The Mystro (7-4 to 11-8) got favourite backers off to a good start in the Exmoor sunshine. The Keith Cumings yard has come into form of late, and The Mystro certainly looked ready to do his job. There was a little money for last year’s winner Bernshaw (9-4 to 2’s) and Forrardon Xmoor also found favour at 5-2 into 7-4. so it was quite a tight book with the other three runners virtually ignored. The Mystro was driven clear up the final climb by Jake Bament.
Dunn’s River (Will Biddick) had beaten subsequent winner Fountains Cider at the Cotley and opened at 5-4 on to follow up in the Restricted here. The Barber stable is also firing in winners and despite easing (5-4 in a place before settling at evens), Biddick’s mount stayed on strongly up the hill to beat Trebudannon winner Brandy and Red (6’s / 11-2), with Flete Park Maiden winner Cloudy Lady (5-2 to 2’s) well held in third.
The third successive jolly was another easy winner from the Barber yard with Bryony Frost oozing confidence on Aikideau firm 1-2 fav) before letting her mount stride clear after jumping the last.
The two best backed horses in the Men’s Open fought out the finish A typical waiting ride from Biddick looked like paying off as he sent The Flying Doc (evens to 4-6) into the lead crossing the last. It was a similar story however to her recent Cheltenham defeat as she found less than the eventual winner Moorland Sunset (5‘s into 7-2) on the climb to the post. This former Caroline Keevil trained gelding is now unbeaten in his four runs this season and was given a good ride by Nick Phillips.
Although only four went to post for the Intermediate there was little between the principals on form. Ed Walker posed a problem by saddling first and second favourites. Doyen Dynamo (7-4 into 5-4) proved the more popular in the ring as Punter Friendly eased slightly from 6-4 out to 7-4. The punters were proved correct, but Driftwood Pride (5-2 to 3’s) nearly spoiled the party. A positive front running ride from Sean Houlihan on Driftwood Pride (jumped really well) all but stole the race, but the Dynamo got wound up breasting the hill to take the lead 150 yards out.
The bookies went home smiling as the 10 runner Open Maiden was a head scratcher (that time of the season isn’t it?). The favourite Sammy Blade (5-4 out to 7-4), was presumably backed because he had run well in better class at the Seavington. He was soon struggling in rear on this occasion and was eventually pulled up on the final bend (hung left and not fluent at his fences). Buz Barton was thought to be the business this time (5’s into 3’s including a £200 bet) but he has an alphabet for form figures contrasting between U, R and a enough P’s to fill a plate. He finished last. The winner Sir Des Pres (4’s out to 11-2) is a good looking seven-year-old Presenting gelding. He saw the trip out better than Miss Weld (6’s to 7’s).
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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