SPOONERS AND WEST DARTMOOR
SUNDAY 4 APRIL 2004
by Lee Glanville
Rain the previous day and fine weather for the
races brought out both runners and
spectators to enjoy the picturesque Cherrybrook course where close
finishes were the order of the day.
A blanket finish in the confined meant the commentator had to wait for the judge's verdict before calling the winner - Simon Partridge on the grey 13 year old Knock Star who just got up by a short head from Mandy Hand on Karadin. Youngest horse in the race was third placed Bak On Board, 8, (Lucy Gardner) who was just a neck further behind.
There had also been less than a length between the two horses contesting the members' race, Richard Kelvin Hughes' Little Native (Polly Gundry) just getting the shout over Eric Wonnacott's Elegant Light (Neil Harris).
Two horses battled out the closing stages of the Restricted, neck and neck over the last two fences. Cornish trained Rare Gem ( Tabitha Cave) followed up his win on the neighbouring Kilworthy course two weeks ago by finishing half a length up on Mystic Warrior (Leslie Jefford). Tim Dennis was third on Change but had a poor finish to his day when the handbrake jammed on his lorry and he had to get lifts home for both himself and his horses.
Mary McCarthy is having a great season and capped it with a commanding win in the Mixed Open, on the Nicky Frost-trained Sandy Duff, beating Bengal Bullet who took runner up berth for the third time this season and was probably beaten by the rainfall on Saturday, as much as the winner. It was good to see previous multiple winner Longstone Lad back in the places for the Rawle family.
Harry Fry had watched his 16-year-old brother George in action in the open, and then followed up with an impressive win the novice riders' race on Simply Sam and the elder sibling stands every chance of taking the novice title this year. Carefree Love (Will White) stayed on well to take second in the closing stages. White was second in the following race, the older horses' maiden, which went to Leslie Jefford on Black A Brook, who improved on all previous form to beat On His Toes by one and a half lengths.
Gunners Mistake has done everything but win, placed in six of the last seven outings, but finally broke his duck for Colin Heard in the younger horses Maiden. Second placed Sound Sense (James Young) has also been knocking on the door and must surely win soon.
Members: 1, Members: 1, Little Native, Miss P Gundry; 2, Elegant Light, N Harris. Two ran, 3/4l, 6.40.
Restricted: 1, Rare Gem, Miss T Cave; 2, Mystic Warrior, L Jefford; 3, Change, T Dennis. 13 ran, 2 1/2l, 8l, 6.17.
Mixed Open: 1, Sandy Duff, Miss M McCarthy; 2, Bengal Bullet, A Charles Jones; 3, Longstone Lad, R Woollacott. Eight ran, 10l, dist, 6.12.
Confined: 1, Knock Star, S Partridge; 2, Karadin, Mrs M Hand; 3, Bak On Board, Miss L Gardner. Nine ran, sh,nk,6.18.
Novice Riders Intermediate: 1, Simply Sam, H Fry; 2, Carefree Love, W White; 3, Carling Elect, Miss L Hawkings. Eight ran, 5l, dist, 6.22.
Maiden 8yo and up: 1, Black A Brook, L Jefford; 2, On his Toes, W White; 3, Cappa Hill, Miss P Gundry. 11 ran, 1 1/2l, dist, 6.26.
Confined Maiden, 5,6,7yo: 1, Gunners Mistake, C Heard; 2, Sound Sense, J Young; 3, Whats Up Maid, M Munrowd. Seven ran, 15l, dist, 6.33.