The final Trebudannon meeting of the season took place in glorious sunshine and the Four Burrow drew considerable praise in their presentation of the track. Despite the continuing dry spell, the well watered ground and a lush covering of grass produced 62 runners in six races.
The six times ladies’ champion jockey Polly Gundry, who now combines riding and training from the yard she shares with her partner Ed Walker near Ottery St Mary, reached a significant landmark when riding her 200 th British point-to-point winner. She always claims an extra success, but that took place in USA so doesn’t appear in the record books.
Polly reached her champagne moment when getting Ross Oliver’s course specialist Let’s Fly up in the last stride to win the Mixed Open. Runner up Canada (Russell Ross) and Let’s Fly had battled stride for stride throughout the final circuit and were locked together in a bobbing finish which neither deserved to lose.
In the earlier young horse Maiden, Polly had to be content with second place when her mount Winning Connection just failed to catch Onemoredeal. The winner had little previous form to commend him, and recently joined the stable run by Emely Thompson and his jockey Richard Woollacott, who had been offered the horse after he had ridden it at the Croome meeting on Easter Tuesday. New owner David Newton, a chartered surveyor from Callington said, “This is my first racehorse and I’ve only seen it once before until today.”
Richard Darke is riding better than ever this year and achieved a double on Saturday to take his seasonal total to five, courtesy of Real Sharp in the 13 runner Exeter Racecourse Intermediate and his father’s Karinga Coin in the Restricted. “I have been trying to sell Real Sharp since his Buckfastleigh win”, said Dartmoor Hunt Master Mike Weir of his progressive nine year old.
Karinga Coin followed up his Upcott Cross win when comfortably holding Loup du Sud to claim the Restricted. Richard Darke reported that his mount “jumped like a buck”. “I was taking a pull with a circuit to go”, said the winning rider.
Mark Munrowd is another jockey in form and landed Lord Adpar home in the Open Maiden after heading long time leader Hooray Henry four from home. Lord Adpar is owned by Roger Oliver and trained by his daughter Emma – the same connections that enjoyed success with Umista at Flete Park last weekend. Chudleigh based Emma explained that lightly raced Lord Adpar, bought out of Peter Bowen’s yard over three years ago, had taken a lot of time to settle. “We couldn’t get a bridle on him at first” she added.
The mares and fillies Maiden attracted a good field of 11 and went to the Bandmaster five year old Unfinishedsymphony, ridden by Darren Edwards. This youngster was home bred by owners Stephen Elford and Richard Black and is trained by Stephen at Crediton. She had shown promise in her two previous runs and stayed on well to hold the late burst of Loan Spitfire, with the favourite Over T’ Page a close third.
Caroline Farrant was airlifted to hospital with concussion following her fall from Ninah in this race. A similar fate befell Lee Rowe, who was rolled on by his mount Pinmoor Hill in the previous event. Fortunately both riders were reported to have been discharged from hospital later.