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REVIEW
NORTH CORNWALL
WADEBRIDGE
SATURDAY 31 JANUARY 2004

by Lee Glanville

One thing that is guaranteed at Wadebridge is that whatever the weather, racing is always entertaining. On Saturday horses, riders and spectators in the first two races had to contend with rain and gale force winds, but the going held up surprisingly well.

There was a decisive double for Tabitha Cave Kestick took the opener in appalling conditions and Cave doubled up with Sea Snipe in first division of the maiden. Sea Snipe is out of the mare Seal Marine who was so successful in the 1980s. 

Highlight of the day for many was the showdown between last season's progressive young horses Bill Me Up, owned and trained by Ken and John Heard, and winner of the national Chase Young Horse Awards, and Bengal Bullet owned and trained by Colin Blank to win four races on the trot in 2003. In the event it was no contest. Bill Me Up drew away and jockey Colin Heard was able to walk cheekily across the finish line and still win by 20 lengths, the horse looking fresh enough to go round again.  Bengal Bullet was ridden by Julian Pritchard, deputising for Sarah Gaisford who was recovering from a broken finger which it was thought would not be strong enough for the task. The horse will be a different prospect on a sounder surface - and Gaisford went on to win the second division of the maiden on Edward Retter's Bishop's Blade. 

Pritchard had better luck in the Intermediate which saw welsh visitor Bracey's Girl skip round and beat odds on favourite Burley Don Carlos, denying Charlotte Stucley a double in the process.  

Stucley had been the surprise winner of the ladies' race, where she had seen off an odds-on David Pipe trained favourite Ballysicyos. Despite being down in the card as Ashley Farrant's mount, Ollie Jackson was on board and blazed a trail, shadowed throughout by Lyn Hawkings on a foot-perfect Parte Prima. It was nip and tuck in the closing stages, Stucley and Cento making late ground to beat Parte Prima by half a length with Jackson a further half a length back in third. 

Pipe and Farrant had been in winning form in the mens open with a rejuvenated Polar Champ, who stamped his authority on a weak race, once Sol Music had cried enough after two miles. Martin Pipe was enjoying a day at the races in Cornwall his first visit to the track - having been unable to get up to Ascot, after a night out in Padstow, thanks to the adverse weather. 

The Pipe yard also had a hand in the commentary. Amateur rider Tom Malone, denied a ride at Uttoxeter when the meeting was abandoned, earned admiration all round for his efforts behind the mike and hopefully racegoers will be hearing more of his Irish lilt soon. 

Harry Fry was back in the winners' enclosure for the second week, when Simply Sam took a competitive Restricted.

Results: members: 1, Kestick, Miss T Cave 4-5; 2, Hasten Bak, Miss L Gardner; 3, Itsnotsimple, Mrs T Trickey. Seven ran, 2l, 7l, 6.38.

Men's open: 1, Polar Champ, A Farrant 4-5; 2, Nearly Gold, G Maundrell; 2, Bruthuinne, D McKenna. Five ran, dist, dist, 6.36.

Ladies open: 1, Cento, Miss C Stucley  8-1; 2, Parte Prima, Miss L Hawkings; 3, Ballysicyos, Mrs O Jackson. Six ran, 1/2l, 1/2l, 6.30. 

Restricted: 1, Simply Sam, H Fry 5-1; 2, Just Sally, A Farrant; 3, Beachtime, L Jefford. 11 ran, 8l, 6l, 6.32.

Confined: 1, Bill Me Up, C Heard7-2; 2, Bengal Bullet, J Pritchard; 3, Squaddie, L Heard. Five ran, 20l, 10l, 6.39.

Intermediate: 1, Braceys Girl, J Pritchard 7-1; 2, Burley Don Carlos, Miss C Stucley; 3, Happy Team, L Jefford. Five ran, 6l, 1/2l, 6.46. 

Maiden Division One: 1, Sea Snipe,Miss T Cave, 9-4; 2, Gunners Mistake, C Heard; 3, Jemanette, T Dennis. Eight ran, 12l, 2l, 6.47.

Division Two: 1, Bishops Blade, Miss S Gaisford 2-1; 2, O'Ech, C Heard; 3, Go Positive, L Heard. Eight ran, 3l, 6l, 6.50.

 

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