Thirteen hungry looking bookies {unlucky for some) provided an ominous line up at the old Buckfastleigh racecourse, and it wasn’t long before the punters were feeding them with folding notes.The going was very soft / heavy with a definite premium on stamina.

I was guilty of chucking a few scraps at the books all afternoon, starting with Jo Supple’s mount Skinflint (4-5 to 6-4 fav) in the opener. His drifting should have sounded alarm bells, but he had run really well here when beaten a neck on the opening day of the season over the shorter trip before picking up his maiden over a similar distance at Great Trethew. On Sunday he backed out of it at the top of the hill; in the guise of a non stayer. The winner Cloudy Music (solid 4’s) certainly does stay well and toughed it out ahead of Missyladie (4;s to 7-2) who ran a fair race. Native Gamut was supported from 10’s to 7’s but made no show. I would not give up on him though.

Whenharrymetsally (9-4) has become a legend in these parts and took her career tally to 14 when holding the rallying Welsh challenger Spencer Moon (4-6 to1-2 fav) in the Men’s Open.The favourite was bidding for his sixth successive win, but the concession of 11 lbs proved just too much.

Darren Edwards rode his 250th point to point winner when Pistol Shoot (4’s in a place to 6-4 fav) trotted up in the Intermediate. Jabbea (7-4) travelled like a dream and looked sure win at the top of the hill, but he emptied alarmingly forcing Martin McIntyre to pull him up before the final jump when still in second position..

The shock of the day came in the Ladies’ Open. The normally reliable Dicky Bob (1-5 fav op 1-6} lost his jockey when clipping the top of the fifth fence.This left Belharbour Two (4-1) to take the prize without too much fuss.

I backed the four-year-old Feu Des Malberaux (3’s to 5-2 jt fav} in the first division of the Open Maiden. He looked a nice strong sort in the paddock and comes from the capable Joe Tickle yard. He ran well on his debut to finish second – but you don’t get paid out on seconds. The winner Matt’s Legacy (the other 5-2 jt fav) had been dodgy at the start a few times, but despite giving the four-year-old 18 lbs, this Welsh challenger with Byron Moorcroft on board won on merit.

The other Maiden division looked like going the way of the four-year-old Falloway Dubreau (6-4 to 11-10 fav) who held a two lengths lead at the top of the hill but was collared by 14-1 outside Robin Why Not on the run in. The winner, nicely ridden by Darren Andrews, was wearing first time cheek pieces, but had been a frustrating character with several places on his CV. This was consolation for the Joe Tickle yard but not for me. Having thought that Robin was a value bet I hesitated and left it. Lose your dash – lose your cash….

The getting out stakes went to the promising Minimalistic (4-6 fav) who revelled in the testing ground under Josh Newman and won cheekily as Beuvron (6-1) tried to make a race of it.

Ah well, a few quid down but a good day’s pointing. Try again next weekend.

Upcoming Fixtures

  • Saturday 23rd March 2019 Wilton Milborne St Andrew, Blandford Forum, DT11 0JX 1st Race 12.30pm
  • Sunday 24th March 2019 Lamerton Kilworthy, Tavistock PL19 0JX 1st Race 1.00pm
  • Sunday 24th March 2019 Mendip Farmers Ston Easton, Shepton Mallet, BA3 5DH 1st Race 1.00pm
  • Saturday 30th March 2019 Avon Vale Larkhill, Amesbury, SP4 8QT 1st Race 1.00pm
  • Sunday 31st March 2019 Cotley Cotley, Chard, Somerset, TA20 3EP 1st Race 1.00pm
  • Sunday 7th April 2019 Portman Badbury Rings, Wimborne, DT11 9JL 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 7th April 2019 Spooner’s & West Dartmoor Cherrybrook, Tavistock PL19 0LA 1st Race 1:30pm

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