The Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge is one of the best possible venues for a wet weather point-to-point.
Hard roads and parking on tarmac obviates any need for tractors to haul vehicles out. The huge barn houses all the facilities, including, for the three meetings this season, a large screen TV. Needless to say the bookmakers are cosily situated in the barn.
Although only six intrepid layers were calling the odds for the six races, there was plenty of activity in the ring. “Good business including a few lumpy bets,” according to one of the bookmakers.
Three short priced favourites were sunk in the mud. Iron Chancellor (opened 4-6 but forced late into 4-9) failed by a neck to give 3lbs to Sedgemoor Top Bid (drifted 5’s to 8’s) in the opener after a neck and neck battle all the way up the finishing hill against a fierce wind.
Dual course winner Ray Diamond (10-11 into 4-6) was always fighting a losing battle with Sobre Tresor (firm at 7-2) in the Ladies’ Open.
Doctor Braveheart (4-5 generally but squeezed into evens at the off) lost his unbeaten record for the season when finishing a well beaten fourth in the five-runner Men’s Open. This was quite a competitive little race fought out in the end between Blazing Whale (9-4 to 15-8) and Welstonedruid (6’s touched 7’s). Josh Newman rode a patient race on the strong staying Blazing Whale who held on well after a sustained duel with Welstonedruid. Third placed Double Bank was backed from 11-2 into 7-2 and ran a brave race under his 7lbs penalty. He came in with a nasty overreach.
Robin De Souza (1-2 / 8-15) restored the balance for odds-on punters when setting up his seasonal hat trick in the Intermediate. This six-year-old has shown progressive form and could go to the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Final.
The current Devon & Cornwall title holder Darren Edwards was on board Robin De Souza. and completed a double for himself and Devon trainer Dean Summersby thanks to the Beat All gelding Bertie’s Way (5-2 to 3’s) in the Open Maiden. This attracted 12 runners and runner up Troubleshot (9’s to 8’s) should find consolation for the Chanin yard. Third placed Druid Spitfire (20’s to 14’s), a full brother to Welstonedruid, was well in touch until the final bend and will come on for this race. Driving Well (7-4 to 13-8) was sent off favourite for this on the strength of his fine effort behind Robin De Souza last month but faded before the final climb.
It was a shame that the wind and rain affected visibility for the Restricted because this race could well reveal some future winners. Follow The Paint (3’s to 5-2) and Sutton Storm (3’s to 4’s) had each won their divisions of the North Cornwall Maiden in fairly identical times and battled away up the finishing hill in that order. The Welsh challenger Northgeorge (steady at 3’s) could not get to grips with the two leaders. 25-1 shot Annwyl was not disgraced when keeping on well near the finish. It might pay to keep an eye on fifth placed ex-Irish Sucker Punch (nibbled at 6-1) who was too keen early on, and Printing Blue (33’s to 10’s) who was bang in contention until the third last.
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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