GRANVILLE TAYLOR and DONNA HARRIS
“Late February days, and now, at last might you have thought that winter’s woe was past
William Morris, poet 1834-1896
THE South Pool Harriers meeting featured three separate riding doubles on the testing Buckfastleigh track, where race times in excess of seven minutes proved the norm on the soft ground. Jockeys Jo Supple, Will Biddick and Josh Newman farmed the six-race card between them.
It is good to see Jo Supple in top form this year after sustaining injuries from a bad fall at the end of last season. She was quickly on the mark here thanks to It’s All or Nothing, who took the opening Hunt Conditions race in good style. Okehampton based owner/trainer Charlotte Rowe is now looking for a hunter chase for her popular ten-year-old grey.
The reigning Devon & Cornwall area lady champion jockey went on to ride her sixth winner of the season by taking the three-runner Westcountry Champion Chase on Janet McCullough’s useful Master Baker. Trainer Lisa Jefford rides this gelding out every day and said, “He is so good and nothing can go with him at home.” The ten-year old will go hunter chasing again, but an imminent flu jab now beckons to comply with the recently changed BHA regulations.
Will Biddick chased Master Baker all the way on The Last But One. Tom Malone’s gelding just failed to achieve a unique third win of the weekend, having easily won a two-runner race plus a walk over on the previous day at Wadebridge.
Biddick went one better on another Tom Malone charge, five-year-old Barbury Castle bumper winner Isla’s Dream, who made a winning debut over fences in the Jockey Club Mares Maiden. “She will improve so much and was very green,” remarked the rider. This left the Taunton bloodstock agent rubbing his hands in glee. He had bought his fine prospect at Fairyhouse sales as a three-year-old for 33,000 euros .She jumped well and led all the way. to hold the strong challenge of Neetside (Jake Bament).
Crown of Thorns followed up his Chipley Park success to seal Will Biddick’s double and provide him with his eighth winner of the season. The well made gelding pulled well clear of his nine rivals from the top bend to win the Restricted. The Sarah Pidsley trained six-year-old had started odds-on and was given a typically smooth Biddick ride to beat Journey Juice by 10 lengths. A shrewd purchase out of the Gigginstown (O’Leary) empire at Doncaster last September, Crown of Thorns now runs in the colours of Michael and Judith Pidsley. Daughter Sarah has her eye on the East Devon Hunt race at Ottery St Mary next month.
Josh Newman was the other jockey in top form. This Cheltenham festival winning rider (National Hunt Chase in 2014) was seen to good effect on Wind Tor who stayed on well to beat a strong field for the Intermediate. Ed Walker trains this improving mare for the six members of The Otter Club. ”She was really on song today and her jumping was excellent,” reported the rider who rides out regularly for the Harry Fry yard.
Local trainer Nikki Frost supplied Newman’s other winner, Minimalistic, owned by Edward and Susan Darke. The fast improving seven-year-old drew right away from his rivals down the hill to score impressively in the Confined Maiden. “He was a bit sharp when he came to us but has lots of potential,” remarked the trainer, who has earmarked a return to this course for the Dart Vale Members race next month.
- Sunday 24th February 2019 East Cornwall Great Trethew, Menheniot, Liskeard PL14 3PZ 1st Race 12 noon Sec Tel No: 01579 384889
- Sunday 3rd March 2019 East Devon Bishops Court, Ottery St. Mary EX11 1RJ 1st Race 12 noon Sec Tel No: 07870 737209
- Sunday 10th March 2019 Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Charlton Horethorne, Sherborne, DT9 4LJ 1st Race 12.30pm Sec Tel No: 01963 370260
- Saturday 16th March 2019 Quantock Staghounds Cothelstone, Taunton, TA4 3DT 1st Race 12.30pm Sec Tel No: 01278 732944
- Sunday 17th March 2019 Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers Buckfastleigh Racecourse. TQ11 0LT 1st Race 1.00pm Sec Tel No: 01548 531490