Joe Tickle and Darren Edwards were the jockeys in form at the Eggesford meeting at Upcott Cross on Sunday, both booting home a double on ground which they described as good, good to soft in places.
Carol Lawrence’s home-bred seven-year-old Meilyr added to his maiden win earlier this season when surviving a blunder at the last to take the opening hunt race under Tickle who later doubled up on the progressive Print the Money in the confined hunts novice riders’ race.
The Rebecca Kennen-trained seven-year-old made all the running to record his fourth win of the season and give Joe his eighth winner of the campaign. “Now I know he’ll go on better ground,” said Rebecca who added that he would be entered for both intermediate finals at Exeter and Cheltenham if there is rain between now and then.
Darren Edwards steered King’s Wood to a length and a half victory in the four mile Devon National. Rodger Farrant, father of the nine-year-old’s trainer Ashley who was on duty at Cothelstone, said: “He won on ground that probably wasn’t ideal for him and he probably went a lot further than four miles as he went around the outside.” Owner Laura Claydon said her future plans for the horse were to give him a big cuddle.
Darren doubled up on the Ryan Chapman-trained Livinginthefuture who put a string of defeats behind him to win the second maiden. “He works well at home. We left the tongue tie off today and he seemed to go ok,” said Chapman who trains three at his base near the course at Trebudannan.
Lizzie Luxton scored her inaugural success after just three rides when steering Robin Reip and Mike Stevenson’s Jay Jay Valentine to success in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate race, despite loosing her stirrups at the final fence. The 20-year-old works for trainer Jackie Du Plessis who said she had put a lot of work into the horse. “He’s not an easy horse and Lizzie does all the schooling at home. It’s the first time Lizzie has got round and we’re really pleased. We broke down on the way here and Lizzie had to go back and get her trailer. It’s just such a shame for James Best who normally rides him and is still in hospital after breaking both his legs on Easter Monday.”
Mike Weir’s knack for getting his horse to win first time out was in evidence again when Freeze The Dream, under Tom Chanin, took the first of two maiden’s, looking as if he was travelling slightly better at the time than last fence casualty Certain Flight who unseated Richard Hawkins. “She cost 1500gns at Ascot last year and she was dear enough at the time considering the financial climate. But she’s a lovely horse and has been hunted every Saturday by 14-year-old Harriet Parker and by me on Tuesday’s,” said Weir who is master of the Dartmoor Foxhounds as well as clerk of the course at Flete Park.
Ten went to post in the restricted and Lord Raspberry added to his Buckfastleigh maiden success to record a three quarters of a length success under his trainer Polly Gundry.