Haydock Park,Peter Marsh Chase Day,Saturday 18th January 2014

Heavy ground awaited the forty one declared horses that took up their deceleration this afternoon at a cold,overcast albeit with the sun making a small cameo appearance for only a short while at Haydock Park for this seven race card which included four graded races.

Today had a good mix of novice events that featured potential stars of the future with the two feature races being the Champion Hurdle Trial which over the years hasn’t had much effect on the big race in March and the Peter Marsh Chase which has been won by some classy horses over the years such as Our Vic,Cloudy Lane,Jodami,Earth Summit and Twin Oaks.

Due to the ground the first fence in the back straight was omitted in all steeplechases.

12.20 The Tate Contracts Handicap Hurdle,Class 3,(0-135) 4yo+,3m,12 flights.

Despite the small field of eight this had a mix of improving sorts and exposed handicappers over this long trip and it was Extreme Impact who just hung on by a neck from Quel Elite in a tough punishing finish between the first two.

Early pace setter and favourite Ugly Bug was still leading turning for home until being headed but plugged on for third,Hada Men finished in fourth but he is finding it tough these days.

This was not a strong race but the finish was great to watch a real battle royale up the straight.

12.55 The G4S Events Graduation Chase,Class 2,5yo+,2m5f,14 fences.

A more than useful looking contest on paper despite only being five in it and it was a case of Daryl Jacob using his initiative and taking up the running after two fences on Benvolio and making the rest,coming up the straight he was challenged by Irish raider Maggio who was having a quick reappearance after finishing seventh at Musselburgh yesterday.

Benvolio had to work for this and he duly found when needed,this was a hard fought win and he will be even better when upped back to Three Miles, he could be aimed at one of the festival handicaps,maybe the Kim Muir but also I would consider the Topham at Aintree.

Of the rest Trustan Times didn’t jump with much fluidity at a few of them but did stay on towards the finish while the other two Fill The Power and Rival D’Estruval are both long distance chasers and this race was a nice way to dust off the cobwebs before being aimed at the big staying events,FTP could have a race like the Midlands National as a target and Rival in the colours of Raymond Anderson Green will without doubt be going up to Ayr in April as his main race.

1.30 The Racing Post Celebrates 200,000 Social Followers Novices Chase,Grade 2,5yo+,2m5f,14 fences.

The defection of Gevrey Chambertin cost this race a bit or real star quality so I hope David Pipe reroute him to Wetherby for the Towton as I shall be there that day!

This was an easy stroll in the park for odds on favourite Taquin Du Seuil who made it three from five this season, jumping well in the main he ran down the last two but had enough of a big lead not be inconvenienced by this,he could go to Sandown in a fortnight before Cheltenham

Coverholder and Knock A Hand the only other finishers were 17 and 23 lengths back,both are useful horses but comprehensively outclassed, O’Faolains Boy was pulled up going down the back but is much better than this.

2.05 The Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices Hurdle,Grade 2,4yo+,2m,9 flights.

A really good mix of horses in this which included two unbeaten,one second season hurdler on a hat trick bid and a horse costing £450,000 from France (you can’t even get a Premiership footballer for that!)

The costly horse was French import Un Temps Pour Tout who had plenty of Graded form in France and was sent off the red hot favourite.

However he was put in his place by Zamdy Man who made all under these new front running tactics that have revitalised him this winter to hold him by 1.75 lengths,Un Temps Pour Tout did challenge coming for home but made a hash of the second last which didn’t help him at all,he would be a lot better over further for me.

Zamdy Man is a much happier horse this season,he could go for the Supreme at Cheltenham but he would not be allowed to boss it,he is a lovely type though and Venetia Williams has done a fine job getting him onto winning ways.

Meadowcroft Boy in third ran a cracker but was outclassed on the day while Stand To Reason under Barry Geraghty was held up to far off the pace for me,he is more of a stayer to me and a step up to 2m4f will suit him.

Below,Zamdy Man.

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2.40 The StanJames.Com Champion Hurdle Trial,Grade 2,4yo+,2m,9 flights.

A nice enough race but nothing that will get Hurricane Fly pacing his stable at night with sleepless nights and worry about what could happen come Festival time.

It was back to form for Melodic Rendezvous here who ran such a poor race in the Fighting Fifth last November,the early complex of the race changed as early leader Act Of Kalanisi under AP took a tunable at the last flight down the back straight, this left Ptit Zig in the lead when he probably would not have wanted to be, Daryl Jacob turned for home and his mount hit the third last but after being headed at the last it was all over as Melodic Rendezvous scored by 4.5 lengths.

