MOUNSEY HILL GATE
Saturday 28th May 2005
by Lee Glanville
One of the best ladies' open races seen this season saw a sixth win of 2005 for the Richard Barber trained Rimpton Boy, ridden by Rachel Green, at the Dulverton Farmers point to point at a windswept Mounsey Hill Gate on Exmoor.
With no one prepared to go on and set the pace once Contemporary Art had run out, Polly Gundry had to take it up on the chirpy grey Bally Blue whose owners, Roger and Linda Newton had just picked up the Weatherbys Chase Young Horse Award for Devon and Cornwall at Stratford, the previous Friday.
Mary McCarthy struggled to hold Sandy Duff in behind him and made her move from the final ditch. But top rated Rimpton Boy always had plenty in reserve and won comfortably. Sandy Duff, who looks as if he likes having things all his own way, was second and Bally Blue third.
Several of the races at this singular course, which needs a commentator for each end of the course, featured close finishes. Two lengths split the placings in the men's open where long time leader Shobrooke Mill had to give best to the late challenge of Guy Weatherley on Astronaut, the win taking him to within six points of Richard Woollacott in the area men's title race. The enigmatic Chapners Cross was third under Tom O'Brien.
Disappointing was Woollacott's mount Morris Piper who has been waiting for firmer ground but was never in the hunt.
The Intermediate was a second win of the season for the consistent Askers Jack (Jamie Snowden) who, previous to last week's win at Cothelstone, had run up a sequence of five second places. The Pauline and Tony Geering trained Abseal showed that his Flete win was no flash in the pan by running well under Richard Darke in second.
Lucy Gardner's Tsar's Twist took the Restricted and she doubled up with Tyre Hill Lilly in the second division of the maiden. Tyre Hill Lilly had earned the strange racecard comment 'rarely finishes' despite being placed in two of her four runs this season (once disqualified). The mare, like most of the Gardner string, jumps well and battled hard to beat Leslie Jefford on the Stephen Elford trained Bishlir.
Tigger Barnes had taken the first division on Offalevel, a seven year old having his third run for owner Bob Andrews.
Neil Harris partnered Don Royal to a cosy members' race victory. Magical Fun, owned by meeting secretary Jenny Hayes and ridden by her daughter Tessa, was second.
Members: 1, Don Royal, N Harris; 2, Magical Fun, Miss T Hayes; 3, Penragon, Miss C Tizzard. Four ran, 8l, dist, 6.33.
Ladies: 1, Rimpton Boy, Miss R Green; 2, Sandy Duff, Miss M McCarthy; 3, Bally Blue, Miss P Gundry. Six ran, 3l, 25l, 6.17.
Men's open: 1, Astronaut, G Weatherley; 2, Shobrooke Mill, J Barnes; 3, Chapners Cross, T O'Brien. 12 ran, 1l, 1l, 6.19.
Intermediate: 1, Askers Jack, J Snowden; 2, Abseal, R Darke; 3, Soul King, R Bliss. 9 ran, 10l 14l, 6.21.
Restricted: 1, Tsars Twist, Miss L Gardner; 2, Spinning Silver, M Woodward; 3, A Lot to Like, J Snowden. 11 ran, 1l, 1 1/2l, 6.24.
Open Maiden div one: 1, Offalevel, J Barnes; 2, Callitwatulike, W White; 3, Sup of Tea, T O'Brien. 12 ran, 12l, 6l, 6.33.
Division two: 1, Tyre Hill Lilly, Miss L Gardner; 2, Bishlir, L Jefford; 3, Barkel, Miss R Booth. 8 ran, 15l, 10l 6.25.