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Cheshire Forest at Tabley
Sunday 22nd April 2018
by Rory Alkin

The postponed meeting took place a week after schedule with 36 runners contesting the six races on mainly good to soft going. The highlight of the day was a double for Tom Chatfield Roberts on She's Real in the Conditions Race and Our Milly Acres in the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate, both owned by his father John.

The first part of the double came in the Conditions Race for eight years and over who had not won beyond Restricted class for the past two seasons. The largest field of the day turned out with eleven runners going to post and the race was well contested. Zac Baker made most of the running on Monetaire but was reeled in by She's Real after three out and the ten-year-old mare held off the challenge of Theo Gillard on Oscatara by a length and a half. The winner is trained by Helen Connors and had a wind operation after pulling up in a good Thorpe Open in January.

In the Intermediate, Our Millie Acres took it up four out and repelled the late challenge of Lake Balaton by two and a half lengths in the fastest time of the day. The winning mare had been off last season having won a Restricted at Higham the previous year and had run with promise behind Macs Gift at Chaddesley Corbett in February. She travelled up from Stuart Sampson's Devon stable and is now qualified for the sponsor's hunter chase final at Cheltenham on 4th May, but a decision on her participation will not be made until nearer the time.

The Mixed Open was won by Stephen Davies on the Trish Rigby owned and trained Garde Ville who was held up and caught Open Hearted before the last, staying on well to win by four lengths. Having pulled up the previous week at Hereford, the gelding was left out in a field for the week and that treatment worked well here. The owners are considering going for a hunter chase and he should be effective in that sphere where stamina is at a premium.

Harry Myddleton who rode the runner-up in the Mixed Open had previously had an exercise canter on his father's Master Splodge who pulled clear of the other finisher Roskeen Boy in the Dodson and Horrell PPORA Novice Riders race.

There was an eye-catching performance in the concluding Maiden where Henry Crow made all and pulled clear on Rob The Getaway and came home almost a fence clear of the favourite Big Brother George in a quick time. The winner is trained by the jockey's grandmother Sheila Crow who bought the five year-old gelding privately in Ireland last November for owner Colin Gittins. The trainer is considering running the winner in the Point to Point Bumper at Aintree next month.

In the opening Members, the favourite Alpha Victor started very slowly and refused at the first. Ben Furnival made all on Asangy and won by fifteen lengths from Tommie O'Brien on the debutant Sparkle Again. The six year old Italian bred winner had won three races on the flat in France and was picked up for £1,800 guineas at the Doncaster Autumn Sales last year. The gelding is trained by Richard Edwards for owner Howard Taylor.

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