PLENTY of runners turned out for the Hurworth point-to-point at Skutterskelfe Park, Hutton Rudby last weekend.
The course was in good order, however the going was changed during the day to good to soft, after some heavy rain showers, mixed with snow!
Racing started with the Hunt race sponsored by WM McIvor & Son. Four of the five entries went to post running in pairs with Chernik and Ballyanrahan making the running and Blue Bertie and Rush House a couple of lengths behind. Rush House is still learning the game and pulled up on the final circuit and the gap between the leading pair and Blue Bertie began to increase. The front pair were duelling from a way out.
Ballyanrahan’s jumping had looked good until Chernik started to put him under pressure and a few mistakes started to creep in, allowing Chernik, piloted by Andrew Glass to assert and win by eight lengths.
Ballyanrahan and Richard Smith finished in second with Blue Bertie and Philip Greaves a distance back in third.
Eleven horses were due to go to post for the Quench Racing Restricted Race but Budge Ya Butt was withdrawn after rearing over and injuring his jockey Andrew Richardson on the way to the start. The horses largely raced as a pack with four jumping the last nearly in line.
Spruce Up and Harry Bannister just had the advantage over Sposalizio and Chris Dawson but Blackthirteen partnered by Jess Gillam powered up the run in to take the race on the line.
Mistissio and Richard Smith were back in fourth.
The MSP Legal Services Ladies Open Race could have been anyone’s race on paper.
Dead Ringa was running a well with Laura Mason deputising for the injured Emma Todd who was undergoing a shoulder operation on the day of racing, but fell three out. Oaklands Bobby and Shake the Barley drew clear up the run in and it looked as though Cath Walton riding Shake the Barley would land the spoils, only to be reeled in by Oaklands Bobby and Alice Petch (also deputising for the injured Emma Todd), who just got up on the line to win by a neck.
Alfoisin was eight lengths back in third under Jacqueline Coward and Supreme Plan and Harriet Bethell finished in fourth. After slipping and unseating Alice on the way to the start, Oaklands Bobby had a warm up run to the far field but fortunately the pair were quickly reunited.
In the Tees Valley Mitsubishi Mens Open Race Drom once again put his front running tactics to good use and took an early lead under Will Kitchman.
As the race developed the pair had a 20 length lead and although the winning distance was reduced to eight lengths he was never in danger, although his jumping wasn’t quite as good as we had seen on his previous run at Charm Park.
Classinaglass was as usual held up throughout the race and Harry Bannister urged his mount to close the gap as the runners went out on the final circuit but he simply couldn’t get there. Racing Ace and Chris Dawson finished in third with Slick Operator and Richard Smith back in fourth.
A popular race this season is the Club Members Conditions Race, where those who do not fit the criteria of a novice rider have to carry a 5lb penalty.
Jacksons Law Firm were the sponsors, but in this instance the weight advantage did not produce a winner and Sportingfriendship and Harry Bannister took this by a length from Drill Sergeant and Phil Dennis.
Avinapaddy and Richard Smith were three and a half lengths back in third with Trop Fort and Sally Coates in fourth.
The Maiden Race had been divided before the day and the first division was sponsored by the Cleveland Tontine. Norton Grove, who had pulled up on his only previous start at Charm Park was the warm favourite, but it was Danny Cool owned in partnership by his rider, Paul Collins and former trainer Mary Reveley who took this.
Division Two was sponsored by Teeside Audi and there were a couple of first timers in this, one of which was Bridal Suite who looked a little cold backed but with the extremely capable Chris Dawson on board any potential problems were averted as he trotted a couple of circuits of the paddock before quietly cantering down to the start.
Richard Smith and Can’t Call It landed the spoils by one and a half lengths from Billy Two Tongues who although he completed, still makes plenty of mistakes and is likely to have a career over hurdles now.
A total of 85 entries have been received for the Badsworth and Bramham Moor point-to-point at Whitcliffe Grange, Ripon on Sunday.
Admission is £10 per person.
The postcode for satellite navigation is HG4 3AS.