Jumps Road collected third money and will no doubt be targeting these small field races to pick up more,expect him to turn up in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown to do the same.

As for the winner he loved Heavy but will not get that at Cheltenham,the big 2m hurdle at Punchestown could me a more realistic target but it will take a lot for any of the British hurdlers to swat the Fly come Festival time.

3.15 The Peter Marsh Chase,Grade 2,5yo+,3m,16 fences.

A wide open renewal of this stalwart of the Haydock national hunt season,while you may not get Gold Cup winners taking part in this as they did in days of old it is still one of the norths most prestigious steeplechases that holds a place in the hearts of racing fans in this neck of the woods.

Plenty were in with a chance coming to the last couple of fences,Sydney Paget made most of the running until getting headed at the third last, this left four to battle it out over the last couple of fences with a pulsating finish that showed steeplechasing at its finest and Wychwoods Brook gave Connor Ring (7) his biggest win to date as he rallied to get the better of Vintage Star by 1.5 lengths, Merry King ran another good race in third.Katenko in fourth is a little high in the handicap for my liking at the moment.

I like Wychwoods Brook,he was following up from a win last month at Lingfield over 2m4f and shapes like a stayer,he could be back here for the National trial should he get an entry for Aintree or more than likely the Racing Post Chase at Kempton,he made a few small errors over these fences which normally costs horses but he has a real fighting heart in him.

The two placed horses did that rare thing of running well after taking part in the Welsh National,normally that can finish a horse off,The Minack fell at the first but was ok.

Below,Wychwoods Brook goes back to the stables.

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3.50 The NRC Cheltenham Preview Here March 5th Fixed Brush Novices’ Hurdle,Class 4,4,5,6&7 yo,2m4f,10 flights.

Another epic battle up the run in here as everything including the kitchen sink chucked in with Sundays washing was thrown by the two jockeys of Paddy Brennan (who came up from riding at Ascot!) and Ryan Mania on Wuff and Straidnahanna, both hit the line together and after a look at the picture which gave him “paws for thought” the Judge awarded that Wuff got the prize, a nice looking sort he certainly will “Winnalot” for trainer Tom George and will make a chaser in time but for now over hurdles he has plenty of scope.

Runner up Straidnahanna has been placed in all his starts but yet to win over hurdles,Greensalt in third is another one of those talented but “struggles to get his head in front” types he is another who will come into his own over fences,

A really good days racing here,the fields may have been small but quality is always better than quantity and the crowd were treated to some exciting finishes.

The festival is slowly creeping up on us,wether or not any festival winners will come on from this meeting I’m not sure but it’s anyone’s guess at this stage.

Connor Ring is a jockey on the up,his ride in the Peter Marsh was very good to watch,considering the horse made a few jumping errors he did very well to keep calm and see the job through to the bitter end resulting in a nice big race Saturday on the telly,He is a real talent and one to keep an eye on for the future.

Over the next few weeks especially February I shall be very busy with three jump meetings all being well at Wetherby,Haydock and Newcastle plus some indoor athletics at Sheffield to look forward to.

Which ever sports you prefer thank you reading this,hope you find it enjoyable as ever.

Warwick Races,Betfred Classic Chase Day,Saturday 11th January 2014.

Two weeks ago it was Lancaster the capital of Lancashire for some non league football and today it was Warwick the capital of Warwickshire for Warwick’s big day in the sporting calendar and for National Hunt fans in general.

The historic town and track has played host to many a good horse over the years,it was this meeting last year which had runners such as The New One,Auroras Encore,Godsmejudge and Quentin Collonges, it’s fair to say they ended their respective seasons with good performances.

Today was an eight race card with the inclusion of a Listed Mares Hurdle which was transferred from last Saturdays abandoned Sandown meeting,also trainer Willie Mullins brought three over which were his first ever runners here at this popular Midlands venue.

12.10 The Levy Board Warwick Mares Hurdle,Class 1,Listed,4yo+,2m3f,9 flights.

Glens Melody resumed winning ways here following her poor run at Cheltenham last time in the Relkeel Hurdle,taking up the running after the second last flight she always looked in command and had to be ridden out to the line to hold off the late challenge from Mischievous Milly with Hidden Identity only a half length back in third.

