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Silverton at Black Forest Lodge
Sunday 21st January 2007
by Lucy Johnson


Prolific winner Southwestern suffered an unexpected defeat in the Silverton Men’s Open on a well supported card at Black Forest Lodge, where good to soft going produced a turnout of 78 runners for the eight races.

The mount of Neil Harris, and with three of his eight pointing victories achieved at the Devon track, odds on favourite Southwestern could not get to grips with the well backed Welsh challenger Simoun, who had an impressive ten lengths to spare at the post in the hands of James Tudor. The winner had won two group races on the flat in Germany as a four year old before scoring twice for Martin Pipe over hurdles. Nine year old Simoun was having his first run for his new owner / trainers Lee and Kelly Bridge who are based at Llantrisant.

The twelve runner Ladies’ Open developed into a three way scrap between Let’s Fly (Polly Gundry), Double Honour and Golfagent. Diana Hobbs sent 4-5 favourite Double Honour to the front approaching the third last but the grey forfeited the lead when fluffing the penultimate fence. Let’s Fly took a two lengths lead round the final bend and held on well to win by a length as Double Honour rallied on the run in. Twelve year old Let’s Fly has been a grand servant to owner/trainer Ross Oliver who rides him regularly at home. “He can be lively out hunting” said the proud owner, adding that he had “been out with the Four Burrow over ten times this winter.”

Joli Christmas gave Liam Adams his first winner in the saddle when just holding Little Apple Bay in the Novice Riders’ Restricted. The winner is home bred by his trainer Gordon Chambers and races for the 15 strong Exeter Racecourse Group. The 21 year old jockey is attached to Jimmy Frost’s yard.

Rum Cake proved a disappointing favourite in the Intermediate, jumping without his usual fluency and being pulled up when out of contention behind the easy winner Swift Wood (Michael Miller). The winner is a progressive sort owned by Peter Clarke and trained by Keith Cumings, who said the eight year old had “been big and backward and needed time”.

Winter Scene had little difficulty landing the odds in the Hunt Race in the hands of Lucy Gardner. A smallish six year old mare by Oscar, Winter Scene is owned by the Nute Tomkins Partnership from St Mabyn, comprising of Claire Nute and her grandparents.

The Maiden was run in three divisions. Kilbreena came from Pyle near Bridgend to win the first section in driving rain. The ex-Irish gelding was the first ever runner to be saddled by his trainer Robert Scrine, and is owned by Denise Purchase. He was giving 25 year old jockey Rhys Hughes, who is attached to the successful Evan Williams’ yard, his first winner for two years.

Travel Dehouche jumped well for Will Biddick to take the second division, just holding the persistent challenge of Kalabell Prince. Colin and Karyn Heard sent out this winner from their Boscastle yard for owners Graham and Anne Runnalls.

The ground had softened considerably after several heavy showers by the time Brendan’s Surprise ridden by Neil Harris took the final maiden in easy fashion. This leggy gelding was purchased for 4,200 gns at Doncaster last August by his trainer Leslie Jefford. The five year old raced in the colours of Michael Pidsley, better known in his business capacity as the “Devonshire Straw Man”.

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