What a great difference some good weather makes; increased
amount of ‘Hellos’, many more smiles, a lot less clothing to carry
around and no need of the ‘wellies’.
Buckfastleigh Racecourse looked super from the main road and was just as
good when we parked the car along with other regular ‘goers’.
Good chat, reliable form, and ‘sure thing tips’ abounded. All set for some good racing.
Believe it or not, that first paragraph was copied from last
years report. As this year it
was exactly the same it was a case of ‘if its not broke why mend it!’
Lovely weather is a bonus at all Point to Points and we have not
had too much of it lately. It’s all changed now and for the remainder of the season,
the sun will shine.
A meeting which includes a parade of stallions, a parade of
hounds, seven well-contested races and an informative race card all go to
making a very successful programme and that is exactly what it was.
Our addition to the family for the day, young Jade, managed to pick
two winners and a second, Ruth managed to do exactly the same and I did a
little bit better but due to the man I invested with not giving me very
good odds, not a lot of money changed hands.
In The Agriwise Members’, Farmers’ and Subscribers’
Race, five went to post to provide a very competitive race. Jacqueline Malone took the Best Turned Out prize for her
charge Mrs G Andrews BUCK LOCK (C Sharkey).
This horse looked the part for me so I invested.
A very good price was obtained as others preferred to concentrate
on Mr T Whitley’s SWINCOMBE (Tabitha Cave) who won this race last year
(incidentally won me some money as well), along with Mrs R Welch & Mrs
D Treneer’s BOMBA CHARGER (S Holdsworth) and Mr D Williams’s WELL
ARMED (A Farrant). I was kept very busy during this race, watching my
horse and jockey to see what they would do next. One minute jumping well, one minute on the track, next minute
ran out, next minute jockey looking like he was riding side saddle for a
change and the next time he, BUCK LOCK, came past me I searched but could
not see a jockey at all. Ah!
well, put it down to experience but watch this horse, he will repay me and
in the not too distant future. I
do hope Gordon (Chambers) gets to read this!
SWINCOMBE superbly ridden by Tabitha Cave took hold of the race in
the final stages and went on to win by 3 lengths from WELL ARMED who was
10 lengths up on BOMBA CHARGER, in a time of 6 minutes 23 secs.
The Totnes and Bridgetown Men’s Open Race consisted of 12
runners and I decided not to follow the previous system of choosing the
Best Turned Out for my investment although I must say Rebecca Holmes duly
deserved the credit for the way Mr M Holmes’s SHOTLEY AGAIN (Michael
Holmes) paraded. My choice
this time was easy, as I had seen the jointly owned FANFARON (L Jefford)
come second to Escartefigue at Chipley Park and although I was favoured by
Mr R Rawle’s LONGSTONE LAD also at Chipley Park, I chose FANFARON to
carry my hard earned shillings. I’ve
recently picked up a little by picking daffodils for local growers
and I turned an in-lamb ewe over the other day for which the farmer gave
me a small tip, which was being carried in a very small wallet so I
drew it all out and on it went. Mrs
J Miller’s MISS O’GRADY (M Miller) was going to be a threat but then
from my experiences of Men’s Open Races lately, they are very
competitive races anyway so its time to cross anything that will cross,
and enjoy the race. My choice
is a classy individual and did the correct thing and caused me no worries
whatsoever. I remember
Charles Egerton and Normal Williamson once spoke very highly of this
individual but never so much praise was heaped on a horse as this one,
FANFARON, as he passed the post 15 lengths in front of MISS O’GRADY, the
Lets Get It On Club’s DARAYDAN (A Farrant) 15 lengths away in third.
Off to collect a nice little earner but the price was not very
exciting. This was the
fastest time of the day (6m 13 secs), even faster than the Ladies Open!
The Ham & Huddy (Confined Hunts) Maiden Race is for
horses aged five, six and seven years old only and brought out a field of
ten runners. It was good to
see Mr G Roach’s colours in the paddock again but how did the
‘bookies’ know this was an odds-on shot that he had brought to the
meeting when he hasn’t raced before?
Yes, the breeding is one to be very proud of, a lovely Dad, and Mum
was no slouch but then he has to travel three miles and jump fences and
not be brought down by others etc. I
joined fellow punters and took good odds about P Phillips’s blinkered
MALIAN (L Jefford), and took no notice of the odds-on BOLT ACTION (T
Dennis) from Mr Roach’s stable. It
was a good race run in a time of 6 minutes 27 seconds and was won by the
odds-on shot BOLT ACTION, but those investors who took the skinny odds
must have had a nervous shock at the last fence when our well bred little
horse decided only at the last minute to clear the fence and not dive out.
