Dunsmore Club at Dunsmore by Granville Taylor
Despite small fields the Dunsmore Club provided competitive racing to greet the new Devon & Cornwall season in bright sunshine before a good sized crowd. The prolific winning gelding Southfield Theatre, owned by Angela Yeoman, made all under Lily Bradstock to upset the favourite Chamelon in the INEOS Grenadier sponsored Mixed Open. This was the first of 16 Open races throughout the country sponsored by this company, culminating in a final at Cheltenham in May.
In form jockey Lily Bradstock had ridden Southfield Theatre's young half sister to win at Badbury Rings last week, and said of the prolific winning 13-year-old Southfield Theatre, "He loves it and loves his jumping. We will keep going as long as he enjoys it. Mum (the trainer) rides him every day." Mum is of course Sara Bradstock who rode winners herself as Sara Lawrence, daughter of Lord Oaksey.
The reigning Devon & Cornwall champion jockey Darren Edwards got off the mark for the new season as the family mare In Arrears, one of just two pointers owned and trained at Exford by his father Gordon, just overcame front running Inch Rock (Pippa Glanville) to win the Conditions race. Trainer Gordon, a long standing farrier, "rides it, shoes it and schools it" according to his wife Angela. Darren has less long distance travelling to meetings this season (he formerly commuted from Leicestershire) as he is now based as a partner with Fisher German at Exeter.
Last season's National champion rider James King was well beaten behind In Arrears when his mount Thumb Stone Blues faded in the home straight under a hefty 10lbs penalty. The leading rider however went home having ridden a winner thanks to Welsh challenger Accordini, given a perfect waiting ride in the Restricted. The winner is trained at Pyle by Gareth Moore for Caerphilly based owner Justin Hoskins.
Similar waiting tactics paid off for Will Biddick in the Open Maiden, confidently bringing his mount Truckers Pass from off the pace to justify odds-on favouritism when toying with his five rivals. "He is a classy horse and I was able to switch him off," reported the seven times National Champion jockey. The winner runs in the colours of his trainer, Taunton bloodstock agent Tom Malone, who was en route later that night to a big spending jaunt the following day at Deauville.
Somerset jockey Josh Newman chased home Biddick's Maiden winner on Evron. The boot was on the other foot in the Goffs UK Maiden for four and five-year-olds as Newman drove home Park This One to outpoint Biddick's mount Captain Westie with a strong late run. A nicely bred four-year-old, Park This One is trained by Neil McLean near Crewkerne for owner Ivan Thompson who runs a popular local outlet called The Sausage Shed. The winner was purchased at Goffs UK Summer sales at Doncaster last July and is destined to return to the sales ring.
It was a red letter day for 23 year old jockey Nathan Green who scored his first winner from only his second ride when Moratorium quickened clear of Guerrila Tactics and Broadclyst in the home straight to win the Veteran & Novice Riders event. The Lancashire born rider works at Ben Pauling's Cotswold yard, alongside Moratorium's trainer Myles Osborne. Formerly a winner in Ireland for Gigginstown, Moratorium runs in the colours of the trainer's stepmother and was yet another sourced from Goffs UK.