MEMORABLE AFTERNOON AT WET WET WADEBRIDGE:
IT was wet and windy at Wadebridge on Sunday, not too good for spectators, but a memorable afternoon for two young jockeys riding their first winners,
The going was soft with heavy patches, and renowned veteran stayer Joaaci found conditions to his liking when just denying last year's winner Buzz Me In to take the opening Members' race, giving his rider David Noonan his first success.
Trainer Pat Shaw said: "We couldn't find anywhere to school because of the wet ground and this is the first time David has sat on him."
The 18-year-old jockey, from Kilbrin, County Cork, was having his first ride in England. He said: "I have been with David Pipe since August and have had a lot of support and advice in the yard, particularly from Gerry Supple."
The young Irishman almost followed up on Ross Oliver's Fiulin in the Novice Riders' but this event went to Sobre Tresor who survived a blunder at the last to give Taylor Pook her first win on her first ride.
"That was a remarkable effort by the jockey considering her lack of experience," said Chloe Newman, who trains the winner on behalf of her mother Ros at Woolminstone near Crewkerne.
The 21-year-old, who works for Alan King at Barbury Castle, almost missed the ride having been kicked in the face by a horse last Friday.
"I have got a black eye and the stitches glued above my eye came undone during the race," said the young rider, who had presented herself to the doctor as a precaution before the race and was intending to visit the local hospital en route home for running repairs.
Kayley Woollacott saddled Lightening Jack to win the Restricted and followed up when Ratline Rosie won the Maiden to give 22-year- old Jamie Thomas his first ever double.
John Pearn's 20-1 outsider Lightening Jack just prevailed in a blanket finish to deny the well backed Brackenwood and long time leader Glenwood Present in the Restricted.
"He was not quite right when he ran at Black Forest Lodge but he is going a lot better now," commented the trainer, who went on to saddle her third winner of the season when Lady Earle's six-year-old mare Ratline Rosie overhauled Tiger Wild in the dying strides to take the nine-runner Maiden.
The owner said: "I got her for only £800 as a two-year-old at Doncaster and Jamie gave her a great ride."
Byerley Bear had little trouble in beating his sole rival Hilda Wild under Jo Buck in the Ladies' Open. Trained by Robert Chanin for Roger Knowles, this nine-year-old is now unbeaten in four runs at the showground and now has hunter chasing on his agenda.
In contrast the Men's Open was competitive as Valentine Vic, Working Title and Googoobarabajagal racing towards the final obstacle in a line.
It was Michael Heard's mount Googoobarabajagal who produced a determined effort on the gruelling climb to the post, coming between his two rivals to score by half a length over Valentine Vic, with Working Title third.
"The horses are going through the ground okay and my horse stays forever," said the rider, who should be well in the running for the local area title this season.
The bright yellow silks carried by Michael Legg on Iron Chancellor stood out in the gathering gloom as the Confined race completed the afternoon's racing.
Starting odds-on, this former 'chase winner strode home by a distance. "I thought he was the least fit of my five horses," laughed West Buckland trainer Sue Popham.