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South Devon Hunts Club
Ideford Arch
Sunday 10th May 2009
by Granville Taylor

ALTHOUGH only three runners turned out for the Mixed Open at Ideford Arch, the trio provided plenty of excitement with only a head and a neck separating them at the finish. Gudlage led for most of the way, but was joined by Dante’s Back at the second last. The favourite Xila Fontenailles then threw down her challenge, and the three jumped the last in unison. After a three way battle all the way up the run in, John Monk just forced Gudlage up on the post to deny Xila Fontenailles (Darren Edwards), with Mandy Hand a very close third on Dante’s Back. Owned and trained by Pat Shaw at Looe, Gudlage has had his problems since his last win exactly four years ago. “He likes top of the ground and is very game,” said his trainer afterwards.

Craigmor and Gemgaballou also fought out a close finish to the two runner Intermediate. Polly Gundry just got the favourite Craigmor home by less than a length to record her 28th winner of the season.

Gemgaballou’s rider Lucy Gardner went one better in the Open Maiden which featured 11 runners. Alice Pearn tried to make all on Deloughtane, but Lucy sent Mr Dass to the front at the second last and just held the renewed effort of Deloughtane near the finish. The winner had developed a tendency to hang, and had run out twice this season, but did nothing wrong here. Lucy’s mother Sue rides Mr Dass at home and said, “We ran him today in what I call a magic bit, he has a soft mouth and would really prefer to go left handed.”

The two and a half miles Open maiden for young horses went to the four-year-old filly Portway Lane ridden by the promising 17 year old Giles Hawkins. Yelverton-based Samuel Callow bought his winner off the flat as a two-year-old at Ascot sales for only £420. “She is a bit keen and needs to be held up”, explained the owner trainer who works his filly on Dartmoor and has done “lots of hunting with her”.

Giles Hawkins works for Philip Hobbs, as does 18 year old Matt Griffiths, who added another winner in his quest for the National Novice championship thanks to Jaunty Janner’s success in the Novice Riders’ race. Jaunty Janner, 13, won very easily to give his jockey his 15th winner of the season, thus maintaining his lead over Toby Greenall for the novice title.

Mark Munrowd gave the veteran Toi Express a positive ride to win the Club Members event, setting up a handy lead by half way and resisting the challenges of Eternal Midnight and Flinski in a seven runner contest. “He wants firm ground and has been really well this week,” said Launceston based Jo Sleep who trains Toi Express for her father Harrington.

RESULTS

Club Members’
1 Toi Express (Mark Munrowd)
2 Eternal Midnight (Darren Edwards)
3 Flinski (Lee Rowe)
7 ran; 7l; 2l; 6m 26s

Club Members’ Novice
1 Jaunty Janner (Matt Griffiths)
2 Dandooley (Toby Squire)
3 Newton’s Folly (Liam Adams)
6 ran; 12l; 15l; 6m 27s

Open Maiden (4 to 7 year-olds – two and a half miles)
1 Portway Lane (Giles Hawkins)
2 The Duckster (Richard Hawker)
3 The Dark Horse (Suzy Berry)
8 ran; 2l; 1/2l; 5m 16s

Mixed Open
1 Gudlage (John Monk)
2 Xila Fontenailles (Darren Edwards)
3 Dante’s Back (Mandy Hand)
3 ran; head; neck; 6m 30s

Intermediate
1 Craigmor (Polly Gundry)
2 Gemgaballou (Lucy Gardner)
2 ran; 3/4l; 6m 29s

Open Maiden
1 Mr Dass (Lucy Gardner)
2 Deloughtane (Alice Pearn)
3 Break The Ice (Lee Rowe)
11 ran; 1 1/4l; dist; 6m 24s

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