The Will to Win Continues
It would appear that if you want to ride winners in Yorkshire this season you need to be called Will! On a beautiful day at Yorkshire's newest course, Askham Bryan College, a huge crowd was in attendance to watch Will Easterby follow up on his double from the Sinnington meeting with a treble and Will Milburn doubled up for a second time this season.
"I can't believe it!" Exclaimed a jubilant Will Easterby. "Of course it makes my job a lot easier when the horses are in such great form." All three of Easterby's winners are trained by his mother, Sarah and his winning ways started at the beginning of the day in the Askham Bryan College sponsored Confined Hunts Race. Most of the running was made by Seeyouincourt who led for a circuit and a half, Grouse Lodge then took up the mantle under Jack Teal, a position he held until the final half circuit where he was joined by Easterby on Things Change, a recent winner at the Sinnington meeting, when the pair quickened away to win by two lengths. Grouse Lodge just couldn't peg him back but put up a very gallant effort and Code Blue was nine lengths further back in third for Richard Smith. Easterby described his charge as a brilliant jumper and as honest as the day is long.
He was quick to follow up in the Econ Engineering Ltd Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club Members Riders Conditions Race on Camden. Opera Og and Sean Murray had raced with the leading bunch but Camden came through at the last fence to lay down the challenge, with Muirhead and Fionn McSharry two lengths behind in second and Opera Og finishing in third. "Following his win we're considering an entry in the Cheltenham Foxhunters, which would be a dream come true for me," Enthused Easterby.
The treble came in the Kettlewell Fuels Intermediate where Greensalt was also completing a hat trick of wins from four runs this season. All five entries went to post but only two finished, with Dead Ringa and Emma Todd the only other runner to complete.
Will Milburn then took over the winner's mantle to take the next two races. His double started in the Noble Foods restricted with the useful looking Bedford Forrest who was following up on his Sinnington maiden win. Eleven runners went to post and Bedford Forrest was always handy. Milburn asserted with half a circuit to go and the race was largely put to bed although Fairy Mix tried to stay with him but was beaten three lengths. "I don't know if he wants further or better ground, but what I do know is that he wants racing," said the winning trainer Andy Nicholls.
It was Nicholls who provide Milburn with his second winner as the pair doubled up to take division one of the Thirsk Racecourse Open Maiden. Three horses were battling round the last bend with Cloghouge Boy and Emma Todd and Martha's Benefit ridden by Milburn pulling clear into the last fence. Milburn got the better jump and beat his partner by two lengths, with Dibble Bridge 12 lengths further back in third.
Due to low sun the fences in the home straight were not jumped in the second division of the maiden, meaning only 12 obstacles made up the course. The race started at a very slow pace and finished in a sprint with Creating Havoc landing the spoils on her seasonal debut for John Dawson, trained by his brother Chris. Midnight Milly was three lengths further back under Elliot Brookbanks and Kicking Elf finished in third for Emma Todd.
The Mixed Open was sponsored by Leeds Commercials and all 10 entries went to post. The winner was John and Jackie Teal's Fureys Bar, ridden by their son Jack who just got the better of Know the Rules and Chris Dawson. Fureys Bar landed steeply at the last fence and it looked as though Know The Rules could take advantage but the pair battled back to win by half a length with Soleil D'Avril and William Easterby finishing in third.
The next Yorkshire point-to-point takes place at Charm Park on Sunday 6th March and is hosted by the Derwent Hunt. The first race is at 12.30pm.