The first of two bank holiday fixtures took place at Heslaker on Saturday with the Pendle Forest & Craven Hunt meeting. It was a memorable day for Craig Hoggart who rode his first double and is likely to take the Mens Novice title. His first winner came in the John Moore & Sons Pendle Forest & Craven Hunt, Members, Subscribers and Farmers race on My Old Piano. Held up as usual and produced down the hill, this victory looked to be the easiest of the day with the pair winning by 10