Sunday 3rd April2011
by Granville Taylor
POLLY GUNDRY landed her first treble of the season on the rain softened ground at Great Trethew. Ross Oliver's mare Wee Fly is improving with every race and took the Ladies' Open at the expense of Doof and Ha Ho MacGregor. "They went a bit fast early on and she kept wanting to go, but I waited until half way down the back," said the champion lady. Wee Fly is likely to be seen next at Flete Park, where she won twice last year.
Polly had earlier ridden the first two Maiden winners as heavy showers descended on the course. Susie Goodall's Best Bette kept on well to hold promising newcomer Wind and Waves in the first, before the five-year-old Milan mare Georgie Whale ran on strongly to deny Molland Gayle in the second two and a half mile Maiden. Both these young mares are trained by Polly's partner Ed Walker, and are due to go to the sales. "Georgie Whale has a big engine and is amazingly green," commented Polly.
Another mare won the other Maiden section in the shape of Hilda Wild who drew clear from the third last under Suzy Berry to beat her stable companion Erehwon. Marie McGuinness saddled five-year-old Hilda Wild on behalf of the eleven members of the Only Fools Own Horses Club. "I bought Hilda Wild privately in Yorkshire and the club members have shares in four horses," said the Spaxton based trainer.
Southwestern was an impressive winner of the Men's Open to set up a double for jockey Neil Harris and trainer Camilla Scott. The 12-year-old was able to saunter home to record his 19th career success and his third this season. "He is enjoying himself this year in points," said the rider.
Six-year-old Special Account has a long way to go to emulate his stable companion Southwestern, but his easy win in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate will take the Luso gelding further up the ratings. After completing his double, Neil Harris remarked that: "He has got the pace to win on faster ground and if all goes well we could take in the hunter chase final of this series at Exeter."
Five-year-old Sarika had blotted his copybook when running out at Treborough Hill, but made up for that lapse when giving the ever improving Lizzie Kelly her sixth winner of the season in the Restricted. Lizzie remains one ahead of her nearest rival for the National Novice riders' title, but will need outside rides to keep in contention for that prestigious award.
Jo Buck landed her third winner of the season when the massive Big Fun ran right away from his eight rivals in the older horses Maiden. This ex-eventer was saddled by Leslie Jefford for owner Marcus Chambers who was nursing a badly broken wrist. "I am still determined to achieve my ambition of completing a point-to-point course," said Marcus, who had gone close to achieving his goal last year. At least he had the pleasure of seeing his 14 year old schoolboy son Barney win a charity flat race on Big Fun last month.