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East Devon
Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary
Saturday 5th March 2011
by Granville Taylor

WILL BIDDICK'S treble at Ottery St Mary took him to the ten winner mark for the season, and into the lead for the National Jockeys' Championship.

The Cornish rider started the day with an easy win on the Ashley Farrant trained Quaddick Lake in the hunt race. "A welcome winner after lots of seconds for the yard," commented the Bampton-based trainer.

Newcomer Curtain Razer became Biddick's second winner with a smooth five lengths success in the first Maiden. Graham Roach looks to have a nice prospect with this Richard Barber trained five-year-old, who quickened away from his rivals in the home straight.

Pendoun completed the rider's hat trick when taking the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. This Sally Alford owned nine-year-old is trained by his rider, who is in his first season in that sphere. "I always kept a bit in hand," reported Biddick, who looks to have a strong possibility for the Exeter hunter chase final in May.

Jack Barber had finished runner up to Pendoun with his grandfather's Cappoquin, but the young jockey went home with a double thanks to Divine Cloud and Benedictus. Owned and trained by Simon Burrough, who was away saddling his Newbury runner, Divine Cloud came from well off the pace before swooping on the leaders after the last. "He took a keen hold and I didn't want to get there too soon,", said the rider who works for the Paul Nicholls yard.

Barber's double was completed when 20-1 chance Benedictus left his Larkhill form way behind in winning the 18-runner Restricted. Only five of the 18 starters got home, and Benedictus was left clear when Roisini Bay departed two out. Jane Western, who runs a yard at Forde Abbey near Chard, saddled this six-year-old for Susan Humphreys.

Tigga Barnes stood himself down after the fall of Roisini Bay, providing James Best with a successful chance mount on Eslin Bridge in the first section of the older horses Open maiden. "This is my first winner after years of trying," said owner/trainer Steve McCracken who farms near the Bratton Down course.

Doncaster purchase Hereweareagain won the other division for Reg and Mandy Hand to give Ian Chanin his sixth winner of the season.

Johny's Way was back on his best behaviour in winning the Mixed Open. Richard Woollacott's mount had disgraced himself when running out recently at Ideford Arch, but he battled on well here to beat Coombe Hill and Pimbury. "He wins when he goes left handed," commented Graham Foot, who trains the gelding at Askerswell, near Bridport, and owns him in partnership with his breeder John Norman.

Blackstaff retained his unbeaten record for the season to give Lizzie Kelly her fifth success of the campaign in the PPORA Novice Riders' event. The A level student is setting the pace for the National Novice Riders' title, but feels she will need outside rides to maintain her position. "Blackstaff will probably go for the Red Mills Intermediate final at Cheltenham, and we don't really have the horses to keep Lizzie going", said her mother Jane Williams.

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