The Devon & Cornwall bookies normally provide a strong betting market and the Tiverton Staghounds fixture was well up to standard. There was some entertaining jousting between the layers and the faces on this six-race card with a total of 42 runners.
Lawsons Thorns (8-11 fav touched 4-5) struck the first blow for the followers of the horses for courses theory. Mike Vanstone’s 10-year-old relishes this track and was scoring his third course win in three weeks (with three different jockeys). The useful young mare Cloudy Music (evens from 5-4) was well held after looking dangerous at the penultimate.
Will Biddick’s mount A Mill From Milan was backed from 4-1 to 6-4 fav in the Open Maiden, having run well on her English debut at Cothelstone. She stayed on late to finish third behind Basher Brian (5-2 out to 4’s) and Spring Break (6’s touched 13-2). The basher had shown a bit of form when runner up at the Dulverton West meeting here.
I met a man from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll just before the third race and he told me to plunge on the Welsh nag Holy Water (2-1) ridden by the capable Byron Moorcroft. I couldn’t get any more than 2’s but my Welsh colleague seemed confident and Holy Water looked the part in the parade ring. I had a feeling however that Soul Kaliber (4-5 to 4-7 fav) was the goods, and this ever improving gelding won easily from Holy Water. Dean Summersby has done what Gordon Elliott failed to do with Soul Kaliber (win a race) and I needed more than holy water after that.
Desert Roe (5-4 fav from 7-4) carried Welsh hopes in the Men’s Open and held every chance when falling at the last giving young Jack Tudor a nasty fall. This left Namako (8’s touched 9’s) with a clear lead as my selection Saffron Wells (7-4 out to 9-4) pulled up lame after jumping the last
The next jolly to hit the buffers was Ramble On (6-4 to 11-10 fav), who went on to finish runner up under Jodie Hughes in a decent eight-runner Ladies’ Open. The veteran Beggar’s Velvet (solid 5’s) has struck form with a vengeance lately with wins at Dingley and Garthorpe. His trip down the M5 paid dividends with Amy Cox again in the saddle. There was little in it all the way up the finishing climb with the pair virtually dancing cheek to cheek close to the rails. In the end Beggar’s Velvet just had the call before surviving a stewards inquiry.
I had the misfortune to bump into my friend from that Llanfair thingy place again just before the last. He offered a tip for Seniergues (is that Welsh?). I knew that this horse had beaten Basher Brian previously and was by Midnight Legend so went along with it. We backed him from 5’s to 7-2. You can guess what happened: Seniergues finished a close second to another Welsh horse with a French name, Airpur Desbois, as the shrewder Welsh guys piled in from 6’s to 7-2. Well done James King who completed his first treble.
Fish and chips again for me instead of steak. A lesson learnt: be wary of a Welshman’s tips, especially if you cannot pronounce where he comes from. Nos da nohs da as they say in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.
- Season Finale: Saturday 15th June 2019 Torrington Farmers Chapelton Barton, Umberleigh EX37 9EB 1st Race 2.00pm
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