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Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers
Sunday 9th March
by Lucy Johnson

POLLY Gundry’s superb season showed no sign of abating at Bucklastleigh on Sunday where she rode a treble.

Heavy showers meant the ground was soft, and stamina was required in abundance, but Rockwithacaveman proved he has plenty of that when he won his fourth race of the season after running out the six length winner of the confined.

Trained by Gundry with her partner Ed Walker near Ottery St Mary, a hunter chase could now be on the agenda for the six-year-old. Owner Robin Pike said: “I’m over the moon with him and I’m lucky to have a horse like this.”

Gundry had won the preceding Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Race on Tot of The Knar, another horse who has been unbeaten this season but there was a sad end to the race when second placed Little Word collapsed and died in the paddock having made most of the running.

Gundry’s treble, taking her to 19 for the season, came on the Mike Vanstone-trained Thoor Ballye, in the first restricted. The six-year-old is normally ridden by Will Biddick who is currently sidelined with a chipped ankle so owner Kit James asked Gundry to substitute. “She’s been a great sub. I bought this horse in Ireland off Tom Taaffe in June last year,” said James.

Emergence, trained Alan Walter, took the second restricted under a great ride from Richard Woollacott who commented: “It’s been tough today but it’s a proper point-to-point and it means jockeys have to ride with their heads.”

Jalons Star looked the comfortable winner of The Westcountry Champion Chase when holding the advantage after the last fence, and then decided the lorry park was a more interesting proposition than the winning post and veered badly left, a repeat performance of two years ago, leaving jockey Ben Robarts pushing him on in vain to finish fourth. Eventual winner Dare To Dream, taking a leaf out of Jalons Star’s book, thought the race was over too and Neil Harris threw the works at him to keep him going.

“I should think the video looks interesting. I nearly fell off before the line,” said Harris who was riding the winner for Camilla Scott’s in form yard. The race is sponsored by Totnes and Bridgetown Races who put a £1,000 into the prize money, and winning owner Anne Baker commented: “It’s a good incentive to run. “ She added: “This horse lost his confidence under Rules and we thought we’d give him a season pointing.”

Harris had earlier taken the first division of the open maiden on Roger Perry’s Jack Taxi, after coming up the outside over the final fence and holding on by a neck to beat More The Merrier who had jumped the last in the lead with She’s Alright and Chasing the Storm.

Bought at Ascot Sales last year, the gelding is the latest winner to be trained by Camilla Scott for the Perry family who also enjoyed great success with Sanderstead and Soldier of Rome.

The second division went to Ansa The Question, a Doncaster Sales purchase last year and Carl Firminger’s first winner as an owner. It was also the first win of the season for Gordon Chamber’s who team have been in great form with a strong of seconds.

The three runner members’ race was run to suit the front running Dusty Bandit who was allowed to dictate the pace and won by ten lengths under Charlie Dailley.


The Kath Bond Memorial Members: Dusty Bandit (Mr C Dailley) 1; Gunner’s Mistake (Mr D Edwards) 2; Hanna Bay (Miss A Mills) 3. 1o lengths, distance. Time 6.34.

The Winstone Pincombe Open Maiden Race Div 1: Jack’s Taxi (Mr N Harris) 1; More The Merrier (Mr J Derham) 2; She’s Alright (Mr R Woollacott) 3. Nk, 3l; 6.45.

The CM McCabe & Halls Butchers of Totnes Open Maiden Race Div 2: Ansa The Question (Mr W White) 1; Cardinal Sinn (Mr N Harris) 2; Tres Bien (Mr N Wilmington) 3. Hd, 1/2l; 6.48.

The Totnes and Bridgetown Mixed Open: Dare To Dream (Mr N Harris) 1; Balinova (Miss P Gundry) 2; Concert Pianist (Mr R Woollacott) 3. 3l, 4l; 6.37.

The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate: Tot of the Knar (Miss P Gundry) 1; Little Word (Mr S Allwood) 2; Dad Says Heazle (Mr D Edwards) 3. 8l, 6l; 6.41.

Marchand Petit Confined: Rockwithacaveman (Miss P Gundry) 1; Lisheen Storm (Mr R Woollacott) 2; Holly Walk (Mr J Cole) 3. 6l, 1l; 6.37.

The Howard Financial Services Restricted Div 1: Thoor Ballyee (Miss P Gundry) 1; De Luain Gorm (Mr W White) 2; Kings Wood (Mr D Edwards) 3. 1 1/2l, 8l; 6.45.

The Bartons Solicitors Restricted Div 2: Emergence (Mr R Woollacott) 1; Kingsmill Lake (Miss E Noszkay) 2; Sargeant Malarkey (Mr B Robarts) 3. 3.4l; 5l; 6.48.

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