Eyton on Severn basked in glorious
sunshine on Sunday. A large crowd, well in excess of 10,000,
enjoyed a really good days racing. It’s been a very good
Easter for Shrewsbury rider Richard Burton. He completed a treble
at Sandon on Easter Saturday, but more significantly, he completed
his 200 th career win aboard High Chimes for the Sheila Crow yard.
This was the second of Edward Crow’s nominated “dark
horses” from the yard to win this season and remarkably, this
is his 11th dark horse to win over nine seasons from eleven
selections, which is an incredible 100% strike rate.
Two days later “Burtie” once
again took the riding honours with yet another treble, which put
him on the 24 winner mark for the season. This time around they
were the first three races on the card. The first leg came aboard
Pot Shot in the opening Members race. The 1-3 well backed
“jolly” beat the only other finisher Oneanthreequarters
by 10 lengths, despite jumping to the right throughout much of the
race. The winner is trained at Bishops Castle by Pam Sykes and the
gelding is co-owned by Richard’s father Rob from Longner Hall
at Uffington and Les Griffiths from Tenbury Wells.
Thirty-five minutes later Burton was back in
the winner’s enclosure following a brilliant riding
performance aboard the giant of a horse, Maringo, in the Open
Maiden race. Coming over the last fence, Strong Weld had a lead of
two lengths with Waggy under David Mansell in second and Burton
third on Maringo but in a power packed finish, the latter prevailed
in the final stride to win a thriller by a neck from Waggy with
Strong Weld, who looked all over the winner, only third. The giant
Kadalko gelding who stands at 17.4 hands was bought as a yearling
in France by his owner Richard Kent from Market Drayton, who works
at Helshaw Grange Stud. The winner is trained at Cholmondley by
Donald McCain Jnr who said afterwards that his charge was still a
big baby and added that he was still growing.
The same combination completed a double at
the Shropshire course following the bloodless success of Cornish
Gale in the Mens Open. The former chaser under rules with Paul
Nicholls never came off the bit under Burton to beat the odds on
jolly Be My Friend by 25 lengths. This was McCain Juniors first
ever double as a trainer. The winner is owned by the flamboyant
entrepreneur Derek Malam from Nantwich who bought the horse to run
in the Bangor Final, a race that he has won twice before.
Another man with his sights set of the Bangor
Final is owner Mick Mann from Solihull following the very cheeky
win on his horse Christy Beamish in the Confined. The Paul Jones
trained Jolly Jake gelding had far more in hand under Gary Hamner
than the length and a half over Karinga Lane suggests. A jubilant
Mann said afterwards, “ He has now won his last four races
and didn’t he do it easily today. I was third in the Bangor
Final a few years ago with Garyspillane but this is a much better
horse and I am looking forward to going back to Bangor with
Once again clerk of the course John Beddoes
had the course spot on, which was reflected in plenty of runners.
In was also a good day for Beddoes as his daughter Sammie made
every yard to win the Ladies Open on the Heidi Brookshaw trained
Home Made, who was all out at the line to repel the renewed
challenge of Tessa Clark on Gaiac by a length. The runner up is
trained at Malpas by Nicki Hugo, who is the clerk of the course at
Eaton Hall. The winner is owned by Pip Harney, the joint master of
the North Shropshire Hunt, who lives at Mobberley, near
Tarporley trainer John Swindells has a very
useful type in Braeburn who was not extended to win the Restricted
by 25 lengths from the William Kinsey ridden The Sky Is Blue.
However it could all have changed six out when the trainers
daughter Gemma Swindells made a good recovery after a bad blunder
at the fence. The winner is owned jointly by John Swindells and
David Wood, who lives in the next village to the trainer at Eaton.
Swindells is planning to run his charge next in the Intermediate
race at Eaton Hall next Sunday.
One of the best finishes I have seen for a
long time came in the first division of the two the half mile
Maiden. Ben More under Michael Keel and No Keep with David Greenway
in the plate had a battle royal to the line. No Keep was headed
four times, but regained the lead on the jam stick to win an
absolute thriller by a head. Winning trainer Pete Morris from
Malpas said afterwards that he had his charge had been tubed two
months ago and it made a hell of a difference to him, adding that
being able to breath on his own had given him confidence. The
winner is owned jointly by father and son David and Mark Vaughan.
The latter lives in Tilston and the former at Colwyn Bay. Morris
bought the horse privately for them in Ireland last year.
The second division of the Maiden was just as
exciting. It is not often that you see Richard Burton jumping the
last with a lead of half a length and getting turned over, but
that’s exactly what happened over the last on the Sheila Crow
trained mare Saddlers Cloth, when he got touched off close home by
three parts of a length by Mark Jackson on Castle Frome. Sarah
Jackson trains the winner at Leominster for Dimock owner Peter