up his recent success at Upcott Cross. “He knows his job and stays well,” commented owner/ trainer Ray Alford.
The Confined provided a tight finish with front running Ned White gamely holding off the late challenges of Print the Money and Cottage Acre. “He is honest but has not had his ground,” said in-form trainer Robert Chanin, whose son Tom was the successful rider.
Whenharrymetsally was sent clear by Matt Hampton four out in the Intermediate and had enough in reserve to hold the late efforts of Soul Native and My Rebel. The King’s Theatre mare was bought at Fairyhouse as a four-year-old and runs in the colours of Andrew and Hannah Broggio. “She has improved from her last run but really needs softer ground. We will look for a Confined next,” remarked her Bishops Nympton based trainer Keith Cumings.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
The following photographers were at the meeting: Baths photographic (Marcus Bath), David Strange, Helen Stoneman & Horse Events UK