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by Lucy Johnson

A huge crowd turned out to enjoy some superb action at Wadebridge on Saturday where rousing finishes were the order of the day.

The confined kicked off racing where Lucy Gardner, who enjoyed a terrific win under Rules at Exeter last Tuesday, rode a well-timed race on Tsars Twist to win by half a length from the consistent Nditlir and Sporting Chance.

Lucy was back in the winners’ enclosure after the third division of the maiden, this time to congratulate her older brother Tom, 25, who was booting home the first winner of his racing career. Tom, who works as a builder, enjoyed considerable success jumping ponies but then gave up riding for several years. However, 18 months ago, he took up the reigns again and was a stylish winner aboard Limogos whose easy win was helped by the early exits of market leaders Merlin Meg and Dreaming Away.

Limogos could well progress. He’s a half brother to the prolific Limerick Boy and was purchased two years ago at Doncaster Sales. A year turned away in field appears to have worked the magic on the well bred six-year-old.

Another jockey to record his first success was Ben Robarts who looked good aboard Jalons Star when pushing him to a length victory from the veteran campaigner Polar Champ, who was giving the winner seven pounds. Robarts, 26, works for the winning trainer Nikki Frost at Buckfastleigh in South Devon and has been riding for just three years. He said Grand National winning jockey Jimmy Frost has been his mentor.

Robarts is no stranger to getting into the thick of it, having played county level rugby for Somerset.

Frost had earlier scored with Sandy Duff who looked as good as ever under Mary McCarthy in the ladies’.

Owner/breeder Sarah Faulks was delighted with the performance of Beachtime after he won the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate. Mrs Faulks, who trains at Bishops Nympton, said Beachtime had plenty of ability but was “frustrating” at times, as he doesn’t always try.

Charlotte Tizzard, who was recording her fifth winner this term, had the ten-year-old in from two fences from home and kept the gelding up to his work to hold off the challenge of Katies Hero by two lengths.

In division one of the maiden Jockeys Neil Harris and Guy Weatherly threw the works at Maxou Des Brosses and Commercial Express respectively with the former getting up to score by a length in the most thrilling finish of the day. The winner is trained by Keith Cumings at Bishops Nympton and has benefited under the tutelage of former leading lady rider Jo Davies (nee Cumings) as well as Harris who has given the six-year-old plenty of schooling. Jo explained: “He has an incredible jump but he had to learn to settle and respect his fences. He must have jumped 50 fences during the past three weeks and he has hunted and hunter trialed.”

The French-bred six-year-old is owned by Geoffrey and Kate Brown from West Anstey who have enjoyed success in the past when they have been part of syndicates.

Weatherley gained compensation in the following maiden division when he worked hard on Thirtytwo Red, trained by Ollie Jackson at Culmstock, to get him up by a head on the line from Tim Dennis on Jaunty Janner.

Innocent Rebel followed his maiden win at Great Trethew with an easy win in the restricted under Colin Heard who trains the exciting prospect with his wife Karyn at Boscastle.

Next Sunday’s meeting takes place at the Old Racecourse, Buckfastleigh with the first race off at 1pm.

Western at Wadebridge results

Atlantic Motors Confined: Tsars Twist (Miss L Gardner) 1; Nditlir (Mr C Heard) 2; Sporting Chance (Mr M Munrowd) 3. Trainer: Miss L Gardner, distances: ½ length, 2 lengths, time: 6.03.

St Erth Motors Ladies Open: Sandy Duff (Miss M McCarthy) 1; Grey Ciseaux (Miss L Gardner) 2; Virgos Bambino (Miss S Gaisford) 3. Mrs N Frost, 10l, 2l, 6.05.

Exeter Racecourse Intermediate: Beachtime (Miss C Tizzard) 1; Katies Hero (Mr R Darke) 2; Off The Hook (Mr I Hambley) 3. Mrs S Faulkes, 2l, ½ l, 6.14.

Open Maiden Div I: Maxou Des Brosses (Mr N Harris) 1; Commercial Express (Mr G Weatherly) 2; Amarula (Miss L Tickle) 3. Mr K Cumings, 1l, 3l, 6.23.

Open Maiden Div II: Thirtytwo Red (Mr G Weatherley) 1; Jaunty Janner (Mr T Dennis) 2; Elegant Accord (Mr W Biddick) 3. Mrs O Jackson, hd, 1 ½ l, 6.25

Open Maiden Div 111: Limogos (Mr T Gardner); Embercombe (Mr J Snowden) 2; Bellas Man (Miss J Congdon). Miss L Gardner. 5l, 3l, 6.24.

Men’s Open: Jalons Star (Mr B Robarts) 1; Polar Champ (Mr G Weatherly) 2; Knighton Coombe (Mr J Snowden) 3. Mrs N Frost. 1l, 4l, 6.04.

Restricted: Innocent Rebel (Mr C Heard); Soldier of Rome (Mr N Harris); Coral Bay (Mr W Biddick). Colin and Karyn Heard, 2l, 4l, 6.11.

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