It was good to get back pointing on a decent day at Black Forest Lodge, but the superstitious amongst us would have seen 13 hungry looking bookmakers lined up and eager to make it Black Sunday for the punters.
The five-year-old Very Intense was justifiably all the rage for the opener based on his form under rules. He looked ready to do his job and early skirmishers snapped up 5-4 before he traded at 4-6 at flagfall.
Johnny Bailey duly set up a double as the first jolly of the season went in, but had to fight off a spirited challenge from the fit looking Frost five-year-old Bogoss Du Perret (solid 5’s). Although a distance away in third, The Keadeen (6-4 to 9-4) was not disgraced and can improve.
Premier Portrait (4-7 to 2-5) could not be opposed in the Club race where he started his eight- winning sequence last year. The only risky moment came when his fractious behaviour saw Gus Levinson ejected leaving the parade ring. Ambitious Pursuit (25-1) chased Premier Portrait home and can score in similar company. Bathwick Scanno was seen early at 16’s before contracting through all rates to 5-1. His shrewd yard will find races for him.
The third consecutive odds-on shot came unstuck. The hooded Pink Eyed Pedro (9-4 to 4-5) was expected to put Wales on the score sheet, but the Dr Massini gelding weakened quickly where it mattered. Despite racing wider than the his rivals, Boygojumping (7-4 out to 9-4) jumped soundly and won convincingly under his veteran owner/trainer/rider.
The Mixed Open produced a blanket finish with Full Trottle (6’s to 4’s) beating Grove Pride (20-1) by a neck with odds-on Benvolio (evens – 4-6) a further neck away third. The winner completed a double for the Laura Thomas/Johnny Bailey team and has evidently reaped the benefit of a wind operation. The ex-Paul Nicholls chaser Benvolio will do better when his rider gets the hang of him.
The exchanges would have had fun in the Open maiden. The Wexfordian (7-4 to 2’s) pulled hard to set up a long lead under Claire Hardwick (nee Hart) and looked home and dry four out. He looked a spent force when Desert Roe (2’s to 7-4fav) swept past him two out. The Welsh cheers for the favourite proved short lived however as The Wexfordian rallied gamely round the last bend to score going away.There was a gamble on Ryves Rocky (12’s to 3’s) here, but this six-year-old was doing his best work towards the finish.
Will Biddick’s only mount of the day, Key People was an uneasy favourite for the last (evens-6-4-11-8) and finished well beaten for the Intermediate. Luke Harvey’s Porlock Bay (9-2 to 5-2) saw Darren Edwards ride his 200th point-to-point winner. This consistent gelding’s bright red blinkers shone like a beacon as he pulled clear in the home straight. This was the fourth sub-six minute time of the day on the drying ground.
Finally well done to the layers who chalked up some fancy prices for the rags. 66-1 and 150-1 appeared on one board in the nine strong Club Members’.
RESULTS & REPORT
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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