The York and Ainsty North and West Of Yore Point to Point Review 

This weekend was the York and Ainsty North and West of Yore point to point, held at Askham Bryan. This was the first time the meeting had been held at this track after moving from Easingwold and ground conditions would not of been out of place summer jumping, been described as good. William Easterby was the man in form on the day, both riding and training a double, with little brother Thomas scoring in the opener and recording his first point to point victory.

                The opening race was a Yorkshire Conditions race and would be a first point to point victory for Thomas Easterby aboard Crossgalesfamegame trained by brother Will and owned by mother Sarah Easterby. The pair were well to the fore four out and fended off all challengers up the straight, with odds on favorite Steely Addition struggling to reel in the winner with a massive 10lb penalty. Bought from Doncaster sales from Sandy Thompsons yard, this 9yo mare was a useful performer finishing second in a listed chase at her best “Thomas gave her a good ride, he made her mind up today from the start…she had some very good form under rules and she could be an exciting mare” said her trainer Will Easterby. Early pace setter Fresh New Dawn and Rosie Howarth showed much improved form to finish third.

                Will Easterby quickly completed his training double in the second race the 2 mile 4 furlong Maiden, as he piloted Hollington to an easy success. The pair made their intentions clear early on as they set out to make the running at a good pace, gradually pulling further clear and winning eased down near the line and win by 16 lengths “We’ve always liked him and thought he was alright but I wasn’t expecting that!” admitted Will who was impressed by this former Stuart Crawford inmate, who was purchased from Doncaster sales at the end of last summer “they always thought they never saw the best of him in Ireland, but he’s done nothing but impress us at home”. Galant Geronimo was well back in second under Aimee Jones, whilst Dastardly Dick was a distant third for Ross Wilson.

                Will’s second victory came courtesy of Fascinating Rhythm in the Intermediate race, after been restrained for a circuit the pair eventually strode clear and gradually extended their advantage coming home to win by an impressive 30 lengths for trainer Steph Easterby “he’ll be aimed at Cheltenham now for the Intermediate final” said Will Easterby. Only two finished in this race, with the runner up spot going to Rosie Howarth and Ridelonglivelong.

                The Men’s Open saw a rejuvenated veteran record another win under young pilot Phil Lawrence as Roycano swooped late up the home straight to win again at the age of 13. Trained this year by Ian Mason the now seven time point winner is trained on the farm at home where trainer Ian does all the work “I wasn’t sure he was going to reach them, but he picked up two out…Ian’s done a great job with him, he rides him out at home!” said jockey Phil Lawrence who is now two from two for the season. Ask To Dance and Thomas Easterby were back in second, whilst the Dale Peters trained and ridden Peacock’s Secret was third of the three runners.

                Potentially the most impressive horse on pedigree was that of the 3 mile Maiden winner Diaboleo trained by Robin Tate and ridden by Joe Wright. The pair travelled very smoothly throughout and gradually took the lead approaching two out and stayed on nicely and beat a rallying Trap For Fools under Thomas Easterby. A son of Galileo, picked up for £4,000 at Doncaster last August, he is very well bred been related to multiple group performers “he is bred to be a stallion” said Fiona Needham who admitted he had benefitted from this longer trip. Third place saw a pleasing debut from the Dale Peter’s ridden and trained Saynothingtonoone and should be winning in the near future.

                The Ladies Open saw a very easy victory from the Joe O’shea trained Cousin Pascal, the winner stormed clear up the run in to win by an easy 14 lengths, Royal Chant and Rosie Howarth filled second on his season debut, whilst Ryans Fancy plugged on for third under Immy Robinson. The winner will head back to Aintree later in the season, in an attempt to reclaim his Foxhunters crown.