Two busy meetings with a total of 65 runners at Upcott Cross and 50 runners at Trebudannon.
Fishy Story got favourite backers off to a good start in the Hunt race at a breezy Upcott Cross on Saturday (4-7 touched evens), She stays well (like most Midnight Legends) and won comfortably.
This was some consolation to the Stuart Sampson stable for Fishy Story’s recent disqualification at Buckfastleigh, but more woe was bestowed on that yard when first past the post Baltazar De Seuil (drifted from 5-2 to 100-30) was adjudged to have interfered with Jabbea (5-2 jt fav) in closing stages of the two and a half miles Maiden. Mary Sanderson’s Jabbea is a full brother to the useful Robin De Souza and will improve again.
The Mixed Open was a reunion for former Paul Nicholls trained chasers. At one stage in their careers the Ditcheat dynamo housed three of the five runners, Polisky ((5-2), There’s No Panic (5-2 touched 3’s) and Wilton Milan (8-1). None of these could cope with The Wealerdealer who was well backed from 2-1 to 5-4 fav and won easily.
Norman Conquest (9-2 touched 5’s) showed a good turn of foot on the run in to beat Eastern Calm (7-4 to 5-4 fav) in the Restricted. Tackler (3’s to 2’s) had every chance before finishing third.
The last three races on the card went to Dean Summersby trained horses. That yard has been in such form this year they could probably turn out a donkey to win, but the trio of winners on Saturday all impressed. Honest Deed (5-4 to 4-6) was appearing for the first time in this country and the ex-Irish pointer won his maiden division by 20 lengths. He has the scope to progress.
I thought at one time that Darren Edwards had got a bit behind on Carrignagapple (4-5 touched evens), but he cut down his 11 rivals without a bother and obviously judges pace better than me.
The third Summersby / Edwards winner was Chosen Lucky (1-4 to 1-5), now unbeaten this season in his six points after coming over from Ireland. A very smart young pointer.
Easter Monday attracted a massive holiday crowd to Trebudannon. It seemed a bit unfair that 13 bookies were taken on by a cast of thousands, but the prevailing once a year punter places a lot of faith in pretty colours, numbers and a sharp pin and doesn’t mind the queues to bet. In consequence our friends chalking up the odds had a permanent smile on their faces all afternoon.
Jeu De Mots (9-4 to 2’s) displaced his fellow four-year-old Captain Cattistock (7-4 out to 9-4) as favourite for the two and a half miles Maiden. This pair fought out the finish with Captain Cattistock just fending off his market rival under a good ride from Martin McIntyre.
A Jack Barber training treble was completed by Ballyknock Cloud in the Restricted and Ask The Weatherman in the grandly titled Cornish National. Darren Edwards’ mount Rockinrolldixie (11-2 from 7’s) went close to upsetting Ballyknock Cloud (4-5) after a neck and neck battle up the home straight.
One of the top rated point-to-pointers in the country, Ask The Weatherman, was always long odds-on to land the big race and was sent off at a prohibitive 1-4 – or £1 to win 25p to my auntie. Christopher Barber brought Top Chief (8-1) to challenge the certainty at the second last and his spirited effort made Biddick work hard on the jolly to prevent an upset.
Archie Rice (7-4 into evens) has developed into a useful Ladies’ horse and obliged for the Frost yard with Harriet Tucker standing in for Bryony Frost who was committed to another meeting. At one stage Aiteen Thirtythree (7-2 to 5-2) looked a real danger, jumping well until blowing up in the last half mile. He had been off for two years and will benefit from this outing.
Air Glider (2’s to 7-4 fav) kept the Summersby / Edwards band wagon rolling by winning the Restricted, but had to work hard to see off River Myth (8-1)
Martin McIntyre completed his double in the concluding Open maiden on Every Breakin Wave (7-2 to 9-2). On paddock observations I made it between the winner and subsequently unplaced Somethingornothing (8’s from 10’s). No guesses which one I went for – a long drive home with plenty of time for cursing…. maybe I should have used a pin