A nice cut in the ground brought out lots of runners (83 in 8 races). Warm weather brought out lots of people, and the presence of lots of the two quid punters brought out a maximum field of bookies. It was a real squeeze in front of the 16 boards. It seemed more like a bank holiday meeting than a bank holiday.
Wind Tor (2’s to 6-4 fav) has developed into a tough, genuine mare and she duly landed the opening Hunt race at the expense of second market choice Skylander (6-4 out to 9-4). Third placed Silver Commander (4’s to 5’s) had been off the track for a long time. This ex-Philip Hobbs grey, rated 125 at his best, made the running until two out for his novice rider and is no back number.
Steel Brush (6’s out to 8’s) was easy to back in the Restricted but won cosily in the end as the 2-1 fav Missyladie got no further than the fifth. I had to get to my vantage point at the top of the hill four minutes before the off, but at that time none of the nine runners showed at above 8-1. This race didn’t appeal as a betting medium.
The 4-1 offered about Navanman in the 14-runner Four miles Mixed Open certainly did appeal. The ex-Pipe gelding thrives on his pointing, and was 6lbs better off with Whenharrymetsally (2’s to 9-4 fav) compared to when that mare beat him a neck at Buckfastleigh recently. This time Navanman stayed on doggedly under Rex Dingle to hold his equally game opponent by a diminishing length. Last week’s Ottery betting losses duly recovered.
Robin Why Not (op 4’s), and Noah and the Ark started 3-1 jt favs in the first section of the divided maiden. The former fell at the first, but Noah did the job despite treading water in the last 75 yards. The Vinnie Roe four-year-old is a nice type who was making his debut for the shrewd Dennis yard and will improve further. Last week’s betting losses now forgotten. Runner up The Coffee Hunter (5’s to 4’s) made nearly all the running and came back for more after crossing the last. A maiden is there for the taking.
Georges Legacy was sent off 5-2 fav for the other division (it was divided on the day). He had been miles behind Tamarstone at Cherrybrook though and this race looked made for an upset. That came in the shape of the nicely bred Legendara (10’s to 12’s). She had showed little in two points after a modest spell under rules for Charlie Longsdon. Her half brother went on to win at Wincanton on Sunday. Although this division was much slower than the first, the placed horses caught the eye a bit. Six-year-old debutant Gerties Garter (5-1) stormed up the run in to snatch second and four-year-old Gypsy Charm (5-1) still held a winning chance at the last.
The rest of the card belonged to leading area jockey Darren Edwards. The rider’s treble was initiated by Crackacan, who was backed from 5-2 to 4-7 in the Conditions race. He was strongly pressed by Angles Hill (6’s to 10’s) over the road crossing, but outjumped his rival at the last.
The Nicky Martin trained The Two Amigos was quite a generous 4-6 to defy his 6lbs penalty in the Confined. Yet another fine produce of the now deceased stallion Midnight Legend, the six-year-old went on his merry way to clock up his fifth successive win of the season. He ran his opposition into the ground in a good time.
The Edwards treble was completed in the concluding Open Maiden thanks to Leslie Jefford’s Ryves Rocky (easy to back at 10-1). He couldn’t be found with a telescope behind Toby Maguire at Charlton Horethorne, but that race was a top quality Maiden that has produced a few nice winners. The well backed Dragon de la Tour (3-1) fell early and the Nicky Frost trained jolly, Golan Dancer (5-2) faded from the top of the hill.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
- 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
[display-posts taxonomy=”category” tax_term=”Dartmoor” taxonomy_2=”category” tax_2_term=”2017-18 Season”]