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Sunday 26th March 2006

by Arthur Shone

There was a huge crowd at Alpraham yesterday for the Cheshire hunt meeting between the flags. The rain lashed course produced an excellent days racing, one or two more runners would not have come amiss, but overall no complaints. The winners were not too hard to find, the only difficult part was getting off the course! It was lottery when your car got bogged down in the mud as to whether the tractor towed you off or you got through the mud with the aid of a push from somebody, in my case it was the latter.

Only four runners went to post for the opening Members race; fifty per cent of the field was trained by Cholmondley trainer Donald McCain for Nantwich owner Derek Malam. They landed the spoils with The Eens under Ed Bourne who made amends after unseating at Eyton last Sunday. The winner was twenty lengths too good for the runner up Chadswell under Harry Challenor, the 16yr old rider was having only his second race ride. He works for Richard Ford at Tarporley, and the runner up is trained by his wife Carrie.

Tarporley trainer Carrie Ford did not leave her local course empty handed following the success of Next To Nothing, who ran in the same colours as Unguided Missile. The Bobs Return gelding made virtually every yard from flag fall under Tania Harrison to outstay Step And Run under Jane Williams by 5 lengths with the veteran Dancetillyoudrop was a further distance back in third. This horse had been a good advert for pointing he loves the game and is a reliable schoolmaster for the Tellwright family and was ridden today by Flo Tellwright and trained by her mother Tiddles. The winner is owned by the riders father David Harrison from Alsager.

The Mens’ Open only had three runners to face the starter. On the betting tissue before the race the Sheila Crow trained Darnil was the 4-7 favourite following by Tinarana Lord at 11-8. That is exactly how they finished at the post with the well backed jolly under Richard Burton 8 lengths too good for Tinarana Lord with Stuart Ross in the plate. The winner is owned by David Rogers from Shrewsbury. This was his horses third win of the season and he has the silverware on his sideboard after Darnil was the area champion horse last season. If Darnil has a few more wins under his belt then he will be polishing the cup again for another year. Sheila Crow was full of praise for her charge saying afterwards that he hated the soft ground, but added that he was so tough that he just knuckles down and gets on with it.

The Confined race went to the Will Kinsey trained and ridden Castleford, who was handed the race when Ricky B under Adam Wadlow fell at the second last when upsides. Castleford took full advantage to come home in a hack canter by 30 lengths from Robbies Adventure with Sally Ford in the plate. The runner up is no relation to Tarporley trainer Richard Ford, but she works for him and her horse is trained by Richard’s wife, Carrie. The winner is one of 8 that Will Kinsey trains at his Ashton yard near Chester. The winner is owned by Caroline Page from Ottley, who is the mother of one of his old schoolfriends.

Will Kinsey then went on to ride a double with Ikemba in the Restricted. The Executive Perk gelding battled back when headed at the last by Fosse Park under David Sherlock to regain the lead on the run in to win by 6 lengths. The winner is trained by the in form trainer John Grocoutt at Much Wenloch for owners Mark Harris and his wife Dean from Berrington Manor. The owners bought the horse in Ireland and have had him since he was a 3yr old. This was a mile stone for Kinsey as this was his first career double in the saddle.

Richard Hewitt, who trains at Benllech in Anglesey, made the long journey worth while when Eurodeal put up a very polished display of jumping under Adam Wadlow to land the Open Maiden on the bit by 15 lengths from Deux Bons Amis. It has been a good fortnight for Hewitt coming on the back of Ricky B’s victory at Whittington the week before.

The Open Maiden over two and a half miles was a very dramatic affair. Kings Reason under Adam Wadlow fell at the last when in contention then Iris’s Dream under Stuart Ross touched down over the last with a lead of just over a length, but The Bare Minimum then landed running under Adrian Wintle to forge clear on the run in to win going away by 12 lengths. The winner is trained at Malpas by Steve Wynne for Malpas owner Dave Manning who is great supporter of this sport. This was Wynne’s fourth winner of the season and the horse has only been in his yard since May last year after being bought privately from trainer Mick Easterby by Manning.


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