JO BUCK was the in-form jockey with a double on the testing ground at Cherrybrook. as the rain closed in.
An enforced seven weeks lay off failed to stop the useful grey Dicky Bob from repeating last year's success in the Hunt race. Jo Buck sent her mount clear from the third last to score easily. "He damaged the bulb of his off fore heel at Buckfastleigh and it has taken time. He has done some loose schooling and bucked too much with me yesterday," smiled owner/trainer Verity Nicholls. "It would be nice to find a hunter chase by the end of the season, added Verity.
Jo Buck went on to ride her ninth winner of the season when It's All Or Nothing defied his penalty with a good exhibition of jumping in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate qualifier. This Terimon seven-year-old was also successful on this track last year before finishing a creditable third in a Stratford hunter chase. The grey would be a worthy challenger for the final of this series next month. Charlotte Rowe trains the winner at Tedburn St Mary for owner Rob White, who runs the Blacksmith's Arms pub at Lamerton.
Darren Edwards partnered runner up Shanann Star in the Intermediate, but had earlier been in the winner's enclosure thanks to Spillers Dream, who took the 12-runner Restricted by 15 lengths despite an awkward jump at the last. "He always travelled easily," commented the rider. The seven-year-old runs in the familiar colours of The Bradley Partnership, and is trained by one of the partners Nicky Martin. "He was bought at the (Fairyhouse) Derby sales as a three-year-old and ran a few times under rules before winning his Maiden last year after a wind op," said the trainer.
Edwards was back in the runner up spot when Robin De Souza lost his unbeaten record for the season in the Confined. A winner five times already, Robin De Souza failed narrowly to cope with Mic's Delight, who bounced back from a moderate run at Kilworthy on his seasonal debut. Owner/trainer Jennifer Davenport gave her 12-year-old a positive ride and was in no mood for defeat despite losing an iron at the last. "He was too fresh and was a nightmare last time but he is just a legend," exclaimed the rider, who works as a veterinary surgeon at South Moor Vets.
John Pike's prolific seven-year-old Jepeck won for the third time this season when successfully upgrading to Open class under Jamie Thomas. The winner headed King of Alcatraz three out and was soon in command. "I have now won six times on Jepeck," said Thomas
The concluding Maiden took nearly seven minutes on heavy ground. Gold Relief (Jake Bament) took the field along from the seventh, and was only caught in the last few strides by Vila Cova and Matt Hampton.