SUNDAY 12 MAY 2002

by Fred Sampson
(of Equestrian Cornwall -

I think all will agree that the course at Jays was a great improvement and the ‘extra’ fence brought the situation at the open ditch to a much more sensible pace.   Well done to all concerned and for that you will be blessed with good weather all day!  The confusion about how to get into Jays on this occasion should not have happened but it did - as the lack of signs was evident and I have never understood a Council-placed diversion sign yet.  It is nothing new to be driving along and you see a sign saying – End of Diversion – what diversion or who was diverted?  or ‘Diverted Traffic’ with no indication as to whether you are a member of ‘Diverted Traffic’ or are about to be one or in fact it just doesn’t concern you whatsoever. – The best one is ‘No Entry Except for Access’ – well if I didn’t want access what the hell am I doing here anyway!  All’s well that ends well!  Well done to the box which unloaded and walked their horses the last five miles – it was said they needed road work!

Firstly may I thank all the email senders in support of the Reports/Results we push out.  It was nice to meet you and introduce oneself and believe me we get a lot of fun out of doing it and appreciate the feedback.

The first race here was a turn up for the books and congratulations must go to Sally Messer-Bennetts for her perseverance with her horses and turning out ITSNOTSIMPLE, ridden by her daughter, to win The Sully & Co Confined Hunts Race.  It has been a while since this very capable mare has been in number one slot and lesser folk would have given up. Well done!  The winning distance of ten lengths in a time of 5 minutes 57 seconds was very creditable and in achieving this beat R Pedrick’s front running, odds-on WILLIAM O’DEE  (R Woolacott) and a length further back was Mrs Batchelor’s BROWN ROBBER (T Dennis).

Seven entrants contested the West Devon Meat Mixed Open Race and here again was D Williams’s WELL ARMED (R Young) who ran yesterday at Holnicote and did not get into the race.  I am no more tempted today than I was yesterday so I will be looking for an alternative to bring home the rewards.  The Lawrence’s best turned out SQUADDIE had done very well of late but not quite up to Open standard yet perhaps but he has won one so that shoots that theory down!  Tim Winzer’s very consistent PROVINCE who they are making favourite, to be ridden by Les Jefford could be the one!  I met the owner of STRONG STUFF, Mr Shears, before racing today and he seemed quietly confident that his horse would run well under Richard Woolacott but Mark Shears riding NEWMANS CONQUEST is also in with a good chance.  The most consistent performer however is the Terry Long’s 14 year old gelding BALDHU CHANCE whose green Cross of Lorraine will be carried by Lucy Gardner – the leading Westcountry lady at the moment who I know is here because I  - NO that was not HER helicopter parked up by the boxes but I did speak to her a moment ago.  On it goes at a reasonable price.  It took two attempts to get them away and it was WELL ARMED who took up the running but on passing the winning post for the first time with two circuits to go it was my concern in front being followed by WELL ARMED and the remainder of the field.  These placings continued along the back straight with BALDHU CHANCE leading WELL ARMED by about a length with the remainder of the field chasing in changing positions except for PROVINCE who does not like something about the situation here and does not look as though he is liking the taking part. On the way to the open ditch for the second time it was Lucy who was sending on BALDHU CHANCE and had a lead of four lengths followed by STRONG STUFF with WELL ARMED back in third and then came NEWMANS CONQUEST and SQUADDIE.  PROVINCE has been pulled up.  With two fences left to jump it was all BALDHU CHANCE and I was almost counting my money when with a brilliantly timed ride Richard Woolacott brought STRONG STUFF into the challenge and started closing on my concern.  At the last they were together but I am afraid my charge made a little blunder, which was enough to let Richard through, and he went on to win by two lengths with WELL ARMED back in third place.  A good race but I had to give best to a better horse on the day!

Next came The Newton Abbot Racecourse Championship Intermediate Race with seven entrants.  It was very good to see Tabitha (Cave) back in the saddle having recovered from her recently acquired injuries.  Some blusher and lipstick can now be applied if needed, without too much pain! Great! Tabitha will ride the Emma Kelley trained SEA SPIRIT and will start off favourite but Ed Retter’s IRIS D’ESTRUVAL (A Charles-Jones) will also be fancied and R Oliver’s PALLINGHAM LAD (R Darke).  The Tim Dennis ridden KANTURK GENERAL who is a front runner set off at a good pace and remained the leader until Lucy Gardner got her CADES BAY going and joined him with IRIS D’ESTRUVAL in third and SEA SPIRIT and PALLINGHAM LAD following close up and these drew away from Miss Mitchell’s MORELAND ROSE (Sue Young).  Off down the hill for the final time and there were only a few lengths between these leading horses.  SEA SPIRIT was now set alight and took the lead for the first time making her way to the last in the back straight.  PALLINGHAM LAD was chasing as the early leader KANTURK GENERAL started dropping back.  IRIS D’ESTRUVAL was in third place.  It was a very noisy finish as supporters of SEA SPIRIT and PALLINGHAM LAD cheered their horses home to a good racing finish.  Richard Darke got the better of Tabitha on the line by ‘a head’ with Alex Charles Jones just three lengths away in third.  An exciting race but no financial reward.  Getting a little careful now!

