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Flint & Denbigh at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse
Sunday 11th March 2018
by Rory Alkin

Alex Edwards came to the meeting at Bangor-on-Dee with a full book of seven mounts and he increased his lead on the jockey's title riding a treble for Phil Rowley on Salvatore, Optimised and Stoleaway.

In the two-and-a-half-mile Maiden for younger horses, Salvatore was handy throughout and although the four-year-old debutant Generation Gap closed to a couple of lengths three out, the winner stayed on well to win by six lengths. The five-year-old winner is owned by a syndicate of six enthusiastic members of the North Staffordshire which includes former jockey Sue Sharratt.

Edwards double came in the Restricted aboard the Chaddesley Corbett Maiden winner Optimised who went clear from three out and idled on the run-in to beat Belton Red Fox by three lengths. The concluding Conditions race was for eight-year-old and upwards who had not won since July 2016 and having beaten off the favourite Western Promise at the second last, Edwards had to use his full strength on Stoleaway to repel the late challenge of Hannah Gregory on Owen Glendower by a neck. The winner owned by the Crazy Dealers syndicate missed last year with a leg injury after showing promise two seasons ago winning a Hunter Chase.

Late Romantic ridden by Ed Glassonbury had created a good impression when winning the Members here three weeks ago and once again put in an outstanding performance, making a procession of the Intermediate on the final circuit, eventually winning easily by twenty lengths from Edwards on Following Mama. Although the winner was also entered for the Restricted, he took this option instead to qualify for the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Hunter Chase at Cheltenham in May.

The Mixed Open where only three declared, turned out to be a thriller with Peter Bryan getting up close home on Lotus Pond to beat Edwards on Grandturgeon by a neck. The winner was in receipt of ten pounds from the gallant runner-up which probably made the difference. It was a real family affair with the winner owned jointly by the jockey's father Willie Bryan and his grandfather David Smith and trained by his cousin Mickey Bowen.

Heidi Brookshaw's good run with her small string continued in the Restricted where Jack Andrews had Ballyrath in the lead from the seventh and the combination easily repelled the late challenge of Henry Crow on Irish Anthem by three and a half lengths. The winner a successful chaser a couple of seasons ago for Nigel Twiston-Davies was acquired privately last autumn by Colin and Teresa Moore who had worked him at home until three weeks ago when they transferred him to Heidi Brookshaw's stable. The eight-year-old gelding should come on for the run and give connections plenty of enjoyment for the rest of the season.

The three-mile Maiden was won by the Sam Alwood trained Alright Chief who stayed on well to beat Henry Crow on Love Around by five lengths. The six-year-old winner who had been runner-up here at the previous meeting was acquired for £8,000 guineas at the Ascot June sales by Steve Evason and Beverley Bostock.

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