“Come, come thou bleak December wind, and blow the dry leaves from the tree.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834

Coleridge would not have recognised such things as wind turbines, but the December wind was certainly driving them into overdrive on the skyline, bringing the odd squally shower along. Wadebridge had escaped the heavy overnight rain, and the going was surprisingly good. Well done to the organisers to get the track in very good condition at this well run fixture which always stands up to whatever weather is thrown at it.

This first Cornish meeting of the season attracted horses from the Midlands and South Wales as well as a good contingent of local pointers to make up a healthy total of 51 runners for the seven races on the Royal Cornwall Showground.

The afternoon featured riding doubles for Bryan Carver and David Prichard, together with a first training success for both Carly Mather and Neil Mclean.

Navanman followed up his opening day win at Buckfastleigh with another game performance to take a classy Men’s Open under 20-year-old Bryan Carver, who shot to prominence as the Devon & Cornwall area novice champion jockey last season. Navanman, shrugged off his four lbs penalty when staying on gamely to hold the promising Broadclyst, with Honest Deed finishing a creditable third. “Navanman has come on for his Buckfastleigh run and seems a bigger and stronger horse this year,” said trainer John Heard.

Bryan Carver’s double was completed when Sue Trump’s Raddon Top, trained at Payhembury near Honiton by Leslie Jefford, held off Bridge Of Spies and Welsh challenger She’s A Gangster to take the eight runner Restricted. “He was weak last year but he jumped better today and galloped all the way to the line,” said the jockey whose day job is in the Paul Nicholls yard.

David Prichard’s double was initiated when seven-year-old Dragon De La Tour kept on well to win the first division of the Open Maiden. Placed several times in Maiden point-to-points, and endowed with cheek pieces and a tongue tie, the gelding showed no signs of faltering this time, charging up the finishing hill to score by five lengths. This win provided Neil McLean with a first training success as he now holds the pointing licence for the Kayley Woollacott yard. “He is tough and sound and now races for our Big Brook Racing Club, which includes his previous owners Peter and Kathy Musgrave,” reported the trainer.

It didn’t take long for the well made ex-Irish mare Shelcomeonfordrun to complete the stable double in the other section of the Open Maiden. This time David Prichard, who is now assistant trainer to Kayley Woollacott, made steady progress on the mare to lead at the penultimate jump before pulling away impressively in the closing stages. “We bought her at Doncaster in September on the advice of agent JD Moore. She is a full sister to a grade two winner and has been pleasing us at home. Her future probably lies under rules,” said Kayley.

The Conditions Race for Novice and Veteran Riders resulted in a home win with the locally trained Rockinrolldixie getting the better of odds-on favourite Mic’s Delight. Based at St Mawgan, just down the road from Wadebridge, Carly Mather was clocking up her initial success as a trainer with her first runner. “My partner Ryan Chapman now has a NH licence and I do the point-to-pointers,” explained Carly, who acquired her winner cheaply in July for a syndicate of three called the Rosinvale Partners. Although he raced as sweet as a nut, the hooded nine-year-old gave rider Nathan Vergne quite a shock as he deposited him in the sand on leaving the paddock and proceeded to enjoy a roll. “The reins broke when he rolled so I had to walk him to the start,” reported the jockey, who has been with the Philip Hobbs stable since coming from France and was adding to his sole Cothelstone winner in May.

Although only four turned out for the Ladies’ Open, the quartet could boast over fifty career successes between them, and the race proved quite a dilemma for punters. The ex-David Pipe trained Purple N Gold (Jo Supple) started favourite, but it was the youngest of the field, Double Captain, who showed the best turn of foot at the business end to beat the gallant veteran Start Royal (Izzy Marshall). The winner hails from the Joe Tickle yard and was the fifth career success for 22-year-old Naomi Sims, who works for Nigel Hawke.

The Exeter Intermediate also attracted four runners, but two lengths covered all four runners on reaching the judge. It was the Welsh challenger Kensington Castle who emerged ahead at the line to continue jockey Byron Moorcroft’s flying start to the season. The 30-year-old rider is the early National Mens championship leader and was partnering his sixth winner of the season on Tom Faulkner’s seven-year-old.


Results of the Cornwall Club meeting


Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at


Kate Batters Photography


  • Sunday 6th January 2019 Larkhill Racing Club Larkhill, Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 8QT 1st Race 12 noon
  • Sunday 13th January 2019 North Cornwall Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge PL27 7JE 1st Race 11.30am
  • Saturday 26th January 2019 Royal Artillery Larkhill, Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 8QT 1st Race 12 noon
  • Sunday 27th January 2019 Tiverton Chipley Park, Milverton,  Wellington TA21 0QY 1st Race 12 noon

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