Charm Park managed to avoid the worst of the torrential rain that hit the Yorkshire coast the day before, leaving the going as Good to Soft. The course was still bearing the scars of the first meeting here, but where possible the bends were moved a little to take in new ground.
Five set out in the Hunt Members and Willywont He came home in front under Steve Charlton. Having shown little in bumpers and over hurdles, the six-year-old was well behind Dayenoo in 7th at Hutton Rudby on his point debut last week. With something to learn about jumping, Willywont He did well to repel the renewed challenge of Colonel Ludlow and Chris Cundall in the final half a mile. This was Colonel Ludlow’s best chance of further success as he finds restricteds a tough ask because he barely gets three miles. Only these two got round. Calder Rosie was a lot more cooperative and manageable today prior to pulling up and appears to possess at least a modicum of ability. Fryup Vision was pulled up badly lame at the 10th.
The seven runners for the Restricted were soon reduced to five as Search Party and Fayalie departed at the 3rd. Ben Woodhouse got maximum effort from Ellie Bee on the run-in to deny the fast finishing Snizort and Freya Hartley. Ellie Bee had taken her maiden at Witton Castle in February and then been a good third to the very useful Vics Fane and Wilfie Wild here in her first crack at a restricted. Snizort is an out and out stayer, struggling to keep up for much of the journey, but closing like a train at the death. He’s now been second on all three outings in 2005, the same pattern of running occurring on each occasion. Scenic Storm, who was third for Philip Kinsella, can more than hold his own at this level. Mandate Man (David Thomas) was fourth and never runs two races in a row alike.
There was another bloodless victory in the Mixed Open for Chaos Theory and David Thomas, following their success at Hutton Rudby a week ago. Chaos Theory was again able to dictate matters from the head of affairs with his three rivals racing in Indian file behind him. Owned by Richard & Henrietta Burridge and trained by John Cranage, his task was simplified by the odds-on shot Nordic Crest being pulled up lame after the 6th. The winning margin of four lengths was flattering to Marrasit (Steve Charlton) in second, but the latter might come on for his seasonal reappearance. Hadeqa (Charlotte Brown) in third has yet to find his form this year.
The connections of Chaos Theory were chasing a double with Busted Flat in the eight-runner Confined, but he could only manage a disappointing fifth. Emperor’s Son and Serena Brotherton struck for home with four to jump and appeared to have done enough, but were collared in the shadow of the post by Duchess Account and Emma Brader. Duchess Account likes to drop herself out in the early stages of her races, however this time her jockey did not allow her to do so and the customary late charge gained the day. It was the rider’s first victory between the flags and all the more meritorious as one exuberant jump in mid race caused her to lose and then regain an iron. A nice sort, Duchess Account could be the type to look out for in the 2006 Grimthorpe Cup. Emperor’s Son lost nothing in defeat and can find a confined before the season is over. Call Me Jack and Jacqueline Coward were 20 lengths back in third, a performance on a par with their distant second in a Leicester hunter chase on his previous run. Johnny Brushaside was a tired fourth under Ben Woodhouse. He wasn’t quite as forward as many of the stable’s horses, having last been seen at Larkhill in 2003, so could be a little better than this. Mr No Man got rid of Michael Morley at the first, while Bonito made a terrible mistake at the 7th that left Philip Kinsella with no option other than to pull him up.
Ten horses lined up for the Maiden and Bobby Buttons, who many regular Yorkshire racegoers have taken to their hearts, finally lost his maiden tag at the 15th attempt in point to points. He’d gone close on many occasions in the past and had actually been placed eight times before this. His two previous runs in 2005 hadn’t been up to his usual standard, but a first association with Tina Jackson in the saddle paid dividends. The ever enthusiastic runner-up Mighty Rising is another who a lot of people would like to see visit the winner’s berth. He never gives up and is the perfect horse for Charlotte Cundall to learn her trade on. The third and final horse to finish was Oso Tilley (Jo Foster). She wasn’t at her best this afternoon, but has a race in her. Dannymolone was legless when pulled up between the last two fences. He has plenty of scope, but has now had three hard races. Lady Lola had been very headstrong at Dalton Park on her point debut, but Lee Bates managed to restrain her here and she was nicely in touch when capsizing at the 12th.
Skew Whip made it a day to remember for the Brader family in Division One of the Maiden for horses that hadn’t previously finished second or third. A fine ride from Nicky Tinkler saw Skew Whip dispose of his eight opponents with the minimum of fuss. He came home in splendid isolation from Fully Loaded. Charles Brader trains just the two horses at present, both winning today. The newcomer Fully Loaded, with Ben Woodhouse in the plate, was pretty weary and was shrugged off over the final four fences. This was a decent effort, although some ponderous leaps mean he needs to brush up his jumping. Third-placed Secret Racine (Joanne Brown) takes a fierce grip and was very tired at the end. The hard-pulling front runner Where Eagles Dare ran out at the 9th. Harwood Dale wasn’t out of it when he ejected Mark Walford at the 11th.
Eight turned out for Division Two of the Maiden for horses that hadn’t previously finished second or third, which went the way of Jey Jey Keen. Clive Mulhall did the steering and he had to be at his best to get the brave Jey Jey Keen up on the run-in. It was a successful Easter weekend for the rider as he notched a double at Market Rasen yesterday. Trainer Roger Marley rarely has a horse that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. The form of Kiora Bay’s Dalton Park maiden is now looking solid as both the fourth Jey Jey Keen and the fifth Skew Whip from that heat won today. Like in the previous race, Ben Woodhouse had to settle for second, this time on Black Leopard. A tongue tie helped Black Leopard no end and he has a maiden in his sights. Tango Bojangles (Freya Hartley) came third and has performed with some promise on his last two starts. Only three finished.