The Easter meetings traditionally attract huge crowds (and often small fields), and subsequently a different atmosphere to “normal” pointing days.
Flete Park was absolutely packed out on Saturday this year, and it was like a massive loose scrum in the narrow area between the bookies and the racecourse rails. The bookmakers could not take bets quickly enough, despite opening up (short) for the next race as soon as the runners had gone past the post in the previous race (Barbury Castle layers take note). I saw quite a few “occasional” betters putting their pound on at 4-6 when 6-4 was available by shopping around.
The Dapper Fox opened at 1-2 for the feature race over four miles before drifting to evens at the off. Proven stayer Le Clo de la Londe was sent off at 2-1 with 4’s seen on a few boards earlier. The novice rider on Alice’s Star could not use her claim, but there were nibbles for her mount at 4’s and 7-2 (probably from girls named Alice). The useful veteran chaser There’s No Panic could be backed at 7-2 and his rider did make good use of her 5lbs claim. The young jockey showed plenty of dash (as befitted being tutored by a champion ) and won quite easily in the end.
Neetside was a genuine 4-5 chance for the Restricted, but was carried out by a loose horse at half way. Predestined (8-1) returned to form to beat 2-1 second favourite Cornflower Blue.
Punters also got it wrong in the seven-runner Hunt race when Mic’s Delight, in his last race prior to honourable retirement (evens fav opened 4-6), was collared by Its A Steal (4’s to 7-2) in the home straight.
Another favourite to open very short before easing out was Sylvies Dance (1-2 to a backable 5-4), who won the young horses Maiden in a canter. Cottage Rose (3-1) and The Dartmoor Rose (5-2) both wilted before filling the places.
It was good to see the veteran rider Alex Muirhead (well into his 50’s) back in the saddle after the serious injury he sustained at Chipley Park in January. He finished third on Ballyculla (9-4 to 2’s) behind Uncle Jimmy (5-2 to 2’s). Ben Robarts pulled up here on Jaboltiski (7-4 fav), but fared better on Beat The Tide (7-2) by winning the Confined. Wind Tor (4-5 fav) was disappointing.
The well backed Dancing Dave (5-2 to 11-10 fav) just got up on the line under Biddick to force a dead heat in the concluding Maiden with Deise Gold (6-1).
- Saturday 27th April 2019 Eggesford Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction EX21 5AE 1st Race 1.00pm
- Sunday 28th April 2019 Axe Vale Stafford Cross, Seaton EX24 6HZ 1st Race 1.30pm
- Saturday 4th May 2019 Modbury Harriers & Totnes Bridgetown Co. Ltd Flete Park, Ermington, Ivybridge PL21 9NX 1st Race 2.00pm
- Sunday 5th May 2019 Devon and Somerset Staghounds Holnicote, Minehead, TA24 8TE 1st Race 2.00pm
- Monday 6th May 2019 Cattistock Littlewindsor, Beaminster, DT8 3QU 1st Race 2.00pm
- Monday 6th May 2019 Stevenstone Vauterhill, High Bickington EX37 9BT 1st Race 2.00pm
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