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Sunday 18th April 2010
by Arthur Shone

The Cheshire point to point meeting at Alpraham attracted a very large crowd, a few more runners would not have come amiss, but there were plenty of good competitive racing for the crowd to enjoy. The good to firm going had marked effect on the number of runners, but trainer David Easterby was full of praise for the going. He said, “I was very happy with the ground , they had spiked it and done a good job, I was very happy to run.”

It was a good day for the Easterby family, with David Easterby training three winners and his sister Cherry Coward also trained a winner at the Cheshire. Their father Mick Easterby is a great supporter of racing between the flags and he was at the course to support his children. It was an ever better day for the stylish rider Jake Greenall who rode a four timer at the course, the first of his career. His father Lord Daresbury said that it was a belated 18th birthday present for his son, who had his birthday last Tuesday.

Only three runners went to post for the feature on the card, the PPORA Club Members race for the Scally Muire Trophy. There was a dramatic climax to the race with Gunner Jack coming to the last fence under Jake Greenall full of running, half a length away was the riders cousin Jack Greenall aboard Nippy Des Mottes who tipped up at the fence, leaving Gunner Jack to come home unchallenged by 25 lengths from Nosey Gunner. The winner collects the prize money but the trophy goes to the first horse passed the post from the North West area, which was Nosey Gunner ridden and trained by Stuart Ross at Kelsall for owners Peter and Irene Danby.

Jake Greenall won with Hunt Ball in the Open Maiden readily by 7 lengths from Moscow Knight under Stuart Ross. The winner is trained by Yorkshire trainer David Easterby for co-owners Lord Daresbury and Tom Bannister. Easterby said afterwards that his charge was better suited to the fast ground today as it had been soft in his last two runs.

Jake Greenall had to work a bit harder to complete the third leg aboard My Old Piano in the Men’s Open, the Dr Massini gelding had to pull out all the stops to repel the fast finishing Le Seychellois under Joe Proctor by three parts of a length. The winner is owned solely by Tom Bannister, who said that he had a soft spot for the horse as the horse had been his first ever winner under rules at Leicester when trained by Mick Easterby.

There was a cracking finish to the Restricted which saw Jake Greenall complete his first ever four timer in the plate, he set out to make all on the Cherry Coward trained Noble Ben, the combination were all out at the line to hold the fast finishing Enter Paradise by a neck under Tom Greenall. The runner up, who is trained by Sheila Crow for owner Richard French would probably have won if he had not made a mistake at the last fence. The winner is owned by Dominic Curran, the former secretary of the Wynnstay Hunt, who lives at Ellesmere in Shropshire. Curran said afterwards that the winner had hunted hard all season and that he had improved a lot from last year.

Only two runners went to post for the Ladies Open, but it turned into a good race between Sue Sharratt on Redskin Raider and The General Lee with Lorna Brooke in the plate. Victory went to the latter by two and a half lengths after a good duel. The winner is trained at Morville by Phillip Rowley for Kidderminster owners Jim and Judith Squires. Rowley thinks a lot of the winner, he said, ”He was bought off Nick Shutts two years ago, he has improved from last season and we will probably look for a hunter chase for him next.”

Cholmondley trainer Sian McCain owner Derek Malam and rider Josh Hamer carried on where they left off the day before at Bangor when winning the hunter chase on the card with Ice Tea. The combination won a thrilling Members race with Vicario, who found more on the run in to repel the sustained challenge of Jake Greenall aboard Premier Kadam by a length. McCain was elated when I spoke to her afterwards, she said, “He will now go to the Bangor Final where he will join his stable mate Ice Tea in the race. The beauty of having them both in the Bangor Final is that if the ground became soft then Vicario would run as Ice Tea needs faster ground. If its good ground on the day at Bangor then they will both run.”

Josh Hamer completed a double on the course aboard Alltolose in the two and a half Maiden, the Alderbrook gelding showed a decent turn of foot to deny Jake Greenall a five timer on Outback Bob by three lengths. The winner is trained by Russell Teague at Pontrobert in Mid Wales and owned by Maurice and Aisla Jones who bought the winner as a foal in Ireland.

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