There's No Panic & Ella Orttewell




It was another busy pointing weekend with trips from near the South Devon coast to North Devon to cover the Devon & Cornwall area meetings with a Sunday dash to Holnicote in between.

Plenty of bookies (16) and plenty of punters at Flete Park for the Modbury, but again not too many runners despite near perfect ground. (too many point to points crammed into a short time)

Winners still take some finding and it took me until the last race on Saturday before I relieved our intrepid layers of any cash. My first act of stupidity that day was to take a very short price on Thewinnertakeitall (4-5/10-11) in the opener. I had reckoned that second favourite Where’s Wilma (5-2 to 7-4) had under performed lately, but this did not stop her from taking this Maiden with nothing else in sight in the home straight. My good thing trailed in third.

So I had to draw breath a bit and missed joining the nice little gamble on Goldbury (7’s to 5’s) in the Restricted. She only just scrambled home by a head under the talented Natalie Parker, as Bryan Carver threw everything at Lure Des Pres (10-1) before going down by a head

There’s No Panic (solid 4-6 fav) cantered home in the four miler to give Ella Ortterwell her second winner on this 14-year-old. Start Royal (13-8)is a year older than There’s No Panic with 29 wins to his credit, but the old boy, who had travelled from Oxfordshire, faded from the top of the hill and was pulled up.

The layers were well aware of The Last But One’s form, and with Will Biddick flying back from his winner in Ireland on the previous night, he was virtually unbackable (1-4 , 2-7) when favoured by the weights in the Conditions race. He had 25 lengths in hand passing the judge. I must remember that an odds on winner is better than a 50-1 loser.

The Hunt Novice Riders’ was an extraordinary contest. The eventual winner Syracuse’s Dream (7-4 to 6-4 fav) was out with the washing with less than half a mile to go (would have traded at 500 on the exchanges) , but somehow young Michael Treneer got him going for his first winning ride, and he flew past O’Maonlai (9-4 to 2-1}, ridden by his cousin Tamby Welch, inside the last 75 yards.

Tango Charlie (7-4) made a successful jumping debut to beat Cottage Rose (5-4/11-8 fav) in the four-runner young horses Maiden. The winner looks a nice sort and had run well in the Wilton bumper.

So we came to the getting out stakes – the Confined. Some of the faces jumped in at short odds on Wind Tor, but Predestined was cut from 7-1 to half that price and The Dapper Fox (2-1) attracted his usual support. Wind Tor went from 4-5 to 5-4 so on this occasion patience was a virtue. The 5-4 got my losses back so it was fish and chips on the long journey home.

I always enjoy the Stevenstone meeting on the early bank holiday in May – whatever that bank holiday is called. It has a relaxed atmosphere and the viewing is good.

It was a pleasant day at Vauterhill, but the afternoon began with a walk over – the third hunt race walk over I have seen in the past five weeks. The 12 bookies offered very fair prices for the real races which saw a promising mare by Mahler open the action in the Restricted. She was called Mahler Style and after I had noted early 8-1 her odds dropped like a stone to 7-4. I think I know who the most successful punter was, but it wasn’t me. Stefan Kirwan gave the winner a good ride to score quite impressively, as Bob Along Mahler (12’s to 10’s) fought on well. Cornflower Blue (7-2 to 3’s) was a bit disappointing in third.

The useful mare River Myth had walked over and turned out again for the Mixed Open where she faced only one opponent Peterbrown (2-1). River Myth (1-5) was always in command and clocked up her fifth win of the season.
My only bet of the day was in the Intermediate. Skinflint looked the goods at evens and was eventually forced into 8-11. Bryan Carver was content to stalk Ryves Rocky (5-4 to 2’s) until pouncing at the last. The winner can progress again.

It was good to see Upton Funk (Mervyn Woodward) win the Mares race. Owner/trainer David Rogers still rides her out at age 83 and has been a fixture in the area for ages. The mare had run well on her seasonal debut at Kilworthy and got the better of Willaldo (5-4 fav).

Jockey Merv Woodward is another area stalwart and completed a double when Ichifoot (11-10 was the best price I saw) stormed home by 30 lengths in the concluding Open maiden). This gelding had an unusual point-to-point background as he started life on the flat in California. He relished the quick ground.

Upcoming Fixtures

  • Saturday 11th May 2019 Minehead Harriers and West Somerset Holnicote, Minehead, TA24 8TE 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 12th May 2019 Four Burrow Trebudannon, St.Columb Major TR9 4LP 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Wednesday 15th May 2019 Weston and Banwell Harriers Cothelstone Taunton TA4 3DT 1st Race 4.30pm
  • Sunday 19th May 2019 Dulverton West Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 26th May 2019 West Somerset Vale Cothelstone, Taunton, TA4 3DT 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019 South Tetcott Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction EX21 5AE 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 2nd June 2019 Exmoor Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 9th June 2019 Tiverton Staghounds Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Season Finale: Saturday 15th June 2019 Torrington Farmers Chapelton Barton, Umberleigh EX37 9EB 1st Race 2.00pm

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