South Devon Hunts
There was a double for Richard Woollacott at Ideford Arch on Sunday where a busy crowd enjoyed a marathon ten race card.
Reigning Devon and Cornwall champion Richard Woollacott got off the mark for the season, courtesy of King Georges in the opening members’ race. Trained by Woollacott’s partner Emely Thompson, the ten-year-old took up the running four fences from home and stayed on well. He is owned by John Pearn whose daughter Alice is likely to ride him in novice rider races later in the season.
Woollacott doubled up on Come What Augustus who took the fastest of four maiden races over two and a half miles. The winner was bought as a replacement for Bill Westacott’s Polligana and was in command from two out after main rival Pingaro De La Vire unseated David Maxwell.
Fred Hutsby scored with Campden Society, owner Peter Gardner’s first ever point-to-point winner, in the first maiden and the jockey reported he had improved for his run at Cottenham three weeks ago. But Hutsby was denied a double after Hugo Hackenbush threw him into the wing at the final fence in the third maiden after eventual winner Cool Defender, ridden by Jonathan Jarrett, looked to unnerve him when he bumping into him approaching the fence.
Matt Hazel, who trains the six-year-old for his owner breeder Sheila Nash, said: “Cool Defender nearly died when he reared over and suffered head injuries as a five-year-old.”
The last of the four maiden’s went to the Ian Popham-ridden Winning Connection who was the first half of a double for Marie McGuiness.
A good jump at the last secured the win for the four-year-old who shrugged off the challenge of Tandori on the run-in to score a three length win. Standing little more than 15hh high, the winner was bought by McGuiness out of Ascot Sales last year (2006). “He’s so small I don’t think anyone else wanted him. But he is such a star and he does everything at home. His owner Richard House has been so supportive of me after I sold him a horse I bred which didn’t work out so I let him have this chap,” said McGuiness.
Double Honour’s abundant stamina came in to play in a classy looking mixed open, where a quality field of 14 runners went to post. The nine-year-old stayed on resolutely to win but McGuiness admitted the horse has her on edge. “You never really know with him and the secret is to keep him sweet,” she said before adding: “He may go to Dunthrop for his next race and will be kept pointing.” Jockey Diana Hobbs excelled on the grey, but the 18-year-old rider is likely to lose the ride to sister Katherine as she leaves for Canada early in January to take a two months ski instructors course.
Lady Myfanwy began her winning sequence at Ideford Arch last year where she won her maiden and became the subsequent national novice champion, and she began the season in winning form again, this time taking the novice riders’ race with the talented 16-year-old Rhys Flint on board.
Rhys Hughes took the intermediate on board Little Ed, after the pair survived an early race blunder. “He lost his confidence after that so I sat quietly for a bit before getting him into the race,” reported Hughes. A hunter chase may be on the agenda for the Robert Scrine trained nine-year-old.
Two open maiden races concluced the card with the Ross Oliver owned and trained Wee Fly taking the first division after she stayed on well under Polly Gundry and Graham Brown’s home bred Throwaround taken the second division under Lucy Gardner.
A steward’s enquiry ensued after this race over the improved performance of the six-year-old following his run at Wadebridge and they accepted Gardner’s explanation that that her mount had made a mistake at the first at Wadebridge and been continually messed about by an opponent jumping crookedly in the race, plus extensive schooling Since.
South Devon Hunts Club Members Race: King Georges (Mr R Woollacott) 1; Mister Putt (Miss P Gundry) 2; Tsars Twist (Miss L Gardner). Trainer Ms E Thompson; Distance 6l, 25l; Time 6.31.
South Devon Hunt Club Members’ Race for Novice Riders: Lady Myfanwy (Mr R Flint) 1; Dracaena (Mr D Aldridge) 2; Hornbill (Mr T David) 3. Mr PB Miles; 8l, hd; 6.30.
Open Maiden Race 2m4f Div 1 Part 1: Campden Society (Mr F Hutsby) 1; Andare A Ballare (Miss S Berry) 2; Final Over (Mr R Hughes) 3. Mr F Hutsby; 1l, 5l; 5.13.
Open Maiden Race 2m4f Div 1 Part 2: Come What Augustus (Mr R Woollacott) 1; Maglinn River (Mr G Maundrell) 2; Mr Woodrow (Miss L Gardner) 3; Ms E Thompson; 25l, 25l; 5.07.
Open Maiden Race 2m4f Div 2 Part 1: Cool Defender (Mr J Jarrett); Arvakur (Miss P Gundry) 2; Lourd Hymn (Miss A Mills) Mr M Hazell; 10l, 5l; 5.16
Open Maiden Race 2m4f Div 2 Part 2: Winning Connection (Mr I Popham) 1; Tandori (Mr S Payne) 2; Find It Out (Mr J Llewellyn) 3. Mrs M McGuiness; 3l, 25l; 5.11.
Mixed Open: Double Honour (Miss D Hobbs) 1; Unleash (Mr N Sutton) 2; Lord Trix (Mr F Husby) 3. Mrs M McGuiness; 3l, 12l, 6.21
Intermediate: Litte Ed (Mr R Hughes) 1; Simon’s Seat (Miss R Green) 2; Moon Bear (Mr W Biddick) 3. Mr R Scrine; 8l, 25l; 6.27.
Open Maiden Div 1: Wee Fly (Miss P Gundry) 1; Ten Pressed Men (Mr A Wintle) 2; Oh So Naughty (Miss J Congdon) 3. Mr R Oliver; 3l, 10l; 6.36.
Open Maiden Div 2: Throwaround (Miss L Gardner) 1; Josh Be Youself (Miss P Gundry) 2; Lunar Thyme (Mr R Hughes) 3. Miss L Gardner; 2l, 8l; 6.42.