Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Sinnington at Duncombe Park

Sunday 17th February 2019

By Will Milburn
Aphaea and Will Easterby take the Restricted Race, sponsored by Carter Jonas
credit Tom Milburn Photography
The Sinnington Hunt staged their re-arranged meeting on Sunday after the outbreak of equine flu forced the cancellation of the previous weekend. The fields were strong and some useful performers were in action, however the new BHA regulations that were brought in during the week to combat the flu had somewhat reduced the size of the fields with all runners having to have had their vaccinations within the last 6 months. Will Easterby was in tremendous form as he recorded his first treble at his home track and was narrowly denied a four timer.

The most impressive performance of the trio came in the Restricted race when Will Easterby partnered the Steph Easterby trained Aphaea  who's only previous success came in a 1 mile amateur race at Wolverhampton. The pair jumped and travelled very smoothly through the race and when challenged over the final two fences by the favourite The Unmentionable and Dale Peters, Easterby and his mount stayed on stoutly to win on her debut over obstacles. An interesting recruit to pointing after looking more than capable over much shorter on the flat "Mr Easterby loves pointing, so he wanted a decent horse that he could go watch" said her trainer Steph, the winner was also making full advantage of the massive weight advantage receiving a massive 28lb allowance. Will Easterby always looked happy with his mount and this could be a stepping stone to a long and fruitful season "she did that nicely, I think she'll keep pointing and maybe go back on the flat in staying races at the end of the season" said Easterby who is no stranger to a progency of Farhh after partnering the talented Wells Farhh Go at home.

Will also took the Confined race this time his own Rattle The Cage owned by his mother Sarah. Bought from Doncaster sales in May after been a three time winner in Irish points, Rattle The Cage stayed on well on the run-in to possibly out stay the runner up Game As A Pheasant and Joe Wright. The winner has been placed over four miles in Ireland and looks as though he could be seen to better effect over stiffer trips. Cherry Coward filled the runner up spots with Game As A Pheasant and The Mobile Man who was been partnered by Kate Lowcock for the first time. After asking what drew him to buying the son of Mahler Easterby added "my bloodstock advisor Rory Bevin told me to buy him", Bevin who works along side Easterby at his fathers Habton based stables wasn't on hand to take credit as he was taking part in the Melton Hunt Race.

The easiest part of Will's sequence of wins came in the opening Hunt Members race courtesy of Black River who breezed home to win with any amount in hand from Impact Zone in second under Caragh Richardson who was having only her second ride and also went on take home the trophy for first Sinnington Member passed the post. Bought in May of 2016, it has been a frustrating time for Black River and his trainer "he's had lots of niggly problems, the first season we had him he didn't run, the second season he ran once, so now we're trying to run him plenty now he's got going!" said Will of his mount who on his day in France took the scalp of Vautour.

The prize for determination goes to John Dawson who was on board the Cherry Coward trained Path To Freedom who took the Mixed Open and this improving 7 year old is going from strength to strength for owner Jenny Nellis. The son of Mr Dinos ran in his maiden here and ran very wide resulting in him pulling up, those wayward tendencies look to still be present after giving away alot of ground four out and on the run towards two out looked set for third, however a determined Dawson and an equally tenacious partner under him mowed down his rivals near the line and beat Greensalt who sets a high standard after finishing third in last year's Aintree Foxhunter. He is clearly an improving pointer who has now taken some notable scalps and loftier targets could be in mind, Panama Canal ran another gallant race under Phillip Armson to come home in third.

In the Novice riders race Phil Greaves was winning the race for the second time after securing it with the same mount two years previously. Neville Woods was a useful recruit to this sphere back in 2017 and competed with some useful open horses, however he had to miss last season through injury but has been nursed back to health and a spot of hunting has put the finishing touches to him "he was off with a touch of a leg...he just needed the run last time at Alnwick...I've been whipping in with the Hurworth on him!" said Phil who didn't have it easy as he had to battle all the way to the line to fend off Big Sound and Marcus Haigh, the runner up was also having only his second run from an absence after having two years on the sidelines. Third place went to Scots Gaelic and was giving Leah Cooper her first ride.

Division two of the Open Maiden saw a real ding dong battle between the Simon Robinson trained Sommervieu under Phil Armson and Kimberley Boy and Will Easterby. They were separated by a nose at the line as the pair tussled all the way up the straight with Easterby again been denied a four timer. Kimberley Boy was having only his second run but took a huge step forward from his first effort at Sheriff Hutton and a maiden should be within his grasp. The winner was due to get his head in front, when he came to these shores from France he first contested a grade 2 juvenile hurdle and since earned a mark of 120, a return to anywhere near that form was sure to see him break his duck. Back in third was Hafajay for Nicky Tinkler's team under Jack Jordan, the son of Haafhd made an encouraging debut and is another who should get his head in front in due course.

The first division of the Open Maiden was somewhat decimated by the flu vaccination regulation which meant only three runners met the starter, however after been defeated in the Restricted Dale Peters would not leave empty handed as he secured the race readily aboard Omar Maretti and beat the John Dawson ridden Glassilaun in second. A son of Fame And Glory Omar Maretti was purchased from Ascot's June sale last year for 8000 after a couple of respectable efforts in Irish points and although there was very little strength in depth here he did everything right and there is no reason he shouldn't progress further.