Cornwall Hunt Club at The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge by Granville Taylor
A healthy total of 54 runners contested seven races on a blustery day with the wind turbines on the surrounding hills waving furiously at the Cornwall Club fixture at the Royal Cornwall Showground.
On going described as near perfect by jockeys, and before one of the biggest crowds I have seen at Wadebridge, seven times National champion Will Biddick took the riding honours with a treble. The Truro born rider however had an early chance to test the ground when dumped by his mount Safe Harbour at the second fence in the Ice Cream Parlour Port Issac Maiden race which had to be divided on the day.
Seven-year-old Evron finally earned some ice cream money in the first Maiden section as Josh Newman eased his mount into the lead close home to deny Transition Period. Starting 6-4 favourite, the ex-French gelding is jointly owned by his jockey and Kayley Woollacott, who said, "We will keep him pointing now as he really enjoys it. My sister Steph hunts him and does fun rides with him."
Will Biddick bounced back to win the second Maiden section in good style as the well backed Escapeandevade strode clear of his eight rivals up the finishing climb. A strong Westerner gelding, the winner is owned and trained by Taunton bloodstock agent Tom Malone, who does what his day job requires by showing his five-year-old off to the best effect on the track. " I bought him at Goffs after he had run second in an Irish point He is for sale and will make a good staying chaser. There are more and more English pointers going on under rules nowadays," remarked the successful trainer.
Truckers Pass completed a double for the Malone / Biddick combination with a very easy success in the Lodge and Thomas sponsored Restricted. This time the owner/trainer didn't need to add any superlatives as his seven-year-old was impressive in holding the challenge of Stratford bumper winner Fountains Chief. He said, "He is a lovely horse, gaining confidence, and can go back under rules on a good mark."
Will Biddick had to work harder to take the Exeter Racecouse Intermediate as eight-year-old Voie Dans Voie just got the better of a sustained struggle with heavily backed LlangeinorPentyrch qualified Post No Bills. The winner had won his Maiden at this corresponding fixture two years ago and is now in the care of Alan Hill, who was busy saddling winners at Charing. Joe Hill was on duty after his four hour journey to Wadebridge and reported, "I am delighted for the owners who have supported dad for years. He had cheek pieces for the first time and his jumping won him the game. He could go for another point-to-point before hunter chasing."
A double for the Hill stable was narrowly denied in the R & J Trevarthen Ltd Men's Open, as the useful veteran pointer Sir Mangan, ridden by last season's Novice Rider champion Ben Sutton, was just held by fellow veteran Sykes in the hands of Darren Edwards. Once rated 147, and a six times winner under rules, Sykes had begun his career with a Maiden point to point victory under today's rider and in the same colours on the showground as a five-year-old. He was described by his jockey as, "very honest". Sykes is obviously the apple of owner / trainer Nikki Martin's eyes. Now based at Withypool on Exmoor, she said, " I am delighted as he has come full circle. He loves his job and leads the babies at home."
Another formerly useful NH performer Quite By Chance gave Lauren Reed her second career winner with a good round of jumping at the expense of Nikki Steel (Anna Hylands) and Quinto (Holly-Anne Drowne) in the Moores and Wenn Ltd Ladies' Open. Based with the winner's trainer Stuart Sampson at Culmstock, the successful rider explained, "I rode a winner in 2019 but missed a season with a shoulder injury". 12-year-old Quite By Chance, described by his trainer as, "One of the nicest horses I have ever had," had gained five chase wins in his time and went close to beating Frodon at Cheltenham in his younger days.
Moratorium followed up his Dunsmore success under a very confident ride by Nathan Green. The young rider, looking for his second winner on only his third ride, was content to sit behind his six rivals in the Tinkers Catering Conditions race until unleashing his willing mount up the finishing hill to collar The Roestone.
The next meeting at Wadebridge is the North Cornwall on January 9th. Live streaming from the Devon & Cornwall team will again be provided.