Saturday 24th May 2008
by Lucy Johnson
POLLY Gundry tightened her grip on the National Ladies’ title with a double at the Dulverton Farmers meeting, taking her five clear of closest pursuer Rachael Green.
The new track at Treborough Hill attracted only small fields, but rode well according to the jockeys. “The jumps are well presented,” commented Richard Woollacott, backed up by Men’s Open winner Will White who said: “It’s a lovely track if a bit slippery round the bends.” (which were immediately sanded to help with the grip). Polly Gundry was even more enthusiastic, saying “on good ground this would be top class.” As it happened the ground was firm, exacerbated by the dry, windy conditions of this venue high on the Brendon Hills. From a spectators point of view, the contours of the track and cars parked in the centre of the course affected viewing. This was recognised by Area Chairman and Chief Steward Frank Yeo who said: “The layout of the course definitely needs attention from a viewing point of view, and changes are already being considered with a couple of good options in mind.”
Polly initiated her double with a hard fought win on Dr Cerullo in the Ladies’ Open. Tsar’s Twist (Lucy Gardner) and Dr Cerullo were locked in battle from the second last, with Dr Cerullo getting the verdict by a head to gain his fourth win of this campaign.
Polly completed her double on board Ross Oliver’s six year old mare Wee Fly, who survived a blunder two out to win the Restricted at the expense of Hannah Bay and Two Mile Oak.
A treble beckoned for the leading lady rider as her mount Inching West was sent off 2-5 favourite to clinch the Open Maiden, but Lourd Hymn kept pulling out more when Inching West delivered her challenge in the home straight. The winner is owned by David Bryant and trained at Bodmin by his partner Sarah Townrow. “He needs firm ground” said the owner, who bought the rangy 7 year old at Ascot sales last July. Ed Glassonbury, 17, attached to Victor Dartnall’s yard, was riding his third winner of the season.
Richard Woollacott was also in double form, taking his total for the season to 30. Richard is enjoying his best ever season, and is now a clear second behind Oliver Greenall for the National Men’s title. He got The King’s Fling home in the Hunt race before taking the Intermadiate on Run Of Kings. The King’s Fling defied a penalty to beat Shobrooke Mill and Newsplayer to follow up his Cotley win, and Run Of Kings repeated his recent Cothelstone victory by comfortably beating his stable companion Onemoredeal, with Riteway Round well held in third.
The Men’s Open went to Barney Blue who gave jockey Will White his tenth winner of the season. Saorsie and City General chased home the winner, who was scoring for the fourth time this year for his group of owners called The Nyland Partnership.
1 The King’s Fling (Mr R Woollacott); 2 Shobrooke Mill (Mrs C Farrant); 3 Newsplayer (Mr W Biddick); 3ran; 2 ½ l; 6l; 6 mins 44 secs
1 Dr Cerullo (Miss P Gundry); 2 Tsar’s Twist (Miss L Gardner); 3 Grey Ciseaux (Miss E Apps); 5 ran; head; 25l; 6m 21s
1 Barney Blue (Mr W White); 2 Saorsie (Mr W Biddick); 3 City General (Mr S Allwood); 3 ran; 1 1/2l ; 25l; 6m 47s
1 Run Of Kings (Mr R Woollacott); 2 Onemoredeal (Miss P Gundry); 3 Riteway Round (Miss A Mills); 3 ran; 6l; 4l; 6m 52s
1 Wee Fly (Miss P Gundry); 2 Hannah Bay (Miss A Mills); 3 Two Mile Oak (Mr R Woollacott); 3 ran; 15l; 1 ½ l; 6m 45s
1 Lourd Hymn (Mr E Glassonbury); 2 Inching West (Miss P Gundry); 3 Final Deal (Mr S Allwood); 4 ran; 1 ½ l; dist: 6m 44s