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20 January 2009 Preview: Albrighton at Bangor-on-Dee

AMICELLI: winner of last season's Cheltenham Foxhunters is entered in the Mens Open

The Albrighton Hunt normally open the season in the North Western Area at Weston Park, but because of the damage caused to the racecourse last August after the V Festival, the Hunt were forced to find another venue to hold their fixture.

In his annual pre-season address our area chairman George Barlow paid tribute to Bangor-on-Dee for their swift negotiations in enabling this meeting to take place in 2009.

Bangor-on-Dee will be celebrating 150 years as a racecourse on February 25th 2009. The North Wales course has retained its strong links with hunts to this day, as the opening meeting in 1859 was managed by Colonel Cotton, the master of the Wynnstay Foxhounds.

The Albrighton Hunt have attracted a bumper entry of 174 for their race meeting, which is a staggering 43% up on their entry for last season. Racing comes under starters orders at 12noon with the Members race and set to conclude at 3.00pm with the Open Maiden

Admission to the course is £25 per car regardless of the number of passengers, or just £15 for single occupancy, which represents excellent value for money.

Clerk of the course Ed Gretton lists the going as Soft on Monday January 19th 2009

The Ladies Open for the Perry Challenge Trophy could well see history being made with three generations of a family winning a race between the flags at the tender age of 16. Hadnall trainer Sheila Crow won her first race at 16 on Venlus, her daughter Lucy also won at 16 on Adulation, hopes are high that Lucy's 16 year old daughter Alice Walker will keep up the family tradition by winning the race on Little Big Horse trained by her grandmother Sheila Crow.

The Mens Open, for the James Pigg Challenge Cup has attracted a top class entry. Heading the field is last season's Cheltenham Foxhunter winner Amicelli from Cherry Coward yard. Also from the same yard is Sonevafushi who finished fourth in the Liverpool Fox Hunters to Christy Beamish. Also amongst the 35 runners entered is the Heidi Brookshaw trained Beautiful Dawn, who was the champion horse in the area last season; another to consider is Whistling Straights who is trained by the hunt secretary Caroline Robinson.

If owners require a car pass could they should write to the Albrighton Hunt secretary Mrs Caroline Robinson, Meadow House, Sheriffhales, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8QY Tel/fax 01952 463082

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