Saturday 3rd June 2006
by Lucy Johnson
photos by Graham Fisher
GLORIOUS Exmoor drew a near record breaking
crowd on Saturday where point-to-point racing, hosted by the Exmoor
Foxhounds, was straight out of the top draw.
Close finishes were the order of the day at
Bratton Down where the good going attracted large fields of
Lucy Gardner, who heads the Devon and
Cornwall area championship, earned a special trophy, judged by
starter Richard Clarke, for her superb tactical ride on Graham
Brown’s Grey Ciseaux in the ladies’ open. Lucy asked
the gelding, who she rates as one of her favourite horses, to take
up the lead after the open ditch and went on to score a length
victory with the well backed Spuddlers Dream and Watchyourback in
Grey Ciseaux and Lucy Gardner return after their victory in
the Ladies Open
Brown, who comes from Ottery St Mary in East
Devon, usually misses Grey Ciseaux running and said: “They
give me a bottle of whisky not to come.” But this time his
presence did not prove a bad omen as the gelding gave one of the
best performances of his career.
The Jeremy Scott-trained Gone To Lunch looked
a picture in the paddock and was well backed to land the
men’s open but jockey Neil Harris had to work hard for the
win, holding of the strong challenge of the brilliant veteran
Springford, who was giving the winner 7lbs, under Dominic
Gone To Lunch and Neil Harris (far side) just get the
better of Springford in a driving finish to the Mens
Harris later just failed to land a double
after odds on favourite Tomsk failed by a head to reel in Oh Vlo
who was well ridden by Guy Weatherly to win the third of three
maidens. The French-bred seven-year-old is owned and trained by Ray
Alford, who is connected to the Pipe’s Culmstock operation
and often transports horses for the record breaking yard. The
gelding was acquired through Kent-based Fergus Wilson who keeps
horses with Alford.
Fastest maiden was Mary Trueman’s
well-bred Miramar who was bought from Doncaster two years ago. The
seven-year-old is trained at Buckfastleigh by Gordon Chambers who
said: “The only reason we could afford him is because he has
such poor confirmation behind.” Winning jockey Tabitha Cave
has had a long and successful association with Mrs Trueman having
won several times on Lead Story.
Miramar and Tabitha Cave (mauve) just hold
Range Rover and Rachel Green in the Open Maiden
The 11-year-old Billy Whitelies finally rid
himself of his maiden tag after winning division two and the
members went Opal’Lou ridden by Richard Pyman.
Opal’lou and Richard Pyman go clear on the run in to
take the Members race
Rachel Green was seen at her best on Nebraska
in the restricted when she threw the works at the Richard
Barber-trained five-year-old on the run in to win by two lengths.
Green and Barber doubled up in the following intermediate with
Willyanwoody who was well backed to follow up on his maiden
Nebraska and Rachel Green score a hard fought victory in
Willyanwoody (Rachel Green) is an
impressive winner of the Intermediate from Magnemite
Hunt Members: Opal’Lou 1; Colonial
Sunset (Mr C Heard) 2; Master Kevin (Hugh Thomas) 3.
Restricted: Nebraska (Miss R Green) 1; Maria
Gigi (Mr J Snowden) 2; What’s Up Maid (Mr M Munrowd) 3. 2l,
Intermediate: Willyanwoody (Miss R Green) 1;
Magnemite (Mr D Edwards) 2; Off Broadway (Mr D Alers-Hankey) 3. 5l,
½ l; 6.02.
Ladies’ Open: Grey Ciseaux (Miss L
Gardner) 1; Spuddler’s Dream ( Miss R Green) 2; Watchyourback
(Miss C Allen) 3. 1l, nk; 5.59.
Men’s Open: Gone To Lunch (Mr N Harris)
1; Springford (Mr D Alers-Hanky) 2; Itzacliche (Mr P Mason) 3. nk,
1 12l, 6.01.
Maiden Divison I: Miramar ( Miss T Cave) 1;
Range Rover (Miss R Green) 2; Sharp Hand (M Harris) 3. nk, 2l,
Maiden Division II: Billy Whitelies (M
Carter) 1; Hotfoot Harry (D Turner) 2; Lord Fitzroy (Miss A Bush)
3. 6l, 25l; 6.14.
Maiden Division III: Oh Vlo (Mr G Weatherly)
1; Tomsk (Mr N Harris) 2; Big Daves Legend (Mr A Charles-Jones) 3.
hd, nk; 6.12.