Close finishes to the two open races thrilled the bumper crowd which had turned out for the first meeting of the Devon and Cornwall point to point season, the Silverton Foxhounds at Blackforest Lodge.
The Gerrard Ladies’ race looked certain to be landed by the front running tactics of Charlotte Stucley on Phoenix Phlyer, but Jolitan, under Rilly Goschen, patiently made up ground on the last circuit to take the lead with a fence to go. Having jumped the last in the lead, Jolitan gave Phoenix Phlyer another bite of the cherry, as he stopped abruptly on the run-in, almost unseating Goschen. Fortunately for trainer Philip Greenwood, Goschen got Jolitan past the post in front. Jolitan is no stranger to the running rail at Blackforest, having swerved out through it on more than one occasion in the past. Gill Greenwood said, "The horse was cursed last week as he is a real monkey out on exercise and nearly slipped over several times on slippery roads."
In the Land Rover Men’s open, standing dish County Derry (Neil Harris) looked well beaten two out but came with a late rattle to test the judges. He could only finish third however, in a blanket finish to Just The Job Too (IRE) ridden by Robbie McCarthy, and Charlie Strong (Nick Williams). Only two lengths split all three and they are all likely to win further races this season. The Corcorans, who train the winner, will surely build on good form last season with their string.
There was a first and last race double for trainer David Pipe and jockey Ashley Farrant. Owner Dennis Williams was back in the winners’ enclosure after the members’ race with Midnight Coup, and Brian Kilpatrick’s colours graced the enclosure after Cimmaroon took the last, having battled round in a downpour.
And a double for Richard Woolacott, who rode a great race to take the confined on Sir William, and doubled up in the first maiden on Olly May.
Members: 1, Midnight Coup, A Farrant; 2, Calleva Star, S Kidston; 3, Listen to Us, Miss L Gardner. Four ran, 6l, 10, 6.12.
Confined: 1, Sir William, R Woolacott; 2, Agile King, Miss C Tizzard; 3, Bak On Board, Miss L Gardner. Eight ran, 5l, 20l, 5.56.
Gerrard Ladies Open: 1, Jolitan, Miss R Goschen; 2, Phoenix Phlyer, Miss C Stucley; 3, Garethson, Mrs S Heath. Eight ran, sht hd, 10l, 5.55.
Land Rover Men’s Open: 1, Just The Job Too, R McCarthy; 2, Charlie Strong, N Williams; 3, County Derry, N Harris. 10 ran, 1l, 1l 5.57.
Novice Riders’ Restricted; 1, Earl’s Toy, H Fry; 2, Frankly Fear, N Heath; 3, Sissinghurst Star, P Mann. Nine ran, sht hd, 8l, 6.03.
Maiden Div I: 1, Olly May, R Woolacott; 2, Ourweddingpresent, A Farrant; 3,Merlins Bay, W White.11 ran, 5l, 5l, 6.20
Div 2; 1, Bessie Bunter, M Miller; 2, The Sycophant, Miss E Tory; 3, Royal Czarina, J Snowden.10 ran, (25p deduction in betting as Toon Society withdrawn at start).8l, 2l,6.10.
Div 3: 1, Cimmaroon(IRE), A Farrant; 2, Stalbridge Rose, Miss A Goschen ; 3, Dursley Island, M Miller. Nine ran. 8l, 4l, 6.16.