Flint & Denbigh
Photos by Graham Fisher
The Flint and Denbigh meeting at Bangor on Dee was definitely one for the true point to point enthusiasts, as the weather was awful, freezing cold with plenty of showers thrown in for good measure, saying that the racing was excellent.
The opening Members race went to Von Origny who is trained locally by Corrine Wynne at Malpas and ridden by Jonathon Jarrett. The combination had some 25 lengths to spare over the odds on jolly Steppes Of Gold , who is trained by Tiddles Tellwright. Last year the gelding ran in Lord Daresburys colours, but this time around he is owned by Geoffrey Probin from Malpas.
Hadnall trainer Sheila Crow goes into next weeks Cheltenham Festival with very strong claims of landing the Christies Foxhunters with Cappa Bleu, the current ante post favourite for the race. At Bangor on Dee she won the Intermediate with Gunner Be Quick under Richard Burton by three parts of a length from the fast finishing Lagosta, with Belligerent a couple of lengths back in third. This was Crow’s 10th winner of the season and Richard Burton’s 16th, he had earlier been successful on the Caroline Robinson trained Shales Army in the first division of the two and a half mile Maiden. Speaking after the race, she said, “Richard (Burton) said that he did not like the soft ground, but he got through it with his ability. He is improving all the time, the funny thing is that I wanted to sell the horse, but Edward (Crow) told me to keep him and have some fun with him, and he has been proved right. It is good to go to Cheltenham after having a winner, hopefully it is a good omen.”
The first division of the Open Maiden went down to the wire with The Howardian who got up in the very last couple of strides to win by a neck under Adam Wadlow from Quick Bay with Sub Artic a further 6 lengths back in third. The winner is owned and trained at Nr Bridgnorth by Belinda Clarke who bought the handsome son of Zaffaran at the Doncaster sales in January last year, Clarke uses the horse as her hack at home, where she currently has 7 horses in training.
The second division of the Maiden was won in good style by Dead Or Alive under Deano Coleman, who to be honest could have gone around again, the winning margin of 30 lengths over Nomadic Dreamer flattered the runner up, Karshaan was a further 10 lengths back in third. The winner is trained at Glamorgan by Abbi Vaughan, who was represented at the course by her husband Tim who is a very successful trainer under rules. Speaking after racing he said, ”I bought him last August at the Doncaster Sales. I liked him when I saw him, he used be trained in Ireland by Michael Hourigan. I bought him for David Lovell who always wanted a horse to win the Dunraven Cup at Chepstow and we need to qualify now in a point to point in Wales, the owner would love to win the race in memory of his father John Lovell a former bookmaker, who was tragically killed in a car crash last April.” The winner took the bookies to the cleaners as he was backed off the boards from 7-1 to 4-6 and landed a real touch in the ring.
Betting coups seem to be habit in the North West, I bumped into Derek Malam yesterday who landed a real betting coup at Eyton with his horse Pack Drill a few weeks ago, he told me that he has just taken delivery of a new range rover with the money he won at Eyton.
Sian McCain, the wife of Cholmondley trainer Donald McCain Jnr got off the mark as a trainer after Maurice won the Men’s Open under a very confident ride from the stylish Brian Toomey, he was held up today by Toomey who took up the running on the approach to the last to win a shade cosily by a length from the long time leader Adam’s Wine with the staying on Clear The Line a further 4 lengths back in third. McCain was elated when I spoke to her afterwards, she said, “I am really pleased for the horse, he deserves this, when he ran last time out at Eyton he came back gurgling, so I put a tongue strap on him today and Brian (Toomey) gave him a great ride and it was very good of Trevor Hemmings to give the horse to me as a gift, altogether I have got three pointers to train this season.”
Casalani followed up her recent Whitwick win with an emphatic victory in the Ladies Open under Hannah Watson, the mare stayed on very strongly to win going away by 7 lengths from the Caroline Robinson trained Reflected Glory, Flashy Boy was a further 10 lengths back in third. The winner is trained and co owned by Romsley trainer Wendy Baylis, the other co owner is Sue Jordan from Clent in Worcester.
The rain came just in time for the Joanne Priest trained Heavy Weather in the Confined who ran out a very game winner by a length and a half from Good Time Willie, Shraden Edition stayed on well to take third some 12 lengths away. As for the winning rider Adrian Wintle he was told by the trainer the night before that she would not be running the horse as the going was good to firm, but a friend of hers rang her up from the course to say it was raining heavily at Bangor, so she decided to run as he loves soft ground.
Sherriffhales trainer Caroline Robinson won the first division of the two and a half mile Maiden with Shales Army winning very easily under Richard Burton by a distance from Naval Hero. It was an emotional victory for the trainer as it was the first winner that has won in colours of her late father Jeremy Beasley. The Alflora gelding looks above average and according to his trainer he will act on any going, and is definitely one to follow for the rest of the season.
The second division of the two and a half mile Maiden saw Chaddesley Corbett trainer Theresa Morris get off the mark for the season following the success of Cones under Tom Weston, the Great Palm gelding won by 2 lengths from Lady Roisin with Fresh Fruit staying on well in third. The winner was bought privately in the summer and is owned by family members and Sheila Cartwright. The trainer described the win as a nice surprise and totally unexpected. Sadly, the race was marred by the death of the Gary Hanmer trained Master Wiz.