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North West Hunts Club
Sunday 20th May 2007
by Arthur Shone
photos by Graham Fisher

The North West Hunts Club meeting at Tabley on Sunday brought the curtain down in style on the North Western Area. Clerk of the course Rob Hankey produced perfect good ground which came in for a lot of praise from all quarters and he was rewarded with good fields and very competitive racing.

The final meeting of the season also decided some area championships. Richard Burton, despite having his leg in plaster and out for the rest of the season, did enough to win the area gentleman riders championship with 69 pts with Jonathon Jarrett was runner up on 42pts.

The Area Ladies championship went down to the wire. Sue Sharratt had a slender lead over Sammie Beddoes going into the last meeting. However, she clinched another ladies championship following a double at the Cheshire course.

The first leg came aboard Redskin Raider in the Members race; the son of Commanche Run made virtually every yard to beat Kings Reason by 12 lengths with Airoski a further 5 lengths back in third. As well as training the winner herself, Sue also owns a quarter share in the horse; the other owners are Chris Mellard, Neil Alsop and Lynn Hartley, all of which are from the North Staffs area.

Redskin Raider and Sue Sharratt are comfortable winners of the Club Members race

Rootheday completed the second leg for Sharratt in the 5, 6 &7 yr old Maiden race winning by 30 lengths from Mistress Kaytee. The winner is trained by Jane Froggatt who co owns the horse with Mr G.Rowley. However the race was marred by the death of Knock Chief from the Sheila Crow yard, who reared up in the paddock fell backwards and broke his neck. In the many years that I have been on the turf, this is the first time that I have ever seen that happen.

Sue Sharratt records a double aboard Rootheday in the Younger Horses Maiden

Hadnall trainer Sheila Crow had a mixed day as she was unable to be at the course because she was at Shrewsbury hospital being treated for a broken arm after being kicked by one of her horses at the yard. However there was some light at the end of the tunnel for Crow after her charge Merry Path won the feature race in the North Western area, which was the Scally Muire novices race; the gelding won in a hack canter under Tim Park by a very easy 25 lengths from Four Eagles. This win was even sweeter for the Park family from Chester as it meant that they overtook Murat from the Malpas yard of Steve Wynne for the champion area horse. Merry Path was also the leading family horse. Tim Park was also the champion novice rider in the area. Merry Path’s victory meant that Sheila Crow has trained the champion horse in the area for the last three seasons, Darnil had won in 2005 & in 2006. However Murat had done enough prior to this meeting to win the leading novice horse championship.

Merry Path and Tim Park make every yard for a facile victory in the Novice Riders race

Nantwich trainer and rider Gary Hamner rounded off a good weekend after winning the Bangor Final the day before on Border Fusion; he went on to land the spoils in the Men’s Open aboard the progressive Noble Persian who was not extended in beating An Capall Dubh by five lengths. Hanmer trains the winner for Rob Hankey, who is the clerk of the course at Tabley. This was the winner’s second victory at the course this season. As for Hamner, this win cemented his lead as the area champion veteran rider.

Noble Persian and Gary Hanmer make no mistake in the Mens Open

Another horse winning at Tabley for the second time this season was Little Brown Bear who made every yard under Jane Williams in the Ladies’ Open to beat Clare Allen on Watchyourback by 6 lengths. The winner is trained at Enville by the rider’s mother Di Williams and the horse is owned by George Barlow, the chairman of the North West Hunts Club, who founded the Club in 1996.

Little Brown Bear and Jane Williams put in a foot perfect round to land the Ladies Open

In a day that saw mainly favourites winning, the old enemy got a result in the Restricted when William Lyburn at 14-1 showed a nice turn of foot under Nick Kent to beat Seize The Moment under Sue Sharratt by a couple of lengths. Nick Kent who also trained the winner for owner Lawrence Kirkby, the field master of the Brocklesby Hunt, had made the long trip down from North Lincolnshire for the better ground at Tabley and he was full of praise for the excellent job that Rob Hankey had done with course.

William Lyburn and Nick Kent (right) just get the better of Seize The Moment and Sue Sharratt in the Restricted

Monalese with the Swedish rider Pernilla Hermanson in the plate poached a useful lead at the start in the opening Maiden race on the card and in the end the mare was all out to repel the late challenge of Grey Tarquin by a couple of lengths. Astormydayiscoming was a similar distance back in third under Kelda Wood; a bad mistake two out when traveling well cost the horse and rider any chance of victory. The winner is trained at Tarporley by Carrie Ford and owned by her husband Richard.

Monalease and Pernilla Hermanson take the last en route to victory in the Open Maiden

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