THE morning rain passed through by mid-day but it remained overcast with drizzle at Flete Park
Jamie Thomas is enjoying his best year in the saddle. The 23 year old Devon rider reached the 16 winner mark for the season thanks to his second career double.
Sedgemoor Top Bid followed up his recent course win with Jamie having to sit tight after a last fence blunder in the Restricted The winner had started off an unbeaten four-winner spree in the pat two weeks for his trainer Joe Tickle at the earlier Flete fixture. Joe was not present to celebrate this time. "He is playing football," said Sedgemoor Top Bid's owner Danny Kenealy who went on to explain that the gelding is regularly ridden out at home by 10 year old Taylor Fisher. The football proved less successful with his team Appledore losing a top of the table clash 1-0. Oh yes, Joe was in goal for Appledore.
Milan of Crystal completed the double for Jamie Thomas in the two and a half miles Maiden with the last fence drama in this race going his way. Whatastormnorm was delivering a strong challenge under Tom Chanin when falling, leaving the six-year-old Milan mare well clear. "We got Milan of Crystal from Gerald Penfold in Ireland and she has a lovely temperament," remarked owner Jimmy Frost.
The three miles Maiden attracted 12 runners with victory going to Bollin Spark. Hedley Webb brought his mount with a well timed run coming down the hill before collaring the luckless Follow The Paint near the post. The rider is a farrier based at Somerton and starts the new season as joint master of the Taunton Vale hunt.
The consistent Level Spirit added to his Flete Park success of two weeks ago when stepping up to win the Men's Open under Robbie Henderson, Right Enough made most of the running but could not match the winner's pace from the top of the hill.
The four miles Ladies' Open proved ideal for veteran pointer Bellflower Boy. Bryony Frost had her mount handy throughout, shaking off Ladyvie at the second last and comfortably holding the Lisa Jefford trained pair Best Bide Quiet and Tiger D'Oust on the short final climb. Stuart Sampson trains the winner for owner Ben Robarts, who was back in action in the saddle in a later race after breaking a collar bone earlier in the season
Pippa Glanville had ridden long priced outsider Best Bide Quiet into the runners-up spot in the Ladies' race, but went on to share the winner's berth in the Confined. Her mount Ambitious Pursuit, bidding for his fourth win at his local track, made a bold bid for honours, but was just caught on the line by odds-on favourite Mic's Delight, who forced a dead heat with a late lunge under owner/rider Jennifer Davenport.