Conditions Race Veteran & Novice Riders (Sponsor Ray Davies Foods)
1 Rockinrolldixie (Nathan Vergne) 4-1 prog four out, led last, ran on strongly
2 Mic’s Delight (Millie Wonnacott) 4-6 fav made most til joined three out, no extra flat
3 Jack The Hat (Mark Robinson) 5-2 with leaders til not quicken from three out
7 ran; 6l; 15l; 6m 5s
Division 1 (Foot Anstey LLP)
1 Dragon De La Tour (David Prichard) 7-2 alwys prom, led last, stayed on well
2 Captain Cuckoo (Sam Lee) 4-1 prom, 3rd three out, kept on flat
3 Ragged Dream (Hannah Welch) 16-1 led and clear 15th, mstk next, wknd flat
10 ran; 5l; 2l; 6m 12s
Division 2 (Nare Hotel)
1 Shelcomeonfordrun (David Prichard) 12-1 hdwy 12th, 2nd three out, led next, easily
2 Deise Gold (Jake Bament) 12-1 led 8th til 12th, kept on steadily
3 Mujadel (James King) 8-1 led 13th til three out, wknd last
10 ran; 5l; 3l; 6m 7s
Ladies’ Open (R & J Trevarthen)
1 Double Captain (Naomi Sims) 11-4 hdwy 13th, led three out, comf
2 Start Royal (Izzie Marshall) 11-2 led til four out, kept on
3 Purple N Gold (Jo Supple) 6-4 fav in touch, every chance til no extra three out
4 ran; 7l; 1l; 6m 0s
Men’s Open (Moores St Wenn Ltd)
1 Navanman (Bryan Carver) 5-4 fav led/disp throughout, ran on gamely flat
2 Broadclyst (Tom Chanin) 6-4 hdwy four out, every chance last, no extra close home
3 Honest Deed (Darren Edwards) 11-2 in touch, close 3rd three out, no extra flat
8 ran; 3l; 2l; 6m 8s
Intermediate (Exeter Racecourse)
1 Kensington Castle (Byron Moorcroft) 5-4 fav held up, led three out, easily
2 In Arrears (Darren Edwards) 11-4 disp ld 13th til 15th, every chance til no extra two out
3 Druid Spitfire (Tom Chanin) 15-8 prom til lost place 13th, kept on same pace
4 ran; 1/2l; neck; 6m 18s
Restricted (Land Promotion Group)
1 Raddon Top (Bryan Carver) 5-1 handy, led four out, stayed on well
2 Bridge Of Spies (Nathan Vergne) 20-1 in touch, 4th three out, stayed on well flat
3 She’s A Gangster (Byron Moorcroft) 5-1 effort from 15th, no extra apprg last
8 ran; 3l; 3l; 6m 6s
The nine bookmakers joined in the festivities by offering fair odds throughout the card at the Wadebridge Christmas meeting.
This fixture offers a great atmosphere: The bookies are cosily housed in the huge barn, Christmas gifts are available for sale without getting mixed up with the madding crowd on the high street. There is a TV showing all the point-to –point races live from Jeff Guyett’s camera feed, food & drink in plentiful supply, but I couldn’t see Father Christmas – probably a bit early
The Dapper Fox (5-2 to 5-4) was made favourite for the opener.(Novice Riders’) but was always struggling. De Boitron had reasonable form under rules and was cut from 4’s to 3’s for his first run for the new yard, but fell at half way – he is worth bearing in mind. Mic’s Delight took a walk from 3-1 to 11-2 and ran pretty well, but Supreme Danehill (firm at 11-4) jumped well for his novice pilot Izzie Marshall, and was always holding the strong finishing Rusty Nail (8’s to 12’s), who looks sure to atone in similar company.
At one stage it looked as though Premier Portrait (4-5 to 8-11) had met his match in a small, quality field for the Men’s Open. Young jockey Gus Levinson did not panic however, sweeping wide off the home bend and breezing past Consigliere (steady at 5-4 and carrying a7lbs penalty) near the finish. Third placed Welstonedruid drifted (7’s to 12’s) but ran really well and will be winning soon. Foundry Square was not wanted (5’s to 8’s), but this formerly useful hunter chaser looked the part from the Marie McGuinness yard, and can regain his old winning form.
Ohio Gold, from the same yard as Foundry Square, was forced from 5-4 to 4-5 for the three –runner Ladies’ Open, but got rid of his jockey at the third last. By this time Vicky Wade was making the best of her way home on King Of Alcatraz (5-4 to 7-4), and duly took the prize by 20 lengths from Ambitious Pursuit (2’s to 5-2).
Rockinrolldixie (6-4 to evens) initiated a double for Darren Edwards and trainer Dean Summersby in the Restricted. The jockey gave a fair impression of Lester Piggott on the climb for home, taking command as his mount sauntered home on the bit, and peeping round cheekily for non-existent danger. Rockinrolldixie is on the upgrade and can win again. High Priority (8’s out to 12’s) stayed on well as best of the rest.
