Six A Side & Marcus Haigh on their way to victory in the Novice Riders Race
This weekend Askham Bryan College played host to the second of two meetings at the track but this time it was the Badsworth and Bramham who would hold their point to point here. Again Joe Wright can seem to do no wrong at the moment as he again recorded a double on the day, whilst rookie trainer Will Milburn not only recorded his first training success but went on to record a double on the day.
The Open Maiden was where Will recorded his first success as a trainer when he also piloted the 10 year old Super Lunar to victory, previously trained by Harry Hogarth near Stillington Will purchased the son of Super Celebre privately last August "I needed a hunter and Jamie Hamilton suggested him to me...he's had 20 days with the Middleton this season and the plan was if he was fit and healthy we'd give him a spin at the end of the season" said Will who admits he was a touch surprised with the winner "his work at home wasn't overly inspiring, I told everyone he would pull up!" Will laughed, who trains the winner for his mother Carol Milburn who Will says is a key part to his success "I ride him at the gallops and hunting and my mum rides him out and looks after him...she's done a great job!" Hunting certainly looks to have sweetened this 10 year old up after looking to loose his way under rules and could continue to progress if in good heart. The pair were always prominent and after leading four out stuck on gamely to fend off Game Risk and Lottie Crane who stayed on well from the rear, with Master Campbell and Tom Strawson in third.
The PPORA Novice Riders race ended the day and completed Milburn's double with Six A Side, however this time he would be partnered by Marcus Haigh who works with Will at Mark Walford's. The pair made good progress and led between the final two but had to work hard and fend off Sealous Scout and Joe Williamson with Alta Rock back in third. It was Six A Side's eleventh victory but the first time partnered by anyone but Will "he tends to bump in to good horses or carries a lot of penalties...this looked an easier race and Marcus helps me out so knows him well" said Will who was delighted to get the 11 year old on the score card for the season. It was Marcus's second winner of the season after partnering his own Big Sound to success at Dalton Park "I'm very grateful to Will and his owners for letting me ride him, he's a bit of a legend! He just idled a bit over the last...he's maybe getting a bit cute in his old age" said Marcus who looks a leading contender for the novice rider championship.
One that is going from strength to strength this season is Absainte who won the opening Conditions race for horses who have not won under rules, partnered by Will Easterby for trainer Robin Tate and the Armstrong Partnership. Absainte was always to the fore as she has been in all her races this season and came clear in the finish to again win well "it's the first time she's been taken on for the lead but she galloped on well...I'm not sure where she'll go next but the Intermediate final is certainly on the cards and possibly the Heart at Hexham" said winning rider Will Easterby. Mickey Miller returned to a glimmer of his old form by staying on in to second under Joe Williamson, whilst The Mobile Man struggled to land a blow under Cara Richardson but came home in third.
Joe Wright was again on the score sheet and has gone into a close second behind Will Easterby in the Yorkshire Championship. His first win came aboard the Cherry Coward trained Eden Collonges and caused a bit of a surprise, the winner was always bussled along but came with a strong run between the last two and beat the consistent McMurphy under Will Easterby. Eden Collonges was an impressive winner of his maiden at Sheriff Hutton but has failed to build on that in a couple of runs since, however Joe believed that the better ground allowed him to show his true colours. Back in third was the pacesetter and previous course winner Robins Legend under Emma Todd.
Joe went on to score in the Mens Open as well, aboard previous course winner Dark Mahler, the pair had to work hard and were in a tussle all the way to the line with the Will Easterby ridden and trained Black River who continues in good form. Guy Brewer's string continues in good form and made it five wins for the season and his last four runners have all been winners. Third place was filled by Badbad Leroy Brown under Phil Armson and looks as if a small event should be within his grasp.
The Ladies Open, sponsored by Skinner's saw the most impressive winner of the day when Meldrum Lad trained by Justin Landy bolted up under Becky Smith, there has been a strong word following the appearance of this 10 year old and he did not disappoint. Always travelling strongly the pair cruised to the lead down the back straight and was never in doubt and won easily "we were always going to win...we knew he would win today if he was right...I had spoke to the lads who rode him under rules and they said he would not get beat in points" said Becky Smith who could do little else but win, future plans for the son of Fruits Of Love could see him now contesting hunter chases. Ballinahow Bill continues to find one too good between the flags but will surely get his head in front before long for Lottie Crane, whilst No Secondchance ran an excellent race in third under Kate Lowcock.