DICKY BOB produced another ultra game performance in winning the Mixed Open at the Lamerton fixture
In welcome spring sunshine on soft going at Kilworthy, the popular 11-year-old grey was given a positive ride by Rex Dingle to score by 25 lengths as Kernel Victor and Mic's Delight chased him home at a respectable distance.
Dicky Bob's owner/trainer Verity Nicholls reported that her gelding's preparation had been held up by the recent snow and said, "You can just see Peak Hill Farm in the distance on the sky line where I train. We were snowed in and he had four days off. He stood in his box for two days." Rex Dingle had him in the leading pair throughout and he galloped on resolutely to pull clear of his rivals in the home straight.
Darren Edwards consolidated his lead in the area jockeys championship with a double thanks to Honest Deed in the Hunt race and The Two Amigos in the Confined. Trained by Dean Summersby, Honest Deed is jointly owned by Emma Summersby, Torben Hughs, Nick Banks and Lamerton Hon Secretary Belinda Fuller, who worked so hard in difficult circumstances for this meeting to go ahead. "He would be better on better ground and we will look for an Intermediate now," reported the trainer, who was saddling his fifth winner of the season and recalled riding the winner of this race (Bathwick Breeze) in 2012
The Two Amigos was scoring for the fourth successive time this season after shrugging off the sustained challenge of Heaney (Millie Wonnacott) in the Confined event. The well backed winner made all the running but got a bit low over his jumps in the closing stages before giving Darren Edwards his eighth winner of the season. Nicky Martin has done well with her Midnight Legend six-year-old, who is currently one of the season's leading point-to-pointers in the country.
The Open Maiden saw a field of 13 facing the starter and produced the closest finish of the day. Tom Chanin sent Druid Spitfire to the front at the third last and held the late thrust of Moonaro (Paul John) by a diminishing head with the Croome mare Coco Shambhala (Zac Baker) a creditable third. The winner, a full brother to the useful Welstonedruid, was formerly trained by his owner Elisabeth Kessler, but has recently joined the yard of Robert Chanin, who said. "I have only had him a month and just tightened him up and got it right." Tom Chanin was partnering his third winner of the campaign and reported, "He jumped really well and travelled well in the mud."
Ballybane followed up his Buckfastleigh success when staying on gamely to beat Prince of Poets and Creative Inerta in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate qualifier. Melanie Dixon's progressive gelding was giving 26-year-old David Prichard his second winner of the season.
Eastern Calm had finished a good third behind Ballybane in the South Pool Restricted last month and took the Restricted here in the colours of the Pidsley family. The mount of Christopher Barber, Eastern Calm headed Wind Tor (Josh Newman) just before the last which both mares jumped less than fluently. The winner is a good bodied Kayf Tara mare who was trained by Sarah Pidsley to win an Ottery Maiden a year ago. A shoulder injury to Sarah saw Eastern Calm join Stuart Sampson's string just before Christmas. "A really nice mare who likes soft ground," remarked 20-year-old jockey Christopher Barber, who was partnering his second winner of the season.