Mixed bag as pointing resumes: Six races, six bookmakers, one complete outsider wins and two odds-on shots beaten
The relentless rain stopped just in time for the first race as the final Wadebridge meeting of the season got under way on testing ground at the showground. This was about the only crumb of comfort for the small army of punters, as most of the fancied horses were about to be sunk without trace, leaving the six just men with the boards counting their winnings.
Honest Deed (4-6 to 4-5 fav) started the rot for favourites in the four-runner opener, stalking the leaders until unseating his rider at the third last. Raddon Top (11-4 to 5-2) stayed on gamely to take the prize, just holding the spirited effort of Somewhere To Be (solid 4’s).
They went 2-1 the field in the 11-runner Open Maiden with Arctic Milly heading the market. Once again this mare was not entirely foot perfect, leaving the more fluent Cottage Rose (7-2 to 3’s) to get on top up the final climb. The Kitchenmecanic (6’s to 5’s) was well back in third, but her stable is not firing yet and this mare can win a Maiden. The gamble of the race was Oscar World, forced in from 10’s to 4’s for the Stuart Payne yard. She dropped away on the final circuit but is probably capable of better.
Nickelsonthedime had already created a good impression when beating the aforementioned Cottage Rose at the last Wadebridge meeting. The layer who chalked up an opening show of 5-4 for the Restricted was quickly swamped, and 1-2 ruled at the off. It could easily have been 1-10 as the useful looking Shantou six-year-old came right away from the third last to win by an official 17 lengths. Georges Legacy (8-1) put a string of moderate efforts behind him to finish second and it was good to see Jimmy Cole back in the saddle to partner his Macca’s Stowaway (12-1) into third place.
Cloudy Music (2’s to 5-4) was the clear form choice in the Intermediate. I made her the best bet on the card but she faded quickly after leading until the final ditch. She had Bridge of Spies (6-1) and Dragon de la Tour (8-1) behind her at the Christmas meeting at Wadebridge, but this pair filled the first two places here. Bridge of Spies always looks like a ball of muscle and gave his young novice rider Conor Houlihan a double on the day.
The Ladies’ Open looked a trappy affair and three of the four runners jumped the last with a chance. At the business end, Chloe Emsley forced Wind Tor (2’s to 6-4 jt fav) up to beat the rallying Chosen Lucky (4-6 to 6-4 jt fav). Inch Rock (7-2) finished a close third after leading most of the way.
Once again punters got a smack in the face in the concluding four-runner Men’s Open. Navanman (4-6 fav) lost his unbeaten record for the season behind the unconsidered Ballyhowne (14-1). The winner ended last season when winning a good Conditions race at Upcott Cross at 33-1 but had shown nothing in his two outings this season. Millanisi Boy (6-4) finished second and will surely win points this year. Navanman , carrying a 7lbs penalty, was only third and was never really travelling.
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