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South Pool Harriers
Sunday 15th January 2009
by Lucy Johnson

photos by Alun Sedgemore

POLLY Gundry rode a treble at Buckfastleigh on Sunday where there was a great turnout to enjoy seven competitive races. Also taking centre stage was in-form jockey Will Biddick who added a brace to the eye catching hunter chase win he scored at Haydock the day before and Richard Woollacott whose victory on Whizzar caused an upset for odds-on favourite Southwestern.

Gundry’s partner Ed Walker, with whom she trains a team of pointers near Ottery St Mary, said he was stunned following the treble. “We knew the horses were well but we thought they may have been short of work as the weather has really held us up. I’m actually quite gobsmacked,” he said.

Ivorsagoodun set the ball rolling in the mares’ only maiden race after rallying well on the run-in to win by the shortest distance from Ian Popham on Super Lady.

The ten-year-old has bits of form over hurdles and has already done a stint in the maternity paddocks, producing one foal, so it was decided to train her again. Walker said: “She ran a good third last time out so we did think she would improve on that and she did.”

A treble for Polly Gundry. Here returning on Ivorsagoodun after winning the Mares Only Maiden Race

Rockwithacaveman was gifted the race in the ladies after Brown Cockle, who was travelling well at the time, slipped up on the turn for home leaving the winner out in front and Jeans Joy concluded the treble, winning the first division of the restricted easily.

Named after owner Bridget Burbidge’s late mother Jean, who helped foal her, the seven year was battling out the lead with Just Here on the turn for home and then pulled away on the run in to score an easy nine length success.

Described as a decent mare by Walker, she also has her quirks and needs warming up for an hour before running. “We do think a lot of her, she just needs a lot of walking before she runs,” he said.

Jean's Joy and Polly Gundry on the way to winning the First Division of the Restricted Race

John Symes’ Whizzaar was allowed to dictate the pace in the men’s open and out in front he jumped full of confidence under Richard Woollacott to win easily over hauling the odds-on favourite Southwestern by six lengths in the process. “He’s a very clever horse and if he’s in one piece after this we’ll look to run him again in five or six weeks time, perhaps in a hunter chase,” said Woollacott.

Richard Woollacott returns to the winners enclosure after his win on Whizzaar in the Men's Open Race

No Signal was fancied to win his maiden and he duly did so in good style to give Woollacott his double, The jockey said the horse had been turned away and given time after a couple of runs last season. “He’s a big weak horse and he’s also quite green. He hung left on the run-in today but picked up again,” he added.

Confined Maiden Race winner No signal and Richard Woollacott

The final at Exeter Racecourse is the target for the Mike Vanstone-trained Thoor Ballylee after he got up to score by a neck in the intermediate race. It was nail biting stuff for his owner Kit James who admitted he’d had quite a bit on the seven-year-old and collected a small fortune after the win. He said: “I was on the line and it was very close. We brought back the trophy we won here last year so we decided to win another one to put back on the side board.”

Thoor Ballylee (left) and Will Biddick jumps the last with Sericina and Chloe Roddick in the Intermediate Race

Winning jockey Will Biddick doubled up on Brook Castle in the second restricted in what proved a thrilling conclusion to the card. Brook Castle got up by a short head from Tres Bien in second and Ansa The Question a length back in third. Winning trainer Tim Dennis, who has retired from riding in point-to-points with 60 winners under his belt, said: “After he won last season he had sore shins. He’s needed a bit of time to mature but he’s nice horse.”

Will Biddick returns to the winners enclosure after his win on Brook Castle in the Restricted Race (Division Two)

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