WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR
“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”
Henry Van Dyke 1852-1933
It felt like spring at last at Ottery St Mary, where the Silverton raced before a good sized crowd.
FOXCUB lowered the colours of local favourite Dicky Bob in the Ladies’ Open. . This duo were virtually locked together for most of the final circuit before the Gloucetershire challenger Foxcub got the upper hand on the climb towards the home straight. Dicky Bob was seeking his third win in three weeks, but despite the efforts of Jo Supple, Foxcub would not be denied, and stayed on strongly to score by three lengths.
“He was rated 142 at one time with his previous trainer Tom Symonds, but we got him when he had a touch of a leg and have tried to get his confidence back,” said Tewkesbury based trainer Ryan Potter. The 10-year-old won a Fakenham hunter chase two months ago after two promising point-to-point runs and is likely to return to hunter chasing shortly. He was providing the trainer’s partner, 23-year-old jockey Emma Yardley with her sixth career success.
The continuing very soft ground (the open ditch was omitted in all races due to the state of the ground) was very much to the liking of the useful Midnight Legend mare Miss Gotaway, who ran away with the Men’s Open. Will Biddick sent his mount to the front at half way and the pair went on to score unchallenged by a distance. Ed Walker trains Miss Gotaway for her owner/breeder Audrey Goodwin.
Kieren Buckley partnered his third winner of the season when Horwood Lad took the Restricted in good style. “The first time hood helped him because he had jumped badly at Kilworthy,” remarked trainer Joe Tickle. The gelding’s joint owner and breeder Jenny Boucher (nee Congdon) said, “I won a race on his dam Applepie Lady and still train a pointer, but this gelding has been a bit of a character so he was sent to Joe who has done well with him,” (For the record Applepie Lady won a Maiden at Cherrybrook in 2005).
Ann Maries Reject was a 30 lengths winner of the eight-runner Open Maiden under 25-year-old Natalie Parker. The winner had run well at Ston Easton last month, and is showing much improved form compared with her modest efforts under rules. She is now owned and trained at Spaxton, Somerset, by Christine Gray, whose husband Carroll said, “The mare was a gift horse to us as her previous owner got a bit despondent and nobody would take her on. She has not been easy but has done a bit of show jumping and Natalie Parker gets on well with her.”
The closest finish of the day came in the Hunt race when Matt Hampton got a renewed effort out of the game veteran Blazing Bouncer to deny Ballybruff by a neck. Although he is 13-year-old, the winner has stood very little racing over the years, but had been runner-up in two of his three previous outings this year. His breeder and owner Rita Heard said with a smile, “He has never had so many outings in a season. He loves his job but had two years off at one stage”.
The Exeter Racecourse Intermediate was a match. Eastern Calm (Christopher Barber) and Golander (Ben Jones) kept close company until the mare Eastern Calm strode away from her rival after the penultimate jump to give her young jockey his third winner of the season. . This progressive mare has now won three times in the colours of the Pidsley family since being bought at Ascot sales after a few modest efforts under rules.
Official photographer: Cat Down photography
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
- Saturday 21st April 2018 Dartmoor, Flete Park, Ermington, Ivybridge PL21 9NX, 1st Race 2.00pm
- Saturday 28th April 2018 [Rescheduled] Four Burrow, Trebudannon, St.Columb Major TR9 4LP, 1st Race 1.00pm
- Sunday 29th April 2018 Axe Vale Hunt, Stafford Cross, Seaton EX24 6HZ, 1st Race 1.30pm
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