DART VALE & HALDON HARRIERS
SUNDAY 19th MARCH 2006
by Lucy Johnson
Buckfastleigh has always proved a lucky
course for Somerset-based dairy farmer Richard Hawker and Sunday
was no exception when he scored his first ever double aboard two
horses he trains himself and owns with his wife Sarah.
Sweetshooter delivered in the first of three
maiden races, taking up the running at the second last and winning
by a length.
The six-year-old mare was bought by the
Hawkers last summer from her breeder William Baird who lives on the
Isle of Wight. “She won’t jump a stick at home,”
said Mrs Hawker, who admitted her 43-year-old husband had to loose
a stone to take the ride and achieved the feat by giving up beer
After Charliebob won the Exeter Racecourse
Intermediate, Mrs Hawker declared Buckfastleigh her favourite
course, despite her husband parting company with the mare when his
saddle slipped after the winning post.
The winning seven-year-old was bred by the
Hawkers out of their mare Furry Bear who also produced Sootsir and
is named after their two children Charlotte and Robert.
Darren Edwards, 21, was another jockey on
double form, scoring on Frontenac in the penultimate race, the
confined, and then taking the last race of the day on Zesta
Frontenac was former leading lady rider Mandy
Hand’s first winner as a trainer since she hung up her boots
before Christmas and she admitted it was with mixed feelings she
greeted her winner. “Although he is really hard work and I
probably wouldn’t have been fit enough,” she added.
The ten-year-old has had a string of problems
this season but came good in front of the bumper crowd who enjoyed
the first day of warm spring weather at a point-to-point this
Andrew Finch was the winning owner trainer of
the day’s final winner, Zesta Fiesta, who scored a one length
victory in the restricted. Finch, who lives in Cullompton, keeps
the horse with Tiverton-based Mary Sanderson and bought him as his
dam is Little Lemon from a well known racing family.
The Westcountry Champion Chase, worth
£1,000, proved a real winner with racegoers and the colour of
the silks printed in the racecard were an added bonus.
Richard Woollacott was the winning jockey,
guiding Finewood, trained by his partner Emely Thompson near South
Molton, to a fine five length win from favourite Ask The
On the final hill before the turn for home
the pair were stride for stride, with Woollacott on the rail, until
Finewood drew clear approaching the final fence and won
convincingly. Woollacott part owns the 12-year-old with Les
Chilcott and Clive Elliott.
Division two of the maiden, some six seconds
faster than division one, proved a real tussle between eventual
winner Swift Wood, ridden by Mike Miller who had scored on Highway
Oak in the men’s open at Cothelstone the day before, and
Claymills who just failed by a neck.
Owner Peter Clarke has enjoyed a fruitful
partnership with Bishops Nympton-based trainer Keith Cumings. He
also trains Clarke’s multiple winner Touch of Flame whose dam
Flame O Frensi was his first ever pointer.
Colin Blank’s popular gelding Bengal
Bullet, ridden by Tabitha Cave, was back to his winning ways on
seasonal debut, landing the members’ race from Karinga Coin
by four lengths.
Next Saturday, the Lamerton stages its
point-to-point at Kilworthy near Tavistock.
Members’: Bengal Bullet ( Miss T Cave)
1; Karinga Coin (Mr R Darke) 2; Hannah Bay (Miss A Mills) 3.
Trainer: Mr C Blank; distances 4 lengths, 8 lengths; time 6 minutes
Open Maiden div I: Sweetshooter (Mr R Hawker)
1; Wreford Lake (Mr B Moorcroft) 2; Miramar (Mr W White) 3. Mr R
Hawker; 1l, 5l, 6.20.
Open maiden div II part I: Swift Wood (Mr M
Miller); Claymills (Mr R Darke) 2; Loose Lips (Mr G Weatherly) 3.
Mr K Cumings; nk, distance; 6.14.
Open maiden div II part I: Herswell Castle
(Mr B Dixon) 1; Oh So Naughty (Miss J Congdon) 2; Serve To Lead (Mr
T Dennis) 3. Mrs M J Dixon; 2l, 2l, 6.44.
Intermediate: Charliebob (Mr R Hawker) 1; A
Romp Too Far (Mr W Biddick) 2; Carefree Love (Miss S Gaisford) 3.
Mr R Hawker, ½ l, distance, 6.18.
Westcountry Champion Chase: Finewood (Mr R
Woollacott) 1; Ask The Native (Miss C Roddick) 2; Mister Swallow
(Mr M Miller) 3. Miss E Thompson. 5l, 2 ½ l, 6.11.
Confined: Frotenac (Mr D Edwards) 1; Pertemps
Profile (Mr W Biddick) 2; Jalons Star (Mr B Robarts). Mrs M Hand;
1l, 1 ½ l, 6.12.
Restricted: Zesta Fiesta (Mr D Edwards) 1;
Sanderstead (Mr A Charles-Jones) 2; General O’Keefe (Mr J
Barnes) 3. Mr A Finch; 1l, 15l; 6.18