FIRM going at Mounsey Hill Gate kept the total number of runners down to only 30 for the seven races at the Dulverton East fixture.
Ross Oliver’s ultra consistent veteran Let’s Fly extended his winning sequence to seven with an emphatic Ladies’ Open success in the hands of Polly Gundry. The Four Burrow gelding was being pressed by runner up Knight of Silver when the four runners came into view at the second last, but quickly asserted to score by seven lengths. Former lady champion Polly Gundry was partnering her 20 th pointing winner of the season, and later topped up a good day with success in the Ladies’ Hunter chase at the Stratford evening meeting on Twenty Degrees.
Ben Robarts denied Polly of an afternoon double in the four-runner Restricted when making all the running on his own Phairy Storm. Polly’s late thrust on Blackcomb Mountain just failed as Phairy Storm held on gamely in a driving finish. The winner was giving his owner/rider his seventh success of the season, having been on the go since the very first meeting at Black Forest Lodge last December.
Cento was expected to give Richard Woollacott a winning ride in the two runner Hunt race, but “was never striding out on the ground” reported the jockey, and went under by three lengths to Gotha. Ex- chaser Gotha is owned by Monica Simpson and Helen Silcock and trained by his jockey Martin Sweetland.
Woollacott enjoyed better fortune in the Men’s Open thanks to The King’s Fling. This useful stayer was always handy, and looked to be holding the upper hand when his nearest pursuer Askers Jack (Rob Lee) came down at the last.
The winning jockey looked like adding to this success in the first Maiden on Hooray Henry. The eight year old was in command when the runners disappeared from view at the end of the back straight, but the combination came to grief at the third last, leaving Menarow (Lucy Gardner) clear of the only other finisher Slipped The Net
Darren Edwards is enjoying his best season and was in double form courtesy of Phanthom Walker and Eternal Midnight. Phanthom Walker, trained by Stephen Elford near Crediton, battled on well to beat Riteway Round and Magnemite. “He really likes fast ground” said the trainer of his Intermediate winner.
Eternal Midnight took the concluding Maiden, but Westwood Lir posed a serious threat under novice rider Lydia Svensson until unseating her young rider at the penultimate. Eternal Midnight is a seven year old owned by Ross Darke and his wife Amanda. The home bred gelding is the first winner trained by former jockey Ross at Skerraton.
Eternal Midnight gave Darren Edwards his 19 th pointing winner of the season, but the jockey now faces a five day ban imposed by the Exeter stewards after his winning ride on Dante’s Back recently, and will miss some potentially lucrative rides at Upcott Cross, Larkhill and Bratton Down.
Hunt race 1 Gotha (M Sweetland), 2 Cento (R Woollacott)
Ladies’ Open 1 Let’s Fly (Miss P Gundry), 2 Knight of Silver (Miss J Buck), 3 Get Smart (Miss B Barnett)
Men’s Open 1 The King’s Fling (R Woollacott), 2 Maximus (B Wright), 3 Haydn James (I Popham)
Intermediate 1 Phanthom Walker (D Edwards), 2 Riteway Round ( W Biddick), 3 Magnemite (W White)
Restricted 1 Phairy Storm (B Robarts), 2 Blackcomb Mountain (Miss P Gundry), 3 Double Pops (R Bliss)
Open Maiden Div 1 1 Menarow (Miss L Gardner), 2 Slipped The Net (Miss T Hayes)
Open Maiden Div 2 1 Eternal Midnight (D Edwards), 2 Top Society Girl (Miss L Gardner), 3 Rideitlikeustoleit (R Bliss)