by Fred Sampson
(of Equestrian Cornwall -

From Badbury Rings we travelled down and stayed near Black Forest Lodge overnight before then travelling onto Great Trethew for the first race at 1pm.  We didn’t bother to walk the course as it was obvious it would be a painful exercise as the car park wheel ruts from the previous meeting here were rock hard so there was no reason to expect the course to be any different.  

There were only twenty-four runners in five races, the other two races being walkovers and talking to trainers/owners, this was due to the state of the course.  I think the fact that we have not had rain for over three weeks accounts for most of the problem. 

The Sue Young ridden MOORLAND ROSE ‘walked over’ in The Cornish Times East Cornwall Hunt Members’, Subscribers’ and Farmers’ Race and The Ginsters Men’s Open Race was ‘walked over’ by C Lawrence’s SQUADDIE. 

Eight went to post in The Duralock Open Maiden Race over 2.5 miles.  The best turned out, the Roberts’s CHAPNERS CROSS (L Jefford) was reported waiting for firmer going so today had to be his day.   I chose Mandy Hand riding Ross Oliver’s ACTING TOUGH who also has been waiting for firmer going as she went very well at Wadebridge at the Western meeting when the going was about ‘better than good’.  Whilst these two horses have not collected much form, it is true to say that none of the others have either.  After the first circuit most horses had settled a bit after being quite erratic at the start.  Mr Heuff riding his own SAMARAKAND had the lead as they passed the judge with a circuit to go with about five horses in a bunch behind him.  Mrs Nicholls’s  JUST FABLE (T Cave) and CHAPNERS CROSS being the most prominent.  Ross Oliver’s other entry McCLOUD  (C Dalley) was pulled up. ACTING TOUGH was being held up in rear at this stage.  Dawn Power’s DRUMDARI (R Darke) was pulled up a little later and C Lawrence’s DAMMITU (A Middleton) was tailed off.  Paul Tylor’s MENANTOL (R Emmett) was now being pushed up as was my ACTING TOUGH.  As they reached the top of the hill and commence the run down to the second last it was CHAPNERS CROSS, ACTING TOUGH  and MENANTOL racing together.  On the line it was the judges decision as to who had won – me or CHAPNERS CROSS.  Unfortunately ACTING TOUGH was placed second by a head, with MENANTOL third, a further length back.  Poor form but it was a reasonable race in a reasonable time under reasonable conditions. 

Lucy Gardner was in cracking form again and brought home Terry Long’s BALDHU CHANCE to a two length win over the improving John Weldhen’s DARK CHALLENGER (M Hand) in The Downderry Construction Ladies’ Open Race and she went on to clock up another win for Aunty when COUNTY BASH came home ten lengths ahead of any other horse in The Who’d Have Thought It Inn Restricted Race.  I liked this race as I had punted on K Lawrence bringing in her DRUMBANES PET to second place behind COUNTY BASH.  It came off and at a price of ten to one.  Happy Fred now! 

I remembered The Ansell Partnerships MISTER CONE skipping a little or at least changing legs too often at Cherrybrook last week so I thought he would find it difficult to do that on this surface so he would have to run.  He carried my money in The Dawe Hawken & Dodd Confined Hunts Maiden Race and got me out of debt with a very close finish being only a short head in front of Richard Darke onboard Mr Stanton’s WARNING BOARD and Tabitha Cave just half a length further back on Miss Kelley’s BOWLING ON. 

The Mattes Equestrian Intermediate Race was contested by only three runners and of them only two finished.  Sam Holdsworth riding the ‘best turned out’ Mrs Berwick’s YOUNG GENERAL came home six lengths in front of Mrs Lawrence’s NATTIE ridden by Tony Middleton. 

This is a very short report for me but without terrier racing and a parade of hounds and two walk overs I am finding it hard to be constructive about this meeting but if it doesn’t rain, the ground goes hard and then trainers will not advise running on it!  Quite simple really! 

Here’s hoping for better next weekend; we will be at The Dartmoor Foxhounds at Flete Park followed by The Eggesford Hunt meeting at Lifton and please can we see hounds paraded?  Please?

Cheers  Fred & Ruth