York & Ainsty
The York and Ainsty was the only point to point in the whole country this Easter Sunday and with great credit going to Phil Clark and his team who had applied huge quantities of water to ensure good, safe racing conditions which in turn resulted in some fantastic racing and crowds.
The easiest winner of the day came in the final Maiden race with the Sarah Dent owned and trained Jumeirah Jane, piloted by Colm McCormack. The pair tracked the leaders till around four out and gradually sauntered clear to win impressively on her pointing debut. Sarah Dent has been waiting for better ground for this former Sue Smith inmate who was acquired to replace two of her brood mares. Buckshaw ran his usual race in second with Sprout back in third.
The Confined saw Jabo and Thistle battle it out all the way up the run in with Jabo and Fred Bethell getting the better close home. Jabo was on last chance saloon two starts back but has duly stepped up to win his last two races. Third place went to a hard ridden Knoxhill Archie, who is one to note at the Bilsdale meeting.
The Mens Open saw course specialist Over To Joe record his third success here under a power packed ride from Mark Walford, but had to fend off L'Oudon who fought all the way up the run in under Guy Brewer who is slowly drawing clear in a long awaited hunt for his first Mens Championship. Favourite Oedipe struggled to get involved back in third.
The Ladies Open saw the Bob Woodhouse trained Quecha Des Obeaux come right back to form in good style under Sam Drake, who after leading three out, never looked in any danger. Favourite Blanding's Castle looked one paced once headed but stayed on after the last for third, whilst Paradise Bay who always tends to run well here took third.
The Members race saw a fairytale result for local owner trainer Stephen Clarke who had a one–two in the opening Members race. Both runners came into the race fit from team chasing with New Wish coming out the best. Held up in rear, Tom Greenall's mount travelled strongly to the lead before the last and stayed on well to beat stablemate Glad Star who made most of the running. Favourite Moment Present weakened into third.
The Restricted race saw another impressive performance from the David Easterby trained On Holiday and Richard Smith who managed to do the minimum weight of ten stone. Leading three out the pair powered clear to win well from Silk And Roses who stayed on the one pace with Nothing Left back in third.
The younger Maiden also went the way of the Easterby team courtesy of Winter Sunshine, piloted by Tom Greenall (a double on the day). Held up well in rear, the pair stayed on extremely well to lead over the last and win well. Pavanne finished second with the gamble of the race Bellepais Abbey (12-1 into 7-2) back in third. The winner was bought in Ireland by David Spence as a foal and has progressed well since his debut.