May I quote from a recent edition of a little book I have which has 20,000 new entries and 130,000 references and is referred to as ‘concise’ – well it states:
morals adj of or relating to character or conduct, considered as good or evil: ethical; adhering to or directed towards what is right, virtuous, especially in matters of sex; capable of knowing right and wrong – unquote well I have definitely come to the conclusion that that cat outside my bedroom window at half past five this morning has NO morals. On hearing the first loud ear piercing screech I collected just over 4.546 litres (one gallon – details from same recent edition of a little book I have etc) of water which one always has to hand in the bedroom, moved it gently to the window and deposited it over not one cat but two being that I am a very good shot with just over 4.546 litres of water and also being that these two cats were very close together. Believe it or not they stopped the noise and ran away – fancy that! Too early yet to leave for The East Devon Hunt Point to Point meeting at Bishops Court so an attempt to get up to date with some ‘office’ work was on the cards. Not so – the offending animals returned to the same spot, not even picking a little dry patch but the very same spot and continued to chorus me with the most horrible noises I have yet to hear. My 4.546 litre bucket of water had gone so the next movable object to hand will suffice. I missed them both this time as they obviously have had ‘a domestic’ and were not so close together and were looking most upset with one another. They scampered away and have not been seen since but may I through this column ask any one, visitor or local dweller – if you come across a cat, wearing ONE size 13 brown shoe, lace-up, nearly new, anywhere in Newquay, the chances are it is mine, the shoe I mean, as for the life of me I cannot find it anywhere.
The moon was shining brightly on this Saturday morning so we left early after all for Ottery. As usual when arriving in time, we walked the course and in agreement with others that know, we classified the going as ‘sucky’ – no other word to describe it and that one is not normally ‘in the book’. Some places were good, then good to soft, then heavy with quite a bit of yielding thrown in – as I said – ‘sucky’.
As regards my investments on this fine day, well I started off badly and it got worse. All I picked up last weekend has been given back. I did not keep to the same gentleman bookie, I shared it all round but not one of them wanted to give me any. How delighted I was when Ruth did her normal little trick and won 1.7598 pints (1 litre) of famous Grouse whisky, which has saved me a few shillings.
The East Devon Hunt Members, Subscribers and Farmers race sponsored by Bonhams brought only three runners to post and Mr D Johnson’s odds-on favourite BERMUDA BLUE confidently ridden by Ollie Green won in the same manner as he did at Wadebridge with M Sweetland’s JOHN ROBIN a distance away second and M Heuff pulling up D Llewellin’s LAZY LEMON. I will not give up on JOHN ROBIN yet, his win has to come soon or I might change my mind.
Although there was an entry of 25 for the Stones (Solicitors) sponsored Men’s Open Race, only seven went to post and only three finished. I invested in I & T Roger’s NODDADANTE with Nick Mitchell onboard. whose form says that he may need the run but he looked the part to me. Held up for a while, he made up ground and on completing a circuit he was in fifth position with the field being led by J Kinnear’s POLAR FLIGHT (L Jefford) at a brisk pace, followed by D Ferguson’s NEARLY GOLD. On turning into the home straight for the first time my horse was improving along with M Rawle’s LONGSTONE LAD (R Woollacott) but POLAR FLIGHT kept up the pace and yet to be headed. At the second open ditch my investment was looking good and had made up to third place challenging LONGSTONE LAD and heading him into the back straight and this little group had pulled well clear. At the turn leading up to the cross fence with three plain fences left to jump, the order was POLAR FLIGHT being pressed by NODDADANTE with LONGSTONE LAD three lengths back in third. On racing to the final turn with just two plain fences to jump, POLAR FLIGHT went for home and increased the lead with LONGSTONE LAD now in second place and NEARLY GOLD now coming into the equation. The smile drained from me as I watched my sound investment dribble to a walking pace and the jockey dismount. They walked home past me, which is not what I expected, but I think ‘a leg’ was to blame! First, POLAR FLIGHT, second LONGSTONE LAD and third was NEARLY GOLD in a time of 6 minutes 45 seconds.
Nine to contest The Confined Hunts Race (37 entries) and I am sulking because I lost my investment on the last race so maybe I will not back on Race Three. but I do like the look of the best turned out horse, the jointly owned PAGE ROYALE (O Nemes) but her form doesn’t encourage me too much. Mrs Galpin’s FLYING IMP (J Barnes) is wearing blinkers and doesn’t mind this ‘going’ but is quoted as ‘one paced’; a thing I am not too worried about as long as the pace is the winning pace. No, I’ll light the primus and boil the kettle during this race and then be ready with a vast amount of knowledge of one horse about to take part in the next race, which is the Intermediate Race. The favourite, Mr C Batterham’s STACKY LIGHT (A Farrant) won the Confined in a time of 6 minutes 49 secs, ten lengths ahead of Mr J Chaffey’s THINKING TWICE (M Sweetland) with C White’s BELLS WOOD finishing well, just a head, back in third.
