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North Shropshire at Eyton-on-Severn
Monday 6th May 2019

by Rory Alkin

The Clerk of the course David Bostock produced good ground for the fixture, which took place on a cold but dry day. There was some interesting racing with a couple of good finishes.

The opening two-and-a-half mile Maiden for young horses was won impressively by the four-year-old debutant Blossoming Forth, who took it up before the third last from Well Afford and won by an easy eleven lengths. The filly was bought for 26,000 euro at last year's Derby sales by owner/trainer Phil Rowley and was ridden by Alex Edwards.

In the Mens Open, Edwards came with a good run on Bear's Affair to lead narrowly at the last, but the favourite Black Valentine, ridden by Will Thirlby stayed on better to win by a neck. The winner was completing his hat-trick for trainer Kirsty Smith and owner Peter Bennett.

The Ladies Open was a two-runner affair, which saw the return of the prolific Road To Rome who had won three points and four Hunter Chases in a row before running creditably in the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunters. The long-odds favourite led under Lily Pinchin but was overtaken at the fourteenth by Lorna Brooke, on Hawkestone Spirit, and the latter took a commanding lead when he ran out through the wing of the second last, leaving Road To Rome to finish alone.

In the Confined Alex Edwards on Undisputed was the odds-on favourite but fell at the fifth. Fair Exchange led until after the second last and Roevin Star came with a well-timed run to lead at the last and stayed on strongly to win by six lengths from Beggars Bush with Fair Exchange a length-and-a-half back in third. The winner is owned by the Garton Family and was ridden by Ed Glassonbury. Tim Garton attended last year's Doncaster September sales, and when the nine-year-old gelding failed to make the reserve, he bought the horse from former trainer Eoin Doyle.

In the Restricted David Mansell led on Midnight Frensi until the third last, where Fred Timmis took it up on Middle Field and stayed on well to win by fifteen lengths, for owners Robin Lewis and Craig Lodge. The winner had won his Maiden here on Easter Monday and is trained by Robin's daughter and Craig's partner Rhiannon.

In the three-mile Maiden for older horses, Albert Cutler and Do The Honours battled for the lead for most of the final circuit. Do The Honours looked beaten when falling two out, which left Albert Cutler leading from Love Around who had made relentless progress in the last mile. However, Albert Cutler broke down soon after that fence leaving Love Around to finish alone under Henry Crow. The six-year-old mare was bred by trainer Sheila Crow, and she sold her to owner Sue Davies a couple of years ago.

The concluding four-runner Members race was the most exciting of the day. David O'Brien on Numbercruncher slipped the field and opened up a good lead, but his mount was tiring at the last and just held on from Guy Sankey on Global Power, with the eye-catching maiden Catwalk Frank only a length back in third.


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