WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR AND DONNA HARRIS
“There is no fragrance in April breezes til breathed with joy as they wander by”
William Cullen Bryant 1794-1878
It was a bit of a cool breeze at Upcott Cross where more runners turned out than any other British meeting on that day.
In fact a total of 65 runners contested the eight races on predominantly soft ground.
The Wealerdealer is in great form and was an impressive winner of the featured Mixed Open. Rex Dingle sent the 10-year-old clear of There’s No Panic approaching the last to score by a comfortable six lengths. Becky Chanin trains the consistent gelding alongside her husband Ian, who has his eye on the final of the Timico series at Cheltenham, with a Towcester hunter chase providing another option next month.
The Chanin family again occupied the winner’s enclosure after the Restricted, as Robert Chanin had saddled Norman Conquest to scoot clear on the run-in, ridden by Ian’s brother Tom. Robert Chanin described this Tamure eight-year-old, owned and bred by Chris Tory, as a “big, raw horse making impressive progress”, a remark echoed by jockey son Tom who added. “He missed last season but he is an easy ride – a steering job”.
The likeable young mare Fishy Story won the Hunt race for the second year in succession for her owner Martin Tucker. Matt Hampton sent her to the front on the final bend to score comfortably from Le Clo De La Londe. “She was fresh early and really needs better ground, but won going away and is an exciting mare,” reported the rider. Trainer Stuart Sampson saddled both the winner and the runner-up.
Fishy Story had been disqualified after winning on her previous outing at Buckfastleigh, and the Sampson trained Baltazar Du Seuil (Christopher Barber) suffered the same fate here in the two and a half miles Open Maiden. This time it was interference on the run-in as the gelding appeared to edge across Jabbea near the finish to gain a head verdict. The stewards had little option but to reverse the first two placings. This was however a change of luck for five-year-old Jabbea, who had fallen at the last with the race at his mercy at Cothelstone. Owner/trainer Mary Sanderson remarked, “We bought him at Tattersalls (Ireland) as an unbroken three-year-old and he is a full brother to Robin De Souza. He is still a bit weedy but is a proper racehorse.”
Nick Lawton had the mount on Jabbea, and was completing a double initiated by Honourable Exit in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. “These are my first winners this year since I broke a hand at the start of the season,” said the 26-year-old jockey who works for the Philip Hobbs yard. Winning trainer Joe Tickle explained that the dual Irish pointing winner had only been purchased two weeks ago. “He came from Sussex really as a riding horse but when we got him home he felt like a racehorse. We sweetened him up on the moors and the beach and he loved it.”
The jockey/trainer combination of Darren Edwards and Dean Summersby mopped up the final three races on the card. The Summersby yard has been in unstoppable form this year and Honest Deed, Carrignagapple and Chosen Lucky proved a winning trio.
Honest Deed was all the rage for his division of the Open Maiden and justified odds-on favouritism with a convincing victory. “We bought him privately in Ireland six weeks ago and put a syndicate of eight together. He wants better ground,” said the trainer.
The six-year-old Apple Tree gelding Carrignagapple beat ten opponents with ease in the other Maiden division. “He has plenty of ability and I really like him,” commented the rider.
Chosen Lucky became the 15th winner of the season for Darren Edwards in the closing Confined event. This six-year-old is now unbeaten in six races this season, putting himself and his trainer in a good position towards National titles. “He didn’t really handle the tacky ground and we will try him on better ground. We might find a hunter chase for him,” said the successful trainer.