Everything was running like clockwork for Exeter’s second meeting behind closed doors. The owners had the bulk of the course in the right and proper manner, with a big screen to watch the racing on too. They weren’t the only people trying to watch it though. The two security guys told me that they were keeping an eye out for a cheeky chappie who had been spotted trying to film the racing from the big screen from over the perimeter fence. It appeared that they had thwarted the rascal as they set off for the first.
12:40 – Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Div 1) (Class 5) (3YO plus) 2m 2½f
Last week I was lucky enough to be at Hereford when Sheila Lewis saddled a treble. Her charge Knight Commander, one of the three winners there, was morning favourite today. The jockey on the gelding was Miss Katie Powell claiming 7lb having her first race as a jockey. For much of the heat it looked as if champion point to point rider Will Biddick was going to make all on Vexed. It wasn’t to be, his mount went from going well to finding nothing in a matter of strides. Knight Commander had been running on nicely, jumped the last upsides and went on to win nicely. There were tremendous scenes as the combination passed the post. Katie’s parents, kindly given the owners’ badges for the day, were besides themselves with joy, as was the trainer.
Talking after the race Katie Powell said that it had all happened so quickly, she was blown away and all down to the horse which did it all. She went on to say she rides him every morning and had been delighted to get to do so in a race. She added that she’d been with Sheila Lewis for two years, when asked what she put her recent great form down to she said it was simply ‘happy horses’. Happy jockey too, well done Katie, a day to remember. The winner, sent off 11/4 was the only loser in the office’s book but it’s not always about betting is it?
Casper’s Court won the next under Joshua Newman for the Kayley Woollacott yard. She said that the gelding had been working well at home and benefited from a small wind op and the first time he’d had decent ground. The winner returned 3/1, when asked if she’d been hopeful or confident she replied that someone had backed her winner but it wasn’t her. They didn’t back it with Star Sports either, the race was light on betting with the winner of the race a winner in the book too.
1:10 – Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Div 2) (Class 5) (3YO plus) 2m 2½f
Shantou Express justified odds of 1/5 when winning unchallenged for Kim Bailey under David Bass. Philip Hobbs’ Kanukankan was still upsides when coming down at the second last but judges tell me he’d have been no match for the winner even had he stood up. Time will tell. The winner was highlighted in this morning’s Market Movers but I’m sure we’d get a gold star for crowing about an long odds-on shot.
1:40 – Watch On RacingTV Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 4) (4YO plus) 2m 1f
Oscar’s Moonshine won the next very easily under Harry Cobden for Paul Nicholls. That’s not to say that the runner-up Umndeni didn’t have a real good go at giving the jolly a race, but ultimately it was futile. Speaking after his victory Harry Cobden said that his mount had learned a bit from his last run but was still a bit novicey. He added that as this was his first time over 3 miles he took his time and got into a rhythm and that he did it well but reiterated that he was still a young green horse. As you might guess it wasn’t good news in the office, the winner, as with the previous, had been included in a lot of multiples as well as attracting bets of £800 – £1200 and £400 – £600.
2:15 – Free Entry With RacingTV Club Days Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m 7f
Oscar’s Moonshine won the next very easily under Harry Cobden for Paul Nicholls. That’s not to say that the runner-up Umndeni didn’t have a real good go at giving the jolly a race, but ultimately it was futile. Speaking after his victory Harry Cobden said that his mount had learned a bit from his last run but was still a bit novicey. He added that as is his first time over 3 miles he took his time and got into a rhythm and that he did it well but reiterated that he was still a young green horse. As you might guess it wasn’t good news in the office, the winner, as with the previous, had been included in a lot of multiples as well as attracting bets of £800 – £1200 and £400 – £600.
2:50 – Love Devon Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4YO plus) 3m
Kitty’s Light put up a scintillating performance for trainer Christian Williams winning going away at 9/2 under Jack Tudor who still claims 5lb. After the race the winning trainer said that they’d had the horse since it was a yearling. The horse has an unfashionable flat pedigree, shows a good attitude, stays well is at his best on a galloping track and hopes that he’ll keep improving.
As they were weighing out for the race before the penultimate, the eagle-eyed security guy was still looking for the peeping Tom but confirmed he’d not spotted him since before the first. No sight of any drones either, has that game gone?
Inlike in the office was chirpy, he told me that the race had been a good one for the firm, all the money was for Sizing At Midnight £4500 – £2000, £1500 – £750, £900 – £450.
3:25 – Best Mate Beginners’ Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m 1½f
He was less chirpy when Philip Hobbs’ charge Zoffee won the three-runner race heat under Richard Johnson. The third odds-on chance to oblige on the day was a well-backed one, bets included £1108 – £1800 £400 -£600, £500- £600, £400 – £550. Richard Johnson said after the race that the way the gelding jumped today he’d like to think he had a good future over fences.
4:00 – Racing TV HD On Sky 426 Handicap Chase (Class 4) (4YO plus) 2m 3f
There were more jubilant scenes when 9/2 chance Troed Y Melin gave trainer Chris Honour his first victory as a trainer from only his second runner. Ridden clear under Bryan Carver from long-time leader Rococo River, the gelding won nicely as his trainer veritably pogoed him home from the parade ring. He was still beaming as he explained to Alex Steedman post-race that the winner was the first horse he’d bought, for an owner that said he’d support him, so was extra special. He added that the horse always carries condition but got so worked up that he had to be walked for two hours prior to the race rather than stabled. He thought that today’s trip might have been a bit sharp so winning here was a bonus and that he’d use jockey Bryan whenever he was available.
4:30 – Bet At racinguk.com ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (GBB Race) (Class 5) (3YO only) 1m 5f
The concluding bumper looked ultra-competitive with betting 5/1 the field the dozen runners. So it proved, the race going to Jeremy Scott’s 11/2 chance The Worthy Brat which held on by a short head under Rex Dingle from Peaked Too Soon – which peaked too late quipped Richard Hoiles. The winner had looked imposing in the paddock, after the race Jeremy Scott told me that he thought it had been a really good performance by his winner. He said he’d run very green and that he thought maybe he’d prefer it a little softer but hadn’t had chance to talk about the going to his jockey. He hadn’t decided what would be next on the agenda for the gelding but had originally intended to go hurdling.
And that concluded the eight-race card which boasted some excellent racing. Hopefully my next stop will be Newton Abbot’s season concluding meeting next Thursday.
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.
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