Point to point enthusiasts basked in glorious sunshine at the Cheshire Forest meeting between the flags at Tabley. It was good card, full of the usually thrills and spills and with a hint of controversy thrown in for good measure.
The Men’s Open was a very controversial race which was won by the Richard Hewitt trained Le Seychellois under Joe Proctor which beat Fresh Love under Miles Seston by 15 lengths. However there was drama at the start when Will Kinsey aboard the well backed jolly Von Origny pulled the horse up before the first fence believing it was a false start. Von Origny is trained at Malpas by Corrine Wynne, the trainer was represented at the course by her husband Steve Wynne who trains under rules. Both Kinsey and Wynne were fuming after the race, Wynne said, “The flag man said it was a false start as too did the rider of the third horse Liam Payter, he said that the only reason he did not pull up was because he followed the other horses, the race should have been declared void.”. The owner of Von Oringy Geoffrey Probin objected on the grounds that the race should have been voided. The stewards interviewed the starter Mr G Baxter, who said he was happy that it was a good start, after what seemed an eternity the stewards let the result stand and threw out the objection, and took no action against Kinsey for pulling the horse up. Many punters were unhappy with the decision most believed the race would be voided. Anglesey trainer Hewitt put up a valid point when he said if it was a void race then it should have been voided after a circuit. My sympathy lies with the punters who backed Von Origny, because he was the form horse in the race. Also backers of the Paul Hogarth trained King Killone in the race, would not have been happy either as the gelding refused to start.
The Ladies Open provided Immy Robinson with her first winner of the season aboard Whistling Straits who beat the only other finisher Prelude D’Estruval under Kelda Wood. The winner is trained by the riders mother Caroline Robinson at Sherriffhales and co owned by her mother Pat Beasley and George Hibbert. Robinson said afterwards that the plan was not to be in front so long as he likes company, she also added that like a lot of older horses they tend to look after themselves.
Nantwich trainer Gary Hanmer regards Tabley as his manor, he rarely leaves the Cheshire course without a winner. He completed a treble with Noble Persian in the Members race, who came home unchallenged by 20 lengths from Broken Reed. The Persian Bold gelding is owned by the Tabley clerk of the course Rob Hankey.Hanmer said afterwards that the winner would run next at the Cheshire meeting at Alpraham this Sunday.
The second leg came aboard Fairymount in the two and half mile Maiden also in the colours of Rob Hankey. This was a remarkable race as Dave Mansell on Amatara set off to make all and was three lengths clear approaching the last fence, but ended up third as both Miles Seston on Fairymount flew the last and landing running as did Stuart Ross on He’s A Hawker, an amazing race that the winner won by 5 lengths from He’s A Hawker with Amatara 3 lengths back in third. The winner was the trainers dark horse selection before the start of the season, he was impressive today.
Hanmer and Seston completed the hat trick in the Restricted with Ballyeightra Cross who stayed on strongly on the run in to beat Echo India with Will Kinsey in the plate by a length and a half. Blinding Lights was a further four lengths back in third. The winner is owned locally by Stephen Evason from Ashley. He bought the horse at the Doncaster Sales last August to replace his other horse Bangkok Bob, who was sadly killed at Chaddesley Corbett. This was the riders first ever treble, he divides his time between riding out for Richard Fahey and Gary Hanmer.
The Intermediate race went to the Sue Sharratt ridden Cluthe Boy who made virtually all the running until headed by Keenans’s Reserve, but fought back tenaciously on the run in to win a thriller by a couple of lengths. Sharratt also trains the winner at Eccleshall for the Apache Partnership, which is made up of the trainer, Chris Mellard, Di Cope and Lynne Hartley
Springfield Dante with the stylish rider Simon Walker in the plate needed the line in the Open Maiden as the fast finishing Rockabilly from the Phillip Rowley yard under Liam Payter was finishing like a rocket on the run in, but failed to catch Springfield Dante by a length. The first two pulled a distance clear of the third horse Maddy Lewis who is trained by Gordy Edwards. The winner is trained by Nick Kent at Brig for owner Margaret Pinney