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Monday 17th April 2006

by Arthur Shone

Monday afternoon produced a cracking days racing. The warm weather prior to racing saw race goers flock to the course in droves, which resulted in a crowd well in excess of 10,000. It was also another good day in the office for Shrewsbury rider Richard Burton, who followed up his treble at Sandon on Easter Saturday with another treble here. This was his 32 nd winner of the season, which puts him well on track to retaining his national and area riders championships. Once again, Hadnall trainer Sheila Crow took the training honours with a double to record her 22 nd winner of the season.

The Men’s Open for the coveted Silver Fox trophy was a repeat of the 2005 Bangor Final between the winner No Retreat from the John Groucott yard and the runner up Cornish Gale from the Donald McCain Jnr stable. This time around the placings were reversed. Cornish Gale who won this race last year was given a supremely confident ride by the champion rider Richard Burton. He tracked No Retreat all the way round and then pounced at the second last to win going away by 6 lengths. Winning trainer Donald McCain said afterwards that this was the first time in 18 months that the winner had had his favoured fast ground; he also added that he was very hopeful that his charge would run very well in the Bangor Final next month if the ground was quick. The winner ran in the well-known colours of the flamboyant entrepreneur Derek Malam from Nantwich, who is great supporter of this sport.

The mare Jackie Jarvis regained her old form of last season when easily winning the Ladies Open easing down by 15 lengths from Sue Sharratt on Lance Toi with Monsieur Tagel a further two lengths back in third. Winning trainer John Swindells from Tarporley said afterwards that his charge loved the fast ground and Eyton and added that if it was similar ground at Bangor next month then he would be tempted to run her in the Bangor Final. The winner is owned jointly by the trainer and Jan Wood who is also from the Tarporley area

Will Hill is riding on a crest of a wave this season and rode a very stylish race on Oh So Droll in the Confined to record his eighth winner of the season. The Teenoso gelding was produced with a perfectly timed run at the last fence to collar the odds jolly Shraden Edition under Richard Burton and win a shade cosily by six lengths. The winner is trained at Bishops Castle by Pam Sykes and ran in the unfamiliar colours of Johnny Lomax and Chris Acton as most people associate this horse with Richard Burton’s father Rob, but he explained afterwards that he had leased his horse to the new owners for the season, because co owner Chris Acton wanted a horse to learn to ride on in point to point races but unfortunately he fell off the horse at Bangor and is currently sidelined with a broken thumb as a result of his tumble.

Only three runners faced the starter for the opening Members race which saw the Sheila Crow trained Lord Bush under Richard Burton go off at an unbackable 1-10 on. The combination won as an odds on shot should making every yard to beat Hugo De Perro under Luke Johnson by 15 lengths. The runner up is trained by Crow’s brother Gordie Edwards. The Lord Americo gelding was winning his fourth race of the season and is owned by Richard French from Eccleshall and by David and Ann Carding from Walcot. Crow said afterwards that her charge would have a rest for a few weeks and plans to run him next in a hunter chase at Cheltenham.

Richard French also visited the winner’s enclosure as the sole owner following the success of Bobtail in the Restricted, who found a nice turn of foot under the champion rider Richard Burton to win going away by three lengths from Times Two under David Greenway. Winning trainer Sheila Crow was very relieved after this race that her charge had finally got his head in front. Speaking after the race, she said, “We bought him in Ireland two years ago. He has plenty of problems from sore shins to a bad cold and we have just had to be patient with him. We’re lucky to have owners like Richard (French), who is a very patient man. Thank God that we have won another Restricted as I have so many horses to run in these races. We might run him next in a two and a half mile hunter chase at Huntingdon if the ground remains fast, as this is his ground.”

It was also a notable landmark for Cholmondley trainer Charlie Barlow, who recorded his first winner as a trainer following the success of Carnalway in the Open Maiden with his brother David in the plate; he only needs one more winner to reach the century as he is currently on 99-winner mark after yesterday. The winner pulled out more when challenged by Carly Goodall on Major Bit to win by a length and a half with the well-backed Minnigaff a similar distance back in third. The winner used to be trained under rules by Francis Flood and was purchased by his owner and trainer privately in Ireland two years ago.

The 4,5,6 & 7 year old Maiden race over two and a half miles was won in fine style by Lathyrus who quickened up nicely under the talented Charlie Huxley to win readily by 8 lengths from Inch Over with Hop Pocket a further 4 lengths back in third. The winner was a former inmate under rules with Henry Daly and is trained at Leighton by James Evans for a syndicate from the Welshpool area, which includes the trainer his father Jim, Jim Blurton, Patrick Burling and Wayne Tuffin.


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