Plenty of runners, 16 bookies, and a big crowd added up to a strong betting market in the wonderful setting of the old Buckfastleigh racecourse for the South Pool Harriers meeting.
The testing going produced one or two upsets of form, but the 20-1 winner of the opening Confined hides the full story of that event. Firstly, well done to the brave mare Whenharrymetsally (drifted from 14’s) who took the prize home. The losers here were Dicky Bob (5-2 touched 11-4) together with some of the bookies. Dicky Bob had “won” in impressive style but was disqualified when his rider failed to weigh in. A belated announcement meant that some books had already paid out on the original very easy winner, but very little of the ill gotten gains was returned.
The 3-1 joint favourites for the Intermediate failed to oblige. Dunn’s River (touched 4’s) was pulled up by the champion jockey and Fishy Story (touched 7-2) could only finish third. The bold jumping Forrardon Xmoor (20-1), given a good ride by Vicky Wade, just proved stronger after jumping the last than runner-up Applesolutely (5’s to 6’s)
The Mixed Open for the Westcountry Champion chase looked competitive on paper, and favourite backers could not separate Jepeck (5-2 touched 3’s) and Winter Soldier (5-2, 9-4 and back to 5-2). Jepeck literally ran away from his nine rivals in this good quality contest to win as he liked. The runner-up Miss Gotaway (4’s to 3’s) ran her usual game race to chase the winner home, with Winter Soldier finishing third. Sobre Tresor (5’s to 3’s) was doing his best work at the finish.
100-1 and upwards was chalked up against the rags (or illuminated on boards nowadays) in each of the first three races, but it was probably 5,000 to 1 and upwards that a car crash on the A38 would occur to hold up racing. This happened before the fourth race when a car turned upside down on the edge of the track opposite the first fence.
When the blue lights had stopped flashing, racing was resumed with Biddick easing home As I See It (5-2 in a place to 4-6) in the first Confined Maiden. This as yet unfurnished home bred five-year-old is out of the ten times winning mare Chomba Womba and can only improve.
Two of the jumps alongside the main road were omitted in each of the Maidens due to safety reasons ( emergency vehicles still doing their jobs ). There were no great expectations about the winner Mr Jaggers in the second section (6’s out to 8’s), but his novice rider Charlie O’Shea was in determined mood and rode his first winner by forcing the eight-year-old between horses to get up inside the last 50 yards. A lively market here saw the placed horses supported. Ballyristeen was backed from 6’s to 5’s, and Clenagh Castle (10’s on one board early into 2’s). The favourite Troed Y Melin (11-8/6-4) faded quickly on the run-in.
Another long priced winner put a smile back on the layers faces when She’s Dapper 14’s from 16’s) won the 13-runner Mares & Fillies Maiden to give Matt Hampton a double. Pyleigh Brae (6’s to 10’s) led until the last but the favourite Kintamini (7-4 to 2’s) proved disappointing after her good Silverton effort. I made a favourable note of two outsiders here. Eastern Calm (10’s to 14’s) ran well to be third after a lay off, and newcomer Festival Dawn (14’s) shaped well.
Dan McGrue (5-4 fav touched 2’s) was never in danger in the getting out stakes and looks a decent prospect. This five-year-old fetched £60,000 at Ascot last August after his racecourse debut win in a Roscommon bumper.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
- Sunday 26th February 2017, East Cornwall Point-To-Point, Great Trethew, nr Liskeard
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