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Sunday 9th April 2006

by Lucy Johnson

Sandy Duff continued in invincible form when winning the Mixed Open at Spooners & West Dartmoor on Sunday. On good ground at Cherrybrook, the tall chestnut recorded his sixth successive victory of the season in the hands of owner/rider Mary McCarthy, drawing clear of Grey Ciseaux in the closing stages to win by fifteen lengths.  

Sandy Duff’s trainer Nikki Frost also saddled Jalons Star to win the Confined Novice Riders event to give 26 year old Ben Robarts the second winner of his career.  Jalons Star ran on strongly to hold the challenge of Sea Snipe with O’ Ech well held in third.


The Frost yard looked set for a treble in the Confined Maiden for 5, 6 and 7 year olds when Byron Moorcroft sent Louise’s Choice clear after the third last. Not realising that Tim Dennis was conjuring a strong late run out of Humble Expectations, the young rider eased his mount 100 yards before the post and his premature victory salute quickly turned sour as 14-1 shot Humble Expectations swept past near the line. Moorcroft, 17, who works in Jimmy Frost’s yard, incurred a fine of £125 for dropping his hands when assured of victory.  Ironically he had ridden his ever first winner the day before when partnering Rocking Robin to win the Maiden at the Monmouthshire meeting. The eventual winner Humble Expectations is the only horse trained by Caroline Furse at her Bradworthy yard and she is one of the joint owners alongside her father John Nancekivell, Audrey Jewell and Jane Wickett. “Three females against one male, hence the partnership name – the three to one club” said Caroline.


Tim Dennis had initiated his double when David Congdon’s  Jaunty Janner gained due reward for his consistency in the older horses Maiden. The 10 year old held on gamely when pressed by Hannah Bay in the closing stages.


Progressive 6 year old Who Else Knew landed odds of 4-7 in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. Jamie Snowden’s mount got the better of Wendy’s Dynamo on the run to the second last before going on to score by six lengths. “He is still a baby” said the winning jockey. Gillingham, Dorset, trainer John Dufosee, who was saddling his 15th winner of the season added: “Who Else Knew needs good or good to soft ground and could go for the Exeter final given those conditions”


A syndicate made up of staff from Exeter racecourse filled the winner’s enclosure when On His Toes (William White) landed the 15 runner Restricted. “I always had faith in him but he couldn’t breathe properly” said trainer Gordon Chambers after a first time tongue strap had seemingly worked the oracle.


Virgos Bambino followed up her win in the Hunt Race last year under Sarah Gaisford, easily holding Karadin to score by 15 lengths. The winner, who is only small but very game, is owned by Maureen Nicholls and trained by her daughter Verity.




Hunt race

1 Virgos Bambino (Miss S Gaisford)

2 Karadin (Miss S Young)

3 Nickit (J Barnes)

8 ran; 15l  25l  6m 14



1 On His Toes (W White)

2 Fully Loaded (Miss C Tizzard)

3 Bucket Awl (R Woollacott)

15 ran;  4l  3l  6m 13


Mixed Open

1 Sandy Duff (Miss M McCarthy)

2 Grey Ciseaux (Miss L Gardner)

3 Sir William (R Woollacott)

9 ran;  15l  3l  6m 10


Confined Novice Riders

1 Jalons Star (B Robarts)

2 Sea Snipe (N Scholfield)

3 O’Ech (C Wallis)

8 ran;  1 1/2l  15l  6m 27



1 Who Else Knew (J Snowden)

2 Wendys Dynamo (M Munrowd)

3 Gunner’s Mistake (D Edwards)

7 ran;  6l  15l  6m 14


Confined Maiden ( 8 Y O plus)

1 Jaunty Janner (T Dennis)

2 Hannah Bay (Miss A Mills)

3 Cook ‘O’ Hawick (W Biddick)

11 ran;  2 1/2l  15l  6m 27


Confined Maiden (5, 6, 7 y o)

1 Humble Expectations (T Dennis)

2 Louises Choice (B Moorcroft)

3 Final Deal ( D Alers-Hankey)

14 ran;  2l  10l  6m 20

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