by Dom Bradshaw

Thanks to heavy watering by the organisers, there were good-sized fields for the Cleveland fixture at Stainton on Saturday.

The meeting was kicked off with the eight runner Members which fell to Clive Mulhall on Royal Reprimand, getting the better of the favourite, Borleagh Pilot (Paul Collins) with Chief Engineer (Ben Woodhouse) back in third.

The seventeen runner Restricted fell to Phyllis, ridden by Fiona Needham, coming with a late challenge to deny Nigel Tutty on Albarden. When everything goes right, the winner is a useful sort on her day.
The runner up looked all over the winner jumping the last and is capable of scoring under similar conditions.
Gaucho (Tina Jackson) ran on late to take third and has improved beyond recognition in his last two runs.

The first two in the market contested the finish in the Mens Open with the favourite, Golden Chimes (Grant Tuer), landing the spoils from Brighter Shade (Philip Kinsella) with the front running Darak (Nigel Tutty) not far away in third.
The winner was well suited by the conditions and should score again in similar circumstances.
Brighter Shade is returning to form and he could take a race before the season’s over.
Front running tactics were employed by Nigel Tutty on Darak, who’d shown nothing in his previous three starts, and they almost paid off, as he was still bang in contention between the last two. On this running, he looks capable of landing a small race.

There was early drama in the Ladies Open with Hadeqa unseating Charlotte Brown at the first and Supercharmer running through the wing with Jo Foster at the third.
At the business end, it was Pharlindo (Annabelle Armitage) who landed the spoils with the favourite Wynyard Dancer (Tina Jackson) only second.
The winner is a decent, but inconsistent sort and doesn’t tend to run two races alike, and should be followed with a little caution.
The runner up looked rather one paced, but does come to her best at this time of year and may be able to land a race of this kind.

The 8-year-old and above Maiden fell to Mr McDuck (Lee Bates), showing a clean pair of heels to his rivals to score readily and on this form, he won’t be disgraced in restricted company.
Ellis Park (Noel Wilson) ran on to take second, but looks a touch one paced.
In The Van (Michael Morley) was further behind in third.

The 5, 6 & 7-year-old Maiden went to Bohemian Spirit, quickening up nicely under a well-timed ride from Ben Woodhouse to deny Red September (Philip Kinsella) and Can Cortana (Clive Mulhall).
Bohemian Spirit is an improving type and may eventually be good enough for restricteds.
The runner up showed enough to suggest that he can land a maiden.
Can Cortana has been disappointing on his previous two starts but jumped well on the whole and should be able to win in this company.

Well done to the Cleveland for getting near perfect ground during this dry spell.