A creditable runner-up for the Lady Dudley Cup last year, Cedrus Libani was the class act on show at the Silverton point to point at Black Forest Lodge, justifying warm favouritism with a five lengths Men’s Open win under Tom Weston. Cedrus Libani took the lead after the 15th fence and shook off the challenge of Rumbury Grey approaching the final bend, writes Granville Taylor.

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William and Angela Rucker had travelled from their Worcestershire base for their gelding’s seasonal debut. “We had a bad virus in the yard last year which set us back a lot, but he won four successive Opens at the end of the season. He has been working really well and stays better now,” said William. His wife Angela added that the prestigious Lady Dudley Cup is the main objective this season.

The Ladies’ Open provided a winner on her first point-to-point ride for 16-year-old schoolgirl Lucy Gould, from Gillingham, Dorset, as Special Occasion just got the better of Island Life. The pair had duelled from the penultimate with the winner just holding on to his narrow lead from the last fence. Special Occasion was bought out of Caroline Keevil’s yard last July for Lucy to ride, and is trained by her sister Sarah at Cranmore near Shepton Mallet. Lucy is another successful recruit to pointing through the pony racing field. The Gould’s have four pointers in training, and no doubt Lucy will be vying for rides with her sister who already has five winning rides to her credit. Lucy is well known for competing on the Wessex area and Charles Owen national pony racing circuit.

Leanda Tickle is setting the early pace for both the local and national novice riders’ titles. The 22-year-old followed up last week’s Wadebridge success by taking the Restricted race for novice riders’ with a confident performance on Delta Borget. The Arsonist headed a well bunched field at half way, but Delta Borget took over at the 15th. Battle Bridge looked a big danger at the second last, but was out jumped by the winner at the final fence. Delta Borget is trained by Leslie Jefford near Payhembury for a 12-strong syndicate called Here Come The Girls.

Kirkleigh was not hard pressed to beat Benefit Time and Hot Climate in the Hunt race. Sam Allwood’s only ride of the day forged clear from the top of the hill to score by 25 lengths. Home bred by owner Sue Trump, Kirkleigh is, “still quite green,” according to his trainer Robert Chanin.

The Open Maiden had already been split three ways, and the first two divisions were run bang on the safety factor of 16. In the first section, Nick Williams poached a three lengths lead on the well backed Glenseskin after the second last, but seven-year-old Bob Emmet collared him on the run-in to give Micheal Nolan his fourth win of the season. Bob Emmet was bought out of Philip Hobbs’ yard by his trainer Sue Popham on behalf of joint owners Godfrey Harris and David Meyrick

Will Biddick consolidated his lead for the National title on Allerford Jack in the second section. In the closest finish of the day, Biddick forced his mount ahead to win by a short head, but runner-up Jossestown Lad looked an unlucky loser as jockey John Mathias reported his mount went lame on the run-in.

Googoobarabajagal made every yard of the running to take the final Maiden division under a positive ride by Michael Heard. Jointly owned by the jockey’s father John and grandfather Ken, the winner was bought from his former trainer Stuart Kittow last February. Trainer John Heard reported that the six-year-old “needs good ground and was a lot fitter this time.”

RESULTS:

Hunt race: (Fred Tucker Memorial – Silverton Hunt Members): 1 Kirkleigh (S Allwood); 2 Benefit Time (M Nolan); 3 Hot Climate (I Chanin); 5 ran; 25 lengths; distance; 6 m 5 secs

Novice Riders’ Restricted (Simpkins Edwards): 1 Delta Borget (Miss L Tickle); 2 Battle Bridge (Miss C Swaffield); 3 Blinding Lights (K Edgar); 13 ran; 1 1/2l; 2l; 6m 6s

Ladies’ Open: (Charles Stanley Stockbrokers, Exeter):

1 Special Occasion (Miss L Gould); 2 Island Life (Miss L Brook); 3 Karshaan (Miss A Mills); 10 ran; 1/2l; 6l; 6m 0s

Men’s Open; (Knight Frank, Exeter): 1 Cedrus Libani (T Weston); 2 Rumbury Grey (R Jarrett); 3 Sahara’s Dream (J Mahot); 11 ran; 5l; 10l; 5m 59s

Open Maiden: Div 1 (Philip Saunders Building Contractors Ltd, Hele): 1 Bob Emmet (M Nolan); 2 Glenseskin (N Williams); 3 Doubletoilntrouble (Miss J Hughes); 16 ran; 2l; 2 1/2l; 6m 8s

Div 2 (Crediton Milling Co Ltd): 1 Allerford Jack (W Biddick); 2 Jossestown Lad (J Mathias); 3 Roiofthetigers (S Drinkwater); 16 ran; short head; 1 1/2l; 6m 10s

Div 3 (Tincknell Fuels): 1 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 2 Cut The Lugs Reilly (R Hawker); 3 Hi Wycombe (G Humfrey); 12 ran; 2l; 5l; 6m 13s

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