Exeter races brings down curtain on 2020
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
Exeter had its final meeting of 2019 last Thursday.
It was run under the same restricted conditions as its meeting on Friday, 4th December and once again the crowd was predictably sparse.
The massive rainfall of the days prior further contributed to this, as well as leading to heavy ground, which also reduced the number of runners.
It was a day when only one favourite passed the post first , Amzac Magic in the last race , which at least meant punters leaving happy.
The rest of the day featured doubles for jockeys Sean Bowen and Jonjo O'Neill junior, the latter continuing his recent outstanding form . He is rapidly becoming a chip of the old block of father Jonjo, one of the most successful jockeys of his era and now training many of his son's winners.
There were also pleasing results for two of the West Countries leading trainers. Lucy Gardner was successful on her mother Sues's Trans Express at a well backed 3/1 and Kayley Woollacott had a thrilling win with her Clondaws Answer ridden by Michael Nolan and who gave those who backed her a nice Christmas present winning at 12/1.
Racing wastes no time in returning to Exeter with another meeting on New Year's Day . There is little rest for an industry that cares for its horses 365 days a year and with jockeys always conscious of their weight , Christmas Day lunch is a rare luxury , especially for those riders engaged on Boxing Day , traditionally one of the busiest days for the sport.
For West Country racegoers a trip to Wincanton is always a popular day out after the Christmas festivities but like all other industries and events affected by the horrors of the virus it will certainly not be supported by the normal large crowd of the day.