The pace was steady and a stewards was called after the finish but for me I could not see any reason to call one, Glens Melody is a more than useful mare,no doubt the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham would be the target but she is a lot better right handed so Punchestown could be preferred in the spring plus the yard have a certain mare called Quevega.

The placed horses will have enhanced their paddock value here and ran good races in defeat.

12.45 The Betfred Goals Galore Novices Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,4yo+ (0-108) 2m,8 flights.

Not a strong race,plenty of average sorts in it that went to an all the way victory to Dungeness who came here off the back of a third at Uttoxeter over 2m4f, the drop in trip didn’t matter here and the stamina came into play when getting challenged by Bold Cuffs on the run to the last to record a four length win.

Favourite Don Polleoni was tracking the pack until tipping up at the first down the back while for me the eye catching horse was Cropley having his first start for Jonjo O’Neill, this 2m trip was to short and will be a lot better over further in time.

1.20 The Betfred Goals Galore Novices Chase,Class 2,5yo+ 3m,18 fences.

This race always gets a small field but it’s always a classy one at that for future staying chasers although sadly for me Gevrey Chambertin didn’t get declared here which is a shame as I can’t wait to see him take on a fence.

Corrin Wood got the hat trick up here with a cracking display of jumping,making all the running despite sometimes going to the right he have favourite Black Thunder a 2.5 length thrashing who was in trouble as the two of them made the run to the second last but when Jason Maguire asked Corrin Wood he found extra and responded.

Both horses will no doubt end up festival bound but probably not for the RSA Chase,maybe the 4m event or even Aintree which could suit the winner a lot better as he loves to dominate.

Court Victory was back since running in this two years ago,he will have come on for the run and maybe a weaker event will be found for him.

1.55 The Betfred Handicap Chase (For the Edward Courage Cup) Class 3,5yo+ (0-135) 2m,12 fences.

Plenty of in form horses in this fast and furious contest.

It was a return to winning ways for Dare Me,a 10yo who had not run since being second at Cartmel back in May to give Venetia Williams a double on the day, taking the lead down the back he was fully in command turning for home and won the race in the style of a professional horse, winning off a mark of 127 he will shoot up after this fourteen length win.

Al Alfa and Dolatulo were back in second and third and could not live with the winner but special praise must go to Nozic, the evergreen 13yo back in fourth ran a cracker and has shown he has a bit of the old sparkle.

2.25,The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle,Class 2,5yo+ (0-148) 3m1f,12 flights.

Twelve set off for which only the first eight are guaranteed to at least be able to enter the final at the Cheltenham Festival, this series has twenty nine qualifying races which includes races in Ireland and France.

A mixture of potential Graded horse,improving handicappers and chasers back over timber for this renewal.

The early pace was being set by the David Pipe trained Bygones Sovereign who made the running in the style of a typical Pipe horse and still had the lead as they turned for home but he got headed by the first three although he did stay on.

Race winner by 2.75 lengths was Uncle Jimmy,the 7yo came into the race with good place form over 2m4f and the step up in trip benefitted him a lot under 10lb conditional Thomas Chessman who hopefully will keep the ride should he make the final cut in March, he clattered the second last flight but found extra up the run in to defeat Grand Vision who ran much better than his first run off a lay off at Cheltenham on New Years Day,he will no doubt go chasing next term, novice Drop Out Joe ran a blinder and is still improving.

Tidal Dance the favourite fell after jumping the third a stride to early but is still worth watching out for,African Gold is in the grips of the handicapper and Oscar Fortune ran very poor and is capable of better,could be the ground didn’t suit.

3.00 The Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle,Grade 2,5yo+,2m5f,11 flights.

A race with a rich history of horses that have taken part over the years,to many to mention here but last years winner The New One has gone on to be part of the Champion Hurdle field while one previous winner who was a real favourite of mine Barton owned by the much missed Sir Stan Clarke who I certainly don’t think that had he still been alive would have shut Hereford and Folkestone, Monsignor who sadly is no longer with us was also a former winner so it’s a race worth keeping an eye on for future winners.

Favourite was the Willie Mullins trained Rathvinden who came into this with a fairly big reputation follow in his maiden hurdle win at Cork and he is held in very high regard and was slowly creeping into contention before falling at the third last flight.

At the business end the win went to Deputy Dan who was coming into this after a maiden hurdle win at Chepstow he had Masters Hill nine lengths in second and it was another seven back to Splash Of Ginge who boxed on for third.

