Hot racing kicks off season
PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 February 2011 | UPDATED: 13:53 11 February 2011
There were full up fields for the first pony races of the season, held at Black Forest Lodge, near Kenton.
Sophie Hodges came with a late run on Wee Anthony to conquer long-time leader Hannah Welch riding Bronze Lawrance in the 10 runner 138 race. The pace was furious from the start. Welch what looked like a commanding lead, but Hodges wore it down in the closing stages. Tina Smith had a cracking first ride, coming third on Bejowans Bouquet who, by the families’ own admission, is not fully fit yet as they did not want to put Tina off on her first ride. With her height advantage she looks set for an exciting season.
The paddock was also full for the 148 cm race, and the runners were bunched up from the start, their course being a complete circuit of the testing track.
Hugo Hunt got Jack Sparrow home by 10 lengths ahead of Bryony Frost on Tarka, who was herself 10 lengths up on Chester Williams on Clover Jess in what was a great first race of the season. Donald Comer Calder proved an able pilot on the Frosts’ Calypso, having its first run of the season. Second in the Charles Owen final in October, Springs, having travelled down from the Pembrokeshire, was fifth.
Mid Devon at Black Forest Lodge: 138 – 1, Wee Anthony, Sophie Hodges; 2, Bronze Lawrance, Hannah Welch; 3, Bejowans Bouquet, Tina Smith; 4, Athenes Flight of Valerian, Victoria Sleep. 10 ran, 4l, 12l, 2min 3 sec
148: 1, Jack Sparrow, Hugo Hunt; 2, Tarka, Bryony Frost; 3, Clover Jess, Chester Williams; 4, Calypso, Donald Comer Calder. 10 ran, 10l, 10l, 2min 35 sec.
Saturday sees the rearranged South Devon fixture at Ideford Arch.
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