GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – WESTERN POINT-TO-POINT AT WADEBRIDGE, 5th Feb 2017

Only five bookies found their way to Cornwall on Sunday for the third and final Wadebridge fixture of the season.

The two best backed horses dead heated in the opening Confined race, with the favourite Robin De Souza (5-4 to 4-5) joined on the line by Before The War (solid 9-4). Follow The Paint (5-1) ran her usual game race in third. This trio are well known to Westcountry regulars, but Katkolys (6’s / 7’s) caught the eye in fourth. Now stabled in the local area with David Stephens, he had done his winning in the Midlands since coming over from France.

The Ladies’ Open featured several formerly useful National Hunt performers. Once with Colin Tizzard, Ohio Gold (3’s to 4’s) just caught the ex-Paul Nicholls There’s No Panic (2-1 fav after 3’s in a place) . Mic’s Delight (2’s to 3’s), was with Victor Dartnall in his hey day, and stayed on into third whist old Carruthers (5-2 / 11-4) was a respectable fourth, giving Lily Bradstock an excellent schoolmaster ride some five years after his Hennessy victory.

Rockinrolldixie (1-2 to 4-7 fav) found easy pickings in the four-runner Intermediate to follow up his December course victory with Darren Edwards sitting motionless. Great Camanoe (6-1) made a brave effort to cause an upset, but the winner was laughing at him up the final climb. Baltic Blue was a surprising plunge here, dropping from 4’s to 5-2. He was well beaten in the end.

The biggest field of the day (13) contested the Open Maiden. Petite Rock was made favourite (2’s to 6-4) presumably on the strength of his earlier two placed efforts on this course. The seven-year-old was always struggling however and never got in a blow behind easy winner Village Whispers (8-1) who gave a first winning ride to Chloe Emsley. In a modest contest, She Knows found supporters from 16’s to 8’s but finished in the ruck. I thought that two unfancied horses ran quite well. The Oscar gelding Iwouldntliketosay (10-1) came into this race with no form and was just pipped for second. . Lightly raced From The Getgo (7’s to 8’s) was prominent for a long way. This stoutly bred six-year-old can do better.

The stiff Wadebridge finishing hill proved the undoing of the two clear leaders in a good little Men’s Open. Desertmore View (6-4 to evens fav), and Doctor Braveheart (4’s to 3’s) got very tired out in front and became sitting ducks as 16-year-old Ben Godfrey took straight aim on Sobre Tresor (7-4). This course specialist looked well out of contention half a mile out, but his young rider had other ideas and Sobre Tresor swept past his legless rivals inside the final 75 yards to win going away.

Air Glider was nicely backed in the closing Restricted ( 5-4 fav after a bit of 6-4 to the skirmishers). There was also money for Pink Eyed Pedro (2’s to 7-4) after the Welsh gelding’s good run on this track last month. This pair dominated the closing stages with Pedro staying on doggedly to thwart his market rival. After a long trek to the re-sighted paddock (miles away from the action) I plumped for Minim Mouse (3’s / 7-2). She never looked like winning – more like Mickey Mouse.