A treble for four times champion jockey Will Biddick was the highlight of the Four Burrow meeting in bright sunshine at Trebudannon.
The rider is in top form and looks well set for a fifth successive National title. Biddick started the day with an easy win on Betty's Boy in the Hunt race. The winner's owner and breeder Ross Oliver recalled that the Cornish born jockey had ridden his first ever winner in his colours virtually 12 years ago to the day on Let's Fly at the Axe Vale.
Ed Walker had saddled Betty's Boy, but Jack Barber's powerful yard supplied both The Happy Chappy and Rouge Devils to complete the rider's treble.
Five-year-old The Happy Chappy made an impressive winning debut in the two and a half miles Maiden. His owner Graham Roach had chosen to attend his local course in preference to Sandown Park, where Just A Par, who he jointly owns and runs in his familiar colours, had just failed narrowly to win the £150,000 feature race there."We bought The Happy Chappy at the Derby sales (Fairyhouse) as a three-year-old. He is a promising sort and is likely to run again in points for further experience," said the owner, whose young horse had just earned £200 and a trophy for his first time efforts.
Rouge Devils completed the Barber training double. Starting odds-on in the Restricted, he was not hard pressed to follow up his Mendip Maiden success. The Scorpion five-year-old carried the colours of one of his four joint owners, Sir Alex Ferguson, and appears to carry the French version of the old Manchester United nick name of red devils. "He travelled nicely, switched off and jumped well," commented the young trainer, who also had cause for celebration thanks to his engagement to Jade Walters a couple of days earlier.
Jo Buck is in pole position to regain her Devon & Cornwall lady jockeys' area title and extended her lead when Master Baker defeated his sole opponent Ray Diamond in the Ladies' Open. After four impressive successes this season, Master Baker had taken a nasty fall at Great Trethew, but jumped impeccably here. "That fall didn't faze him," said his Payhembury based trainer Leslie Jefford. "We took our time building up with plenty of ground work over poles and he was never worried at all. The Exeter Intermediate Final is a possibility," added the trainer.
The Kayley Woollacott yard also achieved a double: John Pike's progressive Jepeck scored for the fourth time this season when relishing the three and a half miles trip to win the Cornish National under Jamie Thomas. "We will put him away now unless it rains – he is a hunter chase prospect for next season," said Kayley.
The same jockey had earlier landed the Confined on Le Clo De La Londe. Owned by John and Sonia Gardener, this previous course winner is currently on the market for sale. He jumped well and ran on strongly to head Strong Conviction on the run in. "He is one of the best jumpers we have and keeps finding," commented the trainer.
The three miles Open Maiden produced the closest finish of the day when Back In June just held Tetralogy after the paid had raced neck and neck from the last fence. Karyn Heard handles the winner for a local syndicate. Bought at Ascot sales last July, the strong, lengthy gelding was partnered by Jake Bament.