RACING REPORT by BOB DOWNING  3rd April
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Tintern Theatre
Ifandbutwhynot  
It was a day when the Skeltons took massive steps to reaching the 100 winners milestone and the historians were checking all the books after the feature race of the day, The Boyne Cup went to Yorkshire. The Oyster Communications Novices Hurdle. 2m 5f 1.Tintern Theatre (Sam Twiston-Davies) Nigel Twiston-Davies 15/8f 2 Town Parks (Jamie Moore) Kerry Lee 9/2 3 Atirelargio (Richard Johnson) Phillip Hobbs 11/4 Distances 8, 3 3/4. 7ran A drop down in class helped Tintern Theatre get back on the winning track. Since his success at Ludlow last November, Tintern Theatre has been mixing it in a much higher class but better ground and a longer trip certainly helped him. Taken into the lead from the start, Tintern Theatre increased the pace three flights from home and had plenty in hand at the finish. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "He carried top weight in the EBF final last time and found it a bit much. It was not the plan to make all the running but Sam knew that no-one wanted to make the running and we did not want to be outsprinted. I left it to Sam and that's why he is a top jockey." Racing UK Handicap Chase. 3m 1 Opening Batsman (Mr M Legge) Harry Fry 7/1 2 According To Harry (Richard Johnson) 12/1 3 By The Boardwalk (Tom Bellamy) Kim Bailey 8/1 Distances 3 3/4, 19. 7ran He might have been the oldest member of the party but Opening Batsman rolled back the years to hit his rivals for six to record his first win in over two years. It was According To Harry who made most of the running but he took several chances on the way round and at the fourth last, he was being challenged by Opening Batsman and Capard King. It was at this fence that Capard King unseated Jonjo O'Neill leaving the way cleat for Opening Batsman to take up the running at the last and staying on well. Jockey Michael Legg, who is assistant to trainer Harry Fry, said: "His form was in the book and he has won a Racing Post Chase and he loves this ground." Weatherbys Hamilton Handicap Hurdle. 2m 1 Shantou Rock (Harry Skelton) Dan Skelton 2 Avispa (Wayne Hutchinson) Alan King 7/2 3 Canicallyouback (Conor Ring (3) Evan Williams) 33/1 Distances 21, hd. 5ran Shantou Rock has become something of a standing dish at the track in the last couple of months. Easy victory in this race meant that since February 8, he has run three times at Ludlow - and has been successful on each occasion. Another to make all the running, he was well in command when he made his only slight mistake two out and was eased down before the line. Trainer Dan Skelton, who is again close to notching three figures in the winning stakes, said: "The race cut up in his favour and he had done well enough in two novice hurdles here. But he will go novice chasing next season." Boyne Cup (Handicap Chase) 1 Ifandbutwhynot (Richard Johnson (Tim Easterby) 9/2 2 I'dliketheoption (Aidan Coleman) Jonjo O'Neill 11/4 3 Lord Ben (James Banks) Dai Williams 14/1 Distances 9, 1 1/2 . 7ran Seasoned racegoers were scratching their heads and searching the history books to see if Tim Easterby had had a runner at the track let along a winner after Ifandbutwhynot had landed the feature race of the day. And it was little consolation for his six rivals to know he had been entered at Kelso on the same day but travelled to Ludlow because of the better ground That would not have mattered to Jayotime who departed the action atb the third fence after mistakes at the previous two. By the time they reached the next, Ifandbutwhynot had established a lead from Lord Ben and Deadly Approach. The only real change came when I'dlikethoption, who had been outpaced in the early stages, latched onto the other three and would eventually finish in second place. Easterby's runner, however was always in command. Jockey Richard Johnson said: "He has always been a decent horse and he has come down the weights nand he gave me a lovely ride." Racing UK Mares Novices Hurdle (Div 1). 2m 1.Hestina (Harry Skelton) Dan Skelton 4/7 fav 2.Strangsmill (Sean Bowen) Sheila Lewis 25/1 3.Athy River (Alain Cawley) Fergal O'Brien) 9/1 Distances 9, 14. 9ran The ill-fated Here All Along took the runners along with Harry Skelton restraining the keen Hestina in second place but any hopes that they had of having a lead into the home straight noise dived when Here All Along broken down badly after jumping the fourth last. Hestina then put the race to bed quickly and was eased down. Racing UK Mares Novices Hurdle (Div II) 2m 1. Miss Night Owl (AP Heskin) Tom George 5/4f 2. Make My Heart Fly (Brendan Powell) Ali Stronge 33/1 3. Deduce (Jack Quinlan) James Eustace 16/1 Distances: 50, 8. 9ran This was very much a family affair with Miss Night Owl, trained by Tom George, owned by his father and step mother Capt John and Caroline George, who also bred her. Miss Night Owl was quickly into her stride with favourite Canoodle from the predominately Flat yard of Hughie Morrison settled in mid division. As they turned for home Miss Night Owl was still in command but Canoodle looked a big danger until coming down at the second last leaving Miss Night Owl to come home alone with the Make My Heart making up ground to get amongst the places. George said: "She loved this better ground and she is a true two-miler so we will keep her on the go for a bit longer." Magnus-Allcroft Memorial Hunters Chase. 2m 4f 1. Full Throttle (Mr Jonathan Bailey (5) Miss L Thomas 7/1 2. Creevytennant (Miss AE Stirling) Fergal O'Brien 2/1jf 3. Qrackers (Miss Leandra Tickle) Miss V Collins 100/1  Distances: 1 1/2, 3/4. 13ran. Non Runner: Simply Wings  Trainer Alan King has been in the winner's enclosure a few times this season - but this was a new experience for him as he was presenting the trophy to neighbour Norman Thomas in whose colours Full Trottle carried to victory. Trained by his daughter Laura, Full Trottle has been in tremendous form in the point to point field. Ludlow Racecourse Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle. 2m 5f 1. Thehossbehind (Tom O'Brien) Ian Williams 7/1 2, Midnight Target (Mr Alex Edwards (7) John Groucott 17/2 3 Pulling Power (David Bass) Kim Bailey 20/1 Distances: 1 1/2, shd A couple of weeks ago Midnight Target was winning the Charity race and she was trying to complete an unlikely double in the finale. But this time, John Grocutt's game mare had to be content with second place as Thehossbehind continued Ian Williams cracking run over jumps and on the Flat and this was his 32nd winner since the turn of the year.    
PHOTOS BY LES HURLEY email: leshurley@btinternet.com