Emma Lavelle is a huge supporter of Exeter Racecourse, regularly running her smarter novice horses at the track. And yesterday Eclair Surf looked an exciting prospect for the future when winning the two miles five and a half furlongs novices’ hurdle.
It’s a race Lavelle has now won five times in the last ten years with Court In Motion, Gullinbursti, Highland Lodge and Moss Park her other winners.
Eclair Surf had started the evens favourite on the back of an Irish point-to-point win and made all the running to land a three and a half length’s win.
“He’s a lovely, big framed horse who’s a chaser in the making. We love him at home and he's always looked as if he has a lot of ability. We won’t be any rush with him, and he won’t have a hard campaign this season,” said Lavelle of the five-year-old.
Jockey Adam Wedge doubled up on the Evan WIlliams-trained Esprit Du Large in the RGB Building Supplies Novices’ Chase.
Phill Meaden’s home bred Findusatgorcombe, who’s trained at Buckfastleigh by Jimmy Frost, landed the fifth win of his career when scoring in the three mile RGB Building Supplies Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old under Richie McLernon kept on strongly down the home straight to get the better of Nativegiveaway in a photo finish.
The gelding had suffered a serious injury as a five-year-old when he broke his jaw and ripped his mouth apart. James Mackintosh, the racecourse vet who is based in Modbury with South Moor Vets, operated on him in his stable. “He fixed him up so well that he won a point-to-point a few weeks later. He never stopped work, or eating. He’s now seven and he’s won four for us, and the point-to-point,” said Meaden.
Bryony Frost, who has ridden him in all his successes under rules, was on the favourite Big Meadow who finished fourth.
The Graeme McPherson-trained Derrick D’Anjou won the opening two miles seven furlongs conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle with Max Kendrick in the saddle. Assistant trainer Jodie Mogford said:
“He broke his duck today, He’s a bit of a monkey as he can be a bit lazy and he’s very slow maturing.”
Another very decent mare for the notebooks was Queen’s Cave who easily won the concluding mare’s novices’ hurdle in the hands of Tom Scudamore. “She’s a lovely mare. She had a fibrillating heart at Ayr so she’s had a lot of time off. She finished second to a decent mare, Silver Forever, at Chepstow last month. She’s a very nice horse.”
Smarty Wild, ridden by Richard Johnson and trained by Philip Hobbs, stayed on well to win the two miles one furlongs handicap hurdle. Michael and Norma Tuckey owns Gunher McBride who won a novice hurdle at Exeter with Edward Chanin in the saddle before going on to win the Grade 3 Racing Post Chase.