So it can happen, even to the best but it didn’t and some people
collected a little. My choice
came in fourth so I collected nothing but Mr & Mrs A Heywood’s
SHRILANKA (A Middleton) second and Mrs L Edwards & Mr P Warren’s VAL
MAN (R Darke), third both ran good races and will be closely watched.
As for MALIAN, well I will remember him because – ‘he owes
Two divisions of Restricted Races followed and my associates
chose Mrs K Nicholas’s (L Jefford) HAPPY TEAM to win Division One, which
she duly did by just a head from my selection, Mr R Rawle’s YOUMEANDHIM
(R Wollacott) with four lengths back Mr M Lethbridges BYMYSIDE (A Barnett)
in third. Why didn’t I
follow Jade who liked the royal blue with gold sleeves and a red and blue-hooped
cap? Never mind I enjoyed the
contest and will do better in future.
The second division sponsored by C R Wilcocks & Co Ltd/Merlo
UK Ltd was another closely contested race with Mssrs J Sheppard, W Rayner
& P Curling’s POSH AS YOU LIKE (C Heard) getting home a length in
front of Mrs S Batchelors DAMIENS PRIDE (T Dennis) with my selection, Mrs
G Brakes’s FATHER JIM (N Harris) being brought into third place.
No one picked up here but we must be a little stupid as I had been
in touch (e-mail) with one of the part owners only on Friday and did not
think to probe for a little information.
Now that’s how the ‘bookies’ know and I don’t; they would
have asked where I was a little shy!!
Next time Will - stand by!
I had been looking forward to The Western Morning News &
Devon Today Ladies Race as I was sure to pick-up. I saw the runners yesterday and was positive that if my horse
ran – he would win. No not
a racing certainty but the nearest I will get to it.
He was in the paddock so strictly business from here on in!
How much? What if he doesn’t run so well?
Different jockey from last time!
Won this race last year with this jockey!
On it all goes! Most
of it is in ten pence pieces as it s the electric meter money again and
some came from a new source – I have fitted a meter to the washing
machine and dryer so there was a little in that tin.
Only after I took my computer record of the total investment and
the total return (if I won!) did I see ‘blinkers’ were on Miss S
Samworth’s GAROLO. Now did
he run in blinkers before? Has he been paying attention or has he been
looking around I ask myself? Too
late, it’s on! Twelve went to post. After
a complete circuit I had carved a pit into the turf underneath me as I
jumped every fence with GAROLO but my investment was travelling well in mid
division. (That means not in the first two and certainly not
last.) Safely past me on the
second circuit and at the open ditch for the final time there was a faller
– in fact two fallers, I being one of them as I tripped over the tow bar
of the ice cream van which was behind me when the race started – the
other faller could not be identified and it was minutes, or at least it
seemed like it, before I became aware that it was not GAROLO.
It was a great thrill when down the back straight on the final
circuit, my investment started to make a sensible move and was closing on
the leaders. Polly Gundry was
going well on Mr R Kelvin-Hughes’s HOBBY CYR, the Young Family’s SAINT
JOSEPH still travelling well. Ollie
Green on Mr B Kilpatricks SLEW MAN now making a move – at this point I
am told to ‘shut up’ by more than one person as they informed me that
neither the horse nor jockey could hear me yet!
I had different ideas! The
second fence from home saw three horses in the air together and all
looking if they could win but surely no – not at this stage will GAROLO
let me down!! Then the lovely
tones of the commentator informed me that my horse had ‘taken it up’
and was a length in front. Only
one more fence! Now I have
seen disasters at this fence before but surely not this time – GAROLO in
sight, in front and UP – whoopee – over in fine style but now HOBBY
CYR was still being pushed by Polly but not to worry GAROLO cannot be
caught now and – well I told you – it was all so easy really!
There was another race but I had to stay next to my case as
it was bulging, well - not quite. The Farriers Confined Hunts Maiden Race
for horses aged 8 years and over was won by Miss L Cole’s FROG STREET (L
Jefford) by four lengths from Mr M Sweetland’s JOHN ROBIN (M Sweetland)
with Mrs Kitttow’s ROSALEE ROYALE (R Woolacott) third.
We did not invest in this race because of no room left in the bag
for rewards but JOHN ROBIN please win soon.
ROSALEE ROYALE definitely will!
Congratulation to Les Jefford on a neat little treble and not
one winner from Mr Pipe’s stable – that is unusual!
A lovely day out, in grand company and only one complaint - a
pity all the loudspeakers faced up the hill with none facing the
spectators in the centre of the course.
There were twelve of them after all, speakers I mean!
Next week its Minehead Harriers and West Somerset at
Holnicote and on Sunday its East Cornwall Foxhounds at Great Trethew.
We are onto a good thing; you could be too if you go POINT TO
All the best
Fred, Ruth & Jade