Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Bilsdale at Easingwold Sunday 7th May

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith
Zandino & jockey Elliott Brookbanks win the Restricted Race. Credit Tom Milburn Photography

Jack Andrews leads the Novice Riders Championship with a four point advantage over his nearest rival Jack Jordan after the Bilsdale meeting at Easingwold. Jack won aboard Seeyouincourt, trained by his mother Joanna Andrews and grandfather Richard Dennis in the Club Members Conditions Race, sponsored by Calverts Carpets. It was a game of cat and mouse with Billing and John Dawson, until the eventual winner drew clear three fences from home.  After getting the biggest cheer of the day, Jack commented:  "The plan was to drop in behind Billing for as long as possible but in the end pulled his way to the front, there were a few dodgy jumps along the way! Most notably at the last, he just got a bit tired and drifted left." Five lengths back in second was Yoohoof and Will Easterby, they have taken the step up in grade well. Third was Billing and John Dawson.

Jack Jordan also secured a win on the favourite Artisan Man in the Young Horse Maiden race spon-sored by Oaklands Veterinary Centre.  With only four in the race and no one wanting to make it, the race was the slowest of the day. Rock N'Stones and Will Milburn were on their coat tails until the last fence and Artisan Man quickened up to win by two lengths. Owned and trained by Mary Sowersby the winner was bought privately from Ireland by Paul Clifton. Jack said: "He's a good jumper who's straightforward and loves firm ground."    

Lottie Crane is leading the Ladies Open Championship and made all to win by four lengths on Quobilai owned by her father, Ivan in the Hunt Race sponsored by Armstrong Richardson. "He loves to front run and get his own way. When something comes to challenge him he can sometimes sulk." Lottie gave credit to her trainer John Dawson who rides him at home "he still pulls hard for a thirteen year old!" she added. Back in second was on On Vacation and Jack Jordan. Third was Fureys Bar and Jack Teal. Quobilai was the first of six favourites to strike for punters.

It was a fourth win this season for Rumble of Thunder in the Mixed Open Race, sponsored by Mr & Mrs Barton who is building a formidable partnership with Alice Dawson. The pair deployed their usual tactic, sitting off the pace before hitting the front three out. "I was worried the extra weight could be an issue but he did it again easy. It's unbelievable." Owner Charles Clark enthused.  Winning jockey Alice was thrilled at the performance "He's got loads of gears and as soon as you get him amongst the others he can't wait to get to the front!"  Muirhead and Billy Garrity put in a bold show to finish second. Frontier Spirit and Jack Andrews were ten lengths back in third.

It was a first visit to Easingwold for owner Liz Harris and trainer Tommy Morgan who made the journey from Melton Mowbray to witness Lough Inch win his fifth race of the season in The PPORA Club Members Race for horses ten year olds and over. Partnered by Sam Davies-Thomas the pair set a strong gallop making it a real test of stamina for his other two rivals, despite a mistake at the second last made all to win by two lengths. Impact Zone, piloted by Jack Andrews was the first to tire but Locked Inthepocket and Henry Morshead did get to the leader up the hill but did not have the extra gear needed to reel in the leader. "We knew it was a sharp track and as he is best over short trips I knew it would suit him. He's our family pet." Said Liz.

Zandino gave owner and trainer Tracey Corrigan her first win of the season in the Restricted Race, sponsored Prodive Shopfitting Ltd. The favourite Bentons Lad and Will Milburn set out to make all allowing Zandino and jockey Elliott Brookbanks to sit handy before taking the lead three fences from home to secure an eight length victory over Refusal and Harry Kinder who finished second. Bentons Lad came third. Tracey put the win down to a recent visit from the equine dentist "He has just had his teeth done and that's definitely made a difference." Before sharing details of his training regime "I don't have any gallops so train him on grass verges and through the forestry. I am absolutely delighted with him, it's good to receive some more TopSpec too, Zandino's on this so he's a good advert!" Winning jockey Elliott described his approach to riding his mount "He has a parrot mouth, so you have to have a loose contact and ride him at the buckle end, a bit like Pony Club style!"

Monarch's Glory and Billy Garrity won the Open Maiden Race, sponsored by S Waind & Son Butcher. Turning for home it looked like Fayre Enough and Lottie Crane had done enough to secure a win but Billy timed his challenge to perfection winning by two lengths. New Dirreen managed a place effort under Will Milburn and are heading in the right direction. After the race Billy explained "The plan was to go forward with him and he traveled really well. He is nice big horse, but still green." Winning owner and trainer Andy Nicholls, who purchased Monarch's Glory from Eddie Barry in Ireland gave credit to Will Milburn " Will's put a lot of hard work into this horse and taken him hunting." Little Big Town and Phil Greaves took a crashing fall at the last when looking to mount a challenge, both horse and rider walked away unscathed.

The final fixture of the season is the South Durham at Sedgefield Racecourse on Sunday 28th May