Much drier ground than last year at this meeting when the betting ring turned into a mudbath after a few races. Ground mainly good to soft with soft patches halfway down the back straight and in the home straight from the bottom of the hill to the last, and a few good patches. There was a fairly big crowd on a pleasant winter day.
6 runners went to post for the hunt members including Weston Lodge with 52 year old Alex Muirhead having his first ride in a race. Donpierre still had a fair lead with half a circuit to go but the gap was gradually closed by the pursuers and Robin Will and Blinding Light looked the dangers turning in. Robin Will looked to be going best after 2 out but didn’t find as much as looked likely and it was Blinding Light who stayed on best to win at 5-2 (touched 4-1). Robin Will (evens into 10-11) and Donpierre (4-1 out to 9-1) 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Only 2 of the 17 entries didn’t line up and there was a gamble on Bien Connu, absent from the track since winning a Tweseldown maiden in 2011. Backed from 6-1 into 5-2, he was one of five in contention turning in and fitness proved to be no issue for him as he stayed on well to win. Mangans Turn had to be pushed along at various stages and finished 2nd, with Definitely Rosie in 3rd. Vilja, a faller at Black Forest Lodge, ran a promising race just in behind.
There seemed to be some confusion initially over the entries for this race as Parkam Jack was only added to the bookmakers’ boards after all of the others had been written up. Ridden by John Mathias, there was no confusion over the result as he found more under pressure than Certain Flight to win at 12-1. Certain Flight, sent off the 1-2 favourite, just held on to 2nd from Blazing Whale.
Jepeck racked up a 3rd win of the season in the Intermediate. King Kash had the field stretched out behind him going down the back for the final time and still had a fair margin over the chasing pack turning in. Soul Native went to the front over 2 out but Jepeck started to run on well under Jamie Thomas and went on to win at 11-4.
PPORA Club Members Novice Riders
A bright prospect to come through the pony racing ranks, Harry Cobden registered a first success in the pointing sphere when guiding Silver Token to victory at 2-1. He gradually got closer on the final circuit and delivered the 10yo with a perfectly timed run to beat Ladyvie, with Talab back in 3rd.
TBA Club Members for Fillies and Mares
Lucette Annie drifted slightly from 1-3 to 2-5 but she was never in much danger here, leading throughout to win with a fair bit in hand. Darren Edwards controlled a slow pace from the front and gradually wound it up with half a circuit to go. Romney Marsh tried to challenge after 3 out but Lucette Annie had more left to offer and pulled away again before being eased close home. Romney Marsh ran well in 2nd at 16-1 with Knight Blaze in 3rd at 7-2.
Open Maiden Div 1
Casino Boy was a well backed outsider from 20-1 into 8-1 in div 1 of the maiden but he wasn’t one of the three in with a realistic chance turning out of the back straight. General Girling (2-1 out to 11-4) had a gap over Just Imagine It (6-4 into 10-11) after the latter pitched badly on landing after 6 out and Will Biddick did well to survive the error. It soon became a duel between the two as they dropped Ziggerson Hill turning in, with each taking turns to just edge ahead of the other. Just Imagine It had edged ahead shortly after the last before General Girling rallied with a strong run on the inside to get back up in a very tight finish. Ziggerson Hill (20-1) showed some promise back in 3rd.
Open Maiden Div 2
Porlock Bay was backed from 6-4 into 4-5 in the closing race but had to settle for 2nd behind Midnights’Mischief under James Jeavons. Ballyhilty Bridge had taken them along for much of the race and there were five in with a chance turning into the straight. Midnights’Mischief got to the front over 2 out but made a mistake at the last and handed Porlock Bay another chance. However, he soon picked up again for driving on the run in to win at 8-1 from Porlock Bay, with Follow The Paint (7-4) in 3rd.
Sunday 1st February 2015, Mid Devon Point-To-Point, Black Forest Lodge.
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