It turned out to be a long afternoon at Great Trethew thanks to divided races and various other delays.
Luckily the weather was relatively kind to the good sized crowd and competitive racing on good going (71 runners in the eight races ) meant a decent betting market.
The first point-to-point flat race (what most of us call a bumper) to take place in the Devon & Cornwall area had to be divided on the day. Nevertheless it still presented a headache for bookies and punters with little or no form to go on for the young horses.
Lee Drowne might have been his recently retired top flat jockey cousin Steve Drowne in disguise as he brought The Roestone (6’s to 5’s) with a sweeping run down the hill to take the first division at the expense of the favourite Staar (4-5 with early 2’s snapped up). The Roestone is a nice type by Vinnie Roe and was fir to do his job out of Robert Chanin’s yard. Staar changed hands for 150,000 gns as a yearling but this one time John Gosden inmate hadn’t seen a racecourse until now.
The winner of the other division, Hot Ryan (6’s out to 10’s), probably needed the race when well beaten in her Barbury flat race, but showed good speed here under Bryan Carver to beat Schiap Hill (2’s to 3’s) who had finished well ahead of her at Barbury Castle. Shometheway was a well backed favourite for this race (4-6 from evens). This strong bodied Presenting mare could only finish fifth but will surely do better in time.
A maximum field of 15 lined up for the young horses Open Maiden over two and a half miles. Punters were on the mark with the Dean Summersby trained five-year- old Clondaw Bunny (3-1 fav), who was stepping up on his two previous runs. The Larkhill effort was encouraging enough to warrant a bet as it was a much better race(subsequent winner a neck in front of him). Who Told You (7-1) made a pleasing debut to finish runner up to the bunny after showing greenness.
The older horses two and a half miles Open Maiden produced another division on the day. Horwood Lad (10’s touched 12’s) won the first section despite crashing through the last. The favourite Violet Wish (4’s to 2’s) was disappointing, as were the punters who backed Kayf Farmer ( 5-2). The question is when is a runner not a runner? The only running that Kayf Farmer did was down to the start before he was reluctant to line up, planting and backing away from the others with the starters flag raised until the field was eventually despatched. Kayf Farmer had by then been dismounted by Vicky Wade, stood still and was deemed to have been “withdrawn under starters orders” leading to much confusion in the betting ring as to whether or not he was a “runner”. He obviously took no part but no rule 4 was applied.
There was no messing about with Elizabeth’s Wish (3’s to 2-1 fav) in the other division. Christopher Barber sent the mare to the front from flag fall and was able to dictate the race to come home 25 lengths in front . Ohbaby (4’s to 3’s) finished with a late rattle to snatch second and looks capable of scoring over a longer distance.
The Mixed Open saw the gamble of the day as the formerly useful David Pipe trained gelding Herbert Park (10’s into 3’s) won on his pointing debut for the Ray Alford yard. The runner up Whenharrymetsally (solid 4’s) ran her usual game race, whilst the veteran Midnight Appeal (8’s out to 12’s) was a creditable third. The favourite Robin De Souza (2-1 touched 3’s) dropped away in the final half mile, and previous course winner Spencer Moon (2’s/11-4) came down the hill tamely to take 5th place.
Bryan Carver completed his double in the Novice Riders’ event with a facile win on Chosen Lucky who hardened from 1-2 to 1-3. I don’t normally like betting odds-on, but I do like presents. In truth the gelding could have been 1-33 as he toyed with three inferior rivals to score by two fences.
An unfortunate injury to jockey Darren Andrews at the start held up the last race for 20 minutes, by which time the low setting sun caused as many as eight jumps to be omitted.
At least the bookies left the track with a smile on their faces as the unconsidered outsider Syracuse’s Dream (25-1) kept on to beat Arcs Abound (14-1) with the main body of the field miles behind just looking on.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
The following photographers were at the meeting: Chris Bowden, Athwenna Irons (Western Morning News), Megan Cobley, William Devlin and Jon Harris.
- 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
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