There was a good turnout for the Staintondale point-to-point which returned to Charm Park on Easter Monday and spectators witnessed some top fields and lots of competitive racing.
Chris Dawson was the jockey in double form, his first came in the Thompson Homes Restricted race where six of the seven entries turned out and it was the closest finish of the day.
Harbour Way made most of the running under Max Johnson and set a good pace. Lortzing had been held up and was put into the race just after the open ditch for the final time, drawing clear with Barton Jubilee.
The pair swapped the lead several times from the final bend to the finish line, but it was Lortzing, who had won here on his previous start, that got up by a short head from Barton Jubilee, partnered by Oli Pimlott and Apassionforfashion and Jack Jordan a further length back in third.
The second part of the double came in the Newark Livestock Market Open Maiden race with Arboretum, when Dawson rode a similar waiting race but quickly moved into challenging position down the roadside.
He took the inside at the second last and won going away by 10 lengths from Stagecoach Jasper and William Easterby who was running it’s best race to date and Hi Ho Julio finished in third under Russell Lindsay.
Racing started with the PPORA Club Members Race for veteran and novice riders, sponsored by Castle Employment Agency.
Ridden a bit more handily than his previous starts, Opera Og took this for his owner, trainer, rider Sean Murray and defied a 3lb penalty in the process, although he gave all the praise to the horse.
“I have been very lucky to purchase Opera, he’s such a lovely horse to have at home but one who can go out and win as well. I must thank David O’Meara and Roger Fell for letting me use their facilities,” said the winning rider.
The Mixed Open Race was sponsored by Haybar, and although only three turned out it was a close race at the finish.
Ganbei took this under Craig Hoggart, deputising for Harry Bannister and Hoggart is really taking advantage of every opportunity that is coming his way at the moment.
“This was a great confidence-booster for him. He’s really well at home and we knew he needed the run but we’re delighted,” said winning trainer Stephanie Easterby.
Kings Lodge was the main danger under William Easterby but Ganbei won this by four lengths and Renegotiate was a further four lengths back in third for Alice Petch.
The CW Strickland & Son Confined Race was won by Larkhall ridden by Russell Lindsay.
He has been very consistent this season and won convincingly by seven lengths from Impact Zone and William Easterby in second and Hand Act Or Part, who had made most of the running under Max Johnson, finished a further three lengths back in third.
It was a case of old habits die hard in the final race, the Brigg View and Malton Marquees Maiden Conditions race which was for horses that have not won or been placed in any race.
Chilledbychoice ridden by Emma Todd was having his first run at maiden level, having had two runs in restricted races.
The pair were always handy and went on to win by two lengths from Jerusalem Bells and William Easterby. Chilledbychoice is trained by Jeannie Brown for Joanna Newitt, who bred the horse.
Newitt was a very successful rider and trainer in the 1990s, before taking out a full training licence but has returned to the point-to-point ranks after a 17-year break and started where she left off.
“Although he’s eight he’s still only a baby in racing terms as he spent two years eventing and has had very little racecourse experience.
“I was very pleased with how professional he was. He’s a lovely homebred and we’ll see how he comes out of the race but might look for a restricted race in three weeks time.
“It gave me a big thrill as Charm Park is my favourite track,” said the winning trainer.
Island Punch was a further eight lengths back in third for Max Johnson.