large crowd was in attendance at Heslaker, but only 32 runners turned out
for the six races, although there were still some useful performers on show.
Races consist of just over three circuits of the track and one fence is
taken on four occasions. That particular obstacle seemed to cause inordinate
difficulties, as a high proportion of runners made at least a mistake at it.
There were suggestions that this part of the course had the worst of the
light and that the guard rail was somewhat obscured by birch laid across it.
Hunt Members contest commenced the afternoon and was a match that saw Blank
Cheque and David Coates defeat Flat Stanley and Jo Foster. Flat Stanley went
off in front, jumping boldly, except for hitting the 13th, and had Blank
Cheque off the bridle by the end of the first lap. However, the favourite
gradually warmed to his task and jumped into the lead three out, before
readily asserting and coming clear to the value of 25 lengths by the line.
Confined went to Whitegates Willie under an excellent ride from David
Greenway. David was content to bide his time for much of the race, but
produced the 12-year-old at the perfect moment to score. Royal Crimson led
in the early stages, before dropping right out, then Rubon Prince tried to
get a piece of the action, but couldn’t keep up the effort. It was Maitre
De Musique and Michael Tate that filled second spot, with Erzadjan (Lee
Bates) third and Master Club Royal (Gary Hanmer) fourth. Maitre De Musique
remains in good heart, while Erzadjan couldn’t quite get into the argument
late on, but Master Club Royal flattered to deceive.
trained by Carrie Ford, proved a class apart in the Ladies Open, coming home
a wide margin winner. Bounced out of the gate by Caroline Hurley, Palisander
never saw a rival and soon built up an unassailable lead. It was a superb
display and, if staying sound, he could run up a lengthy sequence, having
won at Tabley in April. Class Of Ninetytwo, with Sue Sharratt aboard,
couldn’t live with the leader, but was an honorable second. The only other
two distant finishers were Zamahareer (Tanya Harrison) in third and Three
Saints (Natalie Lloyd) in fourth, the latter being virtually in a different
Kent made the long journey for just one ride and booted home Torn Silk to
take the Mens Open by three quarters of a length from Dumadic and Nigel
Tutty. Formerly with Paul Webber under Rules, when he was usually seen over
shorter distances, Torn Silk got the trip well on this tight track. Dumadic
has kept his form extremely well all season and is a horse with immense
promise. Third-placed Purple Jean had the assistance of Guy Brewer in the
saddle and made much of the running, rallying to the cause one headed. She
acquitted herself very well in her first open. Border Run and Stuart Ross
were fourth. Favourite Dorans Magic got rid of Niall Saville at the 2nd and
Uncle Ada didn’t look an easy ride, even for Richard Burton, being the
reigned in the Restricted with Best Accolade adjudged a short-head victor
over Gentleman Charles. Winning rider Richard Burton appeared astonished to
have gained the verdict in a tight finish. Most observers felt though that
Gentleman Charles had held on for Simon Walker. For a warm “jolly”, Best
Accolade made heavy weather of getting there in the end. The winner is
trained by Sheila Crow and made use of his seven pound youngster’s
allowance to keep his unbeaten record. Gentleman Charles can count himself
very unlucky and was stepping up on some uninspiring efforts this season,
compared with previous years. The third, General Carats, nearly benefited
from an enterprising ride from Mark Walford, but was collared on the run to
the last. Edward Bear (Kelda Wood) completed the course for only the second
time in five years to manage fourth. Barrys Lord was not given a hard time
when beaten and Aunt Gladys was in touch until clouting the 13th, from which
she began to struggle.
Kindle A Flame was head and shoulders above his four opponents in the Maiden on all known form and Guy Brewer’s mount duly dispatched them in clinical fashion. Owned and trained by Mike and Mary Sowersby respectively, Kindle A Flame might well have been placed in each of his four previous points, but for the fences getting in the way. The funereal pace and less testing conditions enabled the odds-on shot to stay three miles easily. Runner-up Luck In Run’in (Gary Hanmer) is at least fairly lightly raced. Biddy (Jo Foster) in third is still learning and will be a different proposition in 2005. Trigger Castle (Simon Walker), a longstanding maiden, was well back in fourth. It’s hard to see that anything can be taken from this race as an indication for the future.