RICHARD Woollacott’s quest for a first National jockeys’ title saw him ride one winner, two seconds and three thirds from his six rides at Upcott Cross. His main rivals, 19 year old Welshman John Mathias, and Yorkshire based Jake Greenall managed one winner apiece at other meetings, leaving the Devon rider on the 35 winner mark, one ahead of John Mathias and three ahead of Jake Greenall with two weekends to go.
Woollacott’s winner came on board the Pauline and Tony Geering trained Deimne in the Intermediate. “She is a game little mare and might be able to run again next week”, said Woollacott, who is bidding to become the first West country National Men’s champion since Ashley Farrant won the title six years ago.
17-year-old Michael Heard took the honours in a competitive Men’s Open with a cool riding performance on Paddy the Piper. Michael was content to bide his time on the gelding until delivering his mount with a well timed challenge at the last fence. The Venetian ran well to finish runner up, but Woollacott’s mount Come What Augustus lost his unbeaten record for the season in finishing third. Paddy The Piper was acquired to replace Michael’s only other pointing winner Charming Gael. He is a family horse owned by Michael’s parents John and Sandra, and his grandfather Ken. The Heard’s are stalwarts of the local pointing scene and this was an apt result since they farm the land at Upcott Cross.
Doof gave Jo Buck her ninth pointing winner of the season, making virtually all the running to win the Ladies’. The Leslie Jefford trained Doof was left in command when Tres Bien fell at the final ditch, putting both Joaaci and King Georges out of the race. ”Doof loves to be in front and takes off when anything comes at him”, said the successful jockey, who also has three wins to her credit under rules this term.
Durnovaria came from off the pace to win the Restricted, maintaining a highly successful weekend for his owner/trainer Carol Lawrence and jockey Joe Tickle. Joe has now taken the lead for the Devon & Cornwall Novice male title, and is a strong contender for National honours in that sphere.
Darren Edwards took the riding honours with a first and last race double. Bannow Strand repeated last year’s Hunt race victory in the first, and Three Half Crowns proved value for money for Darren in the concluding Maiden. This was a first winner for Winsford owners Michael and Sue Hayes, and also a first training success for Cherry Winzer who is based at Oakford near Tiverton..
It was a similar story in the other maiden division won by Winston and Jane Chubb’s Wayward Leader. The first time winning connections here picked up the good looking nine-year-old at Ascot sales last August. “He was bought cheaply as a hunter”, said Winston Chubb, “but he proved his potential as a pointer with trainer Claire Wright”. added the joint owner. Winning jockey Matt Griffiths, who is based with Philip Hobbs, plans to take out a conditional jockeys licence after next weekend.
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Open Maiden Div 2:
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