WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR
REGULAR visitors to the Wadebridge showground point-to-point track would have been pleasantly amazed. There was no rain, the wind turbines on the overlooking hill top were in lazy mode, very mild weather for December,plus the benefit of a big screen in the cosy barn. In addition the course was in great shape
Some of us had to work outside – it was a pleasure
The theory of “horses for courses” once again proved its worth when the ultra consistent veteran Working Title landed his fourth course success at Wadebridge on Sunday (Dec 13) in the Men’s Open clocking the fastest time of the day.
Soon showing a clean pair of hooves to his seven rivals, the Cotswold gelding strode well clear from the second last under his regular partner Joe Drinkwater. The 13-year-old started life by winning a bumper for Nicky Henderson, and has now won nine times between the flags.
“He gave me my first winner at Wadebridge in 2013 and loves it round here. He just pricks his ears and likes to set his own pace,” reported the 19-year-old rider of the family horse trained by Joe’s brother Sam for their father Paul.
The useful former chaser Ray Diamond shrugged off Rebel Du Maquis and Sweet My Lord in the closing stages to take the Ladies’ Open. Owned and trained by Jackie Du Plessis at Saltash, the ten-year-old carries plenty of condition and was nicely handled by Olivia Hutchings, who works in the yard and was riding the fourth winner of her career. “He is such a pet and a great hunter but he may revert to National Hunt as I have Ziggerson Hill for Ladies’ races,” commented the owner/trainer.
Yet another young rider to shine was 16-year-old Gus Levinson who followed up his initial success at Black Forest last month by getting Premier Portrait home in a good finish to the Novice Riders’ contest. The winner drew away from runner-up Kirkleigh half way up the run. “He hung a bit today and may be better going right handed,” reported the winning jockey who has honed his jumping skills with lessons with Yogi Breisner.
Black Forest Lodge form was also upheld by Doctor Braveheart, who followed up his Restricted win on the Devon track by taking the Intermediate at the expense of Sonoftheking. The latter was left in front when Le Clo De La Londe fell at the 13th fence, but Doctor Braveheart made relentless progress to wear down his rival in a slogging match up the final climb. “He is a strong finisher and jumps well,” said jockey Byron Moorcroft who was partnering his third winner of the season. Doctor Braveheart is by the leading British sire Dr Massini who stands at the Dunraven Stud operated by the winner’s owner/trainer David Brace. “It took us about four hours to get here,” said the enthusiastic owner who added, “He will have a little break now and it would be nice to aim for the Dunraven Bowl hunter chase which is a race I sponsor at Chepstow,”
Darren Edwards rode runner-up Sonoftheking in the Intermediate and went one better by winning the Open Maiden on five-year-old Robin De Souza in a maximum field of 14. This promising youngster is trained at Lifton by Dean Summersby for owners Tony and Eileen Worth. “He had good placed form in Irish points and we bought him privately during the summer. He works well and is an out and out stayer.” commented the trainer.
Four-year-old filly Applesolutely took good advantage of her allowances to win the Restricted under a patient ride from Sean Houlihan. Odds-on favourite Northgeorge led from the seventh fence, but Applesolutely was always travelling sweetly and stayed on strongly up the final hill to score convincingly. The home bred winner, by Apple Tree, out of an un-raced Oscar mare, is trained by “Ces” Mitford-Slade on behalf of himself and joint owner Lucy Fielding-Johnson at Pontispool near Taunton. “She has grown a lot during the summer. She won over a shorter distance at Flete Park in April and this was her first run at three miles. There are no big plans for her, although she could be aimed at one of the Intermediate finals next year,” reported the trainer.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at <a href=”http://www.ab-snapshots.co.uk/WestCountryVideos/”>www.westcountryvideos.co.uk</a>
- Sunday 10th January 2016, North Cornwall Point-To-Point, Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
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