JOCKEYS Josh Guerriero and Jo Buck carried all before them at the Stevenstone meeting. Josh Guerriero’s six rides yielded four winners and a second – his first four-timer and Jo Buck achieved her first double.
Although only four went to post for the Confined, the race was not without drama. Odds-on favourite Doof led until a horrendous blunder at the 12th fence virtually shot Jo Buck out of the saddle. She lost her irons and in the process cannoned into Josh Guerriero’s mount Arctic Sky. Jo had to pull up before the next fence on Doof, but Arctic Sky went merrily on his way until headed by the outsider Madgik de Beaumont round the top bend. Just as the latter looked like giving James Ford his first winner, his mount blundered and shot him out of the saddle at the third last fence. With no more hitches Arctic Sky got home with 12 lengths to spare over Mr Alfie. 13-year-old Arctic Sky is owned by Norma Sellman and is trained by Mike Vanstone, who commented that, “he loves top of the ground and will probably go for his Members’ race next”.
It was much easier for Guerriero on Bafaluto, who won the Intermediate in good style wearing a first time visor, but the in-form rider had to work much harder on the veteran Jaunty Janner to take the Mixed Open. The winner has been a grand servant to his owner / breeder David Congdon who said, “He loves this course and is much better on fast ground”. Verity Lock trains the 14-year-old gelding at Yelverton.
21-year-old Josh Guerriero, who works for NH trainer Victor Dartnall, had started his day to remember with a cool ride on the favourite The Patriarch Game in the Members’. Joe Tickle immediately set up a long lead on Lulumar, and was a fence ahead just after half way, but Guerriero brought the Tim Dennis trained The Patriarch Game with a well timed challenge to hit the front between the last two fences.
Lydford based trainer Pauline Geering, who saddled Bafaluto, was also on the mark with Deimne in the Restricted. Jo Buck was content to sit in behind her rivals until unleashing a challenge at the penultimate fence. In a good finish Deimne got the better of Portrait Games and Rocklyn. Bought for only £700 at Ascot last October, Deimne was following up her recent Trebudannon win and seemed to appreciate the quicker ground.
Jo Buck completed her double on the four-year-old filly Lizzy’s Lass in the final race of the day. The race developed into a contest between the favourite Lizzy’s Lass and Moonchrome (Josh Guerriero). This was one for the Ladies’ however, and Lizzy’s Lass stayed on well to win by five lengths. “She is a really lovely filly and I think a lot of her”, said the successful rider. Lisa Jefford bought the filly at Ascot sales last June and she is trained on behalf of a small syndicate by her husband Leslie.