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sir ww wynns
eaton hall
6th March 2005
by Arthur Shone

The Wynnstay Hunt meeting between the flags at Eaton Hall, near Chester, was a great advert for the sport of point-to-pointing. There was a half hour delay to the start of racing to allow a patch of frost to go out of the ground, but the eight race card produced a really good competitive days racing. Despite it being Mothers Day, there was a good crowd of around 6,000 at the Cheshire course.

For the third consecutive Sunday, Atcham rider Richard Burton took the riding honours on the day by riding a treble in the plate. The first leg came aboard Rebel Army in (Div 1) of the Open. The Mister Lord gelding found an impressive turn of foot to beat Sarah’s Party by eight lengths at the line. The winner is trained at Sherriffhales by Caroline Robinson for a syndicate of three owners, which include her father Jeremy and Mrs Mary Reiaghan and George Hibbert; the latter two owners hail from Clitherhoe. The runner up is trained at Nantwich by Gary Hanmer for joint owners; Eric Pennington from Longville and Pam Thompson from Cressage, whose partner is former Longville trainer Pete Anderson. He bought his partner a half share in the horse for a Christmas present. Thompsons’ uncle was the late great jump jockey A.P.Thompsom, who rode two Aintree Grand National winners, which were Sheilas’ Cottage (1948) and Teal in 1952.

Thirty-five minutes later Burton was back in the winners’ enclosure when taking the second division of the Maiden on Uncle Neil who galloped the opposition into the ground to win going away by 10 lengths from Precious Bane. The winner is trained by Sheila Crow at Hadnall for Nantwich businessman Nick Morgan. Crow said afterwards that the winner would be suited by a longer trip, and added that this victory would have given him a confidence booster.

Burton completed a good day in the plate when Heavy Weather won the Intermediate race a shade cosily by six lengths from High Fields. The Peter Morris trained Tribal Tract was a further three parts of a length back in third. Winning trainer Jo Priest from Chaddesley Corbett got off the mark for the season last week at Eyton with Stretching. Priest said afterwards that she knew how good the winner was because there was not much between Heavy Weather and Stretching at home on the gallops. Winning owner Patrick Kennedy, who also lives in Chaddesley Corbett said afterwards that the winner was bought for him in Ireland last February by former Ross on Wye trainer John Edwards.

No Retreat got rider William Hill off the mark for the season when getting the better of the “jolly” Curly Spencer by a length and a quarter in the Men’s Open. The 12yr son of Exattic was a decent sort when trained under rules with a variety of trainers, the latest of which was Richard Phillips until May last year. Owners Mark and his wife Dean from Berrington have always owned the horse under rules, they decided to send their horse to Much Wenlock trainer John Groucott last May, which has proved a wise move on yesterdays evidence.

Tarporley trainer Carrie Ford, who will be riding the 12-1 co favourite Forest Gunner in the John Smith’s Aintree Grand National, trained the winner of the Ladies Open with Mytime. It was a very close affair with Tania Harrison getting back up in the shadow of the post to win a thriller by a neck from the Donald McCain Junior trained Another Club Royal with Tessa Clark in the plate. It was very much a family celebration as the winner is owned by her father David from Alsager.

However, McCain Junior did not leave the Cheshire course empty handed following the success of The Eens who won the Michael Worthington Memorial P.P.O.R.A. Members Race for Novice Riders. The winner provided Market Drayton born 22 year old Edward Bourne with his first ever winner between the flags. In four previous rides this was the first time that he has completed the course. Bourne has worked for the last three years for Ginger McCain, who also bred the winner. The Eens is owned by the flamboyant entrepreneur Derek Malam, who owned the champion novice horse in the area last year Master Club Royal, who was also trained by McCain Jnr

Another family celebration ensued following the success of the Gary Hamner trained and ridden Tinarana Lord in the Restricted race. It might have been a different story had the runner up The Young Purty from the Crow yard not made a bad mistake at the second last under Joe O’Brien when travelling well. The winner is co-owned by the trainers mother Gwyneth Hamner from Wilcotte, near Nescliffe and by Tony and Brenda Shaw from Bridgnorth, who together make up the crazy gang syndicate.

The best finish of the day was reserved for the opening Members race. Of the five runners that went to post, only four consented to run as Mandalias Boy refused to race. Jumping the last fence William Lloyd on Hijacked and Oliver Greenall aboard Double Rich touched down as one, they were still locked together at the post but the latter held on to win a thriller by a neck. The winner is trained at Malpas by Steve Wynne for his landlord Lord Daresbury.

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