There was a remarkable gamble in the 10 strong Open Maiden on four-year- old Captain Cook, backed into 4-6 fav.. “We laid small money to 8’s and 7’s then 5’s before the odds collapsed. We even laid £200 at 7-4 and he went off odds-on,” a leading layer told me. Well this Captain Cook proved about as good as our Captain Cook in the Indian test series – ineffective and sunk without trace. To be honest, I suspected a four-year- old wearing a tongue tie for his debut on a testing track would have to be very smart. This equine Captain Cook did not impress in the paddock, but had the services of the talented Jack Andrews. In the race he compounded very quickly in the closing stages and was pulled up. This meant that the price held up on Chosen Lucky who had to carry my money. (5-2 – 9-4 – 5- 2). I backed him because he had run quite well when fourth behind recent impressive bumper winner Neon Wolf in an Irish point in the autumn. There is nothing like proven form. Darren Edwards duly completed his double on this five- year-old.
The “Horses for courses” theory must be centuries old, but proved itself again in the Intermediate when the game young mare Follow The Paint (3’s to 2’s) again showed her liking for the showground track. She only ever wins at Wadebridge (this was her third course success), and she took advantage of Boygojumping’s exuberant early running style (too fast too soon) under a good ride from Jake Bament.
Question: Which horse won his first race at Wadebridge and subsequently won a Hennessy Gold Cup?
Answer: Celestial Gold, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Ashley Farrant won a division of the Open Maiden at Wadebridge in 2003 and went on to win the Hennessy in November 2004
“When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees and they did make no noise”Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare.
Yes Will, you summed it up well. It was a lovely calm, sunny December day at Wadebridge, all blue sky and even the wind turbines on the hill went round in slow motion.
The Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge hosted the first Cornish point-to-point of the new season before a decent sized crowd
Darren Edwards is already in determined mood to regain the Devon & Cornwall area jockeys’ title he narrowly missed out on to Will Biddick last season. Having reached a double century of point-to-point winners on the opening day at Black Forest Lodge, the popular rider again justified his regular commute from Leicestershire with a double from his two rides on the showground.
Rockinrolldixie strolled clear of his rivals up the final hill to win the Restricted with Edwards sitting motionless on the progressive seven-year-old. “He is a classy horse, was keen and still pulling at the last,” remarked the rider, who paid tribute to Dean and Emma Summersby for producing the gelding so fit on his seasonal debut. Trainer Dean Summersby commented that, “a stronger run race in a bigger field would help him.”
The Summersby yard, based near Launceston, went on to send out Open Maiden winner Chosen Lucky. This time it was not all plain sailing as the five-year-old was continually pestered by a loose horse until Edwards pressed the button on the bottom bend to secure his double. “This horse is a bit more straightforward than our first winner. He is an out and out stayer,” reported the successful trainer, who bought his charge privately in Ireland after three unplaced point-to-point runs there.
Premier Portrait found a nice turn of foot to narrowly deny Consigliere in the Men’s Open. Gus Levinson was content to bide his time on his prolific winning partner before pouncing on front running Consigliere inside the last 75 yards to score going away. “He will probably go to Chaddesley Corbett at the end of the month then hunter chasing is a possibility,” said Charles Levinson.
Consiglere was far from disgraced as he was giving the winner 7lbs. “He really needs better ground and the Mixed Open at Ampton on 15th January could be next for him,” remarked jockey Joe Hill. After setting off at 5.15am from Oxfordshire, Joe had already saddled the Novice Riders’ winner Supreme Danehill on behalf of his father Alan, who had headed to the Larkhill meeting.
Supreme Danehill was given a positive ride by Izzie Marshall, enjoying the third success of her career. “I had my first ride in this race last year and then had winners on Conkies Lad at Charing and Penshurst,” said the 17-year-old rider who is taking A levels at Claremont College, East Sussex.
Vicky Wade opened her account for the season when the grey King Of Alcatraz made all and finished 20 lengths clear of the only other finished Ambitious Pursuit in the three-runner Ladies’ Open. The winner was left well clear when odds-on favourite Ohio Gold unseated Natalie Parker at the third last. “Nothing would go on so I decided to take control of the race,” said the winning rider after the trio had dawdled in the early stages.
Chilhampton, North Devon, owner/trainer Roy Smith reported that his 10-year-old gelding, winning for the first time since taking a hunter chase at Exeter three years ago was, “Worried that he might not be fit enough. He was coughing early last season and I just have a bit of grass to train him on,”
The seven-runner Intermediate turned into a virtual match on the final circuit between Follow The Paint and Boygojumping, with the mare Follow The Paint taking command at the last to score her third course victory. “She is genuine and thrives on her work. She can be keen but the sit and wait tactics panned out well,” commented trainer John Heard, who handles the mare on behalf of the Beefeaters Syndicate, and paid a nice tribute to winning rider, 20-year-old Jake Bament, who works in the Philip Hobbs yard.