A MASSIVE crowd enjoyed the Dartmoor fixture at picturesque Flete Park on Saturday, where a total of 54 runners contested the seven races.
Jockey Darren Edwards continued his good run of form, a double on Master Overseer and Eternal Midnight giving him seven winners from his last ten rides.
Master Overseer landed the odds in the featured four miles contest for the Lord Mildmay Memorial, getting the better of runner up Winter Scene from the top of the hill to score comfortably. Owned by Dublin based Paddy Graffin, six year old Master Overseer is trained at Bampton by Ashley Farrant, who was saddling his seventh winner of the season. “He has only cantered since finishing runner up to Kingscliff a week ago”, said the trainer, adding that, “He will have a little break now”.
Eternal Midnight set the ball rolling on Saturday for Edwards with a convincing victory in the Restricted. This nine-year-old is owned by Amanda Darke, and is trained by her husband Ross at Skerraton, just opposite Buckfastleigh racecourse. “This was a lucky track for me when I was riding, I had a few doubles round here” said Ross. He described Eternal Midnight as “a home bred gelding who really needs top of the ground”
Kingsmill Lake turned in a game front running performance to take the Ladies’ Open at the expense of Doof and Paddy The Piper. 20 year old Emily Noszkay, who works for the mare’s trainer Jackie du Plessis, knows her mount very well. “She was awesome and gave me a brilliant ride”, reported Emily. It was a happier story than the last time the pair were united, since that ended in a crashing first fence fall at Stratford which damaged the pair of them. “I must pay tribute to physio Gillian Tabor who has worked on the mare for the past few weeks”, said the trainer. Kingsmill Lake won twice on this track last year and is likely to go for a repeat victory in the four-miler at the Modbury fixture.
Polly Gundry took a fall from Nobody Tells Me in the Ladies’, but bounced back to win the Confined Maiden on six-year-old Carrie On. Polly was riding her 21st winner of the season on the mare she also trains for Hardington Mandeville, Dorset, owner Audrey Goodwin. “She jumped well and really stood off”, reported Polly.
Richard Woollacott had been marooned on the 13 mark for the season for a while, but after a frustrating run of placings, he moved to 14 thanks to Come What Augustus winning the Confined. “We left the tongue tie off and fitted blinkers to him today, and it seemed to help”, said the rider, who also trains the seven-year-old for owner Bill Westacott.
Celtic Society scored for the third time this season when winning a hard fought battle with Ansa The Question in the Intermediate under Ryan Bliss, and Kitley Hassle also notched his seasonal hat trick in the Hunt race for owner Jane Brake. 17 year old Giles Hawkins was recording his fourth winner of the season on the gelding trained by Nikki Frost.
Men’s Open (Lord Mildmay Memorial) – 4 miles