GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – MID DEVON POINT-TO-POINT, BLACK FOREST LODGE, SUNDAY 5th MARCH 2017

It was good to see Darren Edwards back in action after his nasty spill at Taunton, but his first ride back cost me a tenner. This was Rockinrolldixie (5-4 / evens / 11-10) who was outpointed in the closing stages of the opener and finished 10 lengths adrift of Parkam Jack (Jamie Thomas, 4’s to 9-2). The two and a half miles of this Conditions event suited the Kayley Woollacott trained winner well. The only other runner seriously backed here was third placed Mr Satco (5-2 into 7-4) who led until four out.

Darren didn’t take long to get into the winner’s enclosure however, thanks to the Dean Summersby trained Robin de Souza (5-2 co fav), who was contesting his first Men’s Open. This ultra consistent seven-year-old was achieving his seventh career victory and continues to impress. He was one of three the SP reporter couldn’t separate in the market. Grove Pride (third) and Steeltown (fifth) were the other co-favourites. Welstonedruid was friendless at 7’s out to 12’s, but finished like a train as the winner idled near the post. No, I didn’t back Darren’s mount this time

The Ladies’ Open favourite was also beaten. This was course winner Imperial Circus (7-2 to 5-2) who was unable to dominate his eight rivals and dropped away from three out to spoil the good run of trainer Ces Mitford-Slade. The talented Claire Hardwick (nee Hart) pushed Western Diva ((6’s to 5’s) clear before the final bend.

I added to the bookies benevolent fund when I fell for Northgeorge (7-4 to 6-4 fav) who flopped in the Intermediate. Mister Serious (2-1, touched 5-2) had every chance but it was The Dapper Fox (5’s to 9-2) who led the pack home under Jack Veysey.

The main action in the next race took place took place just after the finish. The race was won in a canter by Bogoss du Perret (3’s to 6-4 fav) who stormed home impressively under Bryony Frost. It was run in a really gusty storm (accompanied by a rainbow) which made life difficult for your race reader. The mini whirlwind immediately afterwards scattered some bookmakers stands with a clatter. One of the worst sufferers was G & T Williams. whose stand took off like a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I am sure that Tony Williams was on his hands and knees picking up his tenners and fivers.

Sanity was restored for the getting out stakes except that the favourite was stuffed again. The inevitable Welsh winner (what do they do now that Black Forest has finished for the season?) trotted up. This was the imposing looking Ramble On (7-1) ridden by Byron Moorcroft from the Pontypridd yard of Kieran Price (same stable as Great Trethew winner last week Spencer Moon). The Dapper Fox’s stable companion Fouroclock Fox (9-4 to 7-4) proved the punters nightmare, coming from nearly as far back as Exeter to finish third.