Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Cleveland at Witton Castle
Sunday 22nd April

By Will Milburn
The Cleveland Point-to-Point takes place at Witton Castle on Sunday 22nd April. A total of 122 entries have been received. The first race is at 1.30 with the Hunt Members.
The Cleveland Hunt are once again offering customers the opportunity to purchase their admission tickets for 8 when purchased online at (Deadline Friday 20th April) 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.
In the Members race it could be a quick reappearance for Prince Of Pirates, he split the two useful open recruits in One Conemara and Ardea on Saturday and a repeat of that would see him very hard to beat. Monsun Storm looks the only rival to the likely favourite, but his form has levelled out this season and put up a poor show last time, Goody Hallett showed its best form when finishing fifth in the Bedale Maiden, whilst debutante Bellringer could make his first appearance at 8 yearo, he is brother to once useful 2 mile chaser Woody Waller and several talented flat horses including El Zonda. Selection - Prince Of Pirates

The second race is the Open Maiden and with 42 entries the race has been divided, division one Baraymi was second to the Pillowman last time, the form has worked out well with the third winning a 17 runner maiden on Saturday at the Bedale. Clashganny benefited from his debut effort at the Holderness to be a well held second to Eurobond at Charm Park, the winner is likely to take up her engagement at Hexham and will show the strength of that form, whilst Emory was fourth in the second division of that Charm Park maiden and can build on that. Matthew Man has some good maiden form at the start of his career, however his form has tailed off recently and has something to prove, Slanemore Hill is another with form, he stayed on well at Alnwick and put up another good effort at Corbridge but another step forward may be required. As for the unraced recruits, Rough To Ready is sister to 119 rated and hurdle winner Our Boy Boru, Owttobegrand is brother to several modest flat performers, his dam also showed next to nothing on the flat and hurdles in Ireland, whilst Financier by far catches the eye, bought for 16,000 in January 2016 and is brother to Group 1 runner up Desideratum along with numerous other group performers. Selection - Baraymi

In division two the Fahey contingent could have a say here with Do It For Thy Sen, despite been a well held third at the Sinnington he was close up till two out and been only four year old can improve, Dressedforsuccess made a promising debut at Alnwick when fourth in a point to point bumper, it's hard to assess that form but can have a say, whilst Moscow Calling was a rather moderate performer over hurdles and put up a good third on his point debut, his latest effort when pulling up can be ignored due to the saddle slipping. Scarlett Peak was progressing nicely and would have been second to Eurobond when falling heavily at the last, Erica's Dream has some good form but is likely to do better for this effort after a long layoff. Hafajay is half brother to decent dual point winner Bramble Vodka and should be taken seriously on debut for John Dawson, Princess Scorpion is another with an attractive pedigree, her dam won a bumper and two novice hurdles and on her bumper debut she beat the top class Wishful Thinking. Selection - Do It For Thy Sen

In the Ladies Open there are two entrants that take the eye, Knocklong held on close home at the Bedale but was an emphatic winner the time before and will handle any soft conditions, whilst Rumble Of Thunder has not been seen since fourth at Sheriff Hutton in January, he was a class performer on quick ground last year and the more the ground dries out the stronger his chances will be. To Begin won at this track last season, but failed to land a blow when pulling up on seasonal debut, he is another that would appreciate faster conditions, along with Hand Act Or Part who appeared not to enjoy been tackled for the lead at Charm Park. Iron Chancellor gave Jess Bedi her first winner at the Bedale when staying on strongly to beat Alta Rock and relishes soft conditions. Selection - Rumble Of Thunder

The Restricted race could go to John Dawson with his Ancient Empire, he was a winner at Duncombe Park and then went on to be runner up behind Streets Of Milan. Crazy Penguin is running consistently but struggling to get his head in front, whilst Starlight Court broke his maiden at Brocklesby in the hunt race and it will be interesting to see how strong that form is. Sam Says had shown some respectable form last season but had been very disappointing until bolting up last time out, it's hard to know how reliable that result was. Alfies Angel was a dual winner on the flat over 6 furlongs and its hard to see him seeing out this longer trip on his chasing debut, whilst Pillowman won a maiden at Overton where there form has worked out well with the well held third winning since. Selection - Ancient Empire

The Men's Open could go the way of only a small few, Will Easterby's King's Lodge is in the form of his life at the moment after winning a Confined last time at Charm Park, he will no doubt employ forceful tactics, whilst Six A Side was narrowly behind him that day in second and would reappose off level weights. Martha's Benefit looked a class act when winning a hunter chase at Cartmel last year, she has not been in the same form this season and will need to make a big revival. Will Easterby could also have the choice of Black River, he was a useful recruit for Paul Nicholls however had been absent for a long time until returning at Alnwick where he pulled up, he can be expected to have come on for that effort and is well thought of by connections. Fisher made a good point to point debut when third at Overton, he can do better but he was well held there and the form of the horses around him is not spectacular, Sposalizio has shown little this season and needs quick conditions, however The Mobile Man is becoming steadily progressive after a good second to Fever Pitch last time. Selection - The Mobile Man

The penultimate race is the 9 year old and up Conditions race, King's Lodge again could take his chance here and would no doubt give a bold show, however Leavethelighton was a very good second in a Kelso hunter chase last time, that was his best effort since joining these ranks and it will be interesting to see whether the form can be taken literally. Wizadora was a touch disappointing when been turned over at odds at the Bedale, however she won this race last year and should be expected to make another bold show, Alta Rock stayed on well at the Bedale to finish second, however Iron Chancellor was ahead of him that day when winning and if conditions are soft is likely to come out on top again. Selection - King's Lodge

The final race is the Confined and Black River could take his chance for Will Easterby who also has the option of Yoohoof who was third at the Bedale on Saturday and is likely to improve further for that effort. Six A Side was a close second last time when returning to form at Charm Park and a repeat of that would see him go close, along with The Mobile Man, Fisher and Fairy Mix. The two progressive types are Refusal and Sam's Treasure, the former was an easy winner of a restricted last time, however it's yet to be seen how much more he can improve as a 10 year old. Sam's Treasure was close up till two out at Charm Park when falling and should of improved for that, she also holds an entry in a Sedgefield hunter chase. Selection - Black River