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Cotely Report

Press Release 27th March 2024 Wincanton

By Robert Bracher

A rare day of Spring sunshine amongst the seemingly never-ending saturation that has become the norm of late, brought locals flocking to the course at Cotley, near Chard for the first of two point to points held here. The large crowd, some of whom braved shirt-sleeves, enjoyed some excellent racing which was preceded by an entertaining Shetland Pony Race (won by Teddy Holliday riding Wilma II) sponsored by local businesses in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice.  The highlights of the day were a training double for the Josh Newman yard on what turned out to be memorable weekend for them with a total of six winners and welcome winners for trainer Les Jefford as well as jockey Will Badland on his own horse.

The first of the Newman horses to oblige was a rejuvenated The Kings Writ in the Men’s Open, who was winning for the second time this season following a victory in January at Chipley Park.  After coasting in by 26 lengths from Siberian Star and Beau de Brizais who dead-heated for second on the line, Will Biddick remarked “Well how easy was that?” Jumped well and just kept on galloping.”  Kayley Woollacott who was deputising for her partner, Josh Newman on duty at Kilworthy where he rode and trained three winners, said “We’ve had him since he was four and the owners have given him back to us. We just felt though he wasn’t ready to retire yet as he’s really enjoying himself. And this week, his best friend Lalor, returned to the yard now he’s been retired and their reunion was lovely with them clearly so pleased to see each other again after such a long time.”

The second winner for the yard, came in the Ladies Open when Izzy Marshall steered Sixteen Letters home for an equally impressive success in a slightly eventful race reduced by one when leader Mix of Clover ran out on the first circuit unseating Isabel Lovat leaving Professor Calculus to make the running. He then thought about taking a quick exit back towards the lorry park and jockey Ella Herbison did well to negotiate the bend intact.  Sixteen Letters however had taken this race for the last two years and had too much class for his opponents.  A breathing issue which is inoperable, means that he is more suited to a downhill finish although Izzy remarked he did it so easily that he didn’t have any issues.  Owner John Symes thought he could well return to the course for the Seavington meeting in April as the course suited him so well.

A relieved Les Jefford welcomed Prophesea back to the winner's enclosure after the Maiden Conditions race.  Trained by him for Sue Trump, this good looking son of Affinisea looks like a nice prospect and was running for the second time for connections following a good second at Charlton Horethorne. Describing Prophesea as “Pure class!” jockey Callum Pritchard was full of praise for him and felt the recent loose-schooling they had been doing had given the horse a lot of confidence. Octogenarian owner Sue had picked him out of a bunch of horses from Ireland that Tim Dennis had sourced and liked him immediately.  For Les, this was his first winner from his new base at David Pipe’s second yard although his horses have started to run well recently and he could be a trainer to follow over the next few months.

Another to catch the eye in the paddock was Trevada who took the first, a Restricted under Zac Baker for trainer Fran Poste.  Jumping well throughout, he was sent into a clear lead on the second circuit and although Spear Dancer and Jean Genie tried to close, the winner had too much in hand. Zac explained afterwards, “He really liked this softer ground and got into a lovely rhythm which he needs as he’s a big galloper.”  Charlie Poste was hopeful he would make up into an Open horse in time and possibly be good enough for a hunter chase for his owners, the Picnic Partnership who lease two horses from the yard for the season.  They have had over a dozen winners since forming but agree the best bit about pointing is the picnic hence the name! It looked a nice race both on paper and paddock looks and the placed horses should have a good future too.

Owner/rider Will Badland sprang a surprise when his Western Cowboy held off Steel Express to take the Conditions race with odd-son favourite In Our Dreams back in third.  It was a slightly stop/start race with the lead changing several times but there was no fluke about Western Cowboy’s win.  This was only his third start for Will who had bought him unseen from Thoroughbid Online with Jerry McGrath’s help. He felt he hadn’t quite stayed last time at Badbury Rings on the tacky ground and if he recovered in time from the cut hind leg he sustained here, would be back for the Seavington meeting

It is rare that Welsh raider Luke Price does not go home with at least one winner from this course and his Colden’s Dream obliged in the very last race under James King.  Always up with the pace, James kicked on down the far hill with both Valentin de Maine and Born in the West trying to match strides.  But the winner kept finding more and at the post was 11 lengths clear of Born in the West with Free the Lion staying on for third.  Connections remarked on the winner’s small stature in the paddock afterwards and joked he’d probably get into a pony race!  It was a surprise that given his record in improving horses that he wasn’t sent off long odds-on on this his first start for Luke and it would be no surprise if he followed up this win.


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