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Saturday 15th March 2008

by Granville Taylor

THE Western meeting featured a first ever treble for Will Biddick and a first ever double for the popular Tavistock-based rider Jimmy Cole.

Heavy going meant stamina sapping ground at Wadebridge but this proved little inconvenience for the promising Ballybrown, who initiated Biddick’s hat trick with a comfortable success in the Intermediate. Ballybrown’s trainer Becky Kennen said that her charge “needed to gain his confidence and would have benefited from this”. He may be aimed at the final of this series at Exeter.

Biddick was left clear on the imposing grey Hollandia to win the Restricted when Captain Machell departed at the penultimate. Owner/trainer Mary Sanderson has her eye on a novice hunter chase for the seven-year-old, who was bought at Doncaster sales last May out of Henrietta Knight’s yard.

The Open Maiden was divided on the day due to safety grounds and Biddick rode a confident waiting race on Arvakur, who was followed home by Cantcallhertrigger and Sigford’s Way. 21-year-old Biddick was riding with an ankle heavily strapped up. “I had five stitches in my lip and have had a lot of physio for my ankle which was bruised and sprained in a fall at Ottery two weeks ago,” said the successful jockey.

Jimmy Cole initiated his double on his own mare Holly Walk in the Confined before steering home Miles Pengelly’s Doof to win the Men’s Open at the expense of the disappointing Sea Snipe. “Holly Walk’s long term objective is a Cheltenham hunter chase in May,” said the elated Cole. Doof’s connections nominated a hunter chase at Exeter for this game little gelding’s next outing.

Ankle injuries were definitely in fashion last weekend. Leading lady jockey Polly Gundry had chipped a bone in her right ankle at the Cheltenham festival last week, but was in attendance to help her partner Ed Walker saddle Arvakur and the Ladies’ winner Dr Cerullo. Polly had to miss these winning rides, but 19-year-old Jenny Carr, who works in the yard, deputised in good style on Dr Cerullo, who pulled away from runner up Tsar’s Twist four out.

Lucy Gardner had been denied on Tsar’s Twist, but Paul Tylor’s home bred Mr Woodrow gave Lucy her sixth winner of the season in one of the divided maidens. The winner was being pressed by the favourite Stillhertoes (Richard Woollacott) when the latter capsized at the second last.

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