crowd was down on the Easter Monday meeting, but this was still a decent
quality meeting for late in the season, and saw Richard Burton land
another double to go with his treble here at the previous meeting when, as
then, he shared the riding honours with Sam Beddoes.
had to wait for his winners, eventually taking the last two aboard
Involved in the Confined, and Petrouge in the Restricted. Involved goes
from strength to strength and was landing his fifth win on the reel; going
off at odds of around 1-3, Sheila Crow’s seven year old gave backers a
few anxious moments down the hill, when in particular, the very game Fryup
Satellite got close to challenge, but in the end, the winner won by 25L
going away, with Tino Mastoras on Lifebuoy nicking second, eight lengths
ahead of Fryup Satellite.
finish of the day came in the final Restricted race; one false start was
followed by a very ragged departure second time, and Just Cliquot was left
about thirty or forty lengths behind. To his credit, jockey Gary Hanmer
coaxed the mare back into contention with the pack, which was no mean feat
given that Barney Bear was, as usual, giving them a brisk lead. By the
time they rounded the final bend, Just Cliquot looked to be going better
than Petrouge, whose jumping was not perfect at the third and second last,
but perhaps the early efforts had left their mark on Just Cliquot, and
Burton conjured a good jump at the last to settle matters, with Paddy
Bettalot a well beaten third.
win of Involved apart, it wasn’t the best day for Eyton specialist
Sheila Crow; Whatafellow, ridden by son Alistair was sent off at 1-6 in
the Members’ race, but was beaten in a driving finish by Sam Beddoes on
a previously unraced five year old, The Longest Day; though the time was
slow, the winner jumped like an old hand, and can only improve.
Harry could only manage third in the Mens’ Open behind Hanakham, former
winner of the Sun Alliance Chase; the 14 year-old showed he is as good as
ever in this sphere taking the race to go with his recent pair of Bangor
Hunter chase wins. The margin was a comfortable two and a half lengths
from another elder statesman in the shape of Nothing Ventured. Lord Harry
seems, at least temporarily, to have lost his old spark, and perhaps needs
further than three miles these days.
Beddoes and Pennyahei won the Ladies Open with another excellent round,
strengthening her bid to end the season as the North West Area’s leading
lady rider; the winner was repeating her win here at the last meeting.
Multiple winner Hoodwinker and Jane Williams were back in second, with
Class Of Ninetytwo, who is perhaps starting to show his years only third,
but again, this was probably an insufficient test of stamina.
two maidens were interesting heats; John Foley ridden by Paul Morris made
it a gun to tape win in the first division, in a decent time too, with
Celtic Boy, who had plenty to do coming round the home turn, closing all
the time to get within six lengths of the winner; a tired Chatabit rambled
home for a distant third.