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27th February 2005
by Arthur Shone

The Tanatside Hunt meeting between the flags at Eyton on Severn produced a really good competitive card. There were plenty of runners to contest the nine races and despite the cold weather, there was a reasonable crowd at the Shropshire course. I walked the course before hand and it was level with a good covering of grass, which was a credit to the clerk of the course John Beddoes, who came in for much praise during the afternoon from owners, trainers and riders alike.

Atcham rider Richard Burton took the riding honours with a treble, his second in consecutive Sundays, which put him on the 11 winner mark for the season, which also cements his lead at the top of the National Riders championship.

The first leg came aboard the progressive Darnil in the Intermediate race. The son of Grand Plaisir had a terrific battle with Shraden Leader, ridden by David Barlow and neither horse gave an inch in the last half mile. Coming to the last fence, Darnil was a neck up and extended the margin on the run in to a length and three quarters. This was a terrific race to watch and the runner up, who is owned by the area chairman Roger Everall and trained by his son in law Phil Jones at Welshpool, will not be long in winning on this evidence. The winner is trained at Hadnall by Sheila Crow for Shrewsbury businessman David Rogers and is highly regarded by his trainer. Speaking afterwards she said, ”This is a serious horse and I can see the improvement in him as I ride him out every day. He will improve again from this run, he has a nice turn of foot and he did it nicely in the end.”

Burton needed to be at his strongest to land the Mens Open on Minella Silver, who had a battle royal with Joe O’Brien on the Heidi Brookshaw trained Home Tor with the former finding more on the run in to score by two and a half lengths. The winner is trained at Glazeley by Guy Landau, who is the form trainer with four winners from four runners.

Burton had to wait to the final race, division 2 of the incident packed Confined maiden, for the last leg of his treble. There was drama at the first fence where three horses fell and the well-backed Pusslin was also taken out of the race by fallers and was then pulled up before the second. Burtons mount Classic Shot escaped the fallers and came home easily by 12 lengths from Crested Penguin, with Border Chief, the only other finisher, back in third a distance away. The winner got Bishops Castle trainer Pam Sykes off the mark for the season. It was also a family celebration for Richard as the winner is owned by his father Rob Burton from Uffington.

Steve Wynne sent out his first winner of the season from his new Stockton Hall yard at Malpas, when Scarlet Gunner under David Greenway outstayed the field to land the spoils by 3 lengths from the “jolly” Che Guevara in the second division of the Open Maiden. The winner is owned by Diane Stubbs from Market Rasen. Wynne has 12 horses in his yard at present and was looking forward to the new season now he has got off the mark.

David Greenaway went on to complete a double at the course on Cassia Heights, who beat the only other finisher Raconteur on the bit by 20 lengths in the Members. The Scallywag gelding is trained at Malpas by Peter Morris, who will probably aim his charge at the Bangor Final on May 14 th.

Nantwich trainer and rider Gary Hanmer has made no secret of the fact that Border Fusion could be the best horse that he has ever trained in his yard. The son of Weld was a very impressive 8-length winner of the Restricted contest. Hamner is not a man to make rash statements and despite making a bad mistake four out and almost refusing to start, he won with his head in his chest by 8 lengths from Red Square Lad. The winner is owned by Nantwich bookie Gordon Crawford who was betting at the course yesterday under George Simpson. Crawford said afterwards that Gary Hamner told him that his horse was too good for the pointing field and that he should go under rules. Crawford also revealed that he had turned down a very large offer for his horse.

Gary Hamner was another man in double form, following the success of Lance Toi in the first division of the Confined Maiden, but Maringo from the Donald McCain yard looked all over the winner when falling two out. The winner is owned jointly by Brenda Shaw from Bridgenorth, John Williams from Crewe and Graham Plant who lives in Dubai.

Braeburn from the John Swindells Tarporley yard looked an unlucky loser when falling at Weston Park last month with the trainer’s daughter Gemma Swindells in the plate. The combination made amends with a comfortable success in the first division of the Open Maiden. The winner is owned jointly by the trainer and David Wood who lives in the next village from the trainer at Eaton.

Jackie Jarvis, also trained by Swindells, ran in the colours of David Woods wife Jan in the Ladies Open. However they had to settle for the runner up spot behind the course specialist Stretching, who won this race last season. The winner is trained by Joanne Priest at Martin Tates old yard at Chaddesley Corbett. His owner Mel Lloyd from Charterford is on holiday in Cyprus and listened to the race live on the trainers mobile.

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