The Cheshire Forest took place on a fine spring day with excellent going, produced by Clerk of the Course Rob Hankey. There was a first riding treble for novice rider Huw Edwards for three different trainers and also a first double for veteran Stephen Davies for trainer Trish Rigby.
The first win for Edwards came in the Novice Riders race on Drumhart, where he had a great battle over the last mile with the hot favourite Vivaldi Collonges ridden by Ben Bromley. The two horses raced wide apart from the last fence, and Drumhart got the verdict by a head on the line. Alastair Ralph representing his mother, Diana stated that the 18-year-old jockey rides out three days a week at his adjacent professional yard, and he has improved steadily throughout the season.
The middle leg of the treble was aboard the Heidi Brookshaw trained Dule Arcadio in the eight-year-old and upwards Conditions race. The horse led throughout and steadily drew clear of the field to win by twenty lengths from Doeslessthanme. It was a sentimental win for Carly Sage who acquired the horse two years ago as a present from Oliver Sherwood. She was a steward on the day and her husband joint owner Chris was the course commentator for the race.
Edwards final winner came in the concluding Maiden aboard Name And Shame, owned and trained by his father, Simon. In the race itself, the good-looking favourite Neville's Cross, trained by Sophie Lacey for husband Tom, was close up behind the winner when it came down on the flat between the third and second last, when short of room. Name And Shame ran on well to win by three lengths from Middle Field.
The Members was the first leg of Stephen Davies double aboard Kap Jazz, and he had no trouble in opening up daylight over his two rivals after the third last fence, eventually winning by twenty lengths from Foxy Covert, with Banana Flambe unseating at the second last. The nine-year-old had been loaned from the Venetia Williams stable for the season to the jockey, having won a couple of chases for her, two seasons ago. It was Davies first win on a horse other than Garde Ville.
In the Mixed Open, Garde Ville won by an easy seven lengths from Global Power, giving Davies and Rigby a double from their only two runners. The winner will probably run at Sandon on Easter Saturday, with the main target being the Champion Hunter Chase at Stratford on 31st May, where he won the John Corbett Cup last season.
In the Intermediate, Huw Edwards tried to make all on the favourite Fair Exchange, but he was collared by Jack Savage on Eeze A Saint four out, with the latter winning by fifteen lengths. It was an impressive performance from the Josh Guerriero trained five-year-old Maiden, who now goes to the Doncaster May sales.