by Arthur Shone

The North West Hunts Club meeting at Tabley brought the curtain down on a very successful 2004 season in the North Western Area yesterday. The fixture attracted plenty of runners, so much so that the opening Maiden was divided. Racegoers basked in glorious sunshine and the crowd estimated at 8,000 plus were treated to a cracking days racing.

Shropshire rider Richard Burton sent a clear message to his rival Ashley Farrant that the National riders championship will go down to the wire at the Torrington Farmers meeting at Umberleigh on June 12th. He rode the winners of both divisions of the Open Maiden. The fist leg came with a battling display on All Eyez On Me in the first division. Burton was headed on the run in by Earl Token but fought back to gain a three parts of a length success. The winner is owned by Bernard and Carol Edwards from Bromsgrove and this was their first winner as owners. They bought the horse privately last season off Dr Phillip Pritchard. It was also a belated seasons success for trainer Mike Hammond from Worcester, who has 9 horses in his yard at present. The second leg came aboard the Sheila Crow trained Jupiter George who never came off the bridle to beat Snitton Salvo by 8 lengths. The winner was compensation for Nantwich owner Nick Morgan, whose other good horse with the Crows, Along The Lawn, was killed earlier in the season at Eaton Hall.

Burton was expected to complete a treble in the North West Club Members Race aboard the Sheila Crow trained Pristeen Spy, who went off the heavily backed 1-2 on jolly. They looked all over the winner jumping the last but Adam Wadlow conjured up a run on My Native Knight to win by a length and in half in the shadow of the post. The winner is trained by the riders mother Annabel at Bridgenorth and owned by his father Simon, who was delighted after the race, he said, “He has always had breathing problems and still has that’s why the plan was to hold him up, because he only has one run and Adam rode him to perfection.”

There was a tremendous finish to the end of the Ladies Open. Coming to the last fence there were three horses in a line. Class Of Ninety Two under Sue Sharratt held a narrow advantage from Dancetillyoudrop and Turia Tellwright with the well backed jolly Pretoria Dancer rallying in third. In a desperate finish, the spoils went to Turia Tellwright who got a renewed response from her mount to win by a length and a half in the shadow of the post from Class Of Ninety Two. This was the 20-year-old student from Bristol University’s first winner from just 6 rides. The Clearly Bust gelding is trained by her mother Tiddles at Malpas, who was a fair rider in her time. Speaking after the race, she said, ”Turia was given the horse by Paul Nicholls who she rides work for one day a week as a gift. We were originally going to go eventing with him, but decided to have a season with him pointing and it has turned out to be the right decision now. I have had a lot of help from the Brookshaws (Steve & Zena) with training the horse, they have been great.” Turia’s father Kirkland was on hand to greet his daughters first success and he said afterwards that the ground was really good at the course and he should know as he is the clerk of the course at Haydock Park.

It is not very often that you get a 15-year-old former chaser going off as favourite in a Men’s Open race but that’s exactly what General Wolfe did yesterday at the Cheshire course. The old boy had no answer to the 7-year-old Supreme Silence who beat him easing down under Nick Kent by 6 lengths, which made the long trip from West Yorkshire worthwhile for the winning connections.

One of the easiest winners of the day was Border Run in the PPORA Club Members Race who won in a hack canter by 10 lengths from Springwood White with Crackrattle a further 4 lengths away. The winner is trained at Tarporley by Richard Edwards, who is head lad to Alan Bailey and co owner Will Padden is Baileys amateur rider at the yard. The other co owner is Michelle Mullineaux, whose father Mick recommended the horse to the trainer.

Worleston rider Gary Hanmer regards the Tabley course as his manor. It was therefore fitting that he should win the Getting Out Stakes (Intermediate) on the Paul Jones trained Sharlom. The winner is co owned by the Albrighton Hunt clerk of the course Martin Kemp and by Steve Hammond. Both men are from the same village Burnhill Green, near Albrighton.