Two divisions on the day resulted in eight races at a mercifully dry Great Trethew, The nine bookies lined up against the paddock rails had plenty of chances to relieve the punters of their Cornish pasty money.
This is a splendid, atmospheric, point-to-point course which invariably puts on competitive racing. This year with eight puzzles to solve it was not easy for punters.
A quiet first race market (point to point bumper) saw the well touted Talimar Pearl (6-4 to evens) trail in last of nine. Not exactly the hors d’oeuvres I had anticipated. Valereum Bridge (5-1) was a worthy winner with Josh Newman just fending off the late run of 8-1 chance In Exell (Fly McIntryre)
Some of the faces got stuck in to the previously unraced four-year-old Doc McCoy in the first young horses Maiden. I learnt from the trainer afterwards that this Getaway gelding had worked like a rocket at home. Too late for me then, but the ones in the know were up and down the line with a host of £100 bets at all rates from 6 to 1 to 5-4. He was most impressive, storming well clear down the hill to put a lot of daylight between himself and Looking For Larry (10-1) in a fast time. The Doc is undoubtedly smart, but put the runner up in the note book as well.
Christopher Barber’s stable has been flying so it was no surprise to see his newcomer Izayte installed 5-4 fav (from 2’s) in the other division. He ranged up alongside long time leader Sake of Secrecy (7-1) at the penultimate, but fluffed the last and couldn’t recover on this ultra short (80 yards) run in up the hill.
The older Maiden was also split on the day. Roy Smith runs a shrewd little yard and his Say About It (3’s to 5-2) obliged under a good ride from Vinny Webster in the first section. Oyster Perch (14-1) ran a career best in second, but third placed Arv Way There (2-1 fav), who had finished in front of Say About It at Wadebridge, failed to last home.
In the other section Pyleigh Court’s promising Buckfatleigh run saw him sent off evens fav under the champion, but he compounded quickly from the top of the hill. I was beginning to count my winnings as Aunt Lily (8-1) jumped ahead at the last, but she threw the race away by hanging violently to the inside rails before reaching the judge, allowing that perpetual bridesmaid Honest Opinion (5-2 to 2’s) to pinch the race. To be fair, Honest Opinion (who had finished in front of Pyleigh Court at Buckfastleigh) was not winning out of turn having finished runner up on five occasions. She will win again.
Sykes (5-2 jt fav) is a grand campaigner and was scoring his ninth career win in the Open, having won his Maiden here eight years ago. He had to pull out all the stops though this time as Minimalistic (14’s to 10’s) regained his old form to throw down a serious challenge. Board of Trade (100-8) ran an eye catching third on his seasonal debut, but River Myth (5-1) and Crown of Thorns (5-2 jt fav) each disappointed.
Broadclyst (3-1) is another standing dish in these parts, and has struck up a good partnership with Anna Johnston in Novice Riders races. The Leslie Jefford trained 10-year-old jumped quicker than Party Tunes (5-2 to 2-1fav) at the last fence to seal the race.
The attractive odds of evens disappeared like melting snow about the winner Jeremy Central (SP 4-7) in the Restricted, not surprising as he had two subsequent winners well behind him when scoring at Buckfastleigh. I had 3-1 about Fountains Chief and this pair fought out the finish, literally. Make a note of Reflex Action (5-2) who was upsides the main protagonists at the penultimate. Anyway, the jolly kept the race following a Stewards’ enquiry for interference which took longer than an episode of Eastenders.