SATURDAY 20 APRIL 2002
by Fred Sampson
(of Equestrian Cornwall - http://www.equestriancornwall.co.uk)
Despite the negatives being thrown around by some followers
of Point to Point, we found the course at Flete quite raceable with a good
covering of grass in most places and although the rabbits had tried hard
to ruin some patches, the overall state was that racing here would be on
the fast side. A shower
threatened but did not arrive and a good day’s racing was envisaged and
sure enough that is exactly what we got.
I managed to win a fiver before racing started but then I promised
not to mention that, but it was YOUNICO who came second to ELLIEWELLIEWOO
at Kilworthy Mr – darn it! I cannot remember the loser’s name!
In The Bill Goodman Memorial Dartmoor Hunt and Modbury
Harriers’ Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race, sponsored by Mrs Sally
Goodman six went to post. A
couple of false starts got the excitement up and. I had chosen Mrs
Fell’s MR THURLESTONE (C Heard) who has been running up on the Borders
with her daughter and collected a couple of seconds whilst up there to
carry my investment, but favouritism on the bookies’ boards flipped
between Mrs Welch’s and Mrs Treneers’s BOMBA CHARGER and The
Elliott’s MYSTIC WARRIOR (R Darke). On passing the Judge on the first occasion it was ROSETA (S
Gaisford) that was leading the field with the remainder very close up with
the best turned out – NIMBUS STRATUS (Miss M McCarthy) bringing
up the rear. The minor places
changed a little but the leader remained ROSETA who was jumping well and
at a steady pace and continued to hold a couple of lengths advantage for a
complete circuit and went out into the country in the lead for the final
time. At the final open ditch
ROSETA was just holding a slight lead over George on BOMBA CHARGER and my
interest was going quite well in third place.
The remainder were not going to be a threat.
This was the position as they went down the hill and out of sight
for a little while. This
little dip at Flete makes exciting things even more exciting and the
little prayers that go up whilst waiting for the contenders to come into
sight are sometimes answered but not always.
This time I didn’t do something right as it was George Welch on
BOMBA CHARGER that came into view first, closely followed by ROSETA and my
‘worry’ was still third. A
good race to the line for the first and second but the third place was
obvious and I would not be taking a walk to the investor’s office this
time. Two years ago George
did something I would never do; but it was him on HOLD YOUR RANKS who beat
his wife riding BOMBA CHARGER in The Pegasus Club Members race. Today he beat another lady, Sarah Gaisford on Mrs Pat
Shaw’s ROSETA, by a short head.
A good class field of 13 runners went to post for The Totnes
& Bridgetown Races Co Restricted Race.
Ashley Farrant riding Dr Shenkin’s SUSEJEBHA was made favourite
at prices which were sometimes ‘odds-on’ so I went for the ‘next
best’ and took Tim Dennis to bring home Mrs Batchelor’s DAMIENS PRIDE
first with the remainder in any position they choose, but first was to be
the consistent but not winning very often –DAMIENS PRIDE- a horse I
mentioned sometime back as one to watch as he would be winning soon!
Well ‘soon’ could be today but it’s the mare SUSEJEBHA
with three pounds overweight that he has to beat!
BRIDGE HOUSE BOY, JOLIE ROSLIN, UNCLE JAMES and ROYAL RUMOUR took a
little of the remaining investors’ money from a very knowledgeable crowd
of punters. DAMIENS PRIDE led them away towards the first followed by
SPRUCE and SUSEJEBHA and the remainder close up.
On passing the judge and leading out into the country it was
DAMIENS PRIDE with about a three-length lead over ROYAL RUMOUR, SPRUCE and
KNOCK STAR in the following group. On
passing the judge for the final time it was still DAMIENS PRIDE going well
out in front with Tim Dennis looking very determined to keep in this
position. SUSEJEBHA has
closed up a little and is arguing for second with ROYAL RUMOUR and KNOCK
STAR. The open ditch had been dolled off for the final circuit so
on passing it and making headway to the next, it was still DAMIENS PRIDE,
but SUSEJEBHA was now making a distinctive move towards the front with
ROYAL RUMOUR and KNOCK STAR still in with a chance.
