Sunday’s Tanatside meeting at Eyton on Severn was what point to point racing is all about. The meeting produced a really great day of competitive racing, with over 100 horses to contest the 8 race card; the crowd looked larger than normal. I walked the course beforehand and it looked in really good condition, a credit to the Eyton on Severn clerk of the course John Beddoes.
The fastest time of the day was 6m8s recorded by the Heidi Brookshaw trained Beautiful Dawn in the Restricted who held on well under Sammie Beddoes, the daughter of the clerk of the course, to repel the sustained challenge of David Mansell on Cottage River by a neck. The winner is owned by Elaine Fearnell from Whitchurch and Neville Jones from Bangor on Dee. Brookshaw who trains not far away from the course at Shrewsbury was delighted with her charges performance when I spoke to her afterwards, she said, “That was a very pleasing performance, I thought Sammie (Beddoes) gave him a great ride. He was bought cheaply out of Tony Martin’s yard in Ireland for only £1,600gns, which has proved to be a bargain. Hopefully he will progress now through his races.”
Another very impressive winner on the card was the Sue Taylor trained Bravery Scotch in the Intermediate race. The French bred gelding won with a lot more in hand under Clare Allen than the two and a half length margin over Belligerent with Adam Wadlow in the plate. Nick Oliver was a further five lengths back in third on Mr Cee. Taylor was represented by her partner Paul Jones, who now trains under rules at Pattingham. Speaking after the race, he said, “You can see the improvement in him from last year, he is progressing with every race. He may have a couple more runs in point to points before going hunter chasing. He is a very exciting prospect to have in the yard, he could be anything”. The Gothland gelding is owned by Michael Parr, who used to own the prolific winning gelding Lord Harry, I have known the owner for many years and it is worth taking note when he states that this is the best horse he has owned since Lord Harry.
Jakari, trained locally at Harnage Grange at Cressage by Jessica Scott, followed up his recent win at Chaddesley Corbett with another polished performance in the Men’s Open, when comfortably beating the long time leader Sweet Minuet readily by a couple of lengths with the trainers son 19yr old George Scott in the plate. Scott was full of praise afterwards for Carol and Phil Jarrett who look after the horse and home and do a lot of work with him, she added that he will stick to pointing this season, before going hunter chasing next year.
Clare Allen’s mount Premium First from the Andy Hobbs yard went off the 1-2 on jolly for the Ladies Open, but was run out of it in the final two strides by Protagonist under a very strong ride from the stylish Hannah Watson who won a thriller by a neck. The winner is trained and owned by Henrietta Madocks-Wright, who trains at Melton Mowbray was recording her first winner as a trainer in her first season. Last year Protagonist was trained by her sister Jo Messenger.
Another heavily backed odds on shot to be beaten was Chalk It Up in the opening Members race, who is owned by the Tanatside secretary Ian Anderson. The 1-3 favourite fell at the last when well beaten, the race was won by the gamble of the race Lathyrus 4-1 to 9-4, who won unchallenged by 25 lengths from Times Past. The winner is trained at Welshpool by Phil Jones for a syndicate called The Welshpool Club made up of local owners from the area headed by James Evans, another one of the owners is Patrick Burling who used to have the horse in training with Henry Daly under rules.
It was really good to see our area champion lady rider Sue Sharratt back in the winners enclosure, after being sidelined after a road accident. She gave Gentle George a great ride to win the first division of the Open Maiden beating Blazing Guns. The strangest part of this race was that the winning margin by the judge was given as a length, as it was at least 10 lengths. The winner is owned and trained at Leominster by Steve Flook.
The second division of the Open Maiden was won by the Fred Hutsby trained and ridden Rip Tullougher, who benefited from a bad last fence blunder from the runner up Ordis Rise to win by 3 lengths. Golden Harvey in the well known colours of Rob Burton was a further 3 lengths back in third with his son Richard in the plate. There is no doubt in my mind that the runner up would have won if he had jumped the last running, but they pay on the jam stick. The winner is trained at Stratford on Avon by Hutsby for owners Bob Sealey and Paul Langham from Redditch.
The last race on the card was the two and a half mile Confined Maiden, the first three past the judge could well turn out to be useful. The race was won by the mare Kitchen Loan under Mark Wall, who found a nice turn of foot to beat the Caroline Robinson trained Silver Ace by a couple of lengths, Gunner Be Quick from the Sheila Crow yard with Richard Burton aboard was a further length back in third. The winner is trained in Gloucester by Katie Baimbridge for the Opperman Racing Partnership from Tenbury Wells, which consists of Michael Opperman and his son Guy. The mare was purchased in Ireland by the former jockey JP McNamara who is now a full time bloodstock agent, Guy said that this was McNamara,s first ever purchase in his new job.