WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR
“The sun has come out – and the air is vivid with spring light”…….
Byron Caldwell Smith 1849-1877
A perpetual blue sky helped to brighten up the afternoon at Kilworthy, where an unfortunate accident blocking the nearby main road caused congestion and a subsequent 30 minutes delay to the racing.
Will Biddick’s double at the Lamerton put him on the 16 winners mark for the season, and left him just ten short of the British record of 414 career wins set up by Richard Burton in the 2011 season.
The six times National champion jockey steered home Five Gold Bars to win the Open Maiden, and went on to complete his double when Tuff Nano took the Intermediate.
Six-year-old Five Gold Bars, trained by Rob Hawker at Frome, stayed on well to get the better of Noble Promise (Darren Edwards) after jumping to the front at the last fence. “ We bought him at Doncaster sales last May and he ran really well last time at Charlton Horethorne. We came here for cut in the ground,” said the trainer, whose father Richard owns the gelding and sister Charlotte rides him out every day.
Will Biddick completed his double when the progressive mare Tuff Nano won for the third successive time in the Intermediate. The race developed into a duel in the home straight between the winner and runner up Sixteen Letters, with Biddick’s mount just getting home by a neck. Trainer Teresa Clark described Tuff Nano as, “still a bit weak behind and a bit green,” confirming that another outing this season is on the cards for the mare.
Darren Edwards had ridden Sixteen Letters into second place in the Intermediate and also had to endure the runner up spot on both Clondaw Bunny in the Confined and Soul Kaliber in the Restricted. Clondaw Bunny was just overhauled close home by Ballyvodock, who was making his English pointing debut, having won an Irish Maiden in 2017. Jenny Luscombe owns the winner who is trained by Gordon Chambers. “We bought him in Ireland last summer. He is a big, strong horse and has not been easy to get fit” explained the trainer. Winning jockey Ben Jones, 19, is based with Philip Hobbs and is another promising young rider to emerge from the Hobbs yard.
Soul Kaliber looked the winner at the second last in the Restricted, but 14-1 outsider Come On joey found a good turn of foot in the home straight to claim the prize. Chittlehampton based owner/trainer Roy Smith,who bought his eight-year-old in Ireland four years ago said, “I do everything myself including the schooling.” This was a welcome winner for jockey Paul John who reported that his last win in the saddle came when he rode a double at Newton Abbot a few years ago. “I have had a few ups and downs since then when I rode as a conditional and have since reverted to amateur.”
Dicky Bob ran away with the Mixed Open, beating Heaney and Chosen Lucky in the fastest time of the day. Bryan Carver was partnering the popular 12-year-old for the first time and the pair sailed home with 25 lengths to spare. Owner / trainer Verity Nicholls trains within sight of the course and was obviously pleased to get her charge back into winning form after he had unseated his rider at Buckfastleigh. “He is really my old hunter. I do his schooling and popped him over a jump yesterday. I expect his next outing will be the Members’ at Cherrybrook and I would like to consider a hunter chase before the end of the season.”
The Open Maiden race for mares attracted 14 runners with five-year-old Grey Frontieres prevailing in a blanket finish. The winner had made the journey from the Droitwich yard of owner / trainer Max Young who was saddling his other runners at Brampton Bryan. “We came here for the ground and the track. She is a big, strong mare who needs cut in the ground,” explained Heather Oliver who had travelled the mare on her three hours journey from Worcestershire. Winning jockey James King said of his mount, “She was a bit green in front and her jump at the last won it.”
Tamarstone put up a brave performance to win the Hunt race under David Prichard. After making the running he was headed at the final jump by Acadian, but rallied gamely to gain the verdict by a neck. The winner is from a good family which includes Dawson City and the prolific winning pointer Lucette Annie. Neil Mclean, who holds the pointing licence for Kayley Woollacott’s yard remarked, “ He is from a big and backward family and hung left a bit. He would prefer top of the ground.”
- 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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