This weekend was the Hurworth point to point at Hutton Rudby. The day was started with a kids 100m dash which was in aid of McMillan Cancer Support and the winner was Ella McGrath. The seven race card got under way with the Hunt Members race which went to the John Dawson trained and ridden Sartorial Elegance for owner and Clerk of the Course Stevie Cook. Bought for £3,500 at Doncaster's Spring sale last year, the son of Kayf Tara led from four out and gradually pulled well clear with Phil Greaves Balach Mor second on only his second start between the flags and Glamorous Nellie in third.
The Restricted saw Lottie Crane quickly jump to the head of the Ladies championship as Caviar d'Allen doubled up on his Charm Park win to score in decisive fashion. Bought through bloodstock agent Mark Gichero last season, the penny seems to have finally dropped and has shown a relentless attitude on both starts this season. Always to the fore the pair galloped on strongly to beat the consistent Classical Lady and John Dawson, whilst Alright Marlene was well back in third. Lottie's team appear in good form this season, "I learnt a lot last season as everything was new" said Lottie of her new training set up and hopes to build on this success.
Cup Final put up another gutsy display in the Veteran Conditions race under Ross Wilson for trainer Sarah Dent. The pair travelled well to lead approaching the last and stayed on gamely to fend off former Harry Hogarth inmate Alto Des Mottes and Aaron Anderson for trainer Russ Garrity, whilst Big Sound stayed on well after the last to finish third. Formerly trained by Ben Haslam, Cup Final joined Sarah Dent's team last year and has troubled the judge on every run since, "once something comes to him, he always finds a bit more" said rider Ross Wilson.
Toni's Oscar scored on his British debut in the Open Maiden for former rider turned trainer Richard Smith. The daughter of Oscar swooped to the lead after the last under Joe Wright and just held on from early pace setter Miss Charlton who rallied after the last under Will Milburn, whilst bumper winner Twist About made late headway into third for Will Easterby. She was bought for the bargain price of £1,500 and Goffs Spring Sale last May after finishing down the field in a hand full of runs in Irish Maidens. "To be honest I didn't think he'd like the ground or the track" admitted her trainer who was slightly surprised by the victory.
The Ladies Open went the way of Major Ridge under Rosie Howarth. It was a slight surprise as the outsider of three set out to make all the running, however as the odds on favourite, Irish Anthem and Immy Robinson, looked set to pounce but came to grief three out and handed the race to the leader. Asylo and Lottie Crane tried to chase down the pace setter but could not quite get there in second.
Black River put up another impressive performance as he ran away with the Mens Open under Will Easterby he solidified his position at the head of the jockeys Championship, his only other rival was One Conemara who looked outpaced from four out and plugged on the one pace under John Dawson and come home in second.
The Conditions race saw the longest traveller of the day, Mr Snuffles from the Joe O'Shea stable, who spent approximately five hours to get to the Yorkshire meeting, make it a worthwhile journey. Always travelling well, Mr Snuffles quickened to lead down the back straight under Huw Edwards and stayed on well up the straight and fend off Mr Pepperpot and John Dawson with McMurphy in third under Jack Teal. This was the fourth win for the 8yo son of Mr Dinos and no doubt Novice Hunter Chases could be on the agenda in the future.