GONE Missing scored a poignant victory at the East Devon hunt’s meeting at Ottery St Mary on Saturday when winning the opening members’ race under Richard Hawkins. It was the first year Oliver Carter’s famous voice wasn’t heard over the PA system at the course having passed away last year but their were plenty of people celebrating Gone Missing’s win in his memory.
Carter was the course’s landlord, and owned and bred the winner. Now his granddaughter Ann has taken over training the horse and was registering her first ever win. “I do get a lot of help from a lot of different people and my family and it’s a real team effort. I also have to thank Lesley Jefford and Faye and Chris Down who let me use their gallops. I couldn’t do it without them,” said Ann who added: “It’s lovely to have my first winner on our home ground.”
Both winners of the young horses open maiden were by Graham Heal’s prolific stallion Relief Pitcher who sadly passed away last month. Carol Lawrence, owner, trainer and breeder of first division winner Meilyr who was ridden by Joe Tickle, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon as it’s a huge family effort. My husband Richard is a farrier, although he hasn’t come today as he’s working. We train five near Umberleigh.
Richard Woollacott admitted he thinks a lot of Deb’s Dasher following his odds-on success in the second division. Woollacott bred the five-year-old out of his good mare Jentar Equilibra, who was actually carrying him in foal when she won at Bratton Down, and later sold him to Deborah Bean and Sonia Gardner.
Woollacott was on the mark again when saddling Come What Augustus to win the novice riders race under Ben Clarke who came in for plenty of praise from the trainer. “He’s very good and tha’ts his first winner,” he said.
Ben, 19, hails from Axminster and only started riding aged 16. “I hated horses before that but got hooked when a rode a batty four-year-old for my mum,” he said.
Audrey Goodwin’s home bred Carrie On stepped up to open class with ease when winning the mixed open under her trainer Polly Gundry. The mare pulled up on her seasonal debut earlier this year and Mrs Goodwin explained: “They went too fast for her and it was a bit too firm. They just bowled her off her feet.”
Long odds on favourite Southwestern, giving the winner a stone, finished two and a half length adrift in second, but is still on target for the Christie Foxhunters’ at the Cheltenham Festival where a truer run race with a bigger field will suit him better.
The Gone To The Dogs Partnership, headed by trainer Peter Shaw, enjoyed their first win with Pimbury who took the Exeter Racecourse intermediate under Sam Allwood. Spokesman Andy Ross, who also built the fences on the course, said “There are eight of us in the partnership and we all love dog racing. Our colours represent all our colours from the dog tracks. We paid hardly anything for this horse and Ian Popham recommended we buy him as he said we would have a lot of fun with him and he been right.”
Promising young jockey Jack Barber took the restricted on the Bob Buckler owned and trained Different Trades while Lesley Jefford saddled Rocklyn to win the open maiden for his wife Lisa who owns him in partnership with Tim Dennis.
4,5,6 & 7 year old maiden div 1
4,5,6 & 7 year old maiden div 2
Exeter Racecourse Intermediate
PPORA Club members for novice riders
Restricted Div 1