STORM Isha sent spectators scurrying for cover after the fifth of the seven races at Chipley Park, writes Granville Taylor.

The track had recovered well from successive frosts, but the inevitable soft ground put a premium on stamina, with race times around the seven- minute mark.   

The Tiverton Foxhounds meeting, held at Chipley Park near Milverton, Somerset since 2000, always attracts horses from far and wide, and a total of 70 runners lined up this year.

Mr Glass returned from a 14- month lay-off to win the Mixed Open sponsored by Dilliway and Bosley Vets.  

Will Biddick had the eight-year-old handy throughout and saved enough to fend off the challenge of the Warwickshire-trained My Reprieve (Jack Andrews). 

Hunter chase winner Quintin’s Man stayed on to finish third of the seven runners. The reigning champion jockey reported: “He jumped really well today and kept galloping. He is high class and travelled easily.”

Biddick also trains the gelding for joint owners John Gane and Paul Nicholls. Preferring to attend Chipley Park instead of seeing his runner win at Lingfield, the champion trainer said: “Mr Glass has had leg trouble. He is class and was really bought for Olive (Nicholls) to ride in point-to-points and ladies’ hunter chases. 

“She should be back in a month after her Larkhill injury. He carries the purple and white colours given to me by Michael Marsh after I won the Hennessy on his Broadheath (1986).”

Biddick had initiated his double when Summer Jam won the 15-runner Open Maiden sponsored by Tozers Solicitors Exeter and Agrii of Willand. 

The five-year-old, starting a well-backed 5-2 joint favourite, stayed on strongly up the final incline to hold a promising run from Keepitfrombecky (Rob David), with the other joint favourite Money From America (Ivor Herbert) back in third. 

The winner carried the colours of Phil Fry and is trained by Christopher Barber, who remarked: “Ed Bailey bought him privately from Mick Goff in Ireland after he had run in a couple of points. 

“He wants softer ground and a good gallop. His nickname is strawberry jam.” 

Biddick reported: “He is very straightforward and has a turn of foot. He quickened well in the end.” 

The Jockey Club and Clarke Willmott-sponsored Mares Maiden attracted 13 runners and saw the once-raced Dunaden Island, ridden by Callum Prichard, overhaul front-running Iconic Rock (Murray Dodd)jumping the last.  

The winner was bred by owner Chris Tory and is trained by Robert Chanin, who described the chestnut as: “A nice active type who has done a lot of work since Great Trethew. I was convinced she would stay.” 

Josh Newman saddled first and second in the Hunt race and chose to partner the winner The King’s Writ over runner-up Lucky Lara, who was ridden by Darren Andrews. 

Owner Kayley Woollacott said of her consistent 13-year-old: “He is not good enough for veteran races but enjoys leading the babies at home. He may go to Buckfastleigh next.”

The successful rider came close to a double but his mount Hearts Corner, sent off 13-8 favourite, was just overhauled  by Arctic Oscar (9-2) as Jack Andrews forced his mount ahead after jumping the last in driving rain in the Mount Pleasant Inn and Greenslade Taylor Restricted.

Eight-year-old mare Arctic Oscar had been off the course for nearly two years since winning a Restricted at Kimble. Tom Ellis trains the mare, bought at Doncaster as a five-year-old, for a ten strong syndicate called the Ice ‘N’ slice Club headed by Lenny Owen. 

Syndicate member Joy Lewin had travelled 150 miles to see the mare run, so she evidently hadn’t just come for a gin and tonic.  

Andrews had earlier gone close in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate, but his mount, 5-4 favourite I’m Spellbound, was just denied in that event as the winner Yippee Ki Yay battled on gamely all the way up the home straight. 

Monmouthshire qualified winner Yippee Ki Yay became yet another winner (fifth this season) stabled with the in-form Nicky Sheppard near Ledbury. 

The Shirocco gelding was ridden by 22-year-old Milo Herbert for his parents Ben and Sara. 

The tall rider (6ft 4in) has partnered nearly 20 point-to-point winners, and said: “I am studying Estate Management at Reading University. We bought this horse privately in Ireland. All credit to Nicky.”

The weather had taken a turn for the worst before Doc Carver, who had travelled from Denis Pugh’s Pontypool yard, galloped out of the gloom in the determined way of a Pontypool prop forward to take the concluding PPORA Novice Riders’ race sponsored by Friends of the late Geoff White and McVeigh Parker. 

Thirteen-year-old Doc Carver has been a gallant servant to the Pugh family and was repeating last year’s victory in this race under a mud-splattered 24-year-old Becky Pugh. “He stayed on so well. He was feeling well and bit dad in the parade ring just as he did last season. He has got a bit older and naughtier now,” said the rider.