Let’s Fly won his eighth race of the season when taking a high class Ladies’ Open in a very fast time at Bratton Down. “I think he must be the best Ladies’ horse I have ridden,” said six times champion Polly Gundry, paying tribute to the 12 year old who has given her a sound chance of regaining the National Ladies’ title she relinquished to Rachael Green last year.
The Four Burrow gelding has been kept fresh and well all season by his owner/trainer Ross Oliver, and quickened readily from the third last. He ran on in the gamest fashion when Rimpton Boy (Rachael Green) delivered a strong challenge on the run in, with Diana Hobbs on Double Honour and her sister Katherine Hobbs on Saint Romble also snapping at the leader’s heels.
Let’s Fly is still two wins behind fellow Westcountry pointer Sea Snipe for the National Leading Horse award, and the positions are likely to stay that way with only two meetings left and both horses unlikely to be asked to turn out again.
Polly Gundry’s quest for the National Ladies’ title is however still very much alive and she goes into the final two weeks on the 24 winner mark, just two behind the leader Claire Allen. Let’s Fly was completing a double for her, initiated when Bishop’s Blade won the Intermediate. Try To Wyn jumped the last upsides, but his rider Ian Popham had been wrestling with a slipping saddle since the final ditch, and finally had to give way to gravity when crossing the final fence, leaving Bishop’s Blade well clear of Brendan’s Surprise. Ten year old Bishop’s Blade was the first winner to be trained by Pam Roffe-Silvester at Huntsham near Tiverton. The gelding runs in the aptly named “Family Partnership”, which consists of Pam, her husband William, her mother, mother-in-law and brother-in-law.
Nick Scholfield had finished runner up on Brendan’s Surprise, and went one better in the Men’s Open with a confident ride on Dennis The Legend. Lisheen Storm was tracked by Springford going to the last, but young Scholfield had been biding his time on the eventual winner, and edged ahead of Lisheen Storm inside the final furlong. Six year old Dennis The Legend has improved throughout the season, and was winning his fourth successive race for his owner/breeder Pam Pengelly. “I told the jockey to stay cool and give him room” said trainer Ollie Bush. “This is a serious horse”, she added.
The same connections were narrowly denied a double when That’s My Boy went under by a length to Castle Cazza in the first Maiden. Ridden by Rachael Green, Castle Cazza shook off Sure How Bad jumping the last, before running on in determined fashion up the final climb. Seven year old Castle Cazza, placed four times already this season, was bred by her owner, Cirencester dairy farmer John Russell, and is trained at Sidbury by Monique Pike. “She used to be a tearaway and wouldn’t settle in her races”, said the trainer, who also has the mare’s half sister Bally Blue.
Hydromatic stayed on well to take the second Maiden in the hands of Charlotte Tizzard, getting up close home to deny Deer Valley and Ian Chanin by a neck. Hydromatic is owned by Joanne Tizzard and trained by her uncle Alan Tizzard – “I have just qualified out of University and this is my first winner, a gift horse from my father Robert who bought him as a four year old”, said the delighted owner, who owes a big thank you to her cousin Charlotte for a stirring ride.
Onemoredeal was always travelling well for Richard Woollacott before winning the Restricted, just getting the upper hand over Offalevel half way up the long run in. Seven year old Onemoredeal has now won twice since being acquired by Callington based owner David Newton just after Easter. “Bought on my birthday” said the owner, acknowledging the training partnership of Richard Woollacott and Emely Thompson, who were saddling their 19th winner of the season. Richard holds a narrow lead over Nick Scholfield for the Devon & Cornwall riders’ title which includes points gained for places. His 24 winners puts him in fourth place at present for the National title, just one behind Nick Scholfield.
Only two went to the post for the Hunt race which was won easily by Alan Cottle’s Colonial Sunset to give Ian Popham his fifth winner of the season. Master Kevin unseated Hugh Thomas five fences from home when chasing the winner, and was eventually remounted to finish a remote second.
Open Maiden Division 1
Open Maiden Division 2