Burton extends lead at Bratton

PUBLISHED: 13:39 16 June 2011

East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1205-10-11SH

East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1205-10-11SH

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A thoroughly wet and windy day at Bratton Down with swirling hill fog to add to the mix saw Richard Burton extend his Men’s title lead by scoring on his only ride of the day.

Burton’s win on Eric Brook’s Transporter in the 12-runner Restricted put him three ahead of Philip York with just next Saturday’s meeting at Umberleigh left. A patient ride in the mist saw Transporter creep through the field before heading Wassonthen going to the last before pulling well clear up the final climb. “He jumped well apart from the ditch because we couldn’t see it,” said the champion elect who won the last of his three previous champion jockey titles five years ago.

In theory Phil York still has an outside chance of catching Burton with a possibility of four rides at Umberleigh, but the best he could manage at Bratton Down was to finish runner-up on Caught In Time in the Men’s Open behind the ever improving Devon mare Roll On Rose. Flanshan was still travelling strongly in a fractional lead when blundering and unseating Will Biddick at the last, but Michael Heard drove Roll On Rose clear up the hill to score her fifth win of the season, taking her jockey to the 12 winner mark.

18-year-old Michael Heard is chasing Micheal Nolan hard for the National Novice Riders’ title, but Irish born Nolan maintained his lead of three by winning the Hunt race on Midnight Marine. The Midnight Legend gelding is owned jointly by Carol Norman and Ray Burrow and trained by the latter at Atherington near Torrington. Ray, who used to hunt the Tiverton Staghounds, was fulfilling a long standing ambition to win this Members’ race, having had several near misses over the past few years.

Oca De Thaix outclassed his six rivals to win the Ladies’ Open. A winner of three hunter chases already this year, the nine-year-old made virtually all the running to beat The Noble Roman by 12 lengths despite being non too fluent at several fences. The winner is owned and trained at Tenby in South Wales by Keith Goldsworthy, and was a winner on her first visit to Bratton Down for 18-year-old jockey Charlotte Evans.

Darren Edwards brought the blinkered Dandooley from last to first with a strong late burst to beat Eslin Bridge and Cavite Zeta in the Intermediate. The 10-year-old is trained at Stolford within sight of Hinkley Point on the Somerset coast by Julie Pocock for joint owners Andrew Pope and Roger Plowright.

Edwards suffered a broken nose on his other mount for Julie Pocock on Just Gladys, thus missing his last race Open Maiden ride. The ground had become progressively softer by this time, with the winner Vering taking over seven minutes. This five-year-old, ridden by Josh Guerriero for owner /trainer Mike Weir was appearing for only the second time and showed a willing attitude to overcome runner-up Choice Connection on the long finishing slog.


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