A trend in this area this season seems to be that the majority of entries actually take part. The 82 total entries at the North Cornwall produced 64 runners- ie about 80% run ratio to entries,
Yet another very good day’s racing on the Royal Cornwall showground. Eight races saw only three winning favourites on pretty soft ground, sending the bookies home with a nice profit.
The big hitters struck first though, as the in-form Dean Summersby yard produced Air Glider (Darren Edwards) to win a modest Hunt race (4-5 to 2-5). This ex-Dan Skelton hurdler had also won an Irish maiden, and was placed in hurdles over here before joining Summersby’s Launceston yard. He will win again.
Odds-on backers caught a cold though in the Ladies’ Open. Start Royal (4-6 to 8-11) has been a class act over the years, but hit a flat spot under Gina Andrews down the hill, and looked well held on the bottom bend. Course specialist Sobre Tresor (5-2 to 11-4) took full advantage. He mastered Doctor Henry (7-4 to 2’s) in the home straight before staying on strongly under an excellent ride from Taylor Pook to hold the favourite’s renewed effort. I was tempted to back the winner, but a paddock inspection persuaded me that he had eaten a bit too much Christmas pudding.
Already a pointing winner this season, Karinga Dancer has a BHA rating of 140, but was easy to back (6-4 out to 9-4) in the 12-runner Novice Riders’ event. As McCririck used to say, the favourites flip flopped as the Alan Hill trained Supreme Danehill came in from 5-2 to 2-1 to pinch favouritism. He ran well for his young rider, but the experienced Karinga Dancer (Laura Thomas) proved street wise enough to hold a bold effort from Rusty Nail (Ben Godfrey) (9-2 to 5’s).
Barbury Castle trainer Laura Thomas (I hate the modern use of “keeper” instead of trainer – I associate keeper with zoo animals), switched roles from jockey to trainer to saddle Full Trottle (9-2 in a place to 7-2) to win the Men’s Open under a good ride from Johnny Bailey. Little Cornham (8’s to 9’s) ran really well to chase home the winner, but the prolific Premier Portrait (1-2 to 2-5) had an off day. He reared and unseated his rider in the preliminaries and “never gave me any sort of feel from the off” according to young Gus Levinson. I know how the horse felt because I also had an off day also with a bad back.
Before The War ((5’s to 7’s) had been off the course all last season, but galloped on relentlessly to beat a fitter looking Robin De Souza (6-4) and give Josh Newman a double. That left me a tenner down to add to the back pain.
Josh had earlier steered Minim Mouse (not wanted from 5’s out to 9’s) to an emphatic victory in the second Maiden division. The feature before this event was sustained support for the mare Ruby Fool (4’s into 6-4 fav), who looked a picture in the parade ring, but was easily second fiddle in the race. She is a certainty for a Maiden.
Genermouse (6’s to 8’s) is a half brother to Minim Mouse (same breeder), but he is an enormous specimen. He jumped really well in the Restricted and made most until stumbling and unseating Josh Newman on the tight bottom bend. This left recent Wadebridge winner Chosen Lucky (2’s to 6-4 fav) ahead, and his task was made easier when the challenging High Priority (4’ to 5’s) unseated at the third last.
Come On Joey (7-4 to 6-4 fav) came from well off the pace to win the first Maiden under Vicky Wade . “Very green” was the rider’s verdict which was not surprising as the six-year-old crashed into the running rail 50 yards from home but re-bounded enough to hold the promising Boomtown Knat ( 6’s to 5’s).