EYTON ON SEVERN
MONDAY 6 MAY 2002
by Mal Davies
was one of the poorest Eyton meetings for some years on Bank Holiday
Monday, due to the very firm ground. There were only 29 runners in seven
races, though two of them were not truly ‘races’ in the usual sense.
Burton appeared to ride a walkover on the multiple winner Stepquick to add
to his seasonal tally, following up his Saturday Weston Park success under
Will Hill, with a stroll past the Judge in the Members race. There have
been one or two barbed comments about Evan Williams being jocked up on a
walkover in Wales after the original declared rider was already in his/her
silks, but at least here Burton was down to ride 4 of the 5 entries!
went to post in the first maiden race, a very weak affair won by favourite
Chocs Away under Charlie Barlow by four lengths from the small and nippy
Money Magic and John Barlow. Debutante Alston House was an eye catching
third, and should manage a maiden win on better going. Seymour Roses, who
had planted herself at the start on her previous run did jump off this
time and ran well until falling when in contention.
suffered a rare defeat when headed by the admirable Nothing Ventured in
the Mens’ Open; the Sheila Crow charge has not been at his very best on
two Eyton performances this season, but in fairness, the ground was
against good horses. He appeared to lose his action slightly in the final
few strides, and that was all Nothing Ventured needed.
Beedles, who rode Nothing Ventured, seemed set for a double on Wild Edric
when his sole rival Spumante pulled up on the first circuit in the
Intermediate race. However, the ten-year-old gelding clearly likes to have
company in his races and refused the following fence four times before
being pulled up and the race voided. Highlight of the race was the
terribly po-faced commentary, whilst all the spectators were in stitches
watching Beedles try time and again to get Wild Edric to jump the open
ditch in front of the bank.
best race on the card was the North West Area feature race of the season,
the Scally Muire Ladies’ Open, and unsurprisingly given the ground, it
saw a course record of 5 minutes 57 seconds by the winner, the veteran
Bishops Hall. The battling sixteen-year-old defied his age to land an easy
victory for regular pilot Sarah Hopkins, with Ambrose and Tessa Clark
second six lengths back ahead of Cardinal Rule. Favourite Hatton Farm Babe
pulled up under Sue Sharratt, possibly not handling the ground.
Restricted race was an extremely low-grade affair, with just three
runners; the untrustworthy Teal Bay was sent off favourite but had no
answer to a pillar-to-post ride from Mark Keel on Adventino.
I have mentioned this before, but the gaps between the races at 40 minutes (and 50 minutes to allow for the de rigeur parade of hounds) is too much, and the crowd were getting bored; little wonder that so many cars were leaving the car park with three races still to go to miss the holiday traffic; 35 minutes is the optimum, and, given the size of fields, 30 minutes here would have been ample.