Punters got off to a good start against a strong line of 14 bookies at Buckfastleigh on Sunday. when Navanman, spotted at 15-8 early, and a shade of odds on at the off (10-11), duly hacked up in the opener. The ex-David Pipe hurdler had shown plenty of pointing potential ( owed me a tenner from his Wadebridge second), and looks sure to win again. This 11-runner Confined also saw the each way thieves cashing in on runner up Beuvron (6’s to 4’s).
After this tasty aperitif, favourite backers were up against it for most of the afternoon. Inch Rock (4-7 to 8-11) couldn’t quite defy his penalty under Biddick in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate won by the progressive free running Palmaria (solid 9-4).
The likeable Dicky Bob (4-5 to 10-11) was given a tenacious ride by Jo Supple in the featured West Country Champion Mixed Open Despite clinging to the rails and trading blows stride for stride with Rye Cross (10;s to 7’s), the grey had to give best on the run to the judge. The Ledbury gelding Rye Cross had won a Worcester hunter chase last season and had come on for his sixth in a hot Larkhill Open before Christmas.
The Confined Maiden had to be divided on the day. Jo Supple came in for the ride on Ballybruff (7’s to 6’s) in the first section and this Leslie Jefford trained gelding relished the testing conditions to draw clear of the favourite Sixteen Letters (2’s to 5-4 fav) after jumping the last. The runner up had been off the course for a while and is worth noting.
Will Biddick initiated his double in the other Maiden section, challenging late on Wallabrook (5-4 / 6-4 fav). This was a typical Biddick waiting ride as the champion jockey stalked his rivals looking for less poached ground round the outside. Runner up St Erney (friendless at 9’s) showed promise for the Jackie du Plessis yard.
Biddick was in the winner’s enclosure again thanks to One Big Love (4-5 to 4-6) in the Mares Maiden. The Tamure mare, now with Sally Alner, showed little bits of form for Harry Fry under rules, and had run well when just touched off by Wind Tor at Chipley Park three weeks ago. Lady Kingsmill (7-2 to 3’s) upheld the Chipley form (third behind Wind Tor and One Big Love) by chasing home the winner this time. Her turn will come.
The aforementioned Wind Tor (5-4 to evens fav) was naturally all the rage for the Restricted. Biddick’s treble hopes were sunk however as the Midnight Legend mare failed to sparkle behind impressive winner Ballybane (10-1). This strong grey gelding caught the eye in the paddock (certainly caught mine at 10-1) and defied a long absence to fend off a gallant effort from stable companion Blazing Bouncer (10’s to 8’s). The winner had won an Irish Maiden as a four-year-old but did little for the Rebecca Curtis yard under rules and changed hands for only £1,500 at Ascot sales in November 2016
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
- Sunday 25th February – East Cornwall, Great Trethew, Menheniot, Liskeard PL14 3PZ
- Sunday 4th March – Mid Devon, Cherrybrook, Tavistock PL19 0LA
- Saturday 10th March – East Devon, Bishops Court, Ottery St. Mary EX11 1RJ
- Sunday 18th March – Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers, Buckfastleigh Racecourse. TQ11 0LT
[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Buckfastleigh” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2017-18 Season”]