The weekend was the first of two meetings at Easingwold, first is the turn of the York and Ainsty who staged a seven race card and the pair that were in form were Jack Jordan and Joe Wright, both of which rode doubles on the day, with former taking home the leading rider award.
Jack started his double aboard Mickey Miller in the Club Members Conditions race, previously owned and trained by Jack, Mickey Miller has recently been sold to new owners Mr and Mrs Moorhouse who new keep him in training with John Dawson for whom he was making his debut for. The winning pair led into the home straight and battled gamely to hold off Seeyouincourt and Jack Andrews who is currently second to Jack Jordan in the Novice Title "It looks like he goes on any ground and he's improving! I'm hugely grateful to Mickey's new owners for letting me keep the ride and I'm delighted he's gone to a great new home with John." enthused the winning rider. Back in third was the early pace setter Qoubilai under Lottie Crane.
Jack quickly went on to complete his duo of wins aboard the Caroline Hardie trained Milan Day in the Open Maiden, again the pair held a strong advantage on the turn for home and stayed on stoutly to fend off the game Be A Dreamer and David Coates who continues to look for that elusive victory since returning from retirement. The winner was having only his fourth career start and had shown little up until this point "He hasn't shown much in his previous runs but the Hardie's had plenty of confidence in the horse." said Jack who strengthened his position in the Novice Title and completed his first ever double. About ten lengths back in third was Little Big Town who was recording his best effort to date under Phil Greaves who was having his first ride back from injury.
Joe Wright was another pilot in form and he began his sequence of victories in the Hunt Members race aboard the Alison Christmas trained Carlos Gardel, the pair disputed the lead most of the way with Will Milburn and Dead Ringa until the winner eventually began to pull clear four from home and win by twelve lengths lengths, Dead Ringa was back in second for trainer Liz Clark and at the age of 12 with five victories to his name, two of which came in this race he has now been happily retired. The third horse was Thinger Licht and Jack Jordan who were a further sixteen lengths behind.
Justin Landy extended his amazing record in point to points in the Restricted race with Levelling un-der Joe Wright who completed his double with this 5yo daughter of Pivotal. A former hurdler who was purchased from Doncaster sales for what now looks a bargain £3000, she has made it two from two between the flags. The winner disputed the lead till turning for home and on the down hill run broke clear of Bentons Lad who tried to nick the race early on, the winner stayed on gamely to win by four lengths and she surely has more to come, whilst southern raider Demood stayed on well to the line but was just held in third. Future plans for Levelling were unclear "She's a nice mare, but I'm not sure where she'll go next" said Joe who also owns a share in the winner and if connections decided to return the winner over hurdles she would look very competitive off a mark of only 96.
Rumble of Thunder was a popular winner of the Ladies Open under Alice Dawson, the winner has excelled, now switched to Ladies races and clearly appreciates the sharper nature and lower weights that Ladies Opens have to offer. The pair came clear on the run in and Alice eased her mount clear after the last and win effortlessly by six lengths, with Frontier Spirit in second and Running In Heels closing rapidly in third. This was the third victory for the winner this term, two of which have come under Alice.
The Mens Open was an eventful race and it was not to be the two fancied performers fighting out the finish as Strongpoint and Sposalizio set the early pace, however this set the race up for Rosie Du Berlais under a patient ride from Christy Furness, with the pair staying on nicely up the straight and win narrowly from Locked Inthepocket in second and Mistissio third under John Dawson who was standing in for an injured Richard Smith and it was a good return to form for him. Struggling to land a blow this season the ground and track looked to bring about a revival in this 11year old mare "It's great to see her come back to form, the track and ground brought out the best in her." said Christy Furness of Rosie Du Berlais who is trained by Paul Frank.
The younger maiden was the 4, 5 and 6yo Open Maiden and despite there been only five runners it provided an exciting finish which was fought out by Sams Treasure and Artisan Man. Sam's Treasure partnered by John Dawson tracked Artisan Man and Jack Jordan for most of the race and led after the last to stay on well and win with a bit in hand, Artisan Man was back in second. The winner is the first foal out of the multiple winning pointer and Grimthorpe Gold Cup winner Poppy Day.
The next fixtures are:
The Pendle Forest & Craven at Heslaker on Saturday 29th April
The Zetland at Witton Castle on Monday 1st May
Bilsdale at Easingwold on Sunday 7th May
South Durham at Sedgefield Racecourse on Sunday 28th May