WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR
WILL BIDDICK’S double at Bratton Down gave him his fifth winner in the last five days,and helped to elevate him into a narrow lead over Darren Edwards for the Devon & Cornwall title.
Biddick is already assured of his fifth consecutive National championship, and it looks like being a close call for the local title this year
Overnight rain eased the going considerably and Exmoor looked at its best, bathed in afternoon sunshine. A late decision to let his horses take their chance paid off for Jack Barber. Dunn’s River with Will Biddick in the saddle came right away from his nine opponents to take the Restricted and initiate a double for the young trainer. The grey, by Mastercraftsman , is owned by the Axe Valley Racing Club and is steadily improving. “Everything is coming together for Dunn’s River now. He jumps and stays well,” remarked Biddick.
Aikideau completed the stable double when defying his penalty under Bryony Frost in the Ladies’ Open. The winner was hard pressed two out by Ohio Gold and Miss Cupcake, but stayed on very strongly up the final climb for an emphatic victory.
The 10 runner Men’s Open proved quite competitive with a group of seven still holding chances at the third last. Biddick’s well timed challenge on the favourite The Flying Doc jumping the last looked like paying off, but Moorland Sunset proved the stronger on the gruelling climb for home. The nine-year-old is unbeaten in four runs this season for owner Scilla Phillips and trainer Elizabeth Brown. Winning jockey Nick Phillips was partnering his eighth winner of the season, which includes a hunter chase success at Cheltenham for the same connections on Cousin Pete. “Moorland Sunset was with Caroline Keevil but we did a deal a couple of years ago with his former owner Philip Popham and got him in lieu of payment for straw. He tries and he stays but we call him sick note at home. He is quite quirky and won’t run again this season.” reported the jockey.
You can’t keep Will Biddick down for long however, and he was back in the winner’s enclosure thanks to the progressive Doyen Dynamo in the Intermediate. “He jumped well and travelled,” reported the champion jockey who was partnering his 52nd point-to-point winner of the season. The winner was bought privately in Ireland and was saddled by Ed Walker for owners John Dorse and Mike Roe.
The Mystro repeated last year’s success in the Hunt race when scoring by four lengths under Jake Bament. The seven-year-old, who was formerly placed over hurdles in Ireland for Mouse Morris, is trained by Keith Cumings on behalf of a four strong local owners group called The Duckers and Divers Club.
Sir Des Pres gave jockey Philip Thomas his first winner of the season in the Open Maiden, just overhauling Miss Weld inside the final furlong. This good looking Presenting gelding was a gift horse to owner/trainer Steve Parfimowicz from Susan Humphries after her husband Ray had died last year.
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: John Beasley, Tim Holt, Marcus Bath, and Roger Peaple
- 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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