THE car parks were packed to capacity at picturesque Flete Park.
There was consternation from the crowds on the hill when Darren Edwards took a crashing fall when Raloo Rocket came down at the head of the nine-strong Restricted field with a circuit to go. Luckily both horse and jockey walked away uninjured and despite this mishap, the rider bounced back to land a treble in the last three races.
Crackacan, The Two Amigos and Ryves Rocky were all successful in the hands of the Devon & Cornwall champion jockey
The Julie Pocock trained Crackacan fought off Angles Hill (Heidi Lewis) to take the Club Conditions race in the colours of The Granny Smith Club, before The Two Amigos strolled home to win the Confined under a six pounds penalty. Nicky Martin's smart six-year-old retained his unbeaten record for the season as all eight rivals pulled up after finding the pace too hot.
Ryves Rocky was sent off a 10-1 outsider, but duly completed the Edwards hat trick in the Open Maiden. The Leslie Jefford trained gelding seemed to benefit from first time cheek pieces after two disappointing runs, and stayed on dourly to beat Mountain Las.
Navanman gave a brave performance to hold the sustained challenge of Whenharrymetsally to win the four miles Mixed Open. The ex-David Pipe nine-year-old has become a consistent pointer this year for the John Heard yard "He is such a game horse and could run again next week," said the trainer. Jockey Rex Dingle, still associated with the Pipe stable, remarked, "I was supposed to be handy but he was a bit keen and always travelling strongly. He is a genuine horse who jumps well."
Matt Hampton, who had been narrowly denied on Whenharrymetsally, went one better in a division of the young horses Maiden on Legendara. Marie McGuinness handles this well bred mare on behalf of the Rowe family. "We bought her privately out of Charlie Longsdon's yard where she had lacked consistency." said Martin Rowe.
Four-year-old newcomer Noah And The Ark ran on strongly to peg back front running The Coffee Hunter (Lee Drowne) in the other division. Jill Dennis, absent on family baby sitting duties, owns this Vinnie Roe youngster, who was bought at Fairyhouse sales last August. The winner and runner up came very close together when fighting out the finish in the closing stages, and winning jockey Jake Bament remarked "We ran out of room a bit. He is fairly green and will come on."
David Prichard has enjoyed a good spell since Easter and partnered another winner as Steel Brush scored by 10 lengths in the Restricted. Keith Cumings trains this nine-year-old for Maurice and Diana Scott and said, "He is not the fastest but stays and stays."
Ottery St Mary trainer Ed Walker saddled a remarkable total of 11 runners at this meeting, and Wind Tor landed the Hunt race for his Racing Club. "She is a tough mare who goes through a little flat spot each race," reported jockey Josh Newman as the pair followed up their Cherrybrook success in good style.