The Middleton Point to Point at Whitwell On The Hill was blessed with fantastic weather, which graced race goers through out the day. A bumper eight race card took place and spectators were by no means disappointed.
The highlight of the day was the Grimthorpe Gold Cup, which is one of four prestigious classic races in the pointing calendar. The hot favourite was the Cherry Coward trained Laertes, however it was not to be his day as the fantastic and in form mare Poppy Day struck gold for the Mason family. Always prominent Jo Mason took a narrow lead four out, however Laertes travelled up strongly and went a length clear three out, but Jo Mason switched her mount to the inside and when asked Poppy Day stayed on very well and strode clear turning into the straight to win well, Laertes weakened into third, while the much improved Areyacodinmee ran on strongly for second. Ian Mason, trainer of Poppy Day was unsure whether to run the mare, however decided they would take their chance the night before, a decision that was very well rewarded. A fantastic Mare who has stamina abundant, Poppy Day looks a horse going places and was given a fantastic ride by top lady rider Jo Mason.
The Hunt Members race began the day and went the way of the improving The Snurglar. Always prominent Max Johnson was clear entering the straight, however had to fend off the fast finishing Potts Of Magic and Jack Greenall, who both have run their best races to date. Nawaadi was back in third. Owner Arthur Vestey was an old friend of Max Johnson and promised him he would give him a ride. This is now the riders second ever winner and now puts him in the running for the Novice rider’s title.
The largest field of the day came in the Club Race and saw Narcisco finally come back to his best and rewarded Jacqueline Coward with the first leg in her double. Settled in midfield, the pair slowly made ground to eventually lead after two out and stay on well up the run in. Quechua Des Obeaux travelled well throughout the race and stayed on very well towards the line, but could not quite reach the leader, Mister Gloss was well held in third when falling at the last, whilst That’s Racing was an eye catching third and should find a race.
The Restricted race was another fiercely contested race that saw an inspired ride from Jake Greenall. Forge Valley made most of the running and looked to have the race three from home as the odds on favourite Mr Gossip was under pressure from a long way out, however Jake never gave up on his mount and managed to get up on the line to win by a head. Forge Valley was unlucky in second, with Kassjan running her best race in third after been given an excellent ride by Henry Brooke.
Division1 of the Open Maiden saw a fantastic ride from Harriet Bethell to get her fathers horse O’gara home and win by a wide margin. Detached in rear, O’gara was never travelling but Harriet Bethell never stopped pushing and slowly her determination was rewarded as O’gara began to gallop on well turning down the road side and once in front pulled well clear. College Land Boy was on and off the bridle but kept on for second and should find a race, however only these two completed.
Division2 went to Jake Greenall and Sutton who was giving owner Andrew Stott his first ever winner. Sutton came from behind and quickened away in the straight to win readily, Brochure was prominent, travelled strongly and stayed on well to take second and should find a race somewhere, whilst Cedar Point looks to be on the upgrade and took third.
The Intermediate race went the way of Adieu Mari, restrained well in rear, Jacqueline Coward made good headway to join the long time leader and odds on favourite Sea Senor at three out, however Adieu Mari soon came out on top and stayed on well to win, with Sea Senor weakening back into second and the consistent Father Murtagh in third.
The Non-rules Maiden saw the useful looking Pipsacre win for owner rider Heidi Oldershore. Always prominent today the pair never looked like getting beat and soon quickened clear after the last to win and give the rider her first winner on only her second start. Nothing Left led entering the straight but weakened to finish second and it shouldn’t be long before he finds a race, while the inconsistent Budge Ya Butt ran a creditable race back in third. Heidi is a Beauty Therapist and also use to be a Master of the South Notts. Pipsacre was bred by Jos Hanbury and is currently being leased to the owners and looks to have a very bright future.
Members The Snurglar Max Johnson 5-4 FAV
Club Members Narcisco Miss J Coward 3-1 FAV
Restricted Mr Gossip Jake Greenall 4-5 FAV
Mixed Open Grimthorpe Gold Cup Poppy Day Miss J Mason 7-2
Non Rules Maiden Pipsacre Miss Heidi Oldershore 2-1 FAV
Intermediate Adieu Mari Miss J Coward 9-1
Maiden Div1 O’gara Miss H Bethell 9-4 FAV
Maiden Div2 Sutton Jake Greenall 2-1 FAV