A lot to like about Deputy Dan,he won’t be a Champion Hurdle contender but shapes like a stayer,he will probably not run now until Cheltenham where he will be aimed at either the 2m5f or 3m Novice events, Masters Hill will be better at 3m and could go chasing next season.

Rathvinden is still a high class prospect over hurdles,he was going well when he fell and is still worth keeping in the notebook for the future.

3.35 The Betfred Classic Chase,Grade3,5yo+,3m5f,22 fences

On Thursday a field of 16 got declared for this big Saturday handicap but amazingly come race day their was a non runner which made it 15 so each way betting was the first three only,What a total shock that was,you rarely see that nowadays do you!

This race had the look of a real stamina sapping slog about it and of the fifteen who faced the starter only seven completed the course.

Last year the form worked out very well,Auroras Encore won the Grand National,Godsmejudge won the Scottish one and Quentin Collonges won the end of season Gold Cup at Sandown,wether or not the same will happen again I’m not so sure.

Today was a case of youth just getting the better of experience as 7yo Shotgun Paddy found extra reserves to take over from the ever gallant and popular stayer Carruthers coming to the second from home and got the prize by six lengths, Shotgun Paddy was having only his fourth start over fences and on his last run chased home Black Thunder in a Grade Two at Lingfield, he is continuing his chasing career is good style and looks happy in these marathon events, The four-miler at Cheltenham has been touted although other events such as the Irish National,Scottish National,Midlands National will also come under close consideration.

Carruthers the loveable 11yo ran his heart out despite being 4lb higher than his 2011 Hennessy win yet remains as good as ever, Sandown has been suggested in April which would be appropriate for him as his breeder the late Lord Oaksey always regarded Sandown as the best steeplechase course in the world, I would love to see him tackle the Aintree fences,given their much easier nature he could get into a good rhythm easily but it’s highly unlikely.

Vesper Bell yet again fell although he got further than he did at Aintree but he needs a good clear round of jumping to boost his confidence,he could still be a National horse.

Former winner Hey Big Spender was pulled up before the 7th fence,retirement maybe on the cards much the same for Master Overseer who was pulled up after the first circuit.

For me the eye catcher was Loch Ba who 14.5 lengths fourth behind Shotgun Paddy,he was staying on and didn’t look to be stopping at the end, My immediate thought was he should be aimed for the National,I liked the way he stayed and the extra mile will be no problem to him at all.

4.05 Betfred TV “Newcomers” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race,Class 6, 4.5&6yo,2m.

National Hunt racings version of the Wood Ditton here with nine horse making their racecourse debuts.

The judge was needed to separate winner Millicent Silver a 5yo mare from fellow 5yo mare Meetmeatthemoon by a head.

Both traveled well turning for home and they had a real battle in the last furlong,they were 3.5 lengths clear of Superior Fire in third who is only 4 and got 5lbs at the weights,he will improve from this.

The well regarded Vagner was last,prominent early he tailed off with 5f to go but should do better in time.

A classy days January jump racing indeed at Warwick,some quality racing with top finishes,some real rare incidents too such as fallers in all the hurdle races,I can’t remember if I have ever been to a meeting where that has happened.

Warwick put on a good show today for racing fans, Clerk of the Course Sulekha Varma is having a mixed bag of a season, Huntingdon is having more floods than what the Gobi desert could only ever dream of having with the big Boxing Day meeting being abandoned but thankfully Warwick is having another good season, the quality of the jumps is always worth following and Sulekha is really going places and a move to a bigger course,hopefully my local Haydock will come sooner rather than later.

For many the star of the show was old warrior Carruthers, 11 years old yet he ran the race of his life today in the Classic Chase showing that his heart is still in the game,he does need dropping a few pounds but no horse deserves a bigger win than him this season, As much as I would love to see him take on those big Aintree greens in April I know lots of people would shudder at such a thought but if Long Run goes too he would get a tasty weight which could be hard to resist.

Today was one of those days that makes you remember why you love National Hunt racing,the thrills and spills,the tumbles and the battles up the straight showed the sport at its finest today.

Next up for me will be Haydock next Saturday for the Peter Marsh Chase and Champion Hurdle Trial, until then thank you for reading.

Below, Coming in after the last

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Below,Carruthers.

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Below,Shotgun Paddy.

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Below,Uncle Jimmy wins the Pertemps Race

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Below,Rathvinded in disgrace.

