by Arthur Shone

What a difference a year makes! Last year the Cheshire course was windswept and very wet, twelve months on and Eaton Hall was basking in glorious sunshine for the Wynnstay meeting between the flags. A crowd estimated at 10,000 plus turned up to witness a cracking afternoons racing.

Yesterday will be a day that 22-year-old Hannah Kinsey will remember for a long time. She rode her first ever winner aboard Sea Tarth in the Ladies Open, beating the jolly Wandering Light by 4 lengths. Zamhareer ran on at the end of the race to finish 7 lengths further back in third. The winner is trained by the riders mother Julia at Peel Hall, Ashton.

Another rider Joe O’Brien was another rider to record his winner in this country after making all on the mare Fruity Farm in P.P.O.R.A Club Members Maiden Race. The 29-year-old rider had ridden two winners between the flags in Ireland previously but this was his first in the UK since he joined Sheila Crow yard at Hadnall. Sheila was delighted with the winner as she bred the mare herself from her own mare Fruit Farm, which she rode to victory between the flags, as did her daughter Lucy.

Crow went on to complete a double at the Cheshire course following the impressive victory of Involved under Richard Burton in the Morgan Homes Confined race. The Macmillion gelding extended his unbeaten run to three, beating Analystic by 4 lengths. Owner Richard French has had many winners with the Crows but this one is a bit tasty. Sheila was delighted with her charge’s win, she said, ”That was a good test for him today. Richard (Burton) said that he almost got taken out by a loose horse and that he lost his place on the bend, but he did well to recover. I regard him as a serious horse.”

One of the most popular winners on the course was Step On Eyre in the Land Rover Mens Open. The veteran chaser was ridden by the clerk of the course Chris Stockton, who finished 3 lengths to the good over The President who finished strongly under Gary Hanmer with the favourite Whatafellow a further 12 lengths back in third. The winner is trained at Whitchurch by Steve Wynne for a syndicate of five local owners from Cheshire, one of whom is the winning rider. The winning connections received the Anne Duchess Of Westminster Challenge Cup and it is ironic the Her Grace used to own the winner of the race.

It was a case of seeing old friends yesterday for Her Grace, as another one of her former horses, Three Saints, finished alone in the opening two runner Members race. The winner is trained at Marchweil, Nr Wrexham by Vic Dutton and owned by his son Geoff who hunts the horse himself.

One of the easiest winners on the card came in the second division of the Maiden when Underley Park won the race in a hack canter by 15 lengths under Kevin Pearson from Clodagh Valley. The winner is trained at Tarporley by Carrie Ford for owner David Greenwood, who is the master of the Vale Of Lune hunt. This division was run 5 seconds faster than the first division of the Maiden which was won by Pearlys Song under Russell Dobney, who also owns and trains the horse himself.

There was some compensation for Gary Hamner in the Getting Out Stakes (Restricted) after he landed the spoils on Charlie Keay, getting the better of a dour battle with Lemmar Boy by a length and a half. Hanmer trains the winner himself at his Worleston yard.