EIGHT races and 84 runners at Black Forest Lodge without a single odds-on shot on the boards – amazing.
Yes it was a strong betting market with a few “faces” from up country mingling with the local punters ranged against the 11 layers.
Favourite backers caught a cold in both the Ladies’ and Men’s Opens. Penmore Mill (5-4 fav touched evens) made a brave effort out in front on the second circuit in the 11 runner Ladies’, but just failed to hold the late thrust of both Horsham Lad (6‘s out to 9’s) and the wonderful veteran Coombe Hill (9-2 from 7’s) in a terrific blanket finish with less than a length between the trio.
Repeat Business (evens to 11-8 fav) put a smile on the bookies’ faces in the Men’s feature (tailed off when pulled up). This race went to the young trainer/jockey combination of Michael Bowen and Richard Patrick, thanks to a game front running performance by the useful Sir Du Bearn (6‘s out to 7’s). Imperial Circus (12’s out to 16’s) stuck to his task well and looks a sure fire future winner. Ohio Gold (7’s out to 10’s) will come on for this after keeping on to fill third spot. Irish Anthem (4’s to 3’s) proved disappointing when pulling up on the final circuit.
Locally trained horses took the Confined and Restricted: Delphi Mountain (steady at 3’s) was given a good ride by his novice pilot Emma Watson to win the Confined easily after Doctor Henry had unseated Bronwyn Buttery at the final ditch. The Dapper Fox was laid at 16’s before tumbling through all rates into 6-1 but never got a sight of the leaders. He will need more positive handling.
The Restricted looked quite strong and produced a worthy winner in staying type Robin De Souza (5-2 jt fav touched 11-4). He will certainly progress further. Northleach (5-2 to 3’s) kept tabs on the winner until the second last, and third placed Captain Camelot (3’s out to 5’s) was not disgraced. The other joint favourite Doyen Dynamo (op 3’s) ruined his chance with a blunder three out. A lively outsider here worth keeping an eye on is the Hutsby trained Nashville Tommy (20’s to 14’s) who was not discredited in fifth.
The Intermediate winner Big Georgie (10’s to 6’s before settling at 8’s)
evidently acts in heavy going and in the dark (last race run in twilight). James Ridley timed his challenge well to see off Paddycards (4’s out to 7’s). The Flying Doc finished third without really threatening. He made a mess of the last but was nicely supported from 12’s to 6’s. The doc is capable of better. Incidentally Hunton tempted punters here with a 100- 1 shot Just Hattie – in touch til 13th.
All three Maiden favourites went down the pan. Zephyr once changed hands for 100,000gns as a yearling but he wasn’t fast enough for the flat so he came to Black Forest as a five-year-old maiden. Nobody was convinced, so he drifted from 2’s out to 5’s for this lowly maiden. He evidently loves his new career as a pointer, and easily outstayed Dark Gesture (5-2 from 3’s).
Favourite backers looked like collecting in the second Maiden, but Whatasrormnorm (7-4 from 5-2) could not cope with Creative Inerta (11-4 to 3’s) who benefited from his first time tongue tie.
Bruton (20’s to 10’s) also wore the fashionable tongue tie . His previous two runs had been disappointing, but somebody kept faith in the seven-year-old out of popular mare Hops and Pops, and he took the final Maiden in the hands of Will Biddick. Berwick Bassett was sent off 3-1 fav having opened at 12’s but could only finish third.
Battle re-commences at Chipley Park on Sunday.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
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