The meeting took place on good ground, with 31 horses contesting the seven races. Richard Garton the Clerk-of-the-Course received praise from many of the contestants for the excellent job of watering in the week prior to the meeting.
There was an exciting race for the feature Lord Daresbury Final for horses confined to the old North West area. Toby Wynne on his father’s Staple Head made all the running and repelled the challenge of Stop the World to win by two lengths with Ballymac Boy a half-a-length back in third. The ten-year-old was acquired from the Bowen family and was winning for the first time this season. It was a satisfying win of this particular race for the owner/trainer, as he has worked for Lord Daresbury for over twenty years looking after the family’s horses.
The opening Tattersalls four- and five-year-old Maiden was won impressively by the debutant Stolen Shoes, who took it up five out and steadily drew clear from Exmoor Getaway to won by nine lengths. The horse was bought privately by the rider Jack Teal for the Just One More Club and is trained by him. The five-year-old will be aimed at one of the forthcoming sales.
In the two-and-a-half-mile Open race, Murray Dodd on Azzuri led from flagfall and won easily by five lengths from Present Ranger. The trainer Nick Pearce will now aim the winner at the Stratford two-mile Hunter Chase later this month.
The Veterans Race was dominated by Lily Bradstock on Southfield Theatre who strengthened the challenge for the leading horse of the season. In the race, the fourteen-year-old led throughout and always had too much for the Yorkshire challenger Path to Freedom, winning by three-and-a-half lengths.
The Keepers Race, confined to trainers who had not trained more than three winners this season, saw Henry Crow on Little Light take it up before the second last and win easily by seven lengths from Ettila de Sivola. The eight-year-old mare was originally bought as a broodmare by Robin Lewis but may stay in training with his daughter Rhiannon Lodge.
Fan Club Aulmes won the PPORA Club Members by thirty-four lengths from Teescomponents Boy for trainer Francesca Poste and jockey Tommie O’Brien. This was the rider’s 150th winner in all codes, having ridden 2 Irish and 98 point winners, along with 50 national hunt victories.
There was a close fought contest for the concluding six-year-old and upwards Maiden where Guy Sankey on Bestfriend Barnaby repelled the challenge of Tommie O’Brien on Gallant Geronimo by a length. The six-year-old was home bred by the jockey’s grandfather Brian Orchard and is trained by Caroline Robinson.