Spooners & West Dartmoor
EXCELLENT conditions under foot produced some competitive racing at the Spooners and West Dartmoor point-to-point meeting held at Cherrybrook on Sunday.
Organisers had worked hard to produce good going causing jockeys and trainers to be ready with their praise. "We came down at 6am this morning to walk the course and were more than happy with the ground so we went back home and brought the horses" said Ed Walker who saddled Nobody Tells Me to win the McLaughlin Construction Mixed Open ridden by his partner Polly Gundry.
The eight-year-old dived right at a couple of fences but Walker attributed this to the fact an old back problem may just be niggling the gelding who has won three times this season and finished twice in the placings.
"He may just have done enough now for the season, but we'll see how he is as there's a hunter chase at Cheltenham next week he could run in, or maybe at the evening meeting there" said Walker.
Richard Woollacott kicked home a double initiated by Busy Buzzard in the ADS Southwest (LTD) Restricted and providing Gordon and Pat Eaton and their son-in-law David Lockwood with their first ever winner in the process.
There was a thrilling finish to the race with the top of the ground loving Eternal Midnight gaining ground with every stride but just failing to win by a neck. Winning trainer Alan Walter said he purchased the horse at Doncaster in December privately after he failed to sell in the ring. "His owners have had a really good run for their money and the plan was to win with him today" he said.
Woollacott doubled up for the in-form training partnership of Tony and Pauline Geering who scored a seven length success with The Boss Roche in the Rock Inn Confined Race. The jockey said the horse is a hard pulling type so he held him up and the tactic paid off.
Dante's Back took the opening members' race for the third year in a row, and the second year his owner trainer Mandy Hand has been on board who said it was the first time this season he had raced on the good ground he needs.
Dan Ryan scored in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate with Lee Rowe on board getting the better of Massini Man by two lengths. His jockey Lucy Gardner then scored in the following Langdon Transport Confined Hunts Maiden Race on Can't Call Her Trigger for Andrew Lapford, an engineer with Taw Valley Creamery who was enjoying his first ever success as a winner. Gardner said that the mare was no world beater but that she always tries.
Madam Noso ran out the ready winner for the concluding maiden race, winning by 12 lengths with Ian Chanin in the plate for his trainer father Robert who was saddling his fourth successive winner in a row.
The five-year-old was bred by her Dorset-based owner Sherilyn King who first became acquainted with Ian when he was based with the Alners. "She can be a little difficult so we sent her to Robert. It means such a lot when you breed a winner" she said.