Going down the hill for the final time, the two leaders had the
race between them with KNOCK STAR in third and ROYAL RUMOUR close up!
I don’t know quite what happened in the ‘out of sight’ ditch
but Ashley on SUSEJEBHA did not reappear and DAMIENS PRIDE came home to
win by eight lengths from KNOCK STAR and ROYAL RUMOUR in third place.
Would he have won IF SUSEJEBHA had not unseated his jockey? That
word IF again; it doesn’t really matter what would have happened, what
did happen affected me and it also affected my ‘financial advisor’ who
ended up giving me a little money to play with!
Tim had come home in second place in this race before but it was
easy to see he preferred ‘First Place’ position in the paddock.
You smile more, you explain it much better and even more
photographs and more silver to clean.
Then there is the champagne to drink whilst watching the video.
Second place – you get nothing!
Now the Four Miler. The
Lord Mildmay of Flete Memorial Men’s Open Four-Mile Race.
Seven run, the best-turned out BROTHER NERO, CERTAIN ANGLE,
BABBLING BROOK, BELARUS, DARAYDAN, ESERIE DE CORES, PROVINCE.
A classy field of stayers. The
very successful and prolific winner, The Lets Get It On Club and Mr D
Pipe’s DARAYDAN (A Farrant) was odds-on to win with Tim Winzer’s
PROVINCE (R Woollacott) just a little further out in the betting, but not
a lot of money for the remainder. They
settled, as good pointers do, and on reaching the top of the hill and
racing down to fence 3, it was DARAYDAN with a slight advantage over
PROVINCE followed by BELARUS and BROTHER NERO.
The pace livened up a little but the positions up front did not
change. On the final circuit
PROVINCE had taken a couple of lengths lead over DARAYDAN but
unfortunately made a blunder at a fence on the far side and this was just
enough to take a little out of him and he never managed to get back at the
winner again but completed nine lengths behind with BELARUS 12 lengths
back in third place.
The Gerrard Ladies’ Open Championship Qualifying Race was
to be contested by ten runners and real good quality stuff.
I will mention most of them otherwise you will not know how good
the placed horses were and what they beat.
The best turned out, the Southcombe’s ALSKA looked a
picture in the afternoon sunlight but the money was going for R
Kelvin-Hughes’s SAILORS FOLLY (P Gundry), with a little on Dennis
Williams’s WELL ARMED (T Cave), Mr Brown’s GREY CISEAUX (Lucy Gardner)
and the Young’s ST JOSEPH. Sarah
Gaisford will be on E Retter’s BE THE DREAM and Ollie Green will be the
pilot aboard LADY LIR. A
frightening experience occurred when a biggish black dog ran onto the
course during the first circuit but fortunately no damage was done to
horse, dog or jockeys, (not visible anyway!)
ALSKA , LADY LIR and ST JOSEPH had a go at taking the lead with
WELL ARMED and NO MORE NICE GUY well up.
We lost BE THE DREAM before coming to the top of the hill for the
second time and I know not why, because I was concentrating on the running
of GREY CISEAUX as ‘I need a new printer!’ money was riding on
in-form Lucy in about fifth place. The
cheering and shouting was really great as they went out into the country
with one full circuit to go. Mr
D Stephens’s SPACE CAPPA was pulled up before the next having found the
going not to his liking and possibly the pace too hot.
On approaching the sixteenth there were six horses in with a chance
and still ALSKA leads but SAILORS FOLLY was about to give her some company
(as if she needed company at this stage of the race?) and these two raced
about three lengths clear with GREY CISEAUX now taking closer order and ST
JOSEPH threatening in fourth place. These
four were ten lengths clear of LADY LIR and WELL ARMED.
