Following a deluge of overnight rain and after passing an inspection, the Staintondale point-to-point took place at Charm Park.
Joe Wright was the jockey in form when teaming up with trainer Justin Landy to record a double. The pair landed the spoils in the first race, the Thompson Property Ltd Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club Members Race with Ardea. Impact Zone took the early lead under Jacqueline Coward but Ardea was always prominent. Tasheba, a winner at this course earlier in the month took the lead four fences from home but as they approached the second last Joe pushed Ardea towards the front and won by two lengths from Sportingfriendship and William Easterby.
The pair followed up in the Haybar Mixed Open race with Knocklong. Only four went to post and raced tightly bunched for the majority of the race, but with just under half a circuit to go tactics started to come into play and the race began in earnest. Knocklong won by three lengths from Chip N Pin ridden by Jacqueline Coward and French Seventyfive was 20 lengths further back in third for Emma Todd.
The Castle Employment Agency Restricted Race went the way of The Dark Duchess who was reunited with Emma Todd. The pair raced prominently until a slow jump five from home shuffled them back in the field. "I didn't panic as I knew there was still quite a long way to go and we were handy enough," reported the rider. Retaining the inner throughout and a quick jump at the second last propelled the pair to the fore. Emma kicked on from there and won by six lengths with On Vacation and John Dawson in second. Raw Condition, partnered by Jack Jordan was two lengths behind in third.
Greensalt returned to his winning ways in the C W Strickland & Son Ltd Confined Hunts race in one of the closest finishes of the day, getting up by just a head. Billing made most of the running under Claire Hart but with a circuit to go Shannon Silver was taken to the lead by Henry Morsehead. Greensalt had always been close up and the battle was between them from the last. Arboretum was a distance back in third for John Dawson.
Maiden races finished the day, with the first being the Openfield Open Maiden race. Cousin Guillaume who had been going very well at the Hurworth meeting last Saturday until falling three out made amends and took this by a head under Richard Smith. Most of the running had been made by Stagecoach Jasper and Duke Nelson but Cousin Guillaume had been handy throughout. Duke Nelson went into the lead from the bottom of the course but Richard Smith was always in his slipstream and along with Stagecoach Jasper, partnered by William Easterby, laid down the challenge from two out and the race was between them. Duke Nelson and William Milburn finished 20 lengths further back in third.
The final race of the day was the Newark Livestock Market Maiden Conditions race which was for horses who have never been placed in a race. Eight horses went to post, although an incident packed race meant only two finished, both trained by Jacqueline Coward. Belgian Chocolate lead from the start and stayed out of trouble to win by a distance under Claire Hart. "Claire's intended runners couldn't make it over the Humber Bridge due to the high winds so I said she could ride my horses," explained a generous Jacqueline Coward who's first season role as a trainer is the main focus of her attention. "I've always loved this horse and I'm so pleased she's won," continued Jacqueline. Joe Wright came in for the ride on Midnight in Venice and were the only other pair to complete, which secured two additional trophies for Joe, the Staintondale Hunt Riders Challenge Cup for the jockey with the most points on the day, as well as the Ted Pennock Memorial Trophy for the leading novice rider.
Point-to-pointing returns to Sheriff Hutton next Sunday, 3rd April for the Middleton meeting.