The opening Maiden race produced a lively betting market. The most surprising move was for the Mike Weir owned and trained A Real Cliché who was seen at 14-1 before dropping in spectacular fashion to his SP of 4-1. A half brother to a winning hurdler, his Irish point to point form was quite moderate and he was bought very cheaply at Ascot in July 2013. Maybe the booking of Will Biddick inspired the gamble. This was his English pointing debut and he was well there until fading from the second last. He can be given another chance. Poor Follow The Paint is the perpetual bridesmaid. She looked sure to break her duck when jumping clear over the last, but was mugged near the post by the fast finishing Bollin Spark (6-1) who came with a storming run under novice rider Hedley Webb.
The majority of the nine runners in the featured four miles Ladies’ Open drifted in the market. Despite a losing run of eight, Bellflower Boy started favourite (7-4 touched 2’s) presumably on the strength of his good effort behind Hameldown Tor over course and distance two weeks ago Bryony Frost sent the favourite to the front after the third last and had the race won by the last jump. Best Bide Quiet had been beaten eleven times since his Maiden win but kept on best of the rest here under young Pippa Glanville to chase the winner home at 50-1
The 5-2 joint favourites rose at the last fence in unison in the two and a half miles Maiden. Whatastormnorm was in the process of throwing down a strong challenge but crashed out, leaving the six-year-old Frost trained mare Milan of Crystal well clear.
After Level Spirit (4-11fav) enjoyed a walk in the park literally in winning the Men’s Open under Robbie Henderson, the last race of the day turned into a thriller. Tamatown has proved difficult to win with for the past couple of years but attracted support from 10’s into 13-2 to win the Confined. He was found wanting again as course specialist Ambitious Pursuit (7-4) held on grimly as Mic’s Delight (4-6 to 4-5 fav) threw down a determined challenge on the run in. The pair were inseparable at the post and a dead heat seemed absolutely the correct result.
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)
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