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Meynell & South Staffs
Weston Park
Sunday 16th March 2008
by Arthur Shone

The South Herefordshire meeting at Garnons fell victim to the weather yesterday, but there were no such problems at the Meynell and South Staffs fixture at Weston Park. The heavy rain during the night meant that the going was good to soft. I walked the course beforehand and it was credit to the joint clerks of the course Richard Froggatt and David Smith. Despite the cold weather, there was a reasonable crowd at the course, those that stayed away missed a really good days racing.

The Club Members race for novice riders was a very dramatic affair. Coming to the final fence the Caroline Robinson trained Jemaro with her daughter Immy in the plate had a lead of 10 lengths with the race at their mercy, but then the combination parted company, which caused a huge groan from the crowd. This left the Geoff Dutton trained Machalini in the lead with his daughter Lucinda in the plate and they took full advantage to come home unchallenged by 20 lengths from Raconteur, with Strongtrooper a further 6 lengths back in third. The winner is trained at Marchweil, Nr Wrexham by Geoff Dutton, who bought the horse as a schoolmaster for his daughter and it was money well spent as this was her first ever winner between the flags, the 18 yr old is currently taking her A levels at Penley School.

It was good to see Gordie Edwards back in the winner’s enclosure again after Shady Anne jumped like a stag to win the Men’s Open readily by two and a half lengths from the well backed jolly My Best Buddy. The Derrylin mare was a given a very confident ride by Barry Denvir, who works for the trainer. The winner was bred by Shrewsbury auctioneer Derek Pugh who used to have her in training under rules with Frank Jordan, where she won 2 bumpers and 3 hurdle races. Gordie was elated when I spoke to him afterwards, he said,” My wife Sarah rides her in most of her work at home on our gallops. I knew she would improve from her second at Whitwick and I thought Barry (Denvir) gave her a great ride. The Bangor Final is a possibility.” Edwards is a master at training mares, Scally Muire was a yardstick for this area when she raced and the trainer has won the Bangor Final three times in the past.

Only five runners faced the starter in the Ladies Open and to be honest they were a moderate bunch. The race went to the Ruth Tutton trained, owned and ridden Move Over who bolted in by a distance from the Corrine Wynne trained Gigs Bounty under Carly Goodall. The 30 year trainer and rider from Northampton only has this horse in her yard and this was her second winner in her third season riding.

The Camerengo made every yard under Andrew Corbett to win gamely by a fast diminishing length from Will Kinsey on Mister Bloom. The winner is also trained in Northampton by Gerald Bailey, who said afterwards that his charge was a stayer and added that he will improve quite a bit from this race. The gelding is owned by the Corbett and Macfarlane families.

Rider Peter Mann recorded his first winner at the course in his first visit following the very smooth success of Killarney Prince, who won very easily by 12 lengths from Cool Carroll. The riders mother Jo Mann owns and trains the winner at Leamington Spa where she has 5 horses in training and plans to run the winner in the hunter chase meeting at Cheltenham.

The opening Maiden race went to the Sandy Lie under Sarah Phizacklea and the combination were not extended in beating Chase The Dreams by 12 lengths. The winner got Orton on The Hill trainer Roger Harvey off the mark for the season, the gelding is owned by Philip Andrew.

The two and a half mile Maiden was won in good style by Mad Victor, who never came off the bridle under Adam Wadlow to win going away by 7 lengths from Sammie Beddoes on Red Law with Silver Ace was a further 10 lengths back in third. The winner is trained not far from Wolverhampton by Sue Taylor this season as her partner Paul Jones, who trained the pointers last season and now trains under rules. Speaking after the race, she said, ”He is very aptly named. Paul bought him in Ireland two years outside the sale ring, we have just had to be patient with him and now that he has settled and got his head in front it will have boosted his confidence and he will improve from this race.” Paul Jones was very upbeat about his stable star Christy Beamish, who was well fancied and backed in the Cheltenham Foxhunters but fell in the race. He said, “I really don’t think that Cheltenham suits him, he is a far better horse right handed. He has come back from Cheltenham none the worse, in fact he worked very well this morning at home. I plan to run him next in a Ladies Open, then we will go to the Punchestown Festival.”

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