Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Cleveland at Witton Castle -  Sunday 16th April

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith

The Cleveland Point-to-Point takes place at Witton Castle on Easter Sunday. This is a new venue for the Hunt, since relocating from Mordon. A total of 92 entries have been received. The first race is at 1.30 with the Hunt Members and there looks to be two main contenders, Midnight Oscar boasted some good form under rules and was pulled up last time when returning from a long absence and is likely to have improved for that run, whilst Twentypoundluck will be having his first run of the season but won and was placed last year which included victory in a club race at the Pendle Forrest. Oaklands Elise was a surprise winner at Easingwold last season and would appreciate any fast ground, however Konig Dax has to be the one to take a chance with, he was a flat and hurdle winner in France and on is hurdle victory he beat non other than the hugely talented Douvan, that was in 2014 and has run only twice since, if he can produce anything like that form should win.
Selection - Konig Dax

The next is the Ladies Open which looks a wide open race, Knocklong looks the clear one to beat, he has been prolific in points and most recent run came in a Catterick hunter chase. Ones that could trouble him include Hand Act Or Part, he has improved since switched to Ladies races, he appreciates decent ground and could give a bold show from the front, whilst Street Entertainer was a winner two starts back but that was in lesser fields than this. Oaklands Bobby is a prolific winner, he will have benefited from his earlier run and any firm in the ground will be in his favour, Quel Elite is also a winner this year along with Fever Pitch and De Bee Keeper, but they will need to up their game if they are to take this. The main threat could come from Harris, he is a dual winner this year and came from a long way back at Askham Bryan to snatch second, he's had a short break after several quick runs and can go close.Selection - Knocklong

The Men's Open looks an equally competitive race and could see this year's Grimthorpe Gold Cup runner up in Monsieur Jourdain, he always runs a good race and loves the better ground so would be no surprise to see him making a bold show from the front. Northern raider Royal Chatelier is a bit inconsistent but has notched two wins in his last three starts, both have been on testing ground with his most recent been a dead heat in a match race. The Highlander would have strong claims but it's hard to see him taking part with conditions on the firm side, whilst Forge Valley was a winner last time, this looks a stronger contest and its likely he'll have to settle for a place again. Colorado Kid likes quick ground and put up a good third last time, but he is burdened with a 7lb penalty. Things Change is one paced but looks in good heart along with Prince Of Pirates who backed up his reappearance second when fourth to The Highlander in a hot club race at the Middleton meeting.
Selection - Things Change

The Restricted has twelve entries, but with several of them double entered at Charm Park on Monday, the race could cut up. Crazy Penguin looked laboured step up into this company last time and is held on form by Martha's Benefit, she is a well bred daughter of Beneficial who is still improving and she split the useful pair of Path To Freedom and Sackett last time. Kahn Do It ran well in his Members race last time, Taylormade Boy stuck on well to win at Sheriff Hutton to give his jockey her first win, however Yoohoof is lightly raced and beat Be A Dreamer last week at the Bedale, she's still improving and could find more. Fernando's Song was a decent Irish pointer back in 2013, but he has been absent since a couple of runs recently and it's hard to know what he's still capable of.Selection - Taylormade Boy

The PPORA Club race is a level weights race for 9yo's and up, one that just meets that criteria is Six A Side, he has finished second on three occasions this year, most recetly a close second to The Highlander at Sheriff Hutton. Monsieur Jourdain could also contest this, he's a tough, gallant stayer who no doubt be knocking on the door. Fever Pitch is consistent but his recent form would leave him with something to find, Harris almost completed a hat trick last time but left it all too late, whilst Royal Chatelier and Things Change would likely both appreciate a stiffer test of stamina. Wizadora is making a good impression this season, she stays well and was unlucky last time when holding every chance.Selection - Harris

The final race is the Open Maiden and the ones with form are likely to have the upper hand, Be A Dreamer bounced back to form with a close second last time, Fayre Enough looks capable but lacks finishing pace and may again find one too strong, Clashganny probably found 2m 4f on the sharp side last time and a step back up in trip will suit him, whilst Ourgetaway  put up a good performance to be third on his British debut, he can be forgiven his recent run where he was well above his grade. Raymond Reddington took a big step forward to be second last time, the winner looks ok but it may not have been the strongest contest, Pegasus Walk was fourth at the Hurworth where he had Clashganny ahead of him. Another in good heart is Overtoyoulou who was third last time, that was over 3m 2f on heavy ground, he will have to contend with different conditions here. As for the un raced contenders, Indian Opera looms the most interesting, been out of Minouchka who won ten of her 16 points and also won a novice hunter chase at Aintree, the yard of Phillipa Shirley Bevan know how to get one ready and this daughter of Indian Danehill could be one to keep an eye on. Selection - Clashganny

The Cleveland Hunt are one of the first point-to-points in the Yorkshire Area to offer an E-ticketing option for customers. Buy tickets Adult tickets cost 10 and receive a complimentary racecard when purchased online at On the gate, public admission is 10 per adult, under 16s are free. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. The postcode for Sat Nav is DL14 0DE.