WILLIAM White rode a double at the Exmoor Foxhounds meeting at Bratton Down on Saturday, taking his tally to 13 for the season – his best yet.
Arctic Sky was the surprise 33-1 winner of the men’s open, holding off favourite Camden Carrig by two lengths after staying on well up the long run-in.
It was a pleasing result for Norma Sellman who bought the 11-year-old a week ago to stay in Mike Vanstone’s Rackenford yard. “It’s my first ever winner so I’m thrilled,” she said.
The gelding was initially bough for a novice rider in Vanstone’s yard and came up for sale after he decided to pursue a career on the Flat.
White doubled up on the John Dufosee-trained Embercombe in the second division of the maiden, another horse seen at her best when stamina came into play on the run-in. Sus Snowden and her daughter Char Lance bred the seven-year-old whose dam Cindercombe also won at the course.
First division of the maiden went to Norman Thomas’ Declan’s Choice, trained by his daughter Laura and ridden by his godson Richard Mason. Bought at Ascot Sales in February, it’s the first horse Laura has trained for her father who also owns hunter chase winner Milesian King.
Rachael Green took her tally to 32 for the season after she rode a double, but she is still half a dozen behind Polly Gundry who is chasing Polly Curling’s all time record of 40 set in 1995.
Green’s first winner came on the Richard Barber owned and trained Barneys Mate in the intermediate. Ted One, who ran a fine race in defeat, had taken it up before the last, but Barneys Mate pulled it out on the run-in to record a half length victory. “He’s a fun horse to own,” said Barber who may sell the eight-year-old.
Ryebrook scored in the following ladies’ race under a fine ride from Green who threw the works at the 11-year-old to win by a length from Dr Cerullo with Saint Romble a length back in third.
Jimmy Cole was a popular winner of the restricted on Dutch Bill, a horse he rode for pub landlord Robert White. Trainer Katherine Northcott was handed the plaudits by White who said she had done all the work on the seven-year-old who was bought unraced as a four-year-old from Cheltenham Sales.
Richard Woollacott, the Devon and Cornwall area champion elect, continued his terrific season when winning the members’ race on King Georges.
Members: King Georges (Richard Woollacott) 1; Master Kevin (Darren Edwards) 2; Ross Go Lad (Giles Hawkins) 3. 8l, short head; 5.59.
Restricted:Dutch Bill (Jimmy Cole) 1; Howdy Cloud (Lucy Gardner) 2; Major Matt (Danny Cook) 3. 3l, 1/2l; 5.55.
Intermediate: Barneys Mate (Rachael Green) 1; Ted One (Caroline Farrant) 2; Lords Bridge (Richard Woollacott) 3. 1/2l, 3l; 5.58.
Ladies’ Open: Rye Brook (Rachael Green) 1; Dr Cerullo (Polly Gundry); saint Romble (Katherine Hobbs) 3. 1l, 1l; 5.49.
Men’s Open: Arctic Sky (William White) 1; Camden Carrig (Nick Phillips) 2; Cookies Bank (Richard Woollacott) 3. 2l, nk; 5.55.
Open Maiden Div I: Declans Choice (Richard Mason) 1; Inching West (Jenny Carr) 2; Mister Legend (Rachael Jones) 3. 1l, 1 1/2l; 6.04.
Open Maiden Div II: Embercombe (William White) 1; Quantock’s Return (Mark Wall) Roy My Boy (Sean Oarrish) 3. 6l, 4l; 6.06.