Easter Saturday 23rd April 2011
by Laura Ellis
Crowds flocked in their droves in the sunshine to see the 7 race card on Easter Saturday on what must easily have been the hottest point to point on record.
The clerks of the course Charles Reynolds and Charles Millington along with the Woodland Pytchley Hunt connections had worked hard to ensure official going of good to firm, good in places.
4 went to post in The Woodland Pytchley and Fernie Hunt Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race to open racing. Furze Hill was left to make the running on sufferance under Stacy Bromley with eventual winner Pass The Class (Sam Hutchinson) the back marker for much of the way before taking the lead 3 fences from home. Action Steel chased home the winner under Tom Ellis, left in second from the final fence run out from Furze Hill.
Walter's Laddie (Johnny Bailey) defied his recent run of seconditis when seeing off the challenge of The King of Angels. The even money favourite ran prominently before ridden to join long time leader The King of Angels at the last to run on by 1 and a half lengths with Ungaro (Heather Kemp) a distance back in third.
A small but competitive field of 4 went to post for the Mixed Open. Shillingstone, back between the flags after his 3rd in a Hunter Chase last time out, never looked in any danger when he cruised past long time leaders Aztec Warrior and Teeton Bollinger 4 fences from home and ran on to finish 12 lengths ahead of Aztec Warrior (George Henderson) and Proud Andees (Will Telfer) a head back in third.
The fastest time of the day came in the Novice Riders when the long journey paid off for Dale Peters aboard his father's Carapuce. Held up early the winner went 2nd 3 fences from home before taking it up before the last and ran on strongly 2 and a half lengths ahead of Early Wings (George Saunders) and a further 6 lengths ahead of Teeton Dazzler (Lizzie Harris) in 6 minutes 30.
Just two seconds slower, Omme Antique took the Open Maiden under Joe Docker in 6 minutes 32. The winner took a keen hold, chasing the leaders until outjumping Anamcqueen (Mark Wall) at the last and running on to win by 2 lengths. O Ellie continued his placed form to finish 16 lengths back in third under Matt Smith.
The shorter maiden restricted to four, five, six and seven year olds over 2 miles 4 went to the promising Now Then Charlie. Improving on his 4th last time out on his debut run the winner never looked in any danger and made Jack Quinlan's quick trip from Sandown worthwhile. The improving Park Run chased the winner home by 8 lengths under Henry Kinchen with Caught Looking (Tom Ellis) 1 and a half lengths behind him.
The Restricted was a pillar to post victory for Briery Star who matched the time of that in the Novice Riders when failing to see another rival. He travelled strongly throughout under Jamie Goss and finished 6 lengths ahead of Malt Max (Will Telfer) and another 5 lengths ahead of Portalon (Leo Mahon).