WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR
The re-arranged Eggesford fixture at Upcott Cross featured riding doubles for Jamie Thomas and Will Biddick.
The well supported card, postponed due to waterlogging last month, saw 61 runners contest the seven races on a breezy but dry evening.
Kayley Woollacott saddled Le Clo de la Londe and Steeltown to provide Jamie Thomas with his double. John and Sonia Gardeners Le Clo de la Londe jumped with his usual accuracy to win for the second time this season in the Intermediate.
Steeltown completed the yard’s double to clock up his fifth successive win since Easter Monday in the Mixed Open for owners John and Floss Symes.
Champion jockey Will Biddick took another step to his fifth national title thanks to wins on Well Travelled and Certain Flight. Well Travelled takes a bit of cajoling and Biddick had to be at his best to hold the spirited challenge from Victoria Sleep on Mongress Boy in the Restricted. Jack Barber trains the winner for the Axe Valley Racing Club.
Biddick took his total to 49 for the season when Certain Flight got up on the line to catch Sucker Punch in the Confined. This was Certain Flight’s 13th career success, but the 11-year-old has had to overcome some problems this year. “He got a stone in his eye early in January when running at Larkhill. It got infected and he nearly lost the eye. He eventually got over that but was then kicked by another horse in the yard,” reported trainer Keith Cumings.
Tom Chanin may have been unlucky on The Wealerdealer in the Mixed Open, but landed the Hunt race with a confident ride on Fishy Story. “She came from David Pipe and is really tough but would be better on softer ground,” commented trainer Stuart Sampson of his Midnight Legend mare.
A tight finish to the 14-runner Open Maiden saw Grissom just hold on from the fast finishing Zip the Lip. The winner was spotted by Bryony Frost on a visit to Ireland and is trained by her mother Nikki. “He was very keen on the first circuit then jumped better. He has always been a great jumper,” said owner/rider Ben Robarts.
The two and a half miles Maiden went to the Welsh challenger Bleu et Or who made all the running under Tom David. This five-year-old, placed over hurdles for Donald McCain, was bought at Doncaster sales last November for owners Steve Whistance and Maurice Seabourne. The rangy gelding is by the French stallion Maresca Sorrento who sired the 2014 Grand National winner Pineau De Re. Pyle, Bridgend trainer Gareth Moore, was saddling his 14th winner of the season and remarked, “Ideally he needs fast ground and is still a bit green.”
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: Tim Holt, Marcus Bath, and Megan Cobley
- Bank Holiday Monday 30th May 2016, South Tetcott, Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction, Holsworthy
- Sunday 5th June 2016, Tiverton Staghounds, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor [etickets available]
- Saturday 11th June 2016, Torrington Farmers, Chapelton Barton, Umberleigh, Barnstaple
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