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G.M.A.A. Annual Cross Country Championship 2014,Leigh Sports Village

A change from the norm today as football took a back step and with racing being under siege from the weather it was a case of draw up the stumps and have a change of sport.

Today it was a visit down the road to the Greater Manchester Athletics Cross Country Championship races held at the Leigh Sports Village just behind the main rugby stadium at Leigh Harriers home of New Madely Park where runners of all ages and ability turned out to take part.

The course was a mixture of three types,A small lap which began at the main field arena where the start and finishes occur with a small lap of a field before heading out into the country which went on old roads and tracks towards the A579 before turning back towards the start finish area,a medium lap which went into Pennington Flash and was on grass with a larger lap that was used only for the men’s senior contest.

It was a ten race event which got underway at 10.45 but due to various events I missed the first three races but thankfully the results were easy to obtain.

Ground wise the grass in the start area seemed to look heavy and had a fair amount of wear and tear as the afternoon progressed,with some of the road and track going out into the country was very muddy with puddles in places,as for the grass out in the Flash I have no idea as I decided to stay firmly routed at the start and finish area.

Below,Course Map.

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The first of the races which I missed where the U13B race over about 2.75km and 44 went to post with Marcus Dey of Bury AC taking the opener with a time of 9.10 mins and had an eleven second lead over Ethan Glasgow Labad of Oldham and Royston AC in 9.21,Ben Forrest was third for Bury on 9.24, In the team event this meant the Bury A side won with 10 points,Stockport A second with 26 and third spot to the local side Leigh Harriers who got 42 points.

In the U13 Girls which had 52 over the same CD it was Leigh Harriers very own Keely Hodgkinson winning in 9.39 and hung on from second placed Chantelle Johnson in 9.45 and places 3-5 were filled by three Manchester Harriers athletes Alice Stiles,Eleanor Kenny and Grace De Compso which in turn helped them win the team event with 12 points.

Next race which was occurng just as I worked my way onto the venue was the U15B over 3.5km, 22 faced the start here and coming home down Victory Lane was Sam Tarry,the Manchester Harrier had a winning time of 11.59,the race for second was a battle between Sale Harriers Manchester athletes Jake and Adam Spilsbury in which both were separated by one second with Jake getting the upper hand (Are the SHM version of the Brownlee Brothers?) This gave Sale the team event with 13 points.

36 began the first race I saw,the U15G over 3.5km, this was a near domination from Stockport here who had 12 in the line up forming A,B and C teams and of their contingent they filled up seven of the first ten places with a dominant win by Katy Whiteoak in 12.42 with a huge gap to Beth Barlow in the runners up spot in 13.16 with third and fourth both close from Juliet Downs and Lucy Donaghy in 13.27 and 13.29 respectively. Team wise it was Stockport AC’s A team who demolished the opposition like a Fred Dibnah chimney job with 8 points from a remote second of Stockport’s B team who ammased 23 points.

A field of 17 faced the starters pistol for the U17 Men over 5km or 3m1f to all my horse racing fans reading this.

The early running from gunshot to the end of the small lap of the field was being made my Declan Toomey of Bolton United Harriers but heading out on to the large last lap it was Danny Lawton from Trafford AC who held the lead and it was all over bar the shouting here as he did the equivalent of winning on the bridle, his time of 17.11 was a near minutiae ahead of Donnacha Maguire who was second in 18.12 with Benn Heywood from Bury taking third just ten seconds ahead of Callum McCormick for the hosts Leigh Harriers, In the teams the Trafford AC A team took this with 16 points.

Two races in one followed with the U17W and U20W both over 5km, in the U17 a field of 19 ran with just the 5 in the U20.

Below,Off in U17 and 20.

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Below,Out into the country.

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This race was tricky to follow but coming in at the end of the first lap,the small one,Megan Davies of Sale was leading the U20 with Katie Buckley of Sale H Manchester following while behind them the U17 had the early pace being made by Mollie Williams from Stockport AC with team mate Ellen Downs keeping tabs on her,

At the business end by the finish line Megan Davies turned in first for the U20 division as she won her race followed thirty seconds behind by Katie Buckley in second with 20.22,in a distant third was Leigh Harrier runner Bethany Jones 23.14 then fourth Rosa Chrysite Lowe 23.22 in the Stockport colours,finally in fifth and last we had Natalie Thompson for Wigan & DAC 23.57.

