GALE force winds sweeping over Dartmoor threatened the Kilworthy meeting, and the usual marquees could not be erected in the gales which showed no signs of relenting all afternoon. The use of Livestock transporters as temporary accommodation kept the show on the road, and the meeting was rewarded with a good quality turn out of 63 runners for the seven races.
Rockwithacaveman has been one of the finds of the season and found little difficulty in stepping up to record his first Open victory and his fifth win of the campaign under Polly Gundry. Polly was temporarily sidelined with an ankle injury last week – “she was spurred on to get back by missing two winning rides at Wadebridge ” said her partner and joint trainer Ed Walker. “She got clearance after x-rays at Swindon and was back schooling on Thursday” he added. Rockwithacaveman drew clear of runner up Jalons Star up the final hill to win impressively in the fastest time of the day. He may be aimed at the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Hunter Chase Final providing the ground stays soft.
It was certainly soft at Kilworthy on Saturday, and Massimo landed some solid bets when winning the Intermediate in a time only fractionally slower than the Open. This lightly raced eight year old was completing a double for Michael Miller, who sent his mount from last to first in a rapid manoeuvre six fences from home, eventually scoring by eight lengths from a tiring Whizzar. Massimo was a first training success for Angela Davis who has two pointers to look after at Rimpton. She is head girl to licensed trainer John Ryall, and trains this former bumper winner for a small syndicate which includes John Boulter, who originally bought the horse in France. He has had tendon trouble since being placed over hurdles.
Dorset rider Michael Miller had initiated his double when Dusty Bandit followed up his Buckfastleigh win in the Confined. “He jumps economically and we may try a Hunter Chase,” said trainer Ben White.
Withiel Lad and Noeud Vert fought out the finish of the 14 runner Restricted after Kingsmill Lake had run out when leading at the second last. Will Biddick was partnering his ninth winner of the season on Withiel Lad, who just held the strong late challenge of Noeud Vert.
The Confined Maiden races were also well filled with 12 runners in each section. Polly Gundry just missed out on a double when her mount Karley, who just led at the last, weakened up the final climb in the first division. Long time leader Hannah Bay rallied gamely to provide Alice Mills with her first winner of the season. “I was ill in bed on Thursday” said the pale looking rider, who certainly showed no ill effects in driving home the game mare Hannah Bay. This home bred winner is owned and trained by Deborah Treneer, and was reported to have done 20 days hunting before Christmas.
Tim Dennis returned from injury to win on Brook Castle in the other division. Tim had been off since a fall at Great Trethew a month ago and had to pull out all the stops to hold the promising Be Brief. It was apt that he should have the mount on Brook Castle, since he found the six year old in Ireland, and trains the gelding for Morewenstowe-based owners Alan and Carolyn Colwill, and John Nancekivell.
The consistent Coffee Morning gave Charlotte Horsley her second success in the Hunt race, just holding the late challenge of Loup du Sud.
Confined Maiden Div 1
Confined Maiden Div 2