The Kivells Restricted Race brought out seven runners but BORN NATURAL was withdrawn and the ‘Rule Four’ was applied to all bets.  I chose the best turned out, the Partridge’s KNOCK STAR to carry my investment but again I made a mistake. This will have to stop.  It was D Ferguson’s CUCKLINGTON (A Goschen) who started off joint favourite with P Ansell’s MISTER CONE (A Charles-Jones) and my KNOCK STAR. Mrs Heard’s BUDGHILL ridden by Liam made the running to start with from Miss S Ross’s CHANGE (T Dennis) and CUCKLINGTON and MISTER CONE.  With a complete circuit to go MISTER CONE had taken the lead with CUCKLINGTON in second place followed by CHANGE and KNOCK STAR.  David Stephen’s SHERATON never got into the race.  MISTER CONE and KNOCK STAR were challenging each other and making a good race with CUCKLINGTON back in third place when, would you believe it – KNOCK STAR ran out. He now owes me money!  MISTER CONE was then left with a couple of lengths lead with CUCKLINGTON trying hard to catch up.  Just before the second last the challenge prevailed and MISTER CONE was relegated to second place and CUCKLINGTON came home by six lengths with MISTER CONE four lengths to the good of BUDGHILL.  An eventful race but not one for me to shout about but I will get my revenge soon I think!

The next race saw three go to post but one was withdrawn so a two horse contest was run to decide The Heywood & Symons Five, Six and Seven Year Olds Confined Maiden Race.  Patrick Ansell’s NEVERADULLMOMENT (A Charles-Jones) beat M Smale’s STRAIGHT COURAGE (T Dennis) by a length.  Not very exciting – a race in the slowest time of the day by two horses does not make the pulse increase one tiny little bit but then we have one more maiden to come.

Five will run in The D F Wheeler Eight Year Olds and Over Confined Maiden Race.  The tin has not been replenished at this meeting at all.  I have one chance left to make amends.  The best turned out Jon Papworth’s IVANS DREAM with Les Jefford in the plate will be favourite but to me the one with form is Terry Long & M Stocker’s BALDHU JAY ARR with Lucy up.  Richard Darke riding Mrs Bradford’s DAWN CALLER and J Cole’s BIRCH TOR ridden by L Rowe should not be a threat, nor should Mrs Goudge’s EMERALD ECTASY.  I need this one badly!  On it goes at a reasonable price to BALDHU JAY ARR.  Well if ever I could write great things about a jockey it should be now.  How Lucy Gardner got around and stayed on this one I will never know!  She pinched a few lengths at the start and set off at a good pace from BIRCH TOR then the grey IVANS DREAM.    At the winning post for the first time BIRCH TOR had taken the lead from BALDHU JAY ARR (jumping a little suspect at some fences!) and IVANS DREAM was third.  On going down to the open ditch, Lee Rowe on BIRCH TOR made a marvellous recovery after travelling for some distance with only his red cap showing above the plate.  In making this recovery IVANS DREAM was carried out and was out of the race.  BIRCH TOR after the marvellous recovery was now pulled up and this left three to fight it out.  BALDHU JAY ARR established a couple of length lead from DAWN CALLER with EMERALD ECTASY bringing up the rear.  BALDHU JAY ARR passed the winning post in the lead but on reaching the end of this top straight he started to hang out and continued to do so until he was almost back in his box.  This allowed the others to make good headway.  Lucy remained in the plate, regained control and set off to rejoin the race. She must have lost at least six or seven lengths in the ‘hanging out’ ordeal.  At the open ditch for the final time it was DAWN CALLER in front by about two lengths, followed by EMERALD ECTASY and then BALDHU JAY ARR.  Down the back straight and BALDHU CHANCE – whoops! It is not that one! BALDHUY JAY ARR accounted for EMERALD ECTASY and set off after DAWN CALLER.  The pace by now was only moderate but there were a few lengths to make up!  At the second last it was DAWN CALLER on the inside by a length from BALDHU JAY ARR.  At the last it was DAWN CALLER by three quarters of a length and the cheering was loud to say the least as they raced to the line.  Lucy gave this one all that was possible and she came home by half a length from Richard Darke with Ian on EMERALD ECTASY in third place some three lengths further back.  A great finish and the tin replenished at last.  Thank you Miss Gardner!

So off back home after a great weekend in great company and with ‘the tin’ looking very nice – thank you!  Next weekend it will be Bratton Downs’s chance where the Dulverton West Foxhounds hold their meeting.  There will be some rain before then so the course should be near perfect.  See you ALL there! Cheers Fred & Ruth