by Dom Bradshaw
Photos by Arthur Thompson

Jack Frost did his best to write off the weekend’s pointing action for most of the country, but despite all of his efforts, he failed to “get” the West Of Yore fixture at Hornby Castle, which went ahead after a late inspection. 

Billie Thomson’s Balisteros notched win number thirty-two in the Ladies Open, following up his win at Duncombe Park a week earlier.
On this occasion, he was made to work hard and got home under a power-packed ride by Pauline Robson, denying Silver Groom (Jacqueline Coward) by half-a-length with Dun Distinctly (Lucy Horner) a further half-length back in third.
What is there to say about Balisteros that hasn’t already been said? The 15-year-old might not be as quick as he once was, but he’s lost none of battling qualities and win number thirty-three shouldn’t be far away.
Silver Groom lost little in defeat and will be winning soon.
Dun Distinctly ran the race of his life and if he’s able to repeat this, he should be able to find a small race.
Robert Ogden’s Yorkshire Edition (Wendy Gibson) put in some spectacular leaps, but raced a little too freely and was a spent force in fifth. If he can be restrained a little, he should be able to score.

Ladies Open (L to R) - Yorkshire Edition (Wendy Gibson), Balisteros (Pauline Robson) and Lord Dorcet (Claire Metcalfe)

Ladies Open - The runner up, Silver Groom (Jacqueline Coward)

Victoria’s Boy (Guy Brewer) ran out a convincing winner of the Mens Open, beating Spring Double (Toby Mounsey-Heysham) by eight-lengths and Extra Jack (Charlie Shirley-Beavan) by a further six-lengths.
The winner looked a cut above his rivals here on his seasonal debut and should continue to score throughout the season, including over regulation fences.
Spring Double stayed on to fill the runner’s up spot and will be better suited by a test of stamina.
Extra Jack raced a little keen and looks as though he’ll need to be held up if he’s to stay the trip in points, but does look the type who could go well in a sub three-mile hunter chase.

High Peak and Tom Greenall followed up their Market Rasen maiden victory, taking the Restricted at the first time of asking.
The seven-year-old son of Alflora is highly regarding by trainer David Easterby and can continue on the upgrade.
The runner up, Just Fluster (Richard Wakeham), ran a fair race in defeat and victory in this company shouldn’t be far away.
Third placed Dolphin Square (Tom Oates) put in his best performance since his maiden victory in 2002 and can land a restricted.
Son Of Sam, off the course since three falls on the bounce in 2001, was handled with care by Clive Mulhall and should come on bundle for this run.

The Restricted (L to R) - Agent Provocateur (Richard Clark), Dolphin Square (Tom Oates) & Sledmere (John Botham)

Erzadjan (Lee Bates) swooped off the pace set by Darak (Nigel Tutty) and Ballad Minstrel (Jo Foster) to land the Confined by three-lengths.
This was Erzadjan’s first success between the flags. He relishes a test of stamina and should continue to go well on the staying tracks.
Second placed Darak will strip a lot fitter for this and could be hard to peg back on the easier courses.
Ballad Minstrel was a little disappointing after the promise he’d shown behind Balisteros the week before, but should by no means be written off.

Sweeping Storm (Chris Dawson) and Eighty Days (Ran Morgan) fought out the finish in Division One of the 2m4f maiden with the latter landing the spoils by a head.
Eighty Days showed plenty of speed here and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the five-year-old son of Air Quest switched to a campaign under rules.
Sweeping Storm displayed more zest here than he did during the whole of 2003 and can land a short maiden.
The Nicky Tinkler ridden Clever Fella, a five-year-old by Elmaamul, was ten-lengths back in third, and will benefit for this experience. He should be able to land a maiden.

Division One Maiden (L to R) - Billymax (Richard Wakeham) & Eighty Days (Ran Morgan)

In Division Two of the 2m4f maiden, Super Dolphin (Richard Tate) came with a late rattle to deny Shirostran (Philip Kinsella) by half-a-length.
The time here was six seconds slower than the previous division and both horses will need an equally weak race if they’re to score.
The hot favourite Comfortably Numb (Nicky Tinkler) was found wanting once the pace quickened and gives the impression that he’ll be better suited by a test of stamina.

Division Two Maiden (L to R) - Perky's Wish (Simon Robinson), Shirostran (Philip Kinsella) & Comfortably Numb (Nicky Tinkler)

Tom Greenall completed a double, bringing High Fields home in front in the final maiden (Division Three - 2m4f), with Jethro Tull (Guy Brewer) and Anniejo (Ran Morgan) filling the minor places.
High Fields looks an improving type and should be able to take a restricted this season.
The runner up, Jethro Tull, looks a ready-made maiden winner, as does Anniejo, though she gives the impression that she’ll prefer today’s sub three-mile trip.
Parsifal (Rupert Abrahams) pulled too much for his own good and will need plenty of restraint if he’s to score.