The Sinnington Point-to-Point took place at Duncombe Park on Sunday 12th February. Organisers, horses, jockeys and spectators endured testing weather conditions but big fields provided the crowd with competitive racing action. Will Easterby started the day in fine style by riding his 50th point-to-point winner and training his first winner in the Coopers Fuels sponsored Hunt Race on Kings Lodge. This was to be the first leg of a double for Will. With the favourite, Young Hurricane out of the race on the first circuit this allowed Kings Lodge to lead throughout. "The horse had a wind operation last year, which has helped him. He jumped well and loved been out in front, just like when he is on the gallops at home. The win today will have acted as a confidence booster" explained Will. Altar Rock and Debbie Boyes made a bad mistake at the last but recovered just in time to claim second position from Over and Above ridden by Bertie Hayton.
The second leg of Will Easterby's double was landed by Hunt Politics in the first division of The Maiden Race, sponsored by Malton Marquees. Trained by Steph Easterby, Hunt Politics, a striking individual showed that he had learned a lot from his first race at Sheriff Hutton in January. Benton's Lad partnered by Will Milburn looked the likely winner, however Hunt Politics demonstrated a turn of foot to collar Benton's lad in the last furlong. Will Easterby commented "He is a lovely horse, jumped well and relished the soft going." Back in third was Monsum Storm and John Dawson.
A partnership who also enjoyed a double at the meeting was trainer, Cherry Coward and owner Richard Morris. Game as a Pheasant and jockey Joe Wright came home in front to land The Carter Jonas sponsored Restricted Race. "The horse had suffered a broken pelvis at Sheriff Hutton in 2016, so we just didn't know what form he would produce this season, he was 4th at Sheriff this year so we knew he was coming back to himself. "explained Sam Coward, the trainer's daughter. "Game as a Pheasant is a horse to follow." Added a smiling winning jockey, Joe Wright. The stamina ladened Duke Nelson finished second under Jack Teal with Jack Jordan and Mickey Miller coming third. The favourite Path to Freedom and John Dawson were travelling well until hanging badly on the turn after three out and had to be pulled up, both hom and his rider returned safe and sound and there will be another day for them.
The Coward/Morris double was completed when The Highlander demonstrated he is a class act when the going is soft. Always in a prominent position jockey John Dawson and his mount came home an easy winner of The Moneyweb Mixed Open Race. The Highlander was just touched for first place by Grandturgeon at Sheriff Hutton in January but this put him just right for today's contest. John Dawson's gave the gelding high praise by commenting "He is a proper horse!" Will Easterby and Things Change were no mach back in second, whilst Victor Hewgo provided Alice Dawson with a satisfactory return from injury by staying on for third.
Susan Mason witnessed another good win by her mare Comedinewithme partnered by Richard Smith in the Confined Race, sponsored by Savills. When asked about how the race was won, Richard explained that "Knowing she stayed, I was able to make use of her stamina, I saw John (Dawson)'s horse had plenty left when turning for home so I knew I had to make it a true test hence taking the race up when I did. She just kept finding and did it well in the end." Comedinewithme may now continue her career under rules indicated connections. Dance of Time again travelled powerfully and came home in second for John Dawson, whilst Joe Wright finished third on Max My Boy.
The PPORA Race for Veteran and Novice Riders , sponsored by Browns of York was won by Neville Woods and owner/trainer/jockey Philip Greaves. "The horse was purchased out the ring at Doncaster sales and has proved that he his worth in other disciplines already, when Philip isn't busy running the family's farm he whips-in for the Hurworth" said his mother Pat. "Lambing time isn't due to start till Valentine's Day but we have already started so we will have to get back sharp!" Pat added. Shannon Silver and Drill Sergeant filled the places but were no match for the run away winner.
The second division of the maiden was kindly sponsored by Spillers horse feeds and saw an exciting young prospect in Our Jj ridden by Max Johnson and trained by Nicky Tinkler for owner/breeder Steve Knowles. The son of Sulamani was making his racecourse debut and travelled well through the race and pounced on his more experienced rivals up the home straight. The winner is half brother to connections Bramble Vodka, who was the impressive winner of a couple of points and this 5yo could follow in her foot steps "he's a big baby and he's come out of the race well, he'll go to Charm Park next and should give his owners alot of fun" said winning trainer Nicky Tinkler.
1st Kings Lodge (Will Easterby) 11/4
2nd Alta Rock (Debbie Boyes) 7/4
3rd Over And Above (Bertie Hayton) 14/1
1st Comedinewithme (Richard Smith) 7/4
2nd Dance Of Time (John Dawson) 5/2
3rd Max My Boy (Joe Wright) 6/1
1st Game As A Pheasant (Joe Wright) 7/1
2nd Duke Nelson (Jack Teal) 14/1
3rd Mickey Miller (Jack Jordan) 6/1
1st The Highlander (John Dawson) 10/11
2nd Things Change (Will Easterby) 9/4
3rd Victor Hewgo (Alice Dawson) 14/1
Veteran and Novice Riders Race
1st Neville Woods (Phil Greaves) 10/1
2nd Shannon Silver (Henry Morshead) 5/2
3rd Drill Sergeant (Miss E Horner-Harker) 9/2
Open Maiden Division One
1st Hunt Politics (Will Easterby) 3/1
2nd Bentons Lad (Will Milburn) 7/4
3rd Monsun Storm (John Dawson) 7/2
Open Maiden Division Two
1st Our JJ (Max Johnson) 100/30
2nd McMurphy (John Dawson) 7/1
3rd Dibble Bridge (Richard Smith) 5/4