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York & Ainsty at Easingwold
Sunday 24th April 2016

by Charlotte Russell

While runners were plodding the streets of London, racegoers at the York and Ainsty point-to-point were treated to a marathon nine race meeting as both maiden races were divided on the day. Will Milburn and Will Easterby were once again in double form but it was an incident packed day for some of the riders.

Racing started with Hunt race, sponsored by Mrs M Blacker and four runners went to post, three of them partnered by novice jockeys, one making her debut and another having only her second ride. As anticipated the four raced closely together and after a steady early pace, injected pace with five fences to go but Dead Ringa, ridden by Emma Todd crashed out and she was taken to hospital although pleased to report that she wasn't seriously injured. This left Opera Og to repeat his victory of last year and the pair won by seven lengths from Plenty of Chat who was partnered by the debutant Madison Patzelt and Mister Wall Street and Charlotte Kemp were a further four lengths back in third.

Division One of the Gavin Rhodes Landscapes four, five, six and seven year old maiden race went the way of Quest of Valour who has been knocking on the door and this win was no surprise. Ridden by Christy Furness the pair came through to win by two and three quarter lengths from Erica's Dream and John Dawson in second with Danny The Dancer and Ross Wilson back in third.

The second division was the first of Will Milburn's double as he partnered Andy Nicholls' Market Road, the six year old was second on his debut at the Bedale and won like a short priced favourite should. Christy Furness deputised for the injured Emma Todd on Mafate Fortin who came second by three and a half lengths with Harmonical a further eight lengths back in third. Over the last fence it could have been anyone's race but Market Road looked very smart in his finish.

Will Milburn's double came in the Jacqueline Coward Racing Men's Open on Six A Side. The former course winner was, as usual, held up and produced over the last and driven out but pushed all the way to the line by Mistissio and Richard Smith. Rosie du Berlais was third under Christy Furness and this time it was the turn of Chris Dawson to take the journey to hospital with facial injuries, following a crashing fall from Know The Rules.

Will Easterby's double started in the David Westwood Memorial Restricted Race on his own Four Oceans who was quickly following up on his maiden win from the previous Saturday at the Braes of Derwent meeting. Refusal had been running well and finished second by three and a half lengths under Harry Kinder with Martha's Benefit and Will Milburn coming home in third.

Easterby's double came in the first division of the Kettlewell Fuels Ltd Open Maiden, when deputising for Emma Todd, he rode a pillar to post victory on the one eyed Duke Nelson. The pair looked in danger coming into the final turn as Be A Dreamer and Joe Wright tried to go past on his outside and went a stride ahead over the second last, but Duke Nelson's staying ability came into play and won by two and a quarter lengths with Arny and Richard Smith fifteen lengths further back in third.

Division two went the way of Danny Mags, ridden by Jack Jordan. He was produced over the last before his rider got to work and pushed him up the hill. Sam's Treasure was three and a quarter lengths further back under Richard Smith and this was a very eye catching debut by the four year old, out of former Grimthorpe Gold Cup winner Poppy Day and a career under rules surely beckons. HMP Blue was two and a quarter further lengths back for Ross Wilson.

Fifteen runners went to post for the Rayner Builders and Joiners Ltd Club Members Riders Conditions race and runners were quickly strung out, however it was Pertemps Networks who once again took advantage of an easy three miles to land this. Shantou Prince was in receipt of the five pound allowance and came home in second under Christy Furness with Nosecond Chance and Harry Carlisle also taking advantage of the allowance to finish third.

Haighs Farm Shop sponsored the Ladies Open race and the pace was set by Roll The Dice who was sent into a clear early lead. Young Hurricane was held up at the back of the field by Freya Brewer and with five fences to go moved swiftly up into second place and the pair looked like they would be in the frame until taking a crashing fall two out. Sposalizio had always been handy but this left him in the lead going to the last and Kelly Bryson took advantage to win by three and a half lengths from Drill Sergeant and Emma Horner-Harker in second. French Seventyfive, a former course winner was two lengths further back in third under Amy Waugh who was a late stand in for Emma Todd.

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