It was all plain sailing for favourite backers in the first four races at Bratton Down, but nothing is forever and results went the way of the bookies in the last two.
I was tempted to back the favourite in the first. The recent Holnicote winner Rowley Park (4-7 to 2-5) looked a stand out against his three opponents. He won alright, but he was always a two miler under rules and I thought that the Bratton hill might be his undoing. I was wrong and Vinny Webster got him home after a patient ride. The runner up Peloric (11-2) ran a career best for his novice rider, but Home Maid (12’s to 17-2) was reluctant to go down and was never at the races.
It was time to jump in and last week’s course winner Luckello (1-2 fav from 4-6 )duly obliged under James King in the Restricted. She was fairly hopeless under rules, but had jumped really well at the Dulverton West and stepped up again on that form. Runner up Bennys Miracle stayed on well. She had won a Maiden on the track last year and acts well on fast ground. Catch The Monarch (4’s to 7-2) was a bit one paced, but is only young and is in a good yard.
The bet of the day came in the Ladies’. This was the classy Monsieur Gibraltar against three opponents. I don’t normally like 4-9 shots, but this was a gift with promising youngster Olive Nicholls in the saddle. Even the bookie paid out with a knowing smile. I can’t recall a faster time at Bratton than his 5 mins 36 secs. In the circumstances runner up Mahler Style (10’s to 8’s) ran well. She acts on firm and can pick up a late season race if avoiding the stars.
I considered re-investing on ImogensThunder (8-15 fav) in the Men’s Open, but his sole opponent Ramble On (11-10 / evens) was saddled by the all conquering Luke Price who could win with a donkey at the moment. As it happened Ramble On was collared by young Charlie Sprake’smount up the hill.
It was time to give the layers a chance and the next jolly, Dr Rhythm (6-4 to evens) crashed to earth at half way bringing down Halloween Harry (11-2). Guess who sent out the winner – yes that Pontypridd star man Luke Price. This was Rose Island (4’s to 7-2) who just held off Ninth Wave (9-2 to 3’s). Steel Express (9’s out to 14’s) could not find a friend in the ring, but caught the eye and seems to like fast ground.
I was pleased to swerve the lucky last. I looked at Kesa Great who was backed from 8’s to 9-2 but there were other contenders. Alkademon (9-2) is improving; Will Biddick’s mount Skilful Lord was gambled on from 2’s to 5-4 fav; and Polly Sans was strong at 2’s and 15-8. It was KayleyWoollacott’s recent sales purchase Donny’s Fortune (100-8 to 100-7) who came from last to first to scoop the prize with a sound staying performance, sending the bookies home with a profit.