A full array of 11 bookies lined up on the crest of the Umberleigh hill ready for the final showdown of the 22 area fixtures held this season.
Mahler Style was backed into 4-5 in the six race opener but came to grief before half way leaving the door open for the game Eric The Third who had been well supported from 9-2 into 3-1. Eric was not for stopping and readily held off Keiran Burke’s 6-1 chance Golden Poet (Alice Procter) in receipt of 4 lbs. John Heard announced afterwards that Eric The Third has now earned honourable retirement.
I went to back Benny’s Miracle in Captain Tim Forster’s memorial Restricted race but missed the odds and wouldn’t take the shade of odds-on (5-6). I could have bought her for the cash I have spent backing her all season. You can guess she won so I will say no more about it.
The next three races attracted small or non-existent fields. The “outsider” I’m Wiser Now (2-1) beat Highway One O One (2-5 to 1-3) in the Mixed Open before Monsieur Gibraltar was gifted a walk over in the Ladies’.
The Welsh challenger Hitdroadjack (6-5) is a model of consistency and stayed on to head the favourite Ninth Wave (8-13) at the second last in the hands of James King.
And so to the last race of the season. Once again I was slow out of the stalls and missed the cream of the odds about the winner Businessman (11-10 fav at the off) He had run well in a decent Maiden at Bratton last week and a positive Darren Edwards ride did the rest. The placed horses Local Drama (13-2) and Kesa Great (4-1) will have to wait for a few months before trying again.
I was a bit surprised that a few layers I spoke with said they had lost on the day. I wouldn’t have too much sympathy though. I didn’t see any of them thumbing a lift on the way home.
Cover Photo credit: Jill Hurst