The U17 was a simple swap of the first two at the end of lap one, Ellen Downs got the better out In the field to take the scalp of fellow Stockporter Mollie Williams in 20.17 to 20.29, Sophie Hill got third for Moston D H&AC,Leah Peploe got fourth for Leigh and fifth and sixth went to Stockport’s Elizabeth Apsley and Ruth Sinclair which assisted in getting the Team event by making it 8 points to Sale H Manchester’s 25 points back in second.

Three races to go and the smallest single race field of the day came soon after,the U20M event over a distance of 7km,just the 9 in this race.

It was a case of made all and no change in the running order when they passed me the first time round,Jack Nixon continued Stockport’s fine form here today,he had Adam Howard only six seconds behind as the came home in times of 22.16 and 22.24,Jonathan Kay running for Bolton UH got third prize.

Now we get to the two big races of the day,first up is the Senior and Veterans Women’s over the 7km trip,a real mix of runners here of various ages and ability.

No beating around the bush this was a demolition job of epic proportions by Leigh Harriers here with the sort of result that took you back to the days of the Michael Dickinson Gold Cup Five,this race was the Leigh Harriers Four as Laura Riches,Dionne Allen,Sarah Griffiths and Rebecca Howarth filled places 1-4 with consummate ease,coming past first time Laura and Dionne were keeping each other company until at some point out in the county Laura pulled away,Sarah Griffiths was mostly on her own during the race and Rebecca Howarth had to shake off the attentions of two Stockport runners (they get everywhere don’t they!) to make it a 1-2-3-4 for the hosts.

Below,Off and running.

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Below,Passing through the trees.

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For record the winning times where 24.39,24.55,26.02 and 26.12.

In the team race as expected Leigh won handsomely with the A team getting 6 points,the Stockport AC A team could only look and weep with 19 this in turn was a country mile clear from the Leigh Harriers B team who got 42 points.

I want to give a mention to the runner who came last in 43rd,of course somebody has to finish last otherwise it’s not a race and in this it was Jen Delaney of Manchester YMCA Harriers, (I bet you’re all thinking of the dance moves now aren’t you!)

It is very easy for me to sympathise here as my one and only cross country race representing the school in my younger days I came stone bonking last but I carried on to the finish and while it could have been easier to pull up after the first lap I went out and did it so I have a huge amount of respect for her for keeping going to the bitter end, I even made her laugh when she passed me on the first lap as I told her “I’ll try and trip a few up for you” (I didn’t)

It’s the typical Corinthian spirit in action,the good news was that Jen was never lapped by the women’s race or overtaken when the men’s race began,a lovely lady I gave Jen a good round of applause when she arrived at the line,her time was 52.04 which was fourteen minutes behind Bev Tickle in 42nd,that’s not important,what matters is Jen got round which is more than anyone who dares to mock her would have done I bet, Jen if you’re reading this Keep On Running.

Below,Jen Delaney coming to the finish.

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So we come to the final event,The Senior and Veterans Mens Race over the gruelling 11km,Three full laps plus a bit extra of the course.

As the race began two athletes got to the front,Andi Jones of Stockport and Joe Bailey from Salford Harriers,the were both close when they came round at the end of the first lap,Gavin Hill had third spot and this how they finished two laps later in the contest.

Andi Jones recorded a time of 34.13 only thirteen seconds ahead from Joe Bailey 34.36 and Gavin Hill 35.20.

At time of getting the print out 59 runners completed but many were still out in the country so I have no result of the team race prior to this being published.

Below,Under Starters Orders and They’re Off!

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Below,Racing!

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Below,End of the lap of the field.

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Below,Out in the country.

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So an enjoyable afternoon of Cross Country Athletics, proper races for me, I love athletics and this brings it back to its purer form for me,while the big Diamond League events always get plenty of attention this is proper grassroots sport held by what I like to think of as Professional Amateurs, The people involved here do it for the pure love of the sport, sort of like Point to Point and Non League Football, One good thing about XC is you can wander around to various points of the course should you wish and see the running at its hardest as every strain and sinew of the body works the double overtime for the reward.

I shall be at another event in February as I shall be in Sheffield for the British Trials for the World Indoors at the English Institute of Sport, can’t wait for that.

Racing wise all being well shall be Warwick next Saturday for the Grade Two Leamington Novices Hurdle and the Grade Three Classic Chase.

Till then Goodbye and thanks for reading.

Below,Leigh Harriers Senior Women’s A Team with their gongs.

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Below,Leigh Harriers Senior Women 1-2-3.

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