I knew it was going to be a dodgy afternoon when the 13 bookies (lucky for some) lined up in the pouring rain virtually marooned by a sea of very sticky mud. This demanded that everybody wore footwear of the amphibious variety. This is point-to-pointing in January of course. Four races went to favourites, three of the odds-on variety.

In a disappointing Hunt race opener Jack Snipe (1-5) beat his sole opponent Jabbea (2-1) by 20 lengths. Chipley Park is a long course with an incline to climb three times, so in a mud fest times of seven minutes plus tells all

In contrast the Restricted produced a quality field of nine and a lively betting market. Sylvies Dance (2-1) looks a similar type of mare to her dam Kiama (multiple points winner). She also seems to have inherited Kiama’s tough attitude and answered Will Biddick’s every call to overcome the favourite, five-year-old Thechaseison (7-4). These two can be followed with confidence. Third placed Kilmoganny (20-1) ran really well for his novice jockey Jemma Sargent and held every chance until the third last. He finished just ahead of Where’s Wilma (12-1) who did his best work late on. There was some market support for Wadebridge winner Mustmeetforapint (3’s to 5-2) who could not get on terms from the final bend.

The early evens was quickly snapped up for Navanman in the Mixed Open. He settled at 4-6 and would have been a big price on the exchanges going into the final bend where he was in fifth place with plenty to do. Although he frightened my pocket, Jockey Darren Andrews refused to panic and brought the classy gelding with a storming run to hit the front before the last. The useful Welsh mare Frelia (5’s to 4’s), receiving 12lbs from the winner, was up and down the field a bit until making her effort three out. She will win again. Talk of the South (14-1) ran creditably here after a 20 months lay off.

Welsh hopes were sunk in the mud in the Intermediate as Rio Bravo (11-10 to 4-6) stopped to a walk in the home straight. This left a smile on the layers faces as 20-1 outside Emperor Renard stayed on well to beat Banco de Logos (4-1). Mariah McGuinness rode her first winner here on the Emperor and looked very competent on only her second ride..

Another young lady jockey triumphed in the Novice Riders contest as Ella Ortewell steered home Silsol (4-6 to 4-7). Keep it quiet, but this ex-Paul Nicholls inmate beat Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River once and had a BHA rating of 158. He should have been 10-1 on.

Having trained the last two winners, Will Biddick got back in his jockey kit to win the Mares Maiden on 7-2 chance Minella Beag. The Flemensfirth mare looked well for her seasonal debut from Ed Walker’s yard and is on the upgrade. Bradley Gibbs must have been fed up with his days work so far and suffered another reverse as the promising Boss Baby (3’s in a place to 2-1 fav) chased home the winner. I keep thinking that Cottage Rose (solid 4’s) will win her Maiden. She probably will when my back is turned.

The getting (towed) out stakes proved to justify my bet of the day as Martin (Fly) McIntyre rode ex-Irish five-year-old Le Tueur (9-4 to 2 -1 fav) to victory in the Open Maiden. I think that Le Tueur is French for the killer and he certainly killed off the opposition here. The runner up Kings Cave (12’s to 5’s) ran well after dumping his rider twice in the paddock.

So it was an up and down day The entertainment didn’t finish there though. I saw one tractor pulling another tractor pulling a horse box out of the swamp of a car park. Anyway, well done to the organisers at Chipley who got through all the adversities to keep the show on the road.

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