The second Buckfastleigh meeting of the season attracted a large crowd more akin to a Bank Holiday fixture (a hint of sunshine always brings the crowds out).

The 15 bookmakers presented a strong line and lost no time in chalking the prices up in good time – in contrast to a point-to-point meeting I had attended the previous day (not in the Devon & Cornwall area). Unbelievably in every race there the timid line of bookies failed to price up anything until the last few minutes when the jockeys had already mounted. Don’t ask me why.

After Beuvron (1-4) had easily seen off his two opponents in the Buckfastleigh opener, a succession of beaten favourites got the bookies smiling.

I was silly enough to back Looking Glass (5-4) in the first Maiden on the basis that Mike Legg was taking over from her novice rider. She is a difficult mare to settle and looked vulnerable when Betty’s Boy (4’s to 7-2) shadowed her along the back straight travelling ominously well. Sure enough Looking Glass crashed out at the third last, leaving Betty’s Boy to set up a double for Josh Newman. This strong bodied type has not been rushed and will improve further. Buz Barton (8’s to 4’s) was in touch until the top bend but was left behind coming down the hill, as was Onwegoagain (3’s to 5-2).

Forrardon Xmoor was easy to back at 6’s and 7’s prior to a hard fought success under Vicky Wade in the other Maiden division. Back In June (solid 6-4) has decent NH form to his credit and was a creditable second. Robin Longstride (6-4 to evens fav) got left behind at the top of the hill before snatching a modest third place. As his name suggests, he is a rangy type and there is more to come from him in due course

Seven of the nine entries for the Mixed Open went to post, Welstonedruid (5-2 to 7-4) had disputed favouritism with Ziggerson Hill (5-2  / 9-4 / 5-2) but there was money for Doctor Henry (7’s into 4’s). Steeltown (5-2 out to 9-2) looked a likely winner two out, but Doctor Henry responded well to his novice rider and took command on the final bend.

It was amusing that the presentation announcer said that Doctor Henry had come “all the way from Wales.”  He had actually travelled only 13 miles from his base at Modbury, South Devon, and was a first winner for owner / trainer / jockey Bronwyn Buttery.

It’s All or Nothing (11-10 / evens) was the next favourite to fail. Sea Bear (4’s to 7-2) put his beat foot forward this time to leave his modest Black Forest run behind him. Josh Newman gave Sea Bear a positive ride and the grey never looked like being caught.

Premier Portrait (2-9) could not be opposed in the three runner Novice Riders’ contest and duly won by 12 lengths after Overafrica (6’s – 7’s) had stayed with him until the second last.

In The Tub (8-11 / 4-4) was the obvious form choice for the Restricted on his Milborne and Larkhill form. Jo Buck soon had him out in front and he dominated proceedings throughout.


Results of the Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers meeting

Report from the Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers meeting

Official Photographer

Tim Holt


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

Commentary replays

Replays of the Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers meeting race commentaries

Upcoming Event

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