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North Shropshire
Easter Monday 24th March 2008
by Arthur Shone

Yesterday was a day for the real point to point to point enthusiasts, as it was a bitterly cold day with showers thrown in as well. The crowd was down on last year, but that was to be expected with the weather. It was good to be racing as Yarmouth and Fakenham fell victim to the weather, which meant that trainer Caroline Robinson and rider Charlie Huxley rerouted from Fakenham to Eyton on Severn.

It was a shrewd move by Sheriffhales trainer Caroline Robinson, as her charge Whistling Straits was on route to run in a hunter chase at Fakenham, before the meeting was called off, at the time she was near Peterborough on her way to the course. Once it was abandoned she turned the horsebox around and made her way to Eyton on Severn to run in the Men’s Open. The four and a half hour journey paid off as Whistling Straits won the race readily under Charlie Huxley to beat Magicien under Will Kinsey by 5 lengths . The winner is owned by the trainers father Jeremy Beasley. Speaking after the race Robinson said that she would run her charge next in a novice hunter chase next month, before possibly going to the Bangor Final.

The opening members race saw a huge gamble on the Phil Jones trained Lord Louis in the well known colours of Bridget Everall, the wife of Roger the former chairman of the North Western Area. However the money remained in the bookies satchels after Magnetic Pole under Barry Denvir made every yard from flag fall to beat Lord Louis by two and a half lengths with Charley Huxley in the saddle. The winner is trained by Huxleys’ uncle Gordie Edwards, whose horses are coming back to form this season. The winner is owned by Gordie’s wife Sarah who asked bloodstock agent David Minton to buy her a horse for her to win a Ladies Open on at Eyton, when he purchased the horse for her at the Doncaster sales last May, he told Sarah that it was the most unusual request that he had ever had.

The Ladies’ Open was won by the course specialist Step And Run, who was recording his third win at the course under Jane Williams, the combination produced a nice turn of foot on the run in to win going away from Angela Rucker on Pirate Flagship. The winner is trainer at Enville by the trainers mother Diana, who said that her charge would go on any ground.

The Confined Hunts race was won by the progressive Beautiful Dawn, who was a length down at the last to Belligerent, but powered up the run in under Sammie Beddoes to win well by two and a half lengths. The winner is trained at Shrewsbury by Heidi Brookshaw, who was elated with the success of her winner. Speaking afterwards, she said, “He is improving all the time, he will go on most ground, but he would not want it too firm. At home on our gallops Home Made gallops all over Beautiful Dawn but on a racecourse he is a different horse. What he does is gallop as he proved today when the other horse went past him, he found more on the run in.” The Germany gelding is owned jointly by Nev Jones from Bangor on Dee and Elaine Fearnall from Whitchurch.

Another lady rider to find the winners enclosure at the Shropshire course was Sue Sharratt, won made every yard on Gentle George in the Restricted to beat Mad Victor by 5 lengths from the Sue Taylor yard. The winner who is trained and owned by Steve Flook at Shobdon has run his last race for this season, as his trainer wants to give him a rest now until next season.

The concluding Open Maiden race was won by Glidewell in the well known colours of Shifnal owner and trainer Neale Dalton, who is also the chairman of the Albrighton Hunt point to point committee. The son of Gildoran jumped like stag under Jonathan Jarrett to win going away by 5 lengths from Krac De Mirande. Dalton bought the horse on the advice of George Scott, who works for the champion trainer under rules Paul Nicholls. Speaking after the race, he said, “George Scott tipped me off the night before he went to the Ascot Sales about this horse, so I had to act pretty fast to buy him. He is a very deliberate jumper at home, which I do not think is a bad thing. You don’t know until you get them on a course what they will do, but that was a nice surprise today, he will improve a lot from this race.”

The two and a half mile Maiden was won by Overbury Pearl under Luke Johnston, who landed the spoils by 3 lengths from Silver Ace with Josey Wells a further 20 lengths back in third. The winner is trained by the riders uncle Patrick Johnson at Cannock Chase, his charge had been pulled up 3 days before in a similar race at Sandon, but his trainer explained that it was down to spread plate.

Once again the clerk of course John Beddoes had the course looking spot on, the rain got into the ground during the afternoon, which made it a bit tacky, but no problems.

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