The afternoon started with a shock in the Hunt race when the long odds-on favourite Hameldown Tor (2-7 – 1-4 ) was brought down by the fall of leader Miss Cupcake ( 7’s -13-2 ) at the unlucky 13th fence. Moyne Nineoseven (3’s to 5’s) just mastered the fast finishing Miss Weld (10’s to 14’s) with Well Travelled (10’s touched 14’s) a creditable third
San Satiro was another losing odds-on favourite. A four-year-old making his racecourse debut, the raw youngster got no further than the fourth fence in the Open Maiden. It was probably the attendance of his owner Paul Nicholls and with Will Biddick in the saddle that led to his very short price. Boymann (9-1) came good at last, keeping on gamely under Leanda Tickle propelled by much tail swishing on the run-in. Tell Tony (easy to back at 4’s) finished a promising third under the excellent David Noonan, and despite being pulled up, the ex-French four-year-old Tagal (5’s out to 8’s) showed enough to warrant interest for the future.
Silver Token (5-4 to evens) was another short pricedfavourite to bite the dust in the Novice Riders’ contest. The striking grey was bidding for his fifth consecutive win under Harry Cobden, but seemed squeezed for room when making progress before crashing through the wing of the 14th fence. .His market rival Loose Preformer (5-4 to 6-4) looked like cashing in on this mishap but had no answer to the well timed challenge of Maxi Chop (7’s to 6’s) under James King. Once again the Devon & Cornwall bookies rose to the occasion with 50’s and 100’s offered on some boards in this nine runner race.
Whataknight proved a saviour for the punters in the Intermediate. This progressive six-year-old traded at 11-10 on with some decent bets going in. Will Biddick’s mount – one of his three winners on the day – was never in danger of defeat.
The liveliest betting race of the day was the 13-runner Restricted. There was money for Kilcolman Wizard (10’s to 5’s); Greendale Rocket (7’s to 5’s); and most significantly On Your Max (7-2 into 7-4 fav). These punts all came to nothing behind the Barber/Biddick five-year-old Royalzaro who amazingly drifted from evens out to 9-4 and 5-2.