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Silverton at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary
Saturday 14th April 2018
by Granville Taylor

FOXCUB lowered the colours of local favourite Dicky Bob in the Ladies' Open at the Silverton. This duo raced close together from the 15th fence before the Gloucetershire challenger Foxcub got the upper hand on the climb towards the home straight.

"He was rated 142 with his previous trainer Tom Symonds, but we got him when he had a touch of a leg and have tried to get his confidence back," said Tewkesbury based trainer Ryan Potter. The 10-year-old won a Fakenham hunter chase two months ago after two promising point-to-point runs and is likely to return to hunter chasing shortly. He was providing the trainer's partner, 23-year-old Emma Yardley with her sixth career success.

The continuing very soft ground was very much to the liking of the useful Midnight Legend mare Miss Gotaway, who ran away with the Men's Open. Will Biddick sent his mount to the front at half way and the pair went on to score unchallenged by a distance. Ed Walker trains Miss Gotaway for her owner/breeder Audrey Goodwin.

Kieren Buckley partnered his third winner of the season when Horwood Lad took the Restricted in good style. "The first time hood helped him because he had jumped badly at Kilworthy," remarked trainer Joe Tickle. The gelding's joint owner and breeder Jenny Boucher (nee Congdon) said, "I won a race on his dam Applepie Lady and still train a pointer, but this gelding has been a bit of a character so he was sent to Joe who has done well with him,"

Ann Maries Reject was a 30 lengths winner of the eight-runner Open Maiden under 25-year-old Natalie Parker. The winner had run well at Ston Easton last month, and is showing much improved form from her modest efforts under rules. She is now owned and trained at Spaxton, Somerset, by Christine Gray, whose husband Carroll said, "The mare was a gift horse to us as her previous owner got a bit despondent and nobody would take her on. She has not been easy but has done a bit of show jumping and Natalie Parker gets on well with her."

The closest finish of the day came in the Hunt race when Matt Hampton got a renewed effort out of the game veteran Blazing Bouncer to deny Ballybruff by a neck. Although he is 13-year-old, the winner has stood very little racing over the years, but had been runner-up in two of his three previous outings this year. His breeder and owner Rita Heard said with a smile, "He has never had so many outings in a season. He loves his job but had two years off at one stage".

The Exeter Racecourse Intermediate was a match. Eastern Calm (Christopher Barber) and Golander (Ben Jones) kept close company until the mare Eastern Calm strode away from her rival after the penultimate jump. Christopher Barber was recording his third winner of the season on this progressive mare, trained by Stuart Sampson for the Pidsley family.

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