Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Cleveland Point-to-Point

Sunday 21st April

By Will Milburn
The Cleveland Point-to-Point takes place in the natural amphitheatre at Witton Castle on Easter Sunday 21st April. A total of 68 entries have been received. The first race is at 1.30pm with the Hunt Members. The Cleveland Hunt are once again offering customers the opportunity to purchase their admission tickets for 10 when purchased online at (Deadline 20th April) On the gate, public admission is 12.50 per adult, under 16s are free. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. The postcode for Sat Nav is DL14 0DE.

The opening race is the Hunt Members race and looks a fairly straight forward assignment for Ballinahow Bill who has been running well behind some hot competition and this should be an easy opportunity for him to get off the mark for the season, stablemate Kilclispeen has shown very little since entering this sphere but can go well in a weak event, whilst Mickey Miller hasn't shown the same form as he had two years ago and although he could run well a win looks unlikely. Bellringer looked promising when he first started pointing but his form has tailed off badly and has been struggling in maiden company. Selection - Ballinahow Bill

The Open Maiden has attracted a healthy field of 20, Lottie Crane looks to have a good hand here aswell with Caviar d'Allen who was 11 lengths behind Robins Legend last time, his effort before that at Sheriff Hutton looked more than good enough and can bounce back here. Balance Sheet made an encouraging debut behind the useful looking debutant Chanting Hill in which the second has won well since, Clashganny continues to knock on the door and has run well here before, Emory looks destined to fill the runner up spot and may find it hard to get his head in front here, whilst Just Don't Know has put up two good efforts this term and and should have finished closer last time if not for hanging badly on the turn for home. Magic Bullet was well fancied at Askham Bryan and put that poor effort behind him when just touched off at Tranwell, however that form isn't strong. Very Patient could be an interesting newcomer for John Dawson from the same owners as the top class Waiting Patiently, but the likely winner is Teescomponents Boy his full brother to useful hurdler Teescomponents Lad and was narrowly beat by a promising 4 year old at Charm Park and the form of that race could work out well. Wang Dang Doodle made a promising debut at the Bedale and should come on for the run.Selection - Teescomponents Boy

The Ladies Open is next and has attracted a couple of raiders from afar, one of which is Back Bar who was a winner of a novice riders race last time and is brother to Sheriff Hutton winner Red Tortue. Abbeyview is a consistent performer who won last time where he beat Notebook, however that form hasn't stood up after Notebook has been well beaten since. Clondaw Frisby was a consistent pointer in Ireland but has yet to make his British debut, Foxrock looks to still retain plenty of his ability but holds entries all over the Easter weekend and is likely to go where ever the ground is easiest, whilst the other top class performer is Meldrum Lad who after waiting for him to appear this season has rattled off a quick three timer and is another who wouldn't want conditions too quick. Knocklong was a very talented Open horse over the last few seasons but hasn't returned in the same form this year and has questions to answer. No Secondchance and The Mobile Man all have good chances but are likely to play supporting roles, the latter should appreciate decent ground, however course winner Wizadora looked to get outpaced in the closing stages at Sheriff Hutton and any give in the ground would aid her chances.Selection - Back Bar

In the Mens Open Ardkilly Witness was outclassed in the Cheltenham Foxhunters, but made up that by winning the Open at Mollington last time and even at the age of 13 still continues to be competitive. Badbad Leroy Brown could be the pace of the race but looks held by the likes of Dark Mahler who is a dual Open winner this year, however has an 8lb penalty for those efforts. The Mobile Man will enjoy dry ground, but the improver of the race is Matts Commission who ended last season by finishing runner up in the Aintree point to point bumper, he won well on his return this year and was second to a decent recruit at Alnwick last time and at the age of 6 can continue to progress. Selection - Matts Commission

The Conditions Club race is for horses aged 9 year olds and upwards, Ardkilly Witness and Abbeyview are obvious contenders but also hold entries elsewhere, Battle Range has won at this track and is best on firm ground but has been lightly raced in recent seasons and may need his return effort, whilst Iron Chancellor has been in fine form this year but is best suited by soft ground and a stiff track. Hawkhurst is a southern raider from Alan Hill's yard and was a winner last time when winning by a nose and is 6 from 13 in points. Six A Side was a narrow winner on both his wins this year and the application of cheekpieces saw him achieve an excellent weight performance last time to win his Members race. Winged Crusader put together a five timer this season, his last one was a dead heat, he acts best on a sound surface and should go close here. Selection - Winged Crusader

The final race is a Confined race, the Tinkler pair of Foxrock and Hafajay would be leading players but are likely to head elsewhere, Super Lunar has been running well of late but in lesser grade and wouldn't want the ground too quick, whilst Eden Collonges bounced back to form on decent ground at Askham Bryan and can progress further, but the one who looks to have the most potential and will be suited to this track is Absainte who has displayed some impressive speed performances this year and this track should suit her style of running. The Mobile Man has been in good form this year and can fill the places along with No Secondchance. Selection - Absainte