RYEDALE enjoyed its fair share of success at the Bedale Hunt’s fine point-to-point meeting at Hornby Castle.
Scackleton rider Jacqueline Coward led the way with a double, while Drom, trained by Sheriff Hutton’s Christine Shipley, won the feature race on the six-race card, the £1,000 Men’s Open, which was a qualifier for the Bonham’s Men’s Open final at Cheltenham later this month.
Drom, ridden by Will Kitchman, made all the running and, despite being challenged three out, battled on well to make it three from three for the season. “He’ll probably go to Cheltenham next for the Men’s Open final,” said Shipley.
Coward won aboard Billing in the Open Maiden and Lewesdon Tom in the Members race.
Billing, a six-year-old by Milan, made it third time lucky in points, making all the running and staying on well to win for Coward’s cousin Simon Gospel.
Lewesdon Tom, running his best race this season, bounded away up the run-in to beat Brother Mark by half a length. This gave Coward a third victory in her three permitted members races this term, following success at the Holderness and Middleton.
The opening Confined hunts race had seen another spectacular ride for Malton’s Jo Mason aboard Royal Deal.
The pair were tailing off with a circuit to go but slowly picked off the stragglers under a constant drive and hit top gear two out for an easy win. Mason said of Royal Deal: “He barely picks the bridle up but once he began to pick them off he started to fly home.”
Mason was denied a double as she partnered Skimbleshanks to second place in the Open Maiden behind Coward and Billing.
The Ladies Open caused an upset as Ockey De Neulliac was turned over at short odds. Victory went to Call Me Mulligan and Harriett Bethell, who works for Norton trainer Brian Ellison.
The pair challenged the trailblazer three out and powered home.
A seven-race Cleveland point-to-point at Howe Hills, Mordon, on Sunday, is followed by the Staintondale Hunt event at Sheriff Hutton on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Staintondale point-to-point will be the second meeting at Sheriff Hutton this year and is being run in aid of Jack Berry House, a jockeys’ rehabilitation centre being built in Malton.
Racing starts at 1.15pm with two pony races sponsored by Tim Easterby Racing Partnerships. The first point-to-point race, the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate, is at 2pm. Then follows the Restricted race, and the Mixed Open, which promises to be closely fought if the leading contenders turn up. Next is the Confined, and the last two races are Maiden races, an Open Maiden and a Conditions Maiden for horses that have never been placed.
Admission is £10 per person with under-16s free. The venue’s postcode for satellite navigation is YO60 7TN.