On an afternoon which soon became wet and windy at the Royal Cornwall Showground, two fences had to be omitted in every race due to soggy underfoot conditions. The large TV screen showing live pictures of the races in the huge barn proved to be quite a magnet for the less hardy on such a bad day. There was even seating in front of the screen.
The organisers of the Western point to point deserve much credit for getting this fixture on in the face of the recent wet weather. A temporary paddock had to be deployed to avoid further wear and tear on the original paddock site after the first two meetings at Wadebridge this season.
A riding and training double for Darren Edwards and Dean Summersby respectively brightened up the day..
Tony and Eileen Worth's progressive six-year-old Robin De Souza evidently relishes the mud and had little trouble in completing his seasonal hat trick in the Intermediate, with current area title holder Darren Edwards in the saddle. "We will keep him point-to-pointing for the moment, but the final of this Exeter Racecourse Intermediate series is in mind," reported the gelding's Lifton based trainer Dean Summersby.
Mike Bickell's eight-year-old Bertie's Way followed up for the Edwards / Summersby combination by beating his 11 rivals in the Open Maiden. Summersby said, "We bought him at Doncaster in spring 2014. He works like a good horse at home and is always staying on in his races. He is a bit nervy but all credit to Darren who has brought him on,"
Ottery St Mary trainer Ed Walker was also in double form but his successes spanned two meetings. He sent out Swincombe Scorpio to win at Larkhill during the afternoon whilst his wife Polly was saddling Blazing Whale to take a good Men's Open at Wadebridge. Josh Newman rode a patient race on the winner, owned jointly by the trainer and Francis Read. The in-form jockey had to pull out all the stops though to hold the sustained challenge of Welstonedruid on the gruelling climb to the judge.
The Newman family also celebrated success in the Ladies' Open thanks to Sobre Tresor who was gaining his fourth win at the showground. The game ten-year-old runs in the colours of Ros Newman (grandmother of Josh), and is trained at Woolminsone, Somerset, by her daughter Chloe. Sobre Tresor gave his jockey Taylor Pook, who works for the Jack Barber yard, her fourth career winner. "He stays all day and I had to make use of his stamina," reported the 23-year-old rider who left Olympic gold medal cyclist Victoria Pendleton trailing in her wake before she pulled up on second favourite Working Title.
It was yet another case of horses for courses as previous course winners Follow The Paint and Sedgemoor Top Bid added to their previous showground victories by winning the Restricted and Confined respectively.
Jo Buck steered six-year-old mare Follow The Paint home just ahead of Sutton Storm in the Restricted. Cheered vociferously all the way up the finishing hill by her many owners, the Beefeaters, Follow The Paint became a second training success for Lydia Svensson.
Sedgemoor Top Bid just prevailed over the favourite Iron Chancellor in the Confined after a neck and neck battle from the final bend. Trained by Joe Tickle for owner Paul Mann, the eight-year-old was partnered by Lee Drowne who is attached to the Nigel Hawke stable. "Lee was riding because Jamie Thomas had to go to Larkhill today. He suits the horse and keeps him up to his work, although many of my family ride this horse out at home," related the South Molton based trainer.