SUNDAY 21 APRIL 2002
by Fred Sampson
(of Equestrian Cornwall - http://www.equestriancornwall.co.uk)
Not far to travel this morning so we are bound to be first in
the car park at Lifton and so we were but not before the Chief Car Park
Steward Graham Bridgeman; he was already on duty and ushered us in the
friendliest way to commence the car park line.
Ruth made the coffee whilst I walked the course and I was amazed to
see how much work has gone on in this area with drainage being to the fore
and turning this into one of the nicest of courses. A little juggling with the fences along the bottom will make
sure that the next meeting here will have some new ground and it was
lovely to see the grass in the run through which was normally wood chip
and lots of it. Much better
now and assessed as ‘Good with some Good to Firm’.
I intended to meet friends here that I have not met before,
except through emails but no matter how hard I tried to catch up with
them, I failed. Have to be
next time now!! There was a
good crowd of P-to-P supporters and some others who were pointing for the
first time. Rest assured that everyone should have had a good days sport.
Seven were declared to run in the Hunt race and it was not an
easy one from which to pick a winner.
Fortunately for me I chose the Froud’s AMTRAK EXPRESS (Hugo Froud)
to start me off for the day and I managed to get seven to four for my
investment. This was the
favourite and he ran well. Young
Liam Heard on their BUDGHILL was a leader for a while as was Susie Messer-Bennetts’
GARNWIN with Ben Tricky up who also took some of the money at the bookies
and started at about 2 to 1. My
choice was held in a very good position until the final circuit when the
challenge became necessary. Unfortunately
DRUMBANES PET was brought down when FRANKIES FLUTTER came down at the open
ditch. I understand that FRANKIES FLUTTER has been taken to Bristol
with a rather large hole in his head, which is not his mouth.
Here’s wishing him ‘Get Well Soon!’ and I’ll give Frank a
ring to check on his progress. In
the meantime AMTRAK EXPRESS is continuing to set the pace out in front.
On coming back into view from the run through BUDGHILL gets the
better of GARNWIN, but my choice is too good and to the line to win by a
length and to make me my spending money for today – AMTRAK EXPRESS.
Fourth horse home a few lengths back was K George’s BELAFONTE.
The time for that race was five minutes fifty-one seconds which
tells me that this is ‘quick’. When
the Eggesford last ran a Hunt race (not here!) it took over eight minutes
to get round. A real good start!
The betting in The Simpkins Edwards Ladies Open race was
odds-on Mrs Hutchinson’s RIMPTON BOY to be ridden by Polly Gundry and
only one other horse took much money, that being Miss Stucley and J
Duggan’s PHOENIX PHLYER to be ridden by Miss Stucley herself.
A little went for Miss Mitchell’s MOORLAND ROSE to be ridden by
Sue Young, who has won her last two races and is very consistent.
I could not afford to wager on the favourite so a little went on
PHOENIX PHLYER at 5 to 2. I
soon got the impression that Miss Stucley did not like this part of
Devon/Cornwall and wanted to go home as soon as possible.
She went to the front early, by about ten lengths and what’s more
– remained there for the duration of the race.
The RIMPTON BOY fans were still saying ‘She’ll come back’,
even the commentator announced that Polly Gundry was keeping her in her
sights – well that’s not difficult on the stretch across the bottom of
the track but she (Miss Stucley) certainly did not come back and
unfortunately RIMPTON BOY fell and that was it! No competition now and PHOENIX PHLYER won by 15 lengths from
BRETECHE with BITRAN a further 15 lengths back in third.
Two years ago I reported on the way Jennifer (Smiler) Congdon
rode OH SO BOSSY to victory in the Confined at the Eggesford Meeting at
Bishopsleigh in heavy going. Today
I hope to see her do the same here. It’s
certainly not heavy but both horse and rider are much more experienced now
and they will be carrying my money. This
is not going to be easy though! David
Pipe’s JUVANTIQUE with Ashley Farrant driving will be favourite closely
followed by ‘in form’ Lucy on her CADES BAY and then my selection at 4
to 1. D & Mrs Cocks’s
SBS BY JOVE (A Charles-Jones) has not come into form yet but maybe today!
Off they go – no! False start – try again!
CADES BAY went off into the lead first but Jennifer followed quite
close at a good pace, with WINDYEDGE, although being restrained by his
jockey, pulling into third place with DURNFORD BAY also close up.
All safely over the open ditch!
The lead swapped around a bit but and I did lose a pound or two in
weight when Smiler Congdon waved at me when OH SO BOSSY came over the 10th,
but she knew better than come off directly in front of me, so she took the
easiest way out and went on to gain the lead.
On into the final circuit, and Jennifer led over the open ditch but
Ashley Farrant now began his move on JUVANTIQUE and joined Jennifer on the
race across the bottom of the course.
Over the fourth from home they were together, while RICE POINT
(Liam Heard) was chasing CADES BAY back in third and fourth places.
Jennifer and Ashley came over the third last together and there was
not very much in it over the second last and the final fence and the run
to the line saw both horses and jockeys – flat out.
OH SO BOSSY by a short head on the line!
Great Stuff! CADES BAY was 15 lengths back in third place.
What a great servant to the Congdons this horse is and all credit
to the jockey and trainer.
Two divisions of the restricted race were to follow and I had
previously made my mind up when doing my tour of the ‘box’ park.
Richard Young (No not Jeremy Young as in the race card – Jeremy
is now Assistant to Paul Nicholls!) had come down to ride two of Louise
Alner’s Pointers so I took the easy way out and told everyone that these
horses from Droop would win as I had seen them run at the Mendip meeting.
In division one the win was an easy one for FAIR SPRITE as he beat
Smiler Congdon on CASTLEHALE by 15 lengths and she was more than a
distance to the good of SHARETON. Jennifer
was obviously fed up being behind Richard, so the second division was a
different race and this time although he won he was only a neck in front
on the line from Andrew Congdon’s WILD BAVARD with Mr Eagles EMAREAGLE
(M Shears) a distance away in third.
Ashley Farrant got discharged from the Targett’s KING’S STAGE
in this race and I saw him later with his arm in a funny position which
probably meant his collar bone was out.
Keep me informed someone! Out
of action for a while I think! More
money in the bag! New printer
for sure but I will not order it until the last race is over!
The Men’s Open race brought 10 entries to the start. The
Polar Falcon offspring owned by J Kinnear and trained by Rose Vickery –
POLAR FLIGHT was made odds-on favourite and too skinny a price to back.
I looked for a largish priced outsider to come second or third and
settled for J Boulter and Miss Wilkins’s WHISPERING PINES to be ridden
by Michael Miller as the carrier of my investment.
A little lady standing next to me informed me she was “only a
pensioner” and had told her grandson to back the longest priced horse on
the board with her one pound coin. He had found a horse at fifty to one so she admitted she
would be praying! With Ashley
out of it Richard Young (or is it Robert?) picked up a ride on Martin
Pipe’s KAILASH who led for a while but was soon relegated to the rear of
the field. LONGSTONE LAD
(Richard Woollacott) was pulled up, as I expect he found the ground not to
his liking. Mud is his
preferred going. Graham
Roach’s LA MOLA SUN made a challenge but was soon tapped for toe as they
say and left it to POLAR FLIGHT, WILLIAM O’DEE, SQUADDIE and WHISPERING
PINES to take the field out into the country for the final time.
POLAR FLIGHT and SQUADDIE pushed on and were about eight lengths to
the good of WILLIAM O’DEE when the favourite fell at the fourth last and
left SQUADDIE going clear. The
leader was ten lengths ahead when clearing the run through, with
WHISPERING PINES travelling well and closing.
Coming up the final hill it was still SQUADDIE with WILLIAM O’DEE
closing and WHISPERING PINES doing the same.
The leader was a very tired horse at the last and my investment
carrier was gaining ground and passed WILLIAM O’DEE and now challenged
SQUADDIE for the first position. He never made it by half a length. First SQUADDIE, second WHISPERING PINES and third WILLIAM
O’DEE. I collected for my
second place, BUT the little lady, remember the OAP, as she put it, picked
up fifty pounds for her one-pound stake.
The next was a well-contested open maiden race for five, six,
and seven year olds. At one
time it was G Browns CAPTAIN RANDOM (Lucy Gardner) that was favourite but
on the off I think Countess Susie Goess-Sauru’s HARRY’S MARE (P Gundry)
had the honour. M Willis’s
WOODYS WIDGET (T Dennis) led for a considerable distance and took the
field out into the country for the final time.
At the open ditch WOODYS WIDGET led with IRIS D’ESTRUVAL (A
Charles-Jones) chasing hard and CAPTAIN RANDOM and HARRY’S MARE
following but we lost RUN FOR HANNAH and CHERRYBROOK here.
On reaching the final fence the order had changed and IRIS
D’ESTRUVAL was now having to race with Claire Heywood who was riding her
IMPREVU for the first time. This
horse carried very little form but was going well.
Alex Charles-Jones made no mistakes and brought his six year old
home with a margin of ten lengths over IMPREVU with CAPTAIN RANDOM back 15
lengths in third place and the favourite - fourth
Finally came the Confined Hunts Maiden.
The last race run at Umberleigh (Torrington Farmers- two years
ago!) was a very close affair and I was more than disappointed when the
judge gave the verdict against my investment which was a considerable
amount of money at six to one on what I thought was the winner.
The Jockey thought she was the winner.
The majority of the public agreed with me.
The judge issued the final word and the season ended on me being
out of pocket when I and others thought I should have been IN pocket. The
race was awarded to Nick Mitchell riding INFORAPOP but my investment was
with Tabitha Cave riding SEA SPIRIT.
Today this grey mare, now ten years old will have a chance to put
things right. On it all goes
at four to one, yes – the lot! The
favourite was R Rawle’s YOUMEANDHIM (R Woollacott) with R Westacott’s
SIR WILLIAM (D Edwards) taking some money as was Miss Kessler’s ‘best
turned out’ DRUID MERILL (R Darke) and M Sweetland’s DANNY DOLITTLE.
Fifteen runners in this race and no open ditch as it is so battered
around from previous fallers. YOUMEANDHIM
followed by BIRCH TOR, DANNY DOLITTLE and SEA SPIRIT took the field out
into the country for the first time.
KING TUDOR fell. As
they reached the final fence next time round my SEA SPIRIT was just being
told to close up and this grey mare did exactly that.
On passing the open ditch for the final time it was SEA SPIRIT and
YOUMEANDHIM fighting for the lead closely followed by DANNY DOLITTLE.
SIR WILLIAM chasing in fourth place with the Froud’s MOST VITAL
in fifth and DRUID MERRILL in sixth.
These front six are the leading group some ten lengths in front of
the remainder and all in with a chance.
SIR WILLIAM was set alight by Darren Edwards and took up the lead
for a while but then decided to run out and was out of the contest.
This left my investment well poised and with DANNY DOLITTLE went
for home. At the second last
the first one to become visible out of the dip was – SEA SPIRIT with a
slight advantage over DANNY DOLITTLE- if ever I wished Danny to do little,
it was now. Well Danny
didn’t give up but neither did Tabitha and justice was seen to be done.
I was one of many who congratulated connections on that win.
SEA SPIRIT by three lengths from DRUID MERILL who managed to get
the better of DANNY DOLITTLE who was another three lengths further back in
third. HARRY’S MARE was
A really great day out, in perfect weather and the course
held up well and so did my wallet. New
printer this week or will I keep a shilling or two for South Cornwall at
Trebudannon and Axe Vale at Stafford Cross next week. Thank you Eggesford Hunt and I hope you enjoyed Jays as much
as we did.
See you all next week. Fred & Ruth