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

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith

To Begin, gives Lauren Belt her first career success in the Ladies Open, sponsored by S.M. Thompson Ltd.
Credit Tom Milburn Photography

This weekend was the Cleveland point to point which was held at Witton Castle for the first time this season after previously been at Howe Hills, Mordon.

The jockey who had a day to remember was Lauren Belt who partnered her own To Begin to victory in the S.M Thompson Ltd Ladies Open and recorded a first career success. The pair were patient towards the back of the field and made good progress in the home straight and several foot perfect jumps over the final couple of fences sealed their victory. To Begin was previously in the care of Chris Dawson and after winning his maiden was sold to Charlie Mann where he was subsequently victorious over hurdles, he has now returned to Nunstainton Stud where Lauren keeps him and if improving further could score again "The partnership will only get better, I think he will be a useful pointer and at the age of 6 I think Lauren will have loads of fun with him." said a delighted Chris Dawson. De Bee Keeper under Kelly Bryson and earlier pace setter Oaklands Bobby partnered by Alice Dawson were snapping at the winners heels back in second and third.

The Dawson team were in fine form on the day with Chris riding a double and brother John taking the opening Members race. Chris began his double aboard Sposalizio trained by himself for owner John Armstrong in the Mens Open which was kindly sponsored by Mrs Mary Reveley and Mr John Wade. Chris committed the winner for home approaching four out and victory never looked in doubt there on "He ran better than his finishing position suggests last time...he's better right handed and never missed a beat today." said Chris, The Mobile Man ran a career best to chase him home in second under Jack Andrews, whilst John Dawson and Prince Of Pirates was slightly disappointing back in third. The winner was much more suited to the sharp track and faster ground and was lucky not to get bogged down; as the afternoon progressed the constant rain turned the going soft.

Chris completed his double in the Collins Seafood Ltd Restricted race aboard the Lady Susan Watson owned and trained Mr Bingley, who was another who likely benefited from the drier ground. As on his previous winner Chris was always to the fore and the winner never looked in doubt, coming away to win easily and cause somewhat of an upset as his previous form figured were nothing inspiring. Spruce Up and Taylormade Boy fought out the placings with favourite Yoohoof looking very one paced further back in fourth.

Another impressive performance came in the Max Europe nine year olds and over PPORA club members race courtesy of Wizadora and Jack Andrews for the P.S Parkin and T.D Laverack Partnership and trainer Sam Coward. Jack led turning for home and easily drew clear over the final two fences and was pushed out to win comfortably. As for future plans for the daughter of Alflora a spin in a hunter chase could be on the cards "She may go to the Heart of all England, she's so versatile and goes on any ground but it probably helped it poured down before her race as she doesn't mind it softer...such a shame she got carried out last week as I think she'd of won!" enthused Jacqueline Coward. Fever Pitch ran another gallant race for Lottie Crane in second, whilst Royal Benefit and Joe Wright were third.

The opening race was the High Ewecote Cottages Hunt members race and again went to a Dawson but this time it was trainer/rider John Dawson with Midnight Oscar, the pair had to battle hard to hold on from favourite Twentypoundluck and Paul Collins, with Oaklands Elise and Amy Waugh back in third. The winner has clearly benefited from his run at Sheriff Hutton after returning from a lengthy absence where his last run came in May of 2015 when in the care of Kim Bailey, John has clearly nursed him back to form and can progress further.

The final race on the card was the Oaklands Veterinary Centre Open maiden race and went to Rory Bevin aboard Pegasus Walk for trainer Kirstie Hargreave. The winner was improving on his previous effort when finishing fourth at the Hurworth meeting and quickened clear to win well. Fayre Enough continues to knock on the door for Lottie Crane in second whilst Clashganny was maybe not suited by the steady pace in third under Will Easterby.

Yorkshire'ss next meeting is the York and Ainsty at Easingwold on Sunday 23rd April with the first race at 2pm. Postcode for meeting is YO61 3PS.