Sir W.W. Wynn
Cholmondley trainer Ginger McCain has wasted no time in finding the winners enclosure in his first season training between the flags. McCain handed over the trainers licence to his son Donald in June last year, but will always be remembered for training four Aintree Grand National winners under rules; the legendary triple winner Red Rum (1973, ’74 & ’77) and Amberleigh House in 2004. The legendary trainer left the North Wales course with a double with the first leg coming courtesy of Master Of The Ward in the second division of the Maiden with the national champion rider Richard Burton in the plate. The combination were left clear following the last fence fall of the Heidi Brookshaw trained Beautiful Dawn under Sammie Beddoes who were upsides the winner at the last fence at the time. The winner went on to score by 25 lengths from Killnascully King with Black Leopard a further 10 lengths back in third. Ginger McCain said afterwards that in his opinion the winner was the best Maiden in the North Western Area and added that he would make a decent novice hunter chaser in the future. The winner is owned by the “flamboyant entrepreneur” Derek Malam from Nantwich. Malam also has Cornish Gale and The Eens in training with Ginger.
McCain and Burton completed a double on Ifni Du Luc in the Men’s Open beating Hever Road by 8 lengths. The favourite, Von Origny from the Steve Wynne yard, was travelling very well and only half a length down on the winner when falling two out under Oliver Greenall and there remains little doubt in my mind that Von Origny would have won if he stayed on his feet but jumping is the name of the game. It was a cracking training performance by Ginger McCain as the mare had been off the racecourse for 3 years. She was bought by her owner Bill Bromley from Wood Farm Stud at Telford when in foal to Alflora and she gave birth to a foal which is now a 2yo colt. After a couple of barren seasons at stud she was sent to Ginger to train. Bromley said afterwards that the Liverpool Foxhunters was next on the agenda for his mare and added that he had planned to have her back at the stud at the end of the pointing season but said that if she keeps on winning then he will change his mind and keep her in training with Ginger for another season. As for Richard Burton, this was his 12 th winner of the season.
Half an hour later it was the turn of Richard Burton’s long time partner Hannah Kinsey to find the winners enclosure following the success of Flashy Boy in the Ladies’ Open. The combination accounted for a very notable scalp in the Dick Baimbridge trained Titus Bramble winning readily by 8 lengths. The winner is trained by the rider’s brother Will at Ashton in Cheshire and the horse in owned by her parents Richard and Julie.
Will Kinsey also rode a winner at Bangor in dramatic style in the closing Maiden race for mares. Grey Tarquin, from the Gary Hanmer yard, looked all over the winner when jumping the last under Michael Murphy with a lead of two lengths but Kinsey landed running on Petina and won a thriller in the last stride by a neck. The winner provided Much Wenloch trainer Lisa Willis with her first winner as a trainer since she took over the licence from her partner John Groucott and is owned by Mark Harris from Berrington Hall, near Shrewsbury; Harris has 6 pointers in training for the new season.
Nantwich trainer Gary Hamner and his stable jockey Michael Murphy did not leave the Welsh course empty handed after Logger Rhythm stayed on well to land the opening division of the Open Maiden beating Weaver Of Dreams by a couple of lengths. The Woodman gelding used to be trained on the level by Mark Johnston and Jeremy Naylor and is now owned by Ruth Evason from Ashley in Cheshire; this was also her first venture into racehorse ownership.
Everything comes to he who waits as 33 year old Mark Caldwell will testify after riding his first ever winner between the flags following the success of Port Salon in the novice riders race. The winner stayed on strongly to beat Hermes III by a length and a half with Times Past a further 3 lengths back in third. The winner is trained by the rider’s wife Katie at Knutsford and is co-owned by the rider and Les Owens from Chester. The safety limit for this race is 18 and the race went off almost on the button with a field of 17, which is still high enough for a novice riders contest.
Present Moment sprang a 25-1 shock under Patrick Millington in the Hiscox Intermediate race beating Richard Burton on Whistling Straits in a driving finish by 4 lengths. The winner is also trained by the rider at Market Harborough and was his first winner of the season. Millington said afterwards that he bought the winner last summer at Ascot and on this evidence he should have no problem following up in Open races.
Only For Joe followed up his recent Chaddesley Corbett win beating a decent field in the Restricted contest. The gelding won going away under Adrian Wintle to win hard held by 8 lengths from Tide In Knots with Oscar Owen a further 12 lengths back in third. The winner is trained at Handley Swan by Andy Hobbs and is co owned by Nick Scanlan and Hobbs partner Rachel Whitehead.
Considering it was a damp and rainy day there was a reasonable crowd, who witnessed an excellent days racing.