Ross Oliver's game mare Wee Fly loves Flete Park, and gained her fourth success there when just overcoming long time leader Gershwinner to win the Lord Mildmay Memorial Open.
This four miles test brings out the best in Wee Fly, who became Jo Buck’s 11th winner of the season. “I would like to help Jo win the title and we will come back here for the four-miler at the Modbury,” said the owner/trainer.
Certain Flight defied his 5lbs penalty under Will Biddick to hold the sustained challenge of Googoobarabajagal in the Intermediate. Keith Cumings trains this progressive seven-year-old for Exeter-based owners Richard and Tina Dunsford, and plans are to go for the Intermediate hunter chase final at Haldon next month.
Shanann Star has been a model of consistency this season. She followed up her Buckfastleigh maiden win in good style in the Restricted to give Darren Edwards his 19th winner of the season. “She has gradually improved and is an honest mare who jumps well,” commented owner/trainer Gordon Edwards.
Direct Flight was a useful chaser in his day and gave Vicky Wade her fourth winner of the season when staying on well to hold Brook Castle in the Confined. Now 14-years-old, the former Jeremy Scott trained veteran is now trained by his rider on behalf of owners Roger Grose, Ronald and Jackie Bunney and Keith Wade.
Josh Guerriero had been second best on Brook Castle, but had earlier steered the well-backed Barney Again to win the members’. Dartmoor Hunt master Mike Weir owns and trains this sturdy chestnut, who had opened his account at Kilworthy. “He probably needs better ground,” commented Mike.
Bampton trainer Ashley Farrant has been plagued with a virus in his yard this year, but was given cause for hope when five-year-old King’s Scout lost his maiden tag in the two and a half miles event. “He has lots of ability,” said Ashley. Ridden by Micheal Nolan, King’s Scout jumped to the right at the final fence and just held off the promising newcomer Driftwood Pride.
The times got slower as the ground became stickier, and long-standing maiden Sparkbridge clocked just over seven minutes in winning the concluding Maiden. James Legg’s mount won a protracted duel with Gontdevon despite blundering at the last fence. Nine-year-old Sparkbridge is owned by the rider’s parents Roger and Jenny Legg, who bought the gelding from his former trainer Simon Burrough.
Hunt Race: 1 Barney Again (J Guerriero); 2 Sunken Secret (E Glassonbury); 3 Whatcanisay (Miss B Frost); 6 ran; 5l; 10l; 6m 49s.
Restricted: 1 Shanann Star (D Edwards); 2 Before The War (R Henderson); 3 Stitchnik (O Barrett); 10 ran; 7l; 20l; 6m 43s.
Mixed Open – Lord Mildmay Memorial – 4 miles: 1; Wee Fly (Miss J Buck); 2 Gershwinner (M Woodward); 3 The Patriarch Game (J Guerriero); 8 ran; 1l; 1 1/2l; 8m 30s.
Open Maiden 4 to 7 year olds, 2m 4f: 1 King’s Scout (M Nolan); 2 Driftwood Pride (R Woollacott); 3 Sweet Willow (Miss B Frost); 13 ran; 1/2l; 3l; 5m 38s.
Confined: 1 Direct Flight (Miss V Wade); 2 Brook Castle (J Guerriero); 3 Ruling Reef (M Nolan); 8ran; 2 1/2l; 18l; 6m 48s.
Intermediate: 1 Certain Flight (W Biddick); 2 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 3 In The Cicle (R Bliss); 5l; dist; 6m 59s.
Open Maiden: 1 Sparkbridge (J Legg); 2 Gontdevon (I Chanin); 3 Music of Time (T Chanin); 12 ran; 2l; 15l; 7m 2s.
WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR