The point to point season was back in business at Bratton Down. Top
class sport was on offer after a spell in the firm ground doldrums
but only for those who could brave the elements and forego
the FA Cup final and the Devon County Show.
And trainers brought their horses in droves. Both maiden races divided on entry were divided on declaration giving an eventual nine race card.
Highlights of the meeting were a treble for reigning champion rider Polly Gundry, a double for trainer Ollie Bush and the finishes of the mixed open and part two division two of the maiden.
Gundry got off the mark for the meeting on Maori Chief in the first
of the four maidens, and followed up in the first part of division
two on What A Mover and Mrs Be in the Confined, both trained by
Ollie Bush near Cullompton. What A Mover is partly owned by Terry
Hamlin who had a previous engagement commentating in the main ring
at the Devon County Show. What A Mover beat fellow East
Devon-qualified horse Beau Supreme (Les Jefford) who
Jefford was also runner up to Gundry in the Confined on Alan
Walter's Parte Prima who was running without blinkers for the first
time this season, and ran well. If it had all gone wrong Walter,
who runs a racehorse transport
Former national champion Jefford must wonder what else he has to do to get back in the winner's enclosure as he was also second in the opening members' race on Happy Team. There were no complaints here as it was great to see Robbie Rawle's Longstone Lad (Richard Woollacott) back in front after what has been, for him, a disappointing season.
Another horse good to see back in the limelight was the previously
top class The Bounder who was third in
Burley Don Carlos showed a great deal of spirit battling with Panhandle (Nick Mitchell) in the last division of the maiden as Charlotte Stucley lost her whip half way up the run-in. He was briefly headed but ran on well, the judge having to split the two, as even the riders weren't sure who had won.
Electronic scales were in operation for the first five races, and
worked well to begin with, but the manual variety were brought back
into action before a spell of odd readouts on the display panel
were able to cause chaos.
Mixed Open: 1, Oscar Wilde, D Drake; 2, Track O Profit, Miss S Young; 3, The Bounder, Miss C Tizzard. Eight ran, 1l, 4l, 6.20.
Open maiden division one part one: 1, Maori Chief, Miss P Gundry; 2, Pharsu, J Snowden; 3, Son of Courage, N Harris. Nine ran, 20l, 20l, 6.38.
Part two: 1, The Grey Shadow, G Barfoot Saunt; 2, Zakley, C Heard; 3, Pipersland, N Harris. Nine ran, 6l, 12l, 6.52.
Division Two part one: 1, What A Mover, Miss P Gundry; 2, Beau Supreme, L Jefford; 3, Martby, M Atkinson. 11 ran, 5l, 6l, 6.38.
Part two: 1, Burley Don Carlos, Miss C Stucley; 2, Panhandle, N Mitchell; 3, General Ajwaad, L Tibbatts. Nine ran, nk, 15l, 6.38.
Intermediate: 1, Keitho, N Williams; 2, The King's Fling, Miss P Gundry; 3, Le Cure, J Barnes. 4l, 7l, 6.36
Confined: 1, Mrs Be, Miss P Gundry; 2, Parte Prima, L Jefford; 3, Cool Wager, M Miller. 12 ran, 5l, 8l, 6.26.
Restricted: 1, Mr Banker, Miss K Clift; 2, Uncle James, Miss L Guillfoyle; 3, Eagle Hill, C heard. 13 ran, 2l, 6l, 6.34.