The Upcott Cross betting market exceeded the “normal” point-to-point Bank Holiday rip off prices I have seen up and down the country over many years. Well done the Devon & Cornwall layers. Plenty of faces in the ring made for a lively market.
Honest Deed (4-7 to 1-2) looked a certainty in the opener, but only just fended off the gallant Heaney (9-4 out to 7-2) by a hard fought head. Ryves Rocky was backed from early 6’s to 7-2 and ran creditably to finish third.
The 13 runner Restricted was a real puzzle. Punters made Will Biddick’s Stevenstone winner Rumour Has It favourite (2’s from 3’s) but she never looked like winning. I had a sneaking fancy for the winner Jabbea (6-1), but didn’t have a bet. He won easily. Clondaw Bunny (5-1) ran well, and the Scorpion gelding will do better next year. Raloo Rocket was friendless from 6-4 out to 4’s, but was going well when he departed two out.
The Open was more like a handicap chase. All seven runners were burdened with various penalties. I did invest in Golden Hoof to win the Open with his 6lbs extra, but my days of fighting through the crowds are over so I missed a tasty 3’s. This useful ex- Nicky Henderson beast was backed into 2-1 jt fav and easily followed up his impressive jumping display at Trebudannon. Maybe the Biddick factor helped Bistouri D’Honore (11 lbs penalty) to joint favouritism, but he was not a threat from three out. Minella Fifty (5-2) became the only serious challenger to the winner and should win before the end of the season.
Robin de Souza (10-1) was unlucky in the Novice Riders. He uncharacteristically crashed through the wing at the second last allowing front running High Hatton (5-2 to 6-4) to regain the initiative after he had led for most of the way. His 16-year-old schoolboy rider looks very tidy. Bankhall (7-2 to 11-8 fav) was held when he had to side step the faller Thereyarsee (8-1) at the last Alternatif (4’s out to 7’s) ran poorly again and is now off the Christmas card list. Well done the layers who went 100-1 on three outsiders in this race.
The two concluding Maiden races each went to the Barber yard. Five-year-old Serralunga (10-1) , quite a strong type, needed vintage Biddick treatment to fend off the strong finishing 25- 1 shot Buckboru, who kept on really well for 16-year-old Bruce Young to be beaten a head. In a three way finish Deise Gold (16-1) was a very close third. There was money for Robert Alner’s Truly Spoken (5’s to 4’s) and Mountain Las (also 5’s to 4’s) who each possessed good placed form.
There was a good thing in the getting out stakes run over two and a half miles. This was four-year-old Eggardon Hill (evens to 4-5 ), a good topped Doyen gelding from a successful family who fetched 38,000 euros as a three-year-old. He won by 12 lengths and Lorcan Williams had a job to pull him up. He looks destined for better things. Runner up Gypsy Charm (7-1), a nice four-year-old filly, will win races, but third placed Our Grey Boy (7-1) ran too freely.
Tim Holt, Megan Cobley, Marcus Bath, Athwenna Irons
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
- Sunday 3rd June 2018 Exmoor, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG. 1st Race 2.00pm
- Wednesday 6th June 2018 Rescheduled Eggesford Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction, Okehampton EX21 5AE. 1st Race 17:00
- Sunday 10th June 2018 Tiverton Staghounds, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG. 1st Race 2.00pm
- Saturday 16th June 2018 Torrington Farmers, Chapelton Barton, Umberleigh EX37 9EB. 1st Race 2.00pm
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