DARTMOOR & MODBURY
Saturday 22nd April 2006
by Lucy Johnson
WARM weather and competitive racing drew a large crowd to Flete Park in South Devon at the weekend where the superb Sandy Duff clocked up his seventh win of the season.
Mary McCarthy was given her usual arm chair ride on the 12-year-old gelding, who was 6-1 on to win, coming home by a distance from Kingsmill Creek and the stunning chestnut remains on target to win the prestigious Grand Marnier trophy for the country’s winning most horse.
The seven-race card kicked off with the members’ where Ben Robarts scored his third win this term on Jalons Star who is trained at Buckfastleigh by Nikki Frost along with Sandy Duff. The eight-year-old was an easy winner, stretching away from his stable companion Mr Bentley to score by 20 lengths.
Derek Mckenna, who is head lad at the Frost’s National Hunt yard was in winning form aboard Peter’s Two Fun who is trained by North Bovey-based farrier John Berwick. The nine-year-old has reportedly been difficult to train, and would have preferred softer ground according to his trainer, but he ran well here scoring by four lengths.
Eight went to post for the feature Lord Mildmay of Flete Memorial Men’s Open , run over four miles, and John Dufosee, who has a good record at the track, made a worthwhile trip from Dorset to land the race with Spiers Peace, ridden by his assistant Ryan Bliss.
The gallant Polar Champ had done much of the donkey work, making virtually all the running with Guy Weatherly on board, until Bliss made his move on Spiers Peace two fences from home and kicked on to score a half length victory. Bliss, 23, was recording his 14 th winner of the season on the seven-year-old who is owned by Dorset farmers Pat and Jill Awdry who bought him as a four-year-old from Doncaster sales.
Winner number 15 nearly came Bliss’ way in the Exeter Racecourse intermediate race, but he had to settle for a short head defeat after Lady Edison lost out to Thirtytwo Red, with Weatherly on board, in a rousing finish.
The gelding had been trained by Ollie Jackson at Cullompton until a week before the race when he was purchased by Holcombe Rogus-based Mike Gallagher who last had a winner 21 years ago. Jonathan Apps, who trains the gelding, explained: “Guy said the horse would be a good buy so we decided to buy him, but his success to today is all down to Ollie.”
Sue Young notched up her first success of the season when Walter De Wodeland proved too good for his seven rivals in the maiden race. The gelding was in the lead approaching the final fence and ran on well to score a five length win from Final Deal and Rogue Lady who battled it out for the minor placings.
The five-year-old is by Graham Heal’s stallion Bandmaster, who has been a prolific sire of winners under all codes in the Westcountry, and is lucky to be here at all after he was born unexpectedly. But five friends of Miss Du Plessis, who now jointly own the gelding under The Alder Plot Friends banner, worked hard to save his life and their commitment paid off with the promising gelding. Miss Du Plessis, who trains several at her Saltash home, believes he is the best she has and added that plenty of schooling and showjumping has paid off. “He refused first time out at Buckfastleigh but we’ve given him plenty of schooling since and he ran well last time at Great Trethew where he was second.”
Sue Trump’s home bred McSolo continued his progress through the ranks winning the restricted in fine style with Darren Edwards on board.
The next point-to-point in the Devon and Cornwall area is at Trebudannon in Cornwall next Saturday, with the first race off at 2pm.
Members: Jalons Star (Mr B Robarts) 1; Mr Bentley (Mr L Adams) 2; It Worked (Miss A Mills) 3. Mrs N Frost; 20l, 4l; Six mins thirty eight secs.
Restricted: McSolo (Mr D Edwards) 1; Silver Monarch (Mr R Bliss) 2; Limogos (Mr T Gardner) 3. Mr R Chanin; 10l, 20l; 6.30.
Men’s Open 4 miles: Spiers Peace (Mr R Bliss) 1; Polar Champ (Mr G Weatherly) 2; Frotenac (Mr D Edwards) 3; Mr J Dufosee; 1/2l , 6l, 7.55.
Ladies’ Open: Sandy Duff (Miss M McCarthy) 1; Kingsmill Creek (Miss E Noszkay) 2; Golden Revamp (Miss C Tizzard) 3. Mrs N Frost; Dist, 4l; 6.41.
Confined: Peter’s Two Fun (Mr D McKenna) 1; Father Mansfield (mrs C Farrant) 2; Virgos Bambino (Miss S Gaisford) 3. Mr J Berwick; 4l, 10l; 6.29
Exeter Racecourse Intermediate: Thirtytwo Red (Mr G Weatherly) 1; Lady Edison (Mr R Bliss) 2; Coffee Morning (mr C Heard) 3. Mr J Apps; shthd, 15l; 6.54.
Maiden: Walter De Wodeland (Miss S Young) 1; Final Deal (Mr A Charles-Jones) 2; Rouge Lady (Mr R Darke) 3. Miss J Du Plessis; 5l, nk; 6.40