Saturday 14th March 2009
by Granville Taylor
Champion lady jockey Polly Gundry continued in great form at Wadebridge where she recorded her third successive weekend double to keep her well in front in her quest for another National title.
Polly was at her best on Nobody Tells Me who won a hard fought battle with runner up Bob Bites Back in the Ladies’ Open. Bought by current owners Peter and Kathy Musgrave out of David Pipe’s yard, the gelding is trained by Polly and her partner Ed Walker, and was following up his recent Taunton hunter chase victory. “He stays well and we may go back to Taunton for another hunter chase”, reported the connections.
Polly took her seasonal tally in the saddle to 15 when the improving mare Duxy Hill Lady fought off Matako and Lords Bridge to win the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. This mare is in the same yard as Nobody Tells Me and acts well on soft ground. “My joint owner, Francis Read is a cattle producer based near Newmarket”, remarked Kim Tripp who breaks horses and farms at Highbridge, Somerset.
Only three turned out for the Men’s Open which was run at a crawl. Ben Robarts took the initiative as all three dawdled to the first fence and was never headed on his own Mioche D’Estruval. His nearest pursuer Overlut looked a threat until blundering at the last leaving the winner to stride clear up the final hill.
Leslie Jefford saddled Ninja to win the Open Maiden at the expense of Cupidus and Praise Hymn in a field of 13. The winner is owned by Cullompton based Liz Dorse and was bought at Doncaster last August. “He has lacked confidence so far but jumped very well today”, said the trainer.
Josh Guerriero was the successful jockey on board Ninja, and was narrowly denied a double when Lourd Hymn was outpointed on the run in by the strong finishing Celtic Society in the Restricted. The winner was following up his recent Ottery win for rookie trainer Louise Rycroft. “I have saddled Celtic Society in his two runs for us so far and he has won both times”, said a delighted trainer. The winner was ridden by Louise’s boy friend Ryan Bliss, and is owned by Ryan’s grandmother Enid Wicheard and the trainer’s uncle Ray Macintosh, but neither of the owners was present to witness their success.
Former hurdles winner Thunder Child jumped better than his rivals on the soft ground to win the Confined in the hands of leading Area Novice Rider Matt Griffiths. Sue Popham trains Thunder Child for joint owners Richard Weeks and Pete Littlejohns, who race under the name of the Silver Clouds Partnership. “I thought he needed rock hard ground”, smiled the trainer afterwards, who had been disappointed to have Lord of Illusion balloted out of last week’s Christie’s Foxhunter at Cheltenham.
Confined: (Sponsor - S.E.F Ltd)
1 Thunder Child (M Griffiths); 2 Unusual Suspect (L Rowe); 3 Cattle Class (R Woollacott); 6 ran; 4 lengths; 6 lengths; 6 mins 28 secs
Ladies’ Open: (Bradleys Motors Ltd)
1 Nobody Tells Me (Miss P Gundry); 2 Bob Bites Back (Miss C Roddick); 3 Ha Ho Magregor (Miss S Berry); 6 ran; 2l; 1l; 6m 17s
Intermediate: (Exeter Racecourse)
1 Duxy Hill Lady (Miss P Gundry); 2 Matako (Miss S Berry); 3 Lords Bridge (R Woollacott); 7 ran; 1l; 1l; 6m 17s
Open Maiden: (RJ Trevarthen, Wholesale Butcher)
1 Ninja (J Guerriero); 2 Cupidus (D Cook); 3 Praise Hymn (R Woollacott); 13 ran; 1/2l; 1/2l; 6m 38s
Men’s Open: Logan Rock Inn, Treen)
1 Mioche D’Estruval (B Robarts); 2 Overlut (R Hughes); 3 Safari Sunset (R Woollacott); 3 ran; 5l; dist; 6m 57s
Restricted: (Green Waste Company)
1 Celtic Society (R Bliss); 2 Lourd Hymn (J Guerriero); 3 Busy Buzzard (R Woollacott); 7 ran; 1l; 2l; 6m 28s