by Dave Scott

The new Point to Point season got off to a sunny start at Ratcheugh on Sunday when a good crowd enjoyed some excellent racing.

The opening Hunt race saw Rose Davidson aboard Dere Street just repel the late thrust of the evergreen Jimmy Walton and Be A Better Boy. The race had developed into a two horse affair from the top of the hill. Dere Street had kicked some 4 or 5 lengths clear on the run to two out but galvanized by Jimmy Walton, Be A Better Boy gradually cut into the lead failing by only ĺ of a length to bridge the gap. Timberley was a remote third.

Half an hour later the Restricted saw a tremendous three way finish. Favourite at the off was Alittebitofpower and this one attempted to make all under Clive Storey. At the second last Wilfie Wild appeared the only danger but between the last two Andrew Richardson got the seemingly held Cremavoy running. A fine leap at the last compared to the favourites slow jump saw Cremavoy get his head in front and gradually forge on for a Ĺ length victory. Wilfie Wild stayed on stoutly to seemingly grab second place although officially was awarded a dead heat for second with Alittlebitofpower. The last named ran keenly and if settling a little better will surely win soon.

The Ladies race saw Light The River and Caroline Metcalf gallop on far too strongly for Harden Glen and Balisteros. The last named ran on well after being outpaced on the run to the cross fence but sad to say he looks like a horse on the decline. The winner should score again on this evidence.

The Mens Open race attracted as good a field as Iíve seen in a while and although it looked competitive Geordies Express and Kevin Anderson turned it into a procession. Taking it up after three out they sauntered home by 10 lengths from Just Barney Boy with Parade Racer another 12 lengths back in third. This was an improved performance from the winner and it could be that the jockey was the key. Parade Racer would prefer better ground and will be better for the race.

Ran Morgan aboard Dream Of My Life easily accounted for the non staying Superior Weapon in the Confined. At the top of the hill Superior Weapon looked to be travelling really well but this one emptied very quickly and was legless by the line only just holding on to second from the one paced Raging Torrent. This form looks moderate.

In a divided Maiden the first division fell to Hallrule and Pauline Robson who won well enough from the only other finisher Miss Mattie Ross. The winner was a first runner for former jockey David Parker and provided another winner for Raymond and Anita Anderson-Green. Iím not convinced about this one going on beyond Restricted company.

The concluding event fell to Native Alibi and Charlie Shirley-Beavan. The combination ran out convincing winners from Little John and Miss Royella. This winner could well be one to follow until beaten.