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Saturday 12th April 2008
by Arthur Shone

Last Saturday’s rescheduled Cheshire meeting at Alpraham took place in glorious sunshine. The new entrance on to the course worked well, the crowd was down on previous years, but rearranged meetings always seem to suffer with runners and a crowd, in fact only 27 runners contested 7 races, the final race was a walkover. It was a good day for punters with every favourite going in all six races, not such a good day for the bookies.

The most impressive winner on the card was the Heidi Brookshaw trained Beautiful Dawn, who never came off the bit under Sammie Beddoes to win very easily by 12 lengths from Castleford. The gelding is owned jointly by Nev Jones from Bangor on Dee and Elaine Fearnall from Whitchurch. Brookshaw, said afterwards that her charge was progressing nicely and added that she was running her horse next in a novice hunter chase at Bangor on Dee. This was Sammie Beddoes last winner at Alpraham as she will be retiring at the end of the season.

Nantwich trainer Gary Hanmer took the training honours with a double at his local course. The first leg came in the Open Maiden with Chase The Dream, who despite bolting on the way down to the start still won comfortably under Stuart Ross by 8 lengths from Ancient Mariner with Oscar Churton in the plate. The Dream’s End gelding is owned by Don Constable from Market Drayton. Hanmer described the winner as a complete nutter with loads of ability!

Hanmer completed the second leg with Tinarana Lord in the Men’s Open, who was given a brilliant ride by Richard Burton to beat Flashy Boy by 3 lengths. The son of Teamster has to be held up until the last possible moment; Burtie carried out Hanmer’s instructions to the letter, when taking up the running on the run to the last fence to record his 18 th winner of the season. Hanmer thinks a lot of the winner when I spoke to him afterwards, he said, “ He relished the conditions today. Burtie gave him a great ride as he has to be held up until the very last minute. I may run him next in a hunter chase at Stratford; at the moment Border Fusion will be my runner in the Bangor Final, a race that he won last year, but if it came up soft at Bangor then Tinarana Lord would definitely run.” The winner is owned in partnership with the trainers mother Gwyneth Hanmer, Brenda Shaw from the Nantwich area, and also by Norma Burke from Wolverhampton.

However the riding honours belonged to Kelsall based Stuart Ross, who completed a treble aboard Tinarana Lord in the Men’s Open, Tommy Two Shoes in the Members for owner John Donald, whom he also trained and with St Phillips Girl, who walked over in the two and a half mile Maiden

Step And Run, trained at Enville by Di Williams and ridden by the trainer’s daughter Jane won their third Ladies Open in a month, when making every yard to win by 5 lengths from Immy Robinson on Rebel Army. Williams said afterwards that her charge had earned a rest after this race.

Richard Edwards used to be the traveling head lad for trainer Alan Bailey at Sandy Brow Stables at Tarporley, his former guvnor now trains at Newmarket, but Edwards leased a few boxes from the new master of Sandy Brow the well known show jumper Robert Walker. Edwards trained a winner in his own right from the famous yard, when Festival Time under Harry Challenor easily won the Restricted by 25 lengths from Corston Jigtime. The winner is owned locally by Miss Gillian Milner from Tarporley.

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