by Arthur Shone

Yesterdays rescheduled Tanatside meeting between the flags at Eyton on Severn was one for the true enthusiasts of our sport, because it had rained non stop at the course since around 9.00am in the morning and during the first three races, which resulted in quite a sparse crowd at the Shropshire track. Those that stayed away missed a really good competitive days racing.

The National and North Western Area champion rider Richard Burton has made a habit of riding trebles outside the area this season, most notably at Horseheath, however he drew a blank here. The riding honours went to Much Wenloch rider William Hill, who completed his first ever treble in the saddle. His best day previously had been a double at Brampton Bryan. The first leg came aboard the aptly named Heavy Weather in the Restricted, who finishing very strongly to win going away from the Pam Sykes runner Donrico to score readily by 6 lengths, with the “jolly” Master Club Royal a further half-length back in third; he gives the impression that he’ll be a better horse over a longer trip. The winner is trained by Jo Priest at Shatterford, near Kidderminster for owner Patrick Kennedy from Broome in Worcester. The owner bought the winner in a private deal with John O’Callagan in Ireland four weeks ago and then sent him to Priest.

The middle leg came with insulting ease on Beachcomber in the second division of the Open Maiden. The Kuwait Beach gelding galloped his rivals ragged from four out winning hard-held by 15 lengths from The Noble Roman. The winner is trained at Much Wenloch by John Groucott at the late John Downes old yard; John worked for Downes for 25 years. Winning owner Frank Peate from Bridgenorth bought the horse in the summer at the Ascot sales.

Karinga Lane rounded off a good day for Hill when winning the “getting out stakes” (Confined Maiden) by 15 lengths from the only other finisher Mountsorrell from the Gordie Edwards yard at Sommerton Stud, near Shrewsbury. The winner was trained by Jo Priest for owner Oliver Davies from Billingley, near Bridgenorth; he bought the winner off his neighbour Shaun Parker.

Shatterford trainer Jo Priest was also in treble form at the Shropshire course, but she only made her mind up to run Stretching in the Ladies Open an hour before the race, the reason being that her horse needed soft ground. Her decision to run was justified when the Contract Law gelding under Jane Williams beat Justin Mac in a hack canter by 12 lengths. The winner is owned by former trainer Mel Lloyd from Chaddersley Corbett, who Jo rode plenty of winners for.

Jane Williams completed a double in the plate for her mother Di on Step And Run, who accounted for the notable scalp of Pristeen Spy in the Intermediate by 6 lengths. The winner is trained at Enville Hall, Enville, near Stoubridge. It was her mothers 6th win of the season and Jane’s 7th.

The former dual national and seven times area champion rider Alistair Crow from Hadnall achieved a very notable landmark in his career in the saddle when he completed his 200th winner overall (194 point-to-points & 6 hunter chases), following the success of Along The Lawn in the first division of the Open Maiden, beating Iadora by a distance. Crow was handed the race when Bless Yourself under Gary Hanmer fell at the last when upsides, but Crow said afterwards that he would have won anyway, as he had plenty of horse left. The winner is owned jointly by Nick Morgan from Crewe and Mark Bevan from Wilmslow. This was there first winner as owners. Hadnall trainer Sheila Crow who trains the winner has always thought a lot of her charge, she said ”He is a very nice horse. I liked him when I first saw him in Ireland. He will improve an awful lot from this race and it will have done his confidence a lot of good. I told Alistair before the race that this could be the one for his 200 and I am so pleased it was and I am especially pleased for my owners, as this was their first winner.”

Shiny Bay sprang a 16-1 shock under Nick Pearce in the Mens’ Open, beating the well backed “jolly” Coole Venture under Richard Burton by 3 lengths in the fastest time of the day, 6m 33s. This was Pearce’s second winner of the season and his 14th overall. The secret to the winner is the ground according to Northampton trainer Jenny Garley, who said afterwards that her charge needs soft ground and that’s the reason she made the long trip to Eyton. She has four horses in training for Jane Tice.

The Tanatside Hunt secretary Phil Jones usually manages to win a race at his home meeting. This time around was no exception as he trained Cutina to land the Members under David Barlow. The winner is owned by the North Western Area chairman Roger Everall from Shrawdine, who sent the horse to his son in law (Phil Jones) at Xmas to train, as the mare had previously been under rules with Steve Brookshaw.