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Spooners & West Dartmoor at Cherrybrook
Sunday 8th April 2018
by Granville Taylor

DICKY BOB won the Hunt race for the fourth successive year at Cherrybrook, but this time the locally trained grey met with no opposition in his favourite race and only had to walk over to claim the prize.

His day was not over however, and Verity Nicholls promptly declared her gelding for the Mixed Open, again ridden by Rex Dingle. This time he met with five opponents, but an emphatic 25 lengths success over Mic's Delight showed his well being and liking for this course. "I don't have any plans for him but he could possibly go for a hunter chase," explained his delighted owner/trainer.

David Prichard landed a double thanks to Tamarstone and Ballybane.each saddled by Claire Harris who holds the pointing licence for the Kayley Woollacott yard. Tamarstone's 26-year-old jockey David Prichard was left clear at the last fence in the four to six-year-olds Maiden, as nearest challenger Minimalistic (Tom Chanin) overjumped and fell. The winner, owned jointly by Royston Britton, John Gardener and Peter Wade, is a half brother to former prolific winning pointing mare Lucette Annie.

Ballybane retained his unbeaten record for the season, fending off course specialist It's All Or Nothing and Heaney to win the Confined. "He will have a bit of a break now and we may aim him at the Intermediate hunter chase final at Cheltenham, said owner Melanie Dixon.

Jo Supple had to settle for second place on It's All Or Nothing in the Confined, but had earlier steered the ex-Irish pointer Newlands Cross to a 15 lengths success over Mountain Las in the Open Maiden. This six-year-old is owned and trained by Culmstock bloodstock agent Tom Malone, who should have no trouble finding a buyer for this sturdy six-year-old by Stowaway

Honest Deed followed up his recent Kilworthy success under Darren Edwards in the Intermediate at the expense of front running Prince of Poets. "I thought I had gone too early. He is a nice little horse who travelled and jumped well and would want better ground," said the jockey, who was partnering his ninth winner of the season.

The Restricted saw jockey Josh Newman rewarded for his 114 miles dash from the meeting at Badbury Rings with a 12 lengths victory on Ed Walker's progressive mare Wind Tor. The jockey had finished runner-up on his mount at the Dorset track, but a positive ride on Wind Tor ended his afternoon on a high note.

Herculean efforts by the organisers, and the welcome support of the landowners allowed this fixture to defy the recent bad weather. A good sized crowd enjoyed warm Dartmoor sunshine, but it was heavy going both on the track and in the car parks.

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