Bratton Down has a special atmosphere towards the end of the season, but something was missing at the first of the three regular fixtures this year – horses.
It is a shame that the very dry spell has lingered on. It certainly penalised the Dulverton West fixture which took place on what was described as safe, level ground, having been aggravated to ease the surface. Inevitably the going was on the quick side with race times indicating thus.
15 bookies lay in wait to accommodate us desperate punters
The best race was the four-runner Mixed Open, three and a half timers round with 27 jumps. That grand campaigner There’s No Panic was sent off evens fav (touched 4-6) with Will Biddick taking over from a claimer on this top weight. I backed Tree Sparrow (2’s to 6-4) on the basis that he had beaten Northgeorge (7’s into 4’s) convincingly at Holnicote a couple of weeks ago and was still improving. Ramble On was easy to back (7’s touched 8’s) in what was a fascinating England v Wales contest.
Tree Sparrow jumped appallingly and I tore my ticket up with a circuit to go. 14-year-old There’s No Panic jumped superbly in the lead and his old legs carried him out in front until Northgeorge collared him at the final ditch. All this time Byron Moorcroft had been biding his time on Ramble On, and came with a rattle up the hill before going down by half a length. To be fair to the runner up, he was not helped when the winner drifted across him close home, but Jack Tudor was on a roll with the winner, who suddenly regained his best form at Garthorpe last week and obviously relishes fast ground.
I must have lost plenty of cash to the much missed bookmaker Bob Pittard over the last 40 years (still doing so to Rich), but I ducked out In Bob’s memorial Open Maiden race won by Welsh challenger Seniergues (evens to- 4-5 fav). The Welsh boys filled their boots as the first of young Jack Tudor’s three winners sailed in.
High Hatton (2-5 fav) and Matts Legacy (4-5 fav) scored in their respective contests as easily as Gareth Bale finds the net to send their Welsh supporters back over the bridge with pockets bulging.
Lawsons Thorns (3’s to 11-4) only had to travel 15 miles back to Rackenford after coming out on top of a protracted dual with Ichifoot (8-11 fav after 6-4 had been snapped up). If this pair met again I am not sure this result would be confirmed.
Does anybody know the steps to a rain dance?
- 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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