Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
York & Ainsty at Easingwold Sunday 23rd April

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith

Mickey Miller (jockey Jack Jordan) are the selection in the Club Members Conditions Race
(Credit Tom Milburn Photography)

The York & Ainsty Point-to-Point takes place at Easingwold on Sunday 23rd April. A total of 96 entries have been received. The first race is at 2pm with the Hunt Members Race.
The Hunt Members race has attracted only five runners and two that are likely to fight it out are Carlos Gardel and Peter From Paris, the latter has been running well this year, but he has shown a tendency to get behind and looks best on a longer track, whilst Carlos Gardel has been finishing runner up to some decent open horses, albeit he has been well held he looks the clear choice. Dead Ringa doesn't look the force of old but he has a great record round here and has won this race twice before, as well as been placed at the track numerous times and could be a lively outsider. Thinger Licht has been well out of form but would have claims on his National Hunt form however is burdened with a 10lb penalty. Selection - Carlos Gardel

The second race is for 4,5 and 6yo maidens and Artisan Man could make a good impression, he has a flat pedigree and shorter trips look to play to his advantage so this short track should suit, Indian Hawk was second on Bank Holiday Monday at Charm Park, he was green that day and should improve from that, whilst Sam's Treasure is out of the useful mare Poppy Day and she ran her best race at this meeting last year and could be worth following after a good third at Sheriff Hutton where the second has won since. Silvers West is a well bred 4yo from the Nicky Tinkler yard, he is a son of Westerner and it can be assumed the horse will be ready for his debut and should be noted. The one that could find further improvement is The Dapper Prince, he has improved with each run and showed his greenness last time and got going late on when the race was over to finish third and with that effort under his belt can go one better. As for the rest New Dirreen may improve slightly, he had excuses last time and connections will be hoping for a better effort here. Selection - The Dapper Prince

The Ladies Open has thirteen entries, there have been a selection of high quality Ladies horses this year and as can be seen here it's a wide open event. The stand out contender would have to be Knocklong, unbeaten in all of his completed points and his sole hunter chase victory would make him the one to beat, he has a 7lb penalty for his win at Catterick but that shouldn't stop him. A Country Mile has been very consistent all season for E J Hills and this track shouldn't be any issue, Hand Act Or Part has been running well in Open company and would appreciate decent ground, whilst another who has been knocking on the door this year is Qoubilai, he would enjoy any fast ground and is a likely pace setter for Lottie Crane who is currently leading the Yorkshire Ladies Open and Ladies Novice Championships. The one that could give the likely favourite the most to think about is Rumble Of Thunder, he was an impressive winner of a 2m 6f Ladies Open at the Bedale, he was a decent hurdler/flat performer under rules so is well suited to sharper conditions. Selection - Knocklong

The Men's Open swiftly follows and course specialist Six A Side will likely take his chance, he has run here four times and has won on three of those occasions, including this race for the last two years, he has been runner up three times this year including a close second to The Highlander last time and will surely go well on a course he loves. Close House could be his main threat, a talented recruit when under rules and has done little wrong between the flags including a close third behind two decent rivals at Askham Bryan. Strongpoint is another who has some useful national hunt form but had been running terribly until causing a surprise at Tranwell and clearly needs an easy test, this should help but will have to find more if he's to beat the leading bunch. Sposalizio is another who bounced back to form last time, he loves quick ground and can go well if conditions dry out further, as for the rest Locked Inthepocket could fill the minor places. Selection - Close House

The Restricted is the fifth race on the card, Bentons Lad has never been out of the first three all season barring a fall at Thorpe Lodge, he is consistent and can make the frame again, whilst Our Jj, Yoohoof and Zandino all give the impression that they would be better suited on a longer track. Refusal has good form round this track when finishing second in this race last year, however the likely winner is Levelling who won over 2m 4f last time, he is a son of Pivotal and would probably prefer a sharper test and trainer Justin Landy has an 80% strike rate in points and could add to it here. Selection - Levelling

The Club Members holds a number of entries from the open and could cut up a bit, Grouse Lodge was impressive at Askham Bryan but has been disappointing since and is held by Six A Side on his most recent run. Mickey Miller is the big improver in the race, Jack Jordan avoids a penalty for still been a novice and after a very close second to Dance Of Time last time at Sheriff Hutton will be hard to beat, whilst Qoubilai is another who could give a bold show from the front under Lottie Crane. Selection - Mickey Miller

The final race is the Open Maiden and with several double entered in the younger maiden, this could again cut up, Be A Dreamer is a long standing maiden but has some good efforts to his name and is likely to go close, he possibly found the track too stiff last time at the Bedale and should be much better suited here. The Dapper Prince and Sam's Treasure are both big dangers. It's worth noting the Nicky Tinkler contenders as well as Rock N Stones who showed he was capable last time at Charm Park when third behind Cheat Fairly. Selection - Be A Dreamer

Public admission is 10 per adult. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. The postcode for Sat Nav is YO61 3PS.