Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Pendle Forest & Craven at Heslaker Saturday 29th April

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith
Be a Dreamer and David Coates win the Open Maiden Race (credit Tom Milburn Photography)

On Saturday crowds meandered their way around the Tour De Yorkshire to make their way to the Pendle Forest Point to Point near Skipton, organisers did a great job at providing some excellent ground which resulted in some competitive racing.

One of the biggest cheers of the day came in the Nilorn UK Ltd Open Maiden race which saw David Coates pilot his own Be A Dreamer to victory, restrained in rear the pair made good headway late on and stayed on well to beat The Dapper Prince under Chris Dawson. David last rode in points 11 years ago and insists that his return to the saddle will be a brief one as he intends to hang up his boots again at the end of the season "We were going to pack in after my daughter got married, but then I bought Be A Dreamer for a bit of fun," David also paid great credit to trainer Wendy Wild "She's done a great job with the horses, I think she's won about 10 out of 12 best turned outs." said David. Third place went to John Dawson who was partnering the Sheila Crow trained Fair Exchange who showed his first signs of form.

The Tom Bannister Mixed Open was kindly sponsored by The Principle Trust Children's Charity which was run over the extended trip of 3 mile 5 furlongs and went the way of the ever improving Garde Ville. The winner was making it 4 out of 5 this season after beginning the year as a maiden, partnered by Stephen Davies the pair stayed on well to beat Colorado Kid and Will Easterby who looked to appreciate this stiffer trip. The winner had shown little under rules for Lisa Williams where his best effort was a third in a handicap hurdle round Huntingdon "He had shown little for Lisa Williams and practically got given him" said the winning rider, this French bred son of Kapgarde clearly appreciates a stiffer test after only been campaigned over sub 2 mile 4 furlong trips under rules, third went to Harris who stayed on stoutly at the end, whilst Royal Deal under John Dawson who was replacing injured Richard Smith.

The Coniston Shooting Ground Hunt Members race went the way of Forge Valley and Tom Greenwood, the pair led from flag fall and stayed on well at the finish to win, however it was not to be a fairytale ending for My Old Piano who was running his final race at the age of 15. The winner of 30 races from 53 runs, along with 11 seconds and a hunter chase victory, with 5 different jockeys through his career, My Old Piano has certainly earned his retirement. Third was According To Dan and Jack Teal, the pair rallied towards the end but it was all too late.

It was John Dawson who was in the Winners Enclosure earlier on the card in the Mercerprint Club Members race which was run over 2mile 4furlongs, this suited On Vacation and John Dawson down to the ground as the pair stayed on to fend off early pace setter Strongpoint and Jack Andrews. The winner took Dawson even further clear in the Men's Yorkshire Championship, however he had a big advantage over the two placed horses who were carrying 10lb penalties, which included Ross Na Righ and Will Easterby who ran another creditable race back in third.

The Subaru Restricted race only had three runners and it was made more interesting when long odds on favourite Monsun Storm unseated the in form John Dawson mid race, this left Orissan Jim piloted by Joe Wright to fight it out with Will Easterby and Yoohoof, with the latter getting the upper hand "She's a nice mare who's improving...she just needs better ground." said her winning rider.

The final race was a Novice and Veteran riders race sponsored by Airedale Chemicals, Double Dan was a big outsider but him and his veteran rider Susan Ward made all the running until running out at the last when challenged by Trop Fort and Emma Smith Chaston, the pair stayed on well to hold off Impact Zone and Jack Andrews whom scored further points and put him clear now in the Gentlemans Novice championship, with the winning rider now clear in the Ladies Novice and Open category.