The opening two and a half miles Maiden set a real puzzle with 15 of the 16 entries standing their ground (maximum field) with little form to assist in this four and five-year-olds event. There was a successful plunge however on the Neil Harris trained Mystery Edition, noted at 8’s and 10’s in the odd place, before being forced in from 5’s into 9-4 favourite. The four-year-old was given a good ride by Rob Hawker to land the bets at the expense of the promising Creative Inerta. Third placed Whatastormnorm (2’s to 5-2) will come on a lot for this race and is ready to open his account over a longer trip.

It was inevitable that the first appearance over jumps for Victoria Pendleton in the Club Members race would attract lots of media attention. This entourage evidently had little confidence in Victoria’s chance on Minella Theatre since the schoolmaster 12-year-old took a walk in the market from 4’s out to 8’s. The consistent Jepeck was quickly cut from evens to settle at 8-11 but faded in the closing stages behind the ex-Kim Bailey chaser Premier Portrait (10’s touched 12’s). The winner provided a first win for 16-year-old Gus Levinson.

It was surprising to see Stony Road sent off a strong 6-4 favourite for the Restricted. His rider Charlotte Prichard performed a remarkable recovery after his 12th fence blunder which virtually put him out of the race. Will Biddick’s mount Tempestatefloresco drifted from 5-2 to 7-2 and was just touched off by the strong finishing Doctor Braveheart, nicely backed from 4’s to 3’s

A quality field turned out for the Mixed Open. Last season’s Fontwell hunter chase winner Full Trottle started favourite (3’s to 11-4) but this was one for the locals who filled the first three places. The Wealerdealer (4-1) has developed into a useful performer. He won the Exeter Intermediate Final in May and ran on strongly here to hold the gallant Bradley Brook (5-2 to 7-2) and the popular veteran Coombe Hill (10’s to 9’s) who gave young Millie Wonnacott a lovely debut ride.

Punters were scratching their heads over the nine-runner Open Maiden which saw Wotzizname sent off an uneasy 3-1 favourite. Maybe that support was attributable to the Biddick factor, but Will’s mount was well held behind the Welsh challenger Northgeorge. Byron Moorcroft was completing his double, but on this occasion there was little Welsh money in the ring for the winner (3’s out to 5’s)

The Welsh boys may have saved their money for the David Brace trained Dunraven Royal in the last. Despite starting a warm 6-4 favourite the promising five-year-old was soon struggling behind the front running Argentato. This good looking grey looked fit and attracted late money from 8’s into 4’s and was well handled by 17-year-old Jordan Nailor.


Results of the Black Forest Club meeting


Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at


The following photographers were at the meeting: Cat Down (Official Photographer) Tim Holt, Hamish Mitchell (Horse & Hound), Alun Sedgemore (Sporting Prints), Roger Peaple and Athwenna Irons (Western Morning News).

Press from At The Races, Pinnacle Sports, The Telegraph and The Guardian were also in attendance, with Sky Sports, The BBC, Racing Post, Sporting Life, Daily Mail, Oxford Times, Racing UK, Mid Devon Gazette, Express & Echo and Western Morning News featuring Victoria Pendleton’s Jumps debut.

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