I was informed by one in the know that Polly Gundry would be riding Mr & Mrs Dupont’s MY CLEAN SWEEP trained by R Barber in the Intermediate Race. This was the one to ‘back’. So, with no other information to make me even contemplate doing anything else – on went the cost of a bottle of Famous Grouse, one that I will not now have to buy Ruth! The jointly owned MR NOMANNERS (A Bush) showed quite early that he has no manners and at the second fence when about 10 lengths in front, fell quite heavily. My concern was being held up! at the rear of the field and with two complete circuits to run appeared quite happy as whipper-in. Entering the back straight it was reported that MY CLEAN SWEEP had progressed. I beg to differ here – two other runners had progressed less than my concern and were now behind MY CLEAN SWEEP! On approaching the open ditch for the final time Miss Baverstock and Mr Partridge’s KNOCK STAR (S Partridge) was battling it out up front with Mr N Anderson’s DETROIT DAVY (W Oakes) with a horse making good progress on the inside – Yes! MY CLEAN SWEEP! with five plain fences left to jump it was obvious to me that ‘sucky ground’ was taking its toll and my investment was down the drain. At the final cross fence it was DETROIT DAVY leading the way but getting reminders with KNOCK STAR in second place but a couple of the others making moves to get closer, notably Mr and Mrs Symes’s CASTLE AVENUE (Richard Woollacott) and MELODY PRINCESS (D Alers-Hankey). At the final fence, it was DETROIT DAVY and CASTLE AVENUE in the air together and a good finish was fought out between these two. First CASTLE AVENUE by a length from DETROIT DAVY with MELODY PRINCESS bringing up the rear as only these three finished. Another informant of mine who will be marked in my book as “to be completely disregarded”.
Again there were a lot of entries (26), but only 7 ran in The Ladies’ Open sponsored by MATFORD LANDROVER. The odds-on favourite Mrs Hutchinson’s lovely looking grey, RIMPTON BOY (P Gundry) was the sure thing and this proved to be quite correct. Held up for a while and then when asked went on to win by 15 lengths in a time of 6 minutes 49 seconds. Miss V Tremlett rode a good race on her HOLDIMCLOSE (second) and I have no doubt Mr Hosegood will have this one in the winners enclosure very soon. Mr & Mrs C May’s TICKERY’S GIFT (A Goschen) ran on, four lengths back in third place.
Two divisions of the Restricted Race followed, both sponsored by Belvoir Horse Products Ltd and qualifying for their Championship Final at Garthorpe in May. With a safety factor of 18 and only 13 runners in total for the two divisions, the split could have taken place on the day – please tell me- am I missing something here? (email@example.com) Mrs Wilkins & Mr Evans’s JOLITAN (B Evans) won division one and in seven minutes two seconds, which proved to be the fastest time of the two divisions, took home the silver. Only three finished with LUCKASHAN running a good race (second) with Mrs S Trump’s NEARLY FAIR coming into third place.
In my last report I was the one who said that the horse to watch was one DAMIENS PRIDE, well having spouted off about this horse I decided to invest. I smiled at everybody who I thought had connections with this 12 yo bay gelding as I made my way to the ‘bookies’. No one returned my smile so maybe Mrs Batchelor was not the one I was winking at but nevertheless her (Mrs Batchelor’s) DAMIENS PRIDE (T Dennis) took all my remaining pence from Great Trethew. I had value for money! No it didn’t win as Trevor Cole rode a very good race on Mrs Jones’s THE BANDON CAR and came home the winner but my investment was only one length behind at the line having made up a considerable amount of ground. Next time!! Mr Tozer’s WHATS THE PROBLEM (T Newman) filled the third spot.
Three divisions of maidens followed; horses with names like TH’MOONS A BALLON (first), SUSEJEBHA (first), SURE HOW BAD, CAPTAIN CRACKER, NONPLUSSED (first) SLIP THE NET, THUNDER THIGHS, and ROYAL RUMOUR. We are in for a very exciting season.
ROYAL RUMOUR is owned and trained by the Chanin family and it ran a very good race under Richard Woollacott. I would like to pass on to the family and for them to pass on to young Edward, that we are all thinking about him, in particular in the weighing room and wish him all the best with his ‘rehab’ and get back to us soon.
Pack up the primus, empty the kettle, say ‘cheerio’ to the bookies and off up the road to Larkhill where I will find B & B where there are NO cats and tomorrow I will win. Fred