Winner finding at Trebudannon was fairly easy, but shuffling from the paddock and the bookies to my vantage point was fraught with danger.
The lovely sunny weather brought out the picnic blankets for the first time this season. That meant a giant slalom journey down the hill to avoid treading on loose dogs, loose children , or various humans sprawled out seeking the sun’s rays.
The first of Will Biddick’s four winners was Knockmoylan, saddled by Christopher Barber, who started at a prohibitive 4-11 having opened at 4-9. The Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Final beckons for this gelding, unbeaten in his three English points. Hadmeathello (9-4) ran well but was brushed aside by the winner. Cottage Rose (8’s to 5’s) made most until three out and may have to return to the scene of her last win almost a year ago (Flete) to score again.
Money for Freddie Gingell’s mount Lillington (7-4 to evens fav) made the all the way winner Beau Du Brizais a tasty bet at 6-4 in the Veteran Horse Conditions. This ex-Philip Hobbs Desert Orchid lookalike , now with Teresa Clark, stays well and seemed to benefit from first time blinkers.
Trtebudannon always produces a well balanced card and the Mares race over a shorter distance proved ideal for the Leslie Jefford trained five-year-old Walkin Out’s English debut. The beautifully bred mare scorched round to win unchallenged under in form Fly McIntyre, justifying market support from 7-2 into her SP of 13-8. Runner up Summerleaze (6-4 fav) had shown promise behind the prolific His Own Star at Buckfastleigh, but hadn’t run for 10 weeks and could have looked better in her coat. Third placed Getaway Gwen (4-1) stepped up on her Great Trethew debut and should win a Maiden.
It was the Biddick/Christopher Barber combination again as Envoye Special justified 4-6 favouritism in the Mixed Open. Dropped in class after a couple of hunter chases, he found conditions to his favour here and had too much pace for Eric The Third (5-4).
Roc D’Apsis (5-2 to 6-4 fav) was rated in the 130’s for Tom George in his heyday, but hadn’t won a race for nearly five years and is now in the hands of his military rider Vicki Sollitt. He had been a distant third in the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown three weeks ago, and found an easier assignment in the level 3 Conditions race here, winning as he liked from Blue N Yellow (7-1). Jimmy Tew (4’s to 7-2) was on his best behaviour today and was still in touch four out.
The Barber newcomer Mr Mahler (evens to 4-5) was unable to keep pace with the freely sweating Funky Sensation (7-4 to 5-4) in the Restricted. I seem to remember backing him at Cherrybrook when he was beaten last year but he went novice chasing without distinction in the summer.
Izayte was made favourite (7-4 to 5-4) in the last. He went a purler four out when issuing his challenge, allowing Zumbi (2’s to 7-4) to coast home to give Will Biddick his four timer. The winner, who is by the French Derby winner Reliable Man, had shown promise in recent Irish maidens and looks a real chasing type. Cockspur Balla (5-1) is steadily improving, and Roc The Motion (100-9) is still a work in progress.
A profitable day in warm sunshine, long may it continue.
Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN