Monday 30th May 2011
by Granville Taylor
MICHAEL HEARD'S riding is really catching the eye, and his treble at Upcott Cross took his tally for the season to nine It was appropriate that his hat trick should come on the course farmed by his father John and grandfather Ken. The Heard family do a splendid john with their course, and copious watering during the week plus overnight rain provided good ground and plenty of runners.
Roll On Rose, trained by John Heard for the High Rollers partnership, gave Michael two of his winners, just beating Barney's Mate by a head in the Novice Riders' race before appearing again at the end of the meeting to walk over for the Members'. "A really tough mare," said the rider after her neck and neck battle up the run-in to hold the strong challenge of Harry Derham and Barney's Mate in the Novices' event.
Darizan set the ball rolling for the young jockey in the Confined, coming with a strong late run to pip The Boss Roche. Darizan's trainer Dean Summersby, based near Lifton, normally rides the horse but has, "retired for the season."
Paddy The Piper went close to completing a four-timer for Michael Heard in a competitive Men's Open, but had to give best to Different Trades, who was sent to the front by Jack Barber at the second last before drawing clear on the run-in.
Leslie Jefford completed a training double with Doof and Regime Change. The consistent Doof pounced on front running Innocent Rebel at the last under Jo Buck to win the Ladies' Open, and Merv Woodward's six-year-old mare Regime Change ran on gamely to hold Will Biddick's mount Lucia Popp in the second Maiden which attracted 15 runners. "She appreciates cut in the ground and is maturing nicely," said the trainer. The owner/rider, who drives hay and straw lorrys during the week and rides out at weekends, is enjoying a good season with three pointing winners and two hunter chases under his belt this term.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Will Biddick who had to settle for runner-up again on the Richard Barber trained Orabora in the other Maiden division. The previously unraced four-year-old Toto Corde Meo found a nice turn of foot from the last to give 17-year-old Keiron Edgar his second winner of the weekend. This sturdy Galileo mare is trained by Chloe Roddick. "She came from Brian Meehan's flat yard and has taken a long time to settle but has done plenty of schooling," reported the trainer.
Point-to-point racing's very own aficionado and PRO for the Devon and Cornwall area Granville Taylor saw his own Merriott's Oscar win the restricted easily. The 11-year-old jumped well for Martin Cooney who was riding his fourth winner this year after joining the Richard Barber yard after two successes in Ireland. According to connections the heavy topped Merriott's Oscar really needs softer ground having been lightly raced due to various setbacks and lay offs since a promising start to his career.