RICHARD Woollacott’s challenge for the national title remained very much alive following his treble at Flete Park on Saturday. Ample watering meant the course attracted plenty of runners with the exception of the men’s open where just one, Come What Augustus, was declared. This meant the race was a walkover, securing the eight-year-old his sixth success of the season and Woollacott the second part of his three-timer.
The first came in the open maiden on Dun Shah, an eight-year-old Woollacott trains for the seven-strong Big Brook racing Syndicate.
“He belongs to Danni Kenealy who works in my yard and she leased him to the syndicate. He’s been a wonderful horse to help get my novice riders going and I thought I’d have a little go today to see if I could make a difference,” said Woollacott.
And the jockey made a huge difference with the gelding maintaining a healthy advantage approaching the final fence and going on to score an eight length success.
Portway Lane concluded the treble in the confined hunts race. The mare scored at the same venue a fortnight before. “She does seem to like it here. I didn’t think she’d get the trip but she does,” said her owner trainer Samuel Callow who bought her as a two-year-old from Ascot Sales. “She’s a lot of fun to have and she’s a really fun hunter although she can kick. She was loose in the lorry park today for a while with everyone trying to catch her and she double barrelled at me and just missed,” said Samuel.
Joe Tickle’s win on the Emma Loosemoore-trained Rockfield Boy in the restricted race secured him the Totnes and Bridgetown trophy for the leading novice jockey at the course. Emma trains him for a syndicate of owners including her father Stuart Redwood who runs Twyford Feeds at Tiverton but was unable to enjoy the win. “He’s at a wedding in Wales,” said Emma who husband Jason, clerk of the course at Newton Abbot, helps with the training. “We had a bit of a fallout today as I think he thought he was at Newton Abbot and he was going around with his going stick, sticking it in the ground saying it wasn’t soft enough,” laughed Emma who added that Joe had found the key to riding Rockfield Boy by holding him up as he only just gets the three mile trip.
Seven went to post in the four mile ladies’ open and it was the game mare Wee Fly who came home the easy winner, relishing every inch of the four mile trip. “Polly (Gundry) was surprised how quick she finished after four miles. We never raced her over that trip before but she stayed alright,” said her owner trainer Ross Oliver who had saddled her to win at the course two weeks before.
Tavistock-based Lee Rowe combines training with managing a body shop garage and was delighted when £100 purchase Tatsu was given the short head winning verdict in the two and a half mile open maiden race after fighting back to get up in the dying strides from Tara Whale. “I bought him in November from a sale in Ireland and we have a silent partner Henry Park, who has flown over from Northern Ireland to see him today,” said Lee who added that the horse was a dream to own. “He’s as good as gold and if he didn’t make it as a pointer we could easily have sold him as a rider. I don’t think we’ll be selling him now though,” he said.
Open maiden: Dun Shah (Richard Woollacott) 1; Soul Town (C Hanmer) 2; Tellemall Brother (Polly Gundry) 3. 8l, 3l; 6.54.
Restricted: Rockfield Boy (Joe Tickle) 1; Turning Tide (Darren Edwards) 2; Quite A Splash (Polly Gundry) 3. 2 1/2l, 1l; 6.42.
Ladies’ Open: Wee Fly (Polly Gundry) 1; Ivoire De Beaulieu (Miss J McGuire) 2; Dutch Bill (Jo Buck) 3. 5l, 7l; 7.58.
Open Maiden for 4,5,6 and 7 year olds two and a half miles: Tatsu (Lee Rowe) 1; Tara Whale (Polly Gundry) 2; Erehwon (Jo Buck) 3. Short head, 5l; 5.24.
Men’s Open: Come What Augustus (Richard Woollacott) walked over.
Confined hunts: Portway Lane (Richard Woollacott) 1; Lord Raspberry( Polly Gundry) 2; Resplendent Star (Ian Hargreaves) 3. 8l, 8l; 6.36.