TRAINER Cherry Coward reached a landmark at the Staintondale Hunt Point-to-Point on Monday when Path To Freedom became her 200th winner.
The progressive five-year-old landed a pillar-to-post victory under John Dawson in the CW Strickland & Son Ltd Confined Hunts Race to beat Harpsy Cord by eight lengths.
Ms Coward said: "The next 200 will be the hardest!
"He’s a lovely horse who was bought by Jacqueline and [owner] Jenny Nellis at Doncaster sales and he’s very consistent."
Ms Coward quickly followed up with Raymond Reddington in the Specialist Marine Consultants Ltd Open Maiden Race, partnered by Jack Andrews.
Held up at the back of the quartet, Raymond Reddington moved closer to long time leader Monarch’s Glory and Will Milburn on the second circuit to win by four lengths.
Patience paid off for Chris McSharry in the Haybar Mixed Open when Talkonthestreet scored in the hands of Billy Garrity. "He last ran for us in 2015 but has missed a couple of seasons due to injury," said the winning owner and trainer. "He likes fast ground and needed the run at Bedale but he is a quality horse. His target is the Heart of All England Hunterchase at Hexham and Billy will take the ride which is why he was on him today."
Kings Lodge finished second by a length for Will Easterby and Lortzing and Jack Teal were a distance back in third.
Martha’s Benefit was surely the most popular winner of the day, landing the restricted race for Will Milburn. Trained by Andy Nicholls, whose partner Fiona Mudd is the meeting secretary, the horse is named after the couple’s daughter.
Racing in midfield, Martha’s Benefit jumped to the front before the ditch on the final circuit and managed to progress her lead to win easily by 15 lengths from Our JJ and Max Johnson with Zandino partnered by Elliot Brooksbank two lengths further back in third.
Mr Nicholls said: "The jockey rode an excellent race and did exactly what he said he was going to do. She could go for a hunter chase at Sedgefield or Hexham next."
Monsieur Jourdain and Will Easterby got the day off to a winning start in the Thompson Property Ltd Club Members' Race. The pair took an early lead and were never headed, finishing a length in front of Impact Zone and Richard Smith. Tasheba and Amy Collier were fifteen lengths back in third.
Racing finished with the Newark Livestock Market Maiden Conditions Race where Cheat Fairly landed the spoils for Jack Teal.
There were three in a line jumping the last, and the race could have gone to Cheat Fairly, Indian Hawk or Rock N’Stones but it was the former who was driven to win by half a length.
Winning owner Jackie Teal said: "This was the best he’s ever jumped.
"He came from Liam O’Donovan in Ireland and I’m so delighted he’s won."
The debutant Indian Hawk was novicey at times under Richard Smith but quickly got his act together and it won’t be long before he loses his maiden tag.