RICHARD WOOLLACOTT further enhanced his chances of retaining his National Men's Championship with three more winners at the Four Burrow Easter Monday fixture at Trebudannon. The Devon rider's treble added to his Saturday double at Flete Park to take his total for the season to 17, and put him within striking distance of the leaders.
The reigning champion just prevailed in a driving finish to the three and a half miles "Cornish National". This Devon & Cornwall Area Feature Race certainly lived up to its billing with 10 decent Open horses facing the starter. Peggy's Boy set a blistering pace ahead of Apollo Blaze, but at the business end it was left to Johnnys Way and the odds-on favourite Southwestern to fight out an exciting finish, with Woollacott's mount just coming out on top. The Cattistock qualified seven-year-old Johnny's Way is owned by his breeders John and Greer Norman, together with his trainer Graham Foot.
Woollacott had earlier steered home Parkham Gent to win the two and a half miles Maiden, and Deb's Dasher in the Confined. Both these horses are stabled in his Rose Ash yard.
Jopero almost made if four winners for the afternoon for Woollacott in the Restricted, but this six-year-old was just touched off on the line by Roisini Bay. 20-year-old jockey Matt Hampton is another graduate from the Philip Hobbs yard and had ridden his first winner under rules at Towcester on the previous day. He was taking his pointing tally for the season to seven on Roisini Bay, who is trained in Dorset by Richenda Ford for her parents.
Owner / trainer Ross Oliver took the Hunt race cup home for the seventh year in succession when his nine-year-old mare Wee Fly made all the running under Ed Barrett. "She will probably go for the four-miler at Flete next," said Oliver who is based only a few miles from the course.
Tamatown looks a useful stayer in the making and landed the 12-runner Open Maiden in the hands of Jo Buck. This seven-year-old was bought by his owner Sue Trump in Ireland four years ago and was broken by his trainer Leslie Jefford.