The bookies were cosily entrenched in the barn which also housed a Christmas gift fair.  Festive generosity seemed to be taken up by the books with punters cashing in on well fancied horses in the first five races. But this couldn’t last and outsiders redressed the balance for the layers sacks in the last two races.

  • Working Title was the paddock pick in the Novice Riders event. Obviously benefiting from a run at Black Forest, this course winner was backed from 7-4 to 6-4 favourite and won easily under Joe Drinkwater
  • Whenharrymetsally also started 6 -4 favourite when upgraded to Open status. This ever improving mare slipped up on the bottom bend. My initial impression was that she looked well held at the time, but jockey Matt Hampton held a more positive outlook, telling me that she had plenty left in the tank.
  • Ex- French four-year-old Beuvron was having his first run in English points. The booking of Jo Buck looked interesting in the Ladies’. He was sent off at 100-30 but never looked like troubling front running Byerley Bear (4-6 to 4-7). There will be another day for Beuvron who seemed in need of the race.
  • Raffa (evens to 4-5) was made to work hard to repel Supreme Danehill (5-2 to 9-4) in the Intermediate. The runner up had been noted in this column at Black Forest and remains of interest
  • All 13 entries went to post for the first Maiden where Follow The Paint was all the rage (5-2 to 5-4). Unfortunately for his supporters his saddle slipped on the downhill run after the seventh fence. 40-1 outsider Wilde At Heart ran a terrific race under her novice rider Chelsea Jennings only to be denied by a resurgent Desert Queen (12’s to 10’s).
  • Sisterbrooke caught my eye both in the paddock and in the race in the other Maiden division – although visibility was limited in the wind and rain, even from my vantage point on Jeff’s camera tower. Five-year-old Sisterbrooke, nibbled at from 16’s to 12’s, is in a good yard and showed plenty of promise on her pointing debut. She looks a certain Maiden winner at least.

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