Five out of six winning favourites put the bookies on the back foot at Bratton Down, however one or two gambles went astray. “About level on the day,” I was told by a leading layer.
The Ladies’ Open changed shape on the last bend when the leader There’s No Panic (easy to back out to 7-2) hit the straw bale marker and lost his rider. This left the eventual winner Purple’N’Gold (evensand to 4-6 fav) in front. This useful pointer ran on well up the hill to hold the closing pack of It’s All or Nothing (5’s touched 6’s) and the well backed Allie Beag (6’s to 7-2). The winner benefited from a good patient ride from Millie Wonnacott
The conditions race for older horses went to Lawsons Thorns (5’s to 7-4 fav) who followed up his recent course win in good style under Josh Newman. At one stage Get Rhythm (20-1) looked a threat, but this nine-year-old hung badly left up the hill. Third placed Vaillant Creek (8’s to 5’s) was well held at the finish. Once again I was too slow to hit the books, missing the value of the 5’s and 3’s and thinking 7-4 was too short.
Lure Des Pres (evens fav) , stable companion of Lawsons Thorns, was another one to slip through my net. I had him in my note book for a Restricted after he had run really well at Flete Park when runner up to Goldbury, but the short price put me off. The Pembrokeshire gelding Tucks Bergin was the one for money here (8’s to 7-2), but caught a tartar in the winner who looks capable of further improvement.
Baby Sherlock (7-4 to 6-4) landed the Open Maiden under Paul John in competent style.His owner/trainer Roy Smith does well with his small string and he drew right away to score by six lengths as Chips For Free (6-4 to 7-4) and the gallant veteran Brannoc (6-1) duelled for second in a disappointing four horse field. Baby Sherlock’s dam Lady Cricket won seven times over fences for David Pipe. The race card had the incorrect pedigree of the winner.
The Men’s Open looked a weak affair. Theatre Evening (7-4 to 6-4 fav) unseated two out when well beaten as the Heythrop gelding Dandan (2’s touched 9-4 in a place) held Namako (2’s touched 3’s). The winner’s jockey, 17-year-old Tristan Durrell looked tidy.
The heavies backing two-horse Hunt race winner Kapricorne (solid 1-8 fav) must have been candidates for a heart attack as his sole rival Gunner Vic (5-1) ranged up alongside at the penultimate and snapped at his heels after crossing the last. Kapricorne settled matters in the last 200 yards though to give 25-year-old Vinny Webster his first winning tide.
- 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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