LOCAL connections dominated the winners' enclosure at the Flint and Denbigh point-to-point meeting at Bangor-on-Dee last Sunday, beginning with a three-quarters-of-a-length victory for According To This ridden by Gary Hanmer.
Trainer Kelda Wood of Cholmondeley said: 'The horse was ready to go and I knew Gary would get the best out of him.'
Kildare Minor, ridden by Oliver Greenall, recorded the fastest time in the three Maiden Races giving owner Dave Manning of Hampton Heath an eight-length victory.
The win was the third from eight runners for Malpas trainer Steve Wynne who said: 'He was unlucky last time out but appreciated the better ground today. There could be a novice hunter chase for him later in the season.'
Donald McCain, who trains his pointers adjacent to Kelda Wood, plans to prepare Cornish Gale for a tilt at the Aintree Foxhunters in April. The consistent 12-year-old put up a convincing performance for jockey Daniel Fitzsimmons to win the Coniston Hotel Men's Open Race unopposed by 12-lengths in a quick time of six minutes 25 seconds.
McCain remarked: 'This is the best ground he's had and he needs it, I want to go to Aintree if the ground is right there.'
After a horrific-looking fall at Ludlow last week when tangled up in the starting tapes, Tessa Clarke of Threapwood bounced back to win the Lycetts Insurance Ladies Open Race by one-and-three-quarter lengths aboard Home Made, trained by former school friend Heidi Brookshaw.
Clarke said: 'This is a lucky race for me, it's my second successive win in it and I needed it after a run of falls. I have a horse with Steve Wynne, Brassie, an Intermediate, who was entered today but the ground is too quick.'
Clarke emphasised that all ladies should wear gum shields when racing as this saved her teeth from being lacerated in the Ludlow incident.
The Eens defied his 14 years to romp home by four lengths for Ed Bourne in the Miles Mac-adam Confined Hunts Race and give Donald McCain a double.
'He's thoroughly enjoying his pointing. We bred him and he's the last of the family. He won his first chase here for Steve Wynne and we'll have some fun with him in novice rider races,' said McCain.
In the Park Golf Restricted Race (Division II), jockey David Sherlock of Mouldsworth left the field in his wake when galloping to a five-length success aboard Strong Weld to close the inaugural point-to-point meeting enjoyed by a huge crowd. nAnother first is scheduled for Bangor when the first Sunday meeting under rules gets underway at 2.15pm - weather permitting.
Aintree Grand National hopeful Forest Gunner holds an entry in the three-mile Heathcotes Outside Handicap Hurdle. Trainer Richard Ford of Little Budworth explained: 'He's well but finding life impossible with a chasing handicap of 140, that's why he's having a run over hurdles. His target remains the National.'
The popular chestnut will attract local support and may be joined by Clan Royal who is currently the ante post favourite at 6-1 with Hills for the Aintree marathon.
The feature over fences is the Maelor Handicap Chase, which includes Another Club Royal, trained by Ginger McCain and Chabrimal Minster from the Ford yard. Both horses won last time out and warrant a place on the short list if declared to run.
In the Hugh Peel Challenge Trophy Hunters' Chase, The Lyme Volunteer travels from Yorkshire and should make the journey fruitful for trainer David Easterby.