This weeks meeting on the Northern Point to Point Circuit was held at the picturesque Holm Hill Parks, Dalston in Cumbria.
The meeting has been lost for the past 2 years following the foot and mouth outbreak but a good crowd turned out on Sunday to welcome back Dalston to the circuit.
Despite the absence of significant rain in the area the course offered good to firm ground and was rewarded with plenty of runners for the 9 races.
There were a number of thrilling finishes throughout the afternoon and there was even a streaker during the second division of the first maiden.
The meeting opened with the Farmers Hunt Race in which Valley Garden made a successful comeback after a long absence. Ridden by Richard Nichol he held off the strong finish of the favourite Houselope Beck to win by a neck.
The next race was won by Clifford Bay who put in an excellent round of jumping for Nicola Sterling to see off his rivals who were headed by Nomadic Star and Harleyburn.
The Ladies Open saw Running Mute reverse earlier form with Balisteros and Riparius. Balisteros ran a game race in second, under pressure some way out, he kept responding and was only 2 1/2 lengths adrift at the line.
The Men's Open produced an exciting finish with the first 4 home separated by less than 2 lengths. The winner was Poynder Park ridden by Ran Morgan who stayed on gamely to beat the strong finishing The President. Howayman and Sam Byrne were close up in 3rd and 4th. This win provided consolation for Poynder Park who had been narrowly beaten by Howayman at Musselburgh when short of room on the run in.
Wills Perk ran a
remarkable race in the restricted open to share the spoils with Just
The restricted Open had drama at the last fence when the leader Raging Torrent tried to run out and crashed thru' the wing of the fence. This left the way clear for the strong finishing Dun Victory under Tom Oates to come thru' and pass Royal Reference and Avenel on the run in and win a shade cosily by 21/2 lengths.
The first division of the Open Maiden over 2 1/2 miles attracted 20 entries and had to be split into 2 parts. Both were won by highly promising horses making their Pointing Debuts. Polyphon owned by Ray and Anita Anderson Green, who have enjoyed many winners under rules, won the first. Confidently ridden by Pauline Robson the bay gelding was left clear when his nearest challenger Jojo made a bad mistake 2 out. They then held the late challenge of Alittlebitofpower to win by a comfortable 3 lengths.
Don't Tell The Taxman won the second division. He is a half brother to Cliffords Bay who had won earlier in the afternoon should go on to better things in the future.
The final race of the afternoon saw a gamble landed. Jupiter Joe ridden by Jimmy Walton was backed from 12/1 to 5/1 at the off. He came home under a determined ride to win by 4 lengths from Knysa Belle who was showing improved form and should be capable of landing a maiden before the season finishes.
Next weeks meeting takes place at Tranwell just outside Morpeth on Sunday 13th April. First race 1.00pm.