As they rounded the turn to race down hill it could be any one of
four who would come out of the ditch on top.
Here we have four of the best lady jockeys riding point to point
today, racing for the line! As
I said before – this ditch increases the excitement for a lot of the
viewers and we were not to be let down.
At the second last it looked to all of us on the winning line as
though they were in the air together.
At the last they WERE in the air together and sheer guts and
determination saw them all ride out a finish.
Lucy on GREY CISEAUX three quarters of a length to the good of Sue
on ST JOSEPH with ALSKA who had run the race of her life, a neck away in
third in the fastest time of the day.
SAILORS FOLLY in fourth place.
Great stuff – the new printer might even be a laser now!!
The confined race sponsored by Rodgers of Plymouth was
another contest of well-qualified horses.
Seven went to post and it was the ‘The Club’ and D Pipe’s
COUNT KARMUSKI (A Farrant) that went on at a decent pace and soon
established a few lengths lead. GROOVING
and SWINCOMBE followed with the remainder in a group behind them.
Before reaching the open ditch for the first time BORDER ROSE had
fallen but COUNT KARMUSKI continued to lead but about eight lengths would
cover the remaining field. HAPPY
TEAM (D Edwards) closed up a bit; BLAZING MIRACLE (R Woollacott) was
suitably placed if good enough. After
the fourteenth SWINCOMBE was missing but ‘THE COUNT’ kept up the pace
and although resolutely chased by the ‘best turned out’ HAPPY TEAM and
GROOVING he did not look like being caught.
He raced further ahead and on the line the distance was judged that
he won by 15 lengths from HAPPY TEAM and GROOVING almost a distance away
in third. BLAZING MIRACLE
came in fourth. Whew! This is
one to watch – a much-improved horse and a decent price, as it was
SWINCOMBE that was made the odds-on favourite.
The final race was a 15-runner event being The Nash & Co
Maiden Race. Lots of whispers
about who should win and why, so and so will not win but considerable
money went on Mrs Edwards and Mr Warren’s VALMAN (R Darke), but I
remember JO’S WEDDING running here and going 30 lengths in front, and
would never have been caught IF he didn’t fall at the fifteenth some two
seasons ago. The Geering’s BROWN CHIEFTAIN (R Woolacott) is also being
whispered as the winner and is now being backed. I decide to go for Miss Kelly’s BOWLING ON (Tabitha Cave)
to complete my wallet filling. JO’S
WEDDING did her bit and kept a good pace going and on pushing out into the
country for the final time it was Mandy going for the big one, closely
watched by Richard on BROWN CHIEFTAIN with ALICE SUNRISE (Ollie Green) and
BOWLING ON keeping in touch. Before
the final circuit the ’best turned out’ BOLD LEAP was pulled up
and Mike Biddick’s LANDING STAR cruised by minus Ken Rixon so he had
definitely decided not to play any more.
JOS WEDDING was fairly stringing them out now but one consistent
pursuer who would not let her go was BROWN CHIEFTAIN.
My BOWLING ON was still in the rear view mirror and could possibly
get me a place. On the top of
the hill for the final time it was BROWN CHIEFTAIN with the advantage
followed by BOWLING ON and JO’S WEDDING followed by Mr Doyne-Ditmus’s
NEWT. At the final fence and
to the line it was the navy and white quarters of Richard who came out on
top and won by 12 lengths from my selection with Mandy back in third.
A good maiden and please don’t give up yet Mandy, next time could
be ‘the big one’!
An excellent day’s racing and thank you very much for the parade of hounds, I know Commander Crawford RN (Clerk of the Course) likes to see them as much as we all do. Off to Lifton for the Eggesford Hunt meeting tomorrow. A check up with the wallet says I cannot afford a new printer and B & B so we’ll drive home for the night and reappear at Lifton tomorrow. Fred & Ruth