Sunday April 10th 2011
by Will Milburn
A huge crowd turned out this weekend to attend the Bedale Point to Point with the meeting being blessed with tropical like weather.
The Mens Open saw an upset in the form of 14-1 shot Valiant Shadow and Andrew Glass. Clear over the last the pair stayed on well to hold off the staying on Over To Joe, with the favourite Finney; who never seemed to jump with much fluency, back in third. The winner was bought out of Wales and was previously in training with Peter Bowen, Valiant Shadow has quickly come back to form, improving with each run this season.
The Ladies Open also saw an improved effort as Blanding's Castle bounced rite back to his best. Below par so far this season, Pip Tutty made all the running here and gradually drew clear on the final circuit to win easily on conditions he relishes. I See A Star stayed on into second, whilst Emma Todd and Maddison De Vonnas managed to jump the last two fences with only one stirrup and did well to stick on for third.
The Conditions Confined race went to Jabo and Fred Bethell, the pair made all the running and stayed on well to hold off the fast finishing Go Moss Go under a power packed ride from Mark Walford, with Abandon Ship who made a short lived effort two out and stuck on for third. The winner gave Fred his fourth winner, three of which had been on this horse, however a new home was trying to be found for Jabo until sister Harriet persuaded her father to give the horse one more chance and were dually rewarded.
Two riders rode there first winners, the first was Ivo Thomas in the Members race aboard New Time. The pair were left clear four out and were allowed to come home and win easily, with Budge Ya Butt a long way back in second. New Time was bought out of Jonjo O'Neills yard as a schoolmaster for Ivo who is a regular face out hunting with the Bedale and received a huge reception when returning to the paddock.
The Restricted went to Brother Mark and John Roche who was recording his first win between the flags. The pair led 4 out and stayed on well to hold off Forge Valley who made most of the running and came with a renewed challenge between the final two fences but couldn't reach the winner. Once Before recorded a much improved effort for Sam Drake back in third.
Division two of the Open Maiden was the most well contested with six runners. Roman Road took the honours for Ian Smith, the pair led from a long way out and stayed on well to win, the only danger was Never Forget Poppy who stayed on well in into second, however lacked fluency over his fences and will need to improve on his jumping to win. Meertrix plugged on for a remote third.
Division One of the Open Maiden went to the Cooper Wilson trained Dark Night, ridden by Mark Walford. Settled in second for most of the race, the three runner field went a very sedate pace through out and eventually became a sprint from three out, with long time leader Bad Boy Bonney struggling to match the winners pace back in second. Easily Miss Led looked a nice sort and jumped well on its debut for Sam Drake until unseating. Cooper Wilson has been training for 20 years and finally got his reward by recording his first success here and was welcomed back to a rapturous applause, whilst Mark Walford became the third family member to win this race, with father Tim and brother Robert (who won this twice) all winning it in the past.
Confined Jabo Fred Bethell 12-1
Hunt Members New Time Ivo Thomas 7-2
Restricted Brother Mark J Roche 10-1
Ladies Open Blandings Castle Miss P Tutty 4-1
Mens Open Valiant Shadow A Glass 14-1
Open Maiden Div1 Dark Night M Walford 2-1
Open Maiden Div2 Roman Cruise Ian Smith 5-4 FAV