Sunday 6th June 2010
by Granville Taylor
Sunday’s fixture at Bratton Down was also played out on firm ground, and all three title contenders were in action at the North Devon track.
Richard Woollacott struck the first blow when the vastly improved Johny’s Way took the Intermediate with Jake Greenall in his wake on Willie Wong. Greenall quickly pegged one back in a classy Men’s Open when Eric Brook’s Yorkshire gelding Gunner Jack got the better of Karley. The title hopes of John Mathias suffered a setback in this race when he could only finish third on the prolific winning mare Lady Myfanwy. The Welshman therefore remains two behind Woollacott, with Jake Greenall a further two wins behind Mathias after he had completed a double when Fernandina scored in the Restricted.
Polly Gundry has already sealed her eighth Ladies’ championship, and nursing a sore back, she was happy to pass on the Ladies’ Open ride on Wee Fly to Jo Buck. Only three went to post, and with outsider Bright Green well out of contention, Wee Fly ran on strongly to beat the favourite Croix de Guerre by six lengths. Owner trainer Ross Oliver, who did so well with Wee Fly’s half brother Let’s Fly, was saddling his eighth winner of the season and said of his mare, “she is so game and will run on any ground”. Jo Buck is enjoying her best season and was recording her 11th pointing winner of the year to add to her three successes over jumps.
Darren Edwards reached the double figure mark for the year when Bobsleigh outjumped his three rivals to win the Hunt race. The winner is trained at Bampton by Sarah Sheen for owner Steve Marsh who said, “I bought him two years ago out of Stuart Howe’s yard and he loves the firm ground”.
Three useful looking youngsters fought out the finish of the Open Maiden with Certain Flight holding the late challenge of Flying Phento, with Merry Terry a creditable third. Five-year-old Certain Flight was bought as a yearling at Doncaster by his trainer Keith Cumings who joked, “This is third time lucky at Bratton Down”. “He got a cut in the lorry and couldn’t run at the Dulverton West, then walked round the paddock in the fog when his race was called off here last week”.