MEMORIES of the great Desert Orchid came flooding back at the end of the first division of the Open Maiden race at Charm Park’s Derwent Hunt point-to-point meeting.
He may be a darker grey and never reach the dizzy heights of Dessie, but Jake Spoon’s impressive maiden win at the Wykeham course on Sunday sparked off great celebrations for owner Richard Burridge - whose family had the hugely popular Desert Orchid, winner of four King George chases at Kempton, an Irish Grand National and a Cheltenham Gold Cup between 1986 and 1990.
A delighted Burridge, who was at Charm Park with Desert Orchid’s former trainer David Elsworth, said: “Every winner is a huge thrill, whether it be Dessie all those years ago or Jake Spoon in a maiden at a point-to-point meeting.
“Jake Spoon’s trainer John Cranage also deserves massive praise.
“He’s done a great job with this horse,” added Burridge, who lives on the North York Moors, near Lealholm, while Cranage is based at Helmsley where his stables house a couple of other of Burridge’s point-to-pointers.
The six-year-old Jake Spoon’s victory came in exciting fashion when he was driven out by jockey Nick Slatter to edge out highly-fancied duo Cosmic and Dontgiveamonkeys.
Slatter almost completed a quick-fire double soon afterwards in the second division of the Open Maiden but his long-time leader Classic Cruis had to eventually give best to winner On Holiday and runner-up Chapel House.
The four-year-old On Holiday was given a storming ride by Robert Fagan who took the horse from last to first in only the jockey’s second ever point-to-point start.
There was plenty of other exciting action for a good crowd on a sunny afternoon.
The opening Members race went to Willywont He, ridden by Oscar Churton and trained just five minutes away up the road by Tracey Corrigan-Clark.
The winner got home by a short-head from long-time leader Harwood Dale.
The run-in of the Confined Hunts race was a battle between a trio of female riders, with Joanna Mason on board her family-owned Impact Zone just getting home ahead of Jackie Coward on Unjust Law and Lucy Sutcliffe on Nile Moon.
The Men’s Open race was dominated by the Greenall brothers, with Tom winning on the impressive odds-on favourite My Old Piano, leaving Toby to settle for second on Pristine Condition.
The Ladies Open saw Freya Brewer confidently steer Eliza Doalott from the back to the front of the pack for a hugely comfortable success.
Jackie Coward got her winning reward after two second places - she was also the runner-up on Cottam Phanton in the Ladies Open - when she took the Restricted race on Elusive Swallow in a thrilling finish from Dougall and Chip N Pin.