The nine bookmakers joined in the festivities by offering fair odds throughout the card at the Wadebridge Christmas meeting.
This fixture offers a great atmosphere: The bookies are cosily housed in the huge barn, Christmas gifts are available for sale without getting mixed up with the madding crowd on the high street. There is a TV showing all the point-to –point races live from Jeff Guyett’s camera feed, food & drink in plentiful supply, but I couldn’t see Father Christmas – probably a bit early
The Dapper Fox (5-2 to 5-4) was made favourite for the opener.(Novice Riders’) but was always struggling. De Boitron had reasonable form under rules and was cut from 4’s to 3’s for his first run for the new yard, but fell at half way – he is worth bearing in mind. Mic’s Delight took a walk from 3-1 to 11-2 and ran pretty well, but Supreme Danehill (firm at 11-4) jumped well for his novice pilot Izzie Marshall, and was always holding the strong finishing Rusty Nail (8’s to 12’s), who looks sure to atone in similar company.
At one stage it looked as though Premier Portrait (4-5 to 8-11) had met his match in a small, quality field for the Men’s Open. Young jockey Gus Levinson did not panic however, sweeping wide off the home bend and breezing past Consigliere (steady at 5-4 and carrying a7lbs penalty) near the finish. Third placed Welstonedruid drifted (7’s to 12’s) but ran really well and will be winning soon. Foundry Square was not wanted (5’s to 8’s), but this formerly useful hunter chaser looked the part from the Marie McGuinness yard, and can regain his old winning form.
Ohio Gold, from the same yard as Foundry Square, was forced from 5-4 to 4-5 for the three –runner Ladies’ Open, but got rid of his jockey at the third last. By this time Vicky Wade was making the best of her way home on King Of Alcatraz (5-4 to 7-4), and duly took the prize by 20 lengths from Ambitious Pursuit (2’s to 5-2).
Rockinrolldixie (6-4 to evens) initiated a double for Darren Edwards and trainer Dean Summersby in the Restricted. The jockey gave a fair impression of Lester Piggott on the climb for home, taking command as his mount sauntered home on the bit, and peeping round cheekily for non-existent danger. Rockinrolldixie is on the upgrade and can win again. High Priority (8’s out to 12’s) stayed on well as best of the rest.
There was a remarkable gamble in the 10 strong Open Maiden on four-year- old Captain Cook, backed into 4-6 fav.. “We laid small money to 8’s and 7’s then 5’s before the odds collapsed. We even laid £200 at 7-4 and he went off odds-on,” a leading layer told me. Well this Captain Cook proved about as good as our Captain Cook in the Indian test series – ineffective and sunk without trace. To be honest, I suspected a four-year- old wearing a tongue tie for his debut on a testing track would have to be very smart. This equine Captain Cook did not impress in the paddock, but had the services of the talented Jack Andrews. In the race he compounded very quickly in the closing stages and was pulled up. This meant that the price held up on Chosen Lucky who had to carry my money. (5-2 – 9-4 – 5- 2). I backed him because he had run quite well when fourth behind recent impressive bumper winner Neon Wolf in an Irish point in the autumn. There is nothing like proven form. Darren Edwards duly completed his double on this five- year-old.
The “Horses for courses” theory must be centuries old, but proved itself again in the Intermediate when the game young mare Follow The Paint (3’s to 2’s) again showed her liking for the showground track. She only ever wins at Wadebridge (this was her third course success), and she took advantage of Boygojumping’s exuberant early running style (too fast too soon) under a good ride from Jake Bament.
Question: Which horse won his first race at Wadebridge and subsequently won a Hennessy Gold Cup?
Answer: Celestial Gold, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Ashley Farrant won a division of the Open Maiden at Wadebridge in 2003 and went on to win the Hennessy in November 2004
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: Roger Peaple, and Athwenna Irons (Western Morning News).
- Sunday 8th January 2017, North Cornwall Point-To-Point, Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
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