Spooners and West Dartmoor
Despite a covering of snow on the track in the morning and a heavy 20 minutes snow shower after the third race, racing went ahead in the face of the wintry conditions at Cherrybrook on the edge of Dartmoor.
The useful ex-hurdler Quick made all the running to win the Mixed Open under Will Biddick. Now transferred from David Pipe to Ashley Farrant, Quick held on well to shrug off the challenge of Oracle des Mottes after this pair had drawn clear from the third last. “I have had several horses placed but this is my first winner of the season”, said Ashley, adding that Quick’s absent owners called the Kinsford Champagne Partnership are “still celebrating David Pipe’s Grand National win”.
18-year-old Nick Scholfield had got round in the National at his first attempt on the previous day, and found himself in the winner’s enclosure when his only mount at Cherrybrook, Foolish Myth, scored easily in the 15 runner Restricted. “We have the Red Mills Intermediate Final at Cheltenham in May as his main objective”, said David Staddon, who trains the promising 6 year old at Ditcheat with his fiancée Caroline Parsons for owner / breeders Richard and Deborah Webb.
Polly Gundry forged further ahead in her Ladies’ Championship quest when steering home Kiama in the Intermediate. This progressive mare was achieving her seasonal hat trick. “She doesn’t really like it soft” said Polly, although by now the snow had eased the ground even further, and the winner had put in an impressive performance.
It was good to see Mandy Hand back in the saddle after an absence of three years, and she resumed winning ways on board Dante’s Back, who repeated last year’s Hunt race victory. “I gave up race riding after breaking my collar bone on my last ride in April 2005”, explained Mandy, who looked to thoroughly enjoy the occasion and can reflect on a career which saw her ride 132 winners prior to her “retirement”.
At the other end of the age scale, 17 year old Ed Glassonbury rode the second winner of his career when Philomena mastered Diamond Monroe in the closing stages of the Confined Novice Riders’ event. The winner is trained by Gail Haywood for her father Malcolm, who bought the mare “over the phone” at Ascot sales just over two years ago.
The sturdy grey Noquieto stayed on strongly under Richard Woollacott to win the faster of the two Confined Maidens. The seven year old had several solid placed efforts to his name, and came good here despite making a hash of the penultimate. Marie McGuinness has charge of the French bred gelding for the aptly named Blue Rinses Partnership.
In the other division the Gordon Chambers trained What A Moose shook off his pursuers after the third last under Will White, and kept on well to hold the late effort of Treble Trigger.
Confined Novice Riders’
Confined Maiden Div 1
Confined Maiden Div 2