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Blankney
North Carlton
Sunday 28th February 2010
by Emma Forman

Eighty – eight runners contested a bumper ten race Blankney Point- to- Point at North Carlton on Sunday. The 4,5,6 & 7 year old Open Maiden race had been divided at entry and division one divided again at declaration. The 8 year olds and over Maiden race also divided at declaration. Despite the recent bad weather, North Carlton racecourse was in excellent condition. The official going was described as “good to soft” and there was a fair crowd in attendance.

R G L Carpets sponsored the first race on the card; the Blankney and Burton Members race. Two horses went to post; Jackson ridden by Rowley Barclay and Yann’s ridden by first time jockey, sixteen year old Olivia Wells. For most of the trip the horses were within a few lengths of each other and approaching the last fence a close contest looked in prospect. However, Jackson had other ideas and made a dramatic exit through the wing leaving Yann’s to finish alone. Olivia Wells who works for Judy Bradwell the event rider, was quick to praise Yann’s regular rider Miles Seston for his help and encouragement.

Seston himself was unable to ride on Sunday owing to a rib injury sustained in a schooling accident. However, his girlfriend Jo Mason took the A L Cox and Sons Ladies Open race with the home bred Poppy Day. Taking the lead at the final fence Poppy Day stayed on gamely to hold off the challenge of Robin De Sherwood and Catherine Walton. Having won previously at the Burton meeting at North Carlton Poppy Day’s owner Susan Mason was awarded the Leading Horse Award; the Vulgarion Perpetual Challenge Cup by retired Burton secretary Barbara Neal on behalf of W. H. Strawson.

Poppy Day had made the journey down from Yorkshire and another Yorkshire trained horse took the Men’s Open race sponsored by Gleadell Agriculture. He’s The Gaffer trained by Marti Mulhall and ridden by Oscar Churton settled in behind the leaders in the early stages of the race. The favourite Gunner Jack and Jake Greenall fell at the tenth fence and He’s The Gaffer won comfortably by four lengths from The King Of Angels and Richard Hunnisett. He’s The Gaffer is owned by the Churton family and was bought last August at Doncaster with his next target the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Memorial Hunter’s Chase at Sandown in mind.

In the Brown & Co Confined Hunts race the progressive seven year old Picabo Kid got the better of Point Proven by half a length. Picabo Kid is trained two miles south of Lincoln by Drugs Company Sales Manager Charlotte Covell. A previous Quorn Gold Cup winner Picabo Kid stays all day and looks an ideal candidate for the 4 miles Grimthorpe Gold Cup at the Middleton Point to Point in April.

Twelve runners went to post for the Velcourt Restricted race. The five year old David Easterby trained Premier Kadam had won a Maiden last Spring before finishing down the field in bumpers. However, this chestnut son of Alflora was able to get back to winning ways scoring under Jake Greenall. The Burton maiden winner Harlaxton was not helped by a mistake at the last fence but was only beaten by two lengths and looks up to scoring in a similar contest before too long.

The 4, 5, 6, 7 year olds Open Maiden race division one was kindly sponsored by Mr & Mrs Oliver Griffin and had to be divided on the day. Division one part one was won by Pirate Depp and Tom Ellis. Division one part two was won by the debutant Ballyshambles and Bridget Andrews. Division two was sponsored by Roythornes Solicitors and turned out to be the fastest of the three races. Byways Boy who had run a promising second at Thorpe earlier in the month, was kept on the inside by Dickie Barrett. Taking the shortest route paid off and Byways Boy went on to score from Attrapeur and Jake Greenall.

The Eighth race on the card, the Open Maiden race for eight year olds and over was sponsored by PM Engineering and was divided on the day. Division one was won by the front running Belavard ridden by Jack Quinlan and this was the faster division. In division two Bridget Andrew’s sister Gina had the eight year old Crosby in the lead for most of the way and they went on to win with Spirit Of Man in second. Both Crosby and Belavard are qualified with the Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chace.

The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Cottesmore Point to Point at Garthorpe on Sunday 7th March, first race 12 noon.

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