Fast ground reduced the field sizes for the traditional Cornish Easter Monday fixture at Trebudannon.
The afternoon belonged to jockey Darren Andrews who rode his first treble thanks to Ruggiero, Robin Why Not and Crosbie Garstin, the trio saddled by three different trainers, and all three given positive front running rides by the 26-year-old jockey.
Ruggiero, stabled with Stuart Sampson, was always bossing his sole rival Markmyword in the young horses Maiden. "We bought him for £4,000 at Ascot last July out of Emma Lavelle's yard. He was a bit disappointing first time for us at Milborne where he fought his rider but settled better today," said owner Russell Wescott.
Joe Tickle sent out his fifth winner of the season when the good looking Robin Why Not won the Restricted. Once again Darren Andrews was intent on making the running and he was able to shake off his nearest pursuer Rumour Has It in the home straight.
Crosbie Garstin clocked up the Andrews treble in the Open Maiden, jumping with assurance out in front to beat Fireweld by five lengths. Now owned by Kerry Ede, the nine-year-old had not seen a racecourse since running at this corresponding meeting three years ago. "He was bred in Cornwall by Tim Le Grice and has had niggling little problems and has spent some time eventing over the years. He is much stronger now." explained St Agnes based trainer Alexander Ede.
Despite starting odds-on favourite, Top Chief failed to secure a four-timer for Darren Andrews in the Men's Open which was blessed with the grandiose title of the Cornish National. This time it was Darren Edwards who sailed away in front on Kapricorne, who had 15 lengths to spare over Top Chief on reaching the judge. Rebecca Branton trains the 12-year-old winner for her father Denis at Exford.
Darren Edwards was not winning out of turn as he had graced the runner up spot in the first three races. Soul Kaliber was just outpointed by Awesome Tunes in the opening Hunt race. This sturdy nine-year-old was taking that prize for the third successive year, putting his owner Ross Oliver's name on the trophy for the 14th times since 2004.
After his second on Markmyword, further frustration lay in wait for the leading area rider when Clondaw Bunny could not cope with Earthly Reason in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. A winner on this track twice last year, Earthly Reason had been below form on the soft ground so far this season, but as trainer Neil McLean explained, "He prefers this ground and has tons of speed."
The seven-runner Ladies' Open proved to be the race of the day. In a blanket finish Purple 'N Gold got up by a head to beat front running Cinevator, with Its All or Nothing another head away in third, after this trio had battled it out together all the way from the final fence. The winner was sent out by Leslie Jefford for the Here Come The Girls Partnership. A hardened and successful campaigner under rules for David Pipe, the 10-year-old joined Leslie Jefford's Payhembury yard earlier this season. "We were waiting for drier ground and need to keep him happy and keep concentrating. He probably needs a quick track." related the trainer.