GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EXMOOR
There was a good line of nine bookies at Bratton Down on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend, and it was also nice to see spectators allowed to return, although limited in number. It was also a relief to get a proper race card at Bratton Down instead of the sheets of paper which are virtually impossible to work with- well done to the organisers.
The Hunt race at Bratton looked a simple puzzle so I piled in on Hadmeathello (try saying it) to justify 1-2/ 4-7. He had impressed me when winning at Dingley but Chloe Emsley never seemed really happy on the beast on this occasion , neither was I. He was well held on the run in by The Mulcair (7-4 to 13-8) giving Blumndell’s schoolboy Finn Muirhead his first winner.
They went 4-1 joint favourites Florrie Webb and Thewinnertakeitall in the 11-runner Maiden. Darren Edwards took a crashing fall from the latter, but Florrie did the job well, setting Conor Houlihan off on his weekend five winner spree. I did some each way thieving on Minella Beag (5-1) who had caught the eye at the previous fixture here. She finished third. The Dartmoor Rose (12’s to 8’s) was nearly brought down at the 10th and this run can be ignored.
Weston-Super-Mare rider/ trainer Lucy Mager is a much under rated jockey and gave Moscow Prices (6-4 to 11-8) a perfect waiting ride to win the Ladies’. If you think I am talking through my pocket, no, I did not have a bet.
The Men’s Open featured a re-match of the Trebudannon Open between the useful mare River Myth and the big imposing gelding Los Alamos (who won that day). It was a bit like Little and Large. River Myth proved an uneasy favourite here (1-2 to 8-13) with Los Alamos clipped in from 3’s to 11-4 to atone for his poor Holnicote run last time. I don’t suppose that Coolmore had Bratton Down in mind when they bred this son of Galileo, but he is a classy pointer, now with leading owner Jason Warner, and readily drew clear up the hill.
The first division of the Conditions race produced the finish of the season. Conor Houlihan on Bridge of Spies (6-1) and Matt Hampton on Where’s Wilma (drifted to 9-4) charged up the hill locked together and were still inseparable at the post. Neither deserved to lose and a dead heat was a fitting result. Crown of Thorns (3-1) ran his usual solid race to finish third and fourth placed Beau Sancy (10’s to 8’s) was well there until the final fence.
Blairs Cove (2-1) made all and won the second division easily under James King, who is about to be crowned National champion jockey for the first time. Runner up Rolling Dylan (2’s to 7-4 fav) had a BHA rating of 143 in his prime, but is not the force he was. He is a fine schoolmaster though.
Darren Edwards took another heavy fall in the getting out stakes as Jimmy Tew (2-1) over jumped at the ninth and brought down Spivey Cove (9-1). Best to Come (3’s to 4’s) came from well off the pace under Conor Houlihan to claim the prize. Runner up Golly its Molly (20-1) showed her first worthwhile form and can only improve further, but Evron (7-2 to 3’s) folded quickly after leading from half way.
Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN