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Sunday 14th May 2006

by Lucy Johnson

Coral Bay ’s convincing victory in the Restricted provided the most fitting result at Trebudannon, writes Granville Taylor. The eight-year-old gelding was running for the executors of the late John Weldhen, whose death early this year robbed West Country point-to-pointing of one of its staunchest supporters over the years.

John built the Trebudannon course on his farm and this picturesque venue has become established as one of the best local tracks since it was first used six years ago. “Father never had a winner on his own course” said his son Rundle after Coral Bay’s success, and the family received a warm reception as Coral Bay, the mount of Will Biddick, was led in.

Lucy Gardner has ridden more winners at the track than any other jockey and added another couple on Sunday in between another bone crushing fall. Tyre Hill Lilly gave her an armchair ride when following up last month’s course win in the Confined. “She found an extra gear today and felt better than ever” said Lucy of the consistent nine year old.

Lucy’s double was completed by Mr Lehman in the second division of the Maiden. Lucinda Tylor’s seven year old was never headed and drew away from Roy My Boy in the home straight to win comfortably by five lengths.

The downside of this game was well illustrated in the first Maiden. On this occasion Lucy brought her mount Lady Purton to challenge the long time leader Ballyclare on the home bend, but the 5 year old, making only her second race course appearance, got very tired in the home straight and suffered a crashing fall at the last when chasing the leader. The mare and her jockey lay prostrate for some time, but fortunately there was no lasting damage. The eventual winner Ballyclare, an improving five year old, was bought by his owner Lady Earle at Doncaster last November, and was the 12 th winner of the season for his trainer Emely Thompson. Jockey Richard Woollacott was capping a fine weekend, having notched a double at Holnicote on the previous day.

The Open races produced small fields. In the Men’s event, 14 year old Springford made all the running in the hands of Dominic Alers-Hankey, easily holding Martin House and Baldhu Jay Arr. Only two went to post for the Ladies’ where Let’s Fly and Polly Gundry proved too good for Grey Ciseaux. Ross Oliver’s Let’s Fly loves this track and has now won at all three Trebudannon meetings this year.

Marilyn Scudamore brought Selassie on a four hours journey from Herefordshire to take the Novice Riders Intermediate. Yet another odds on favourite to succeed (five won during the afternoon), Selassie led from the fifth fence to give Charlie Wallis his 2 nd point-to-point winner of the season to add to his winner under rules for Martin Pipe. The 19 year old was recommended to Mrs Scudamore by her son Tom, who of course is associated with the stable now operated by David Pipe.

Queen Boudicca failed to justify her odds on status in the Hunt race. The mare continually jumped to the right until ducking out at the 6 th obstacle, leaving sole rival Lago Di Levico to land the spoils under Lee Rowe. The winner was giving owners Geoffrey and Amanda Wood their first success with the first racehorse they have owned and trained. The gelding, who had won on the flat and over hurdles in his younger days, was bought at Ascot sales last November.


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