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Zetland
Witton Castle
Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2011
by Will Milburn

The Zetland Hunt were blessed with glorious weather on Easter Monday which drew in a very large crowd and despite conditions being on the fast side, it did not detour any of the runners, who turned out in force.

The most competitive race of the day came in the Ladies Open and saw Yorkshires two leading Lady riders battle it out. Jacqueline Coward bounced back from injury to win aboard Cottam Phantom and was recording her first victory since her accident. The winner had showed only modest form so far this season, however has been waiting for firm ground and seemingly relished it here. Sam Drake was the main danger back in second aboard Keeverfield who didn't seem at his best on this ground, whilst Maddison De Vonnas who was prominent through out, stayed on well in the closing stages and continues to run consistently for Emma Todd.

Ryan Winks showed an excellent display of riding aboard Max And Mix in the Open Maiden. The pair made most of the running, however hung badly on the tight bends and forfeited huge amounts of ground, but pilot Ryan Winks soon re-established his lead and stay on in emphatic style to win. Botaldor ran possibly his best race so far back in second, whilst Llobo was back in third on only his third racecourse appearance.

The Mens Open looked a modest event on paper with only three runners. Tom Greenwood took the honours with Topinambour, settled towards the rear of the trio, Tom made a sweeping move entering the straight and truly sprinted clear after two out, with the favourite Go Moss Go looking one paced back in second and having little response to the winner. Topinambour was given to the Greenwood family by Richard Ford who thought he would make a good hunter, but has now given Tom his first two victories between the flags.

The Members race saw an action packed finish between The Stickler and Roman Cruise. Despite making several mistakes in the home straight, Richard Smith galvanised his mount after the last to deprive Roman Cruise and Ian Smith near the line. Captainbruce was a long way back in third, whilst Chris Gibbon who looked the most experienced of the over weight contingent finished a respectable fourth aboard his own Canderbrook.

The Restricted race saw Once Before finally get off the mark for Jo Foster. The pair were in front from two out and had to fend of the advances of Mark Walford and Dark Night who came from off the pace, however Once Before was much the better horse and stayed on well at the finish to win. Tara's Joy was some what unlucky after slipping on the bend and losing several lengths, however Colm McCormacks mount stayed on very well at the finish and is one to note.

The Intermediate went the way of Barry The Cracker and David Jeffereys. The pair set a modest pace and although been challenged four out, the pair got the better jump at the last and stayed on well to hold off The Viking back in second, Joseph never looked in the race and came home in third.

Members The Stickler Richard Smith 11-8FAV

Intermediate Barry The Cracker D Jeffereys 5-2

Restricted Once Before Miss J Foster 13-2

Mens Open Topinambour T Greenwood 7-2

Ladies Open Cottam Phantom Miss J Coward 5-2

Open Maiden Max And Mix R Winks 4-1

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