Sinnington at DUNCOMBE PARK
Sunday 20th February 2000
by Richard Watts

A huge gamble was landed when Nigel Tutty’s Murton Heights (Hurworth) took the Mens Open at the Sinnington Point to Point held at Duncombe Park on Sunday.

The ten-year-old, who has come back from two serious injuries, was backed down from 33-1 to 6-1 in this competitive race. Murton Heights, ridden by his owner, was always handily placed, with half a mile to run he was going ominously well in third place; getting a good run up the inside coming to the final fence he took up the running and stayed on strongly for a three length win. The favourite Concerto Collonges (Middleton), trained by Annabelle Armitage and ridden by Robert Hartley, put in his usual strong finish from the rear but couldn’t catch the impressive winner; he finished second one and a half lengths in front of the Chris Dennis trained Bold Fountain (Zetland). Ridden by Chris Wilson, he held every chance at the last but was outpaced on the run to the line.

Monkey Ago (Pendle Forest) lost his unbeaten record in Ladies races this season when the Trish Russell trained Marius reversed the form of their Witton Castle meeting. Monkey Ago, ridden by owner Jo Foster, tried to make all and although pulling six lengths clear at the final open ditch he never managed to slip his field. Marius, ridden by Vicky Russell closed over the final half-mile and was only a length down at the last. A mistake at fence by Monkey Ago brought Marius level and staying on strongly Marius pulled clear to win by five lengths. The Chris Dennis trained Tabriz (Zetland), ridden by A Thompson, finished third. He raced prominently and held every chance at the last but couldn’t match the finishing speed of the first two.

The sometimes wayward Pharlindo (Hurworth) was given a fine ride by Fiona Needham to win the Confined Hunts race. Pennywise’s fall at the final open ditch left Pharlindo in front a position that Grania Furness’ horse was never to relinquish. Stephen Clark’s Harbour Blaze (York & Ainsty) was second throughout the last mile but despite the efforts of Ruth Clark on board he could never get on terms and Pharlindo galloped on well to win by six lengths. Harbour Blaze finished second, ten length clear of his stable mate Springhill Quay (York & Ainsty) who made late headway under Richard Clark.

Lee Bates picked up the first win of his career when the Sarah Dent trained Hazel Reilly (South Durham) won the Third Division of the Maiden. Hazel Riley and the David Coates ridden and trained Flashing Gale (Pendle Forest) had pulled twenty lengths clear two from home. The pair were locked together until Flashing Gale opened up a two length lead at the last; the race was not over though and Hazel Reilly rallied half way up the thrill and just got up on the line to win by a neck. Richard Lochman’s Fiery Jack (York & Ainsty) finished a remote third under Nigel Tutty.

The five year old High Expectations (Bramham Moor) confirmed the promise of his Alnwick debut run by taking the First Division of the Maiden. Ridden by his owner Richard Tate, High Expectations raced in midfield; he took closer order with half a mile to run as the Sunter’s Broken English (Cleveland), ridden by Tina Jackson moved into a challenging position. Coming to the last Broken English led High Expectations by a length and the pair fought out a great battle to the line with High Expectations coming clear in the last hundred yards to win by five lengths. The promising mare Broken English finished second, five lengths clear of the Fiona Needham trained Pearly’s Song (S Bailey/Bilsdale) who was making an impressive debut under Kevin Needham.

Meadowbank (Middleton) justified favouritism in the Second Division of the Maiden. The race turned into a battle between Meadowbank, ridden by owner Milo Watson and the long time leader, the James Delahooke owned Tricky Trevor (Zetland), who was ridden by Holy Delahooke. The pair were together over the last half mile; Meadowbank pulled clear on the run to the run to the final fence and despite a late rally from Tricky Trevor he held on well to win by three lengths. Tricky Trevor finished second a length clear of Monica Dickinson’s promising five year old Never Wonder. Ridden by his trainer Richard Tate Never Wonder he made significant late progress and looks one to follow.

Jackson’s Hole (Middleton), trained by Ian Mason, took the Restricted race. Ridden by David Easterby Jackson’s Hole made much of the running. Owned and ridden by Joe Townson, The Shy Padre (Pendle Forest) was never far away; he threw down a strong challenge at the last but Jackson’s Hole quickened up the hill to win by six lengths. Stuart Bolton’s Deer Park Lass (Holderness) showed his first form, staying on well for Dave Thomas to finish a further four lengths back in third.

Alan Lockwood has a fine record in the Members race and that record was further improved when The Hazel Harrier carried his colours to success under Alyson Deniel. On the long run to the last The Hazel Harrier and the Ian Brown trained Yornoangel had the race to themselves but The Hazel Harrier was always travelling the stronger and he stayed on best up the run in to win by twelve lengths. Yornoangel, ridden by Richard Clark, held second twenty lengths clear of his stable mate, Mr Hook who plugged on for third under Paul Halder.