Piano Still Plays to the Tune
An excellent day's racing took place at Charm Park, Wykeham, as the Derwent Hunt held their annual point-to-point on Sunday 8th March. Old favourite, My Old Piano proved he's still got what it takes to win at the top level by taking the Men's Open, sponsored by David Duggleby, providing a first point-to-point win for his pilot, Craig Hoggart, who was deputising for Harry Bannister, in action at Warwick. This was the 26th win for the 13 year old and there is no doubt he can follow up again. "He's come out of the race well and eaten up, it always takes him a couple of days to come down from the high of a win," said winning trainer Stephanie Easterby. It's great to see he's still enjoying life on the point-to-point field." She added.
Racing started with the Derwent and Staintondale Hunts members, Subscribers & Farmers Race, sponsored by Transcore Ltd and went the way Tracey Corrigan's Killary Bay, under last year's winning jockey Max Johnson. The pair led from start to finish, making the race a procession throughout. "We thought he would go well, he won a hunter chase two years ago but he doesn't like travelling far," said the winning owner/trainer. "He's a lovely kind horse," she added. Oh So Serious who won this race last year finished second for Richard Tierney, 11 lengths further back with Andre Chenier and Chris Cundall in third.
Max tried to make it a quick fire double in the Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club Members Conditions race sponsored by Cundalls. Riding Lady Susan Watson's Hand Act or Part he led throughout, but it was Six A Side who followed up easily on his Sinnington win under Will Milburn, going from last to first to win by four lengths. "He settles better than last year, although he was a little on and off the bridle in the early stages," reported the winning jockey, "but I was really impressed with his turn of foot at the end of the race," Will continued. Larkhall was seven lengths further back in third.
The Ladies Open Race was sponsored by Longstaff & Midgley Solicitors and went the way of Young Hurricane, ridden by Freya Brewer. He was largely held up and crept into the race, asserting by 12 lengths at the finish. "The race was set up for him," reported trainer Guy Brewer. "We knew there would be a strong gallop, which suited him as he likes to pick the runners off. We bought him out of Dr Newlands and he couldn't have been more helpful and asked to be kept informed as to how he got on. We're hoping to aim for a hunter chase towards the end of the seaon," continued Guy. Oaklands Bobby who had made much of the running finished second under Alice Petch with Scots Gaelic in third for Fionn McSharry.
The Broadland Properties Ltd Restricted Race was a very strong affair with some impressive maiden winners meeting each other for the first time. Shantou Prince followed up on his promising debut for Christy Furness and won the battle to the line from Mickey Miller and Jack Teal by three and a half lengths. The Ketchup Kid was six lengths third for Russell Lyndsay who was deputising for the injured Jacqueline Coward. Comedinewithme was running an excellent race until unseating Jo Mason six from home and was still going well at the time. The mare could go close next time out.
Jo made amends in the Hardwick Agricultural Engineers Ltd Open Maiden Race (Division one) by winning on Aldreth for Stephanie Easterby. His win was no surprise, having finished second to the aforementioned Comedinewithme at the Sinnington meeting and he won easily by a distance. "He was a pleasure to ride," said Jo. She went on, "He can be a monkey but travelled really well and quickened easily. He attacked his fences better when he was going on and I don't think he should have any problem progressing up the ranks." Devil at Midnight was second under Jack Teal and Smart Act was a further distance back in third for William Easterby.
In the second division, kindly sponsored by Smailes Goldie Turner Ltd, Lortzing landed the spoils, providing a belated birthday present for owner Paul Clifton. Piloted by Jack Teal, the pair had been running well at Sinnington until falling at the last. They managed to make amends, taking this by three lengths from Glens Return who was another to improve on his Sinnington debut. Knightofthegarter was six lengths further back for Craig Hoggart and will be able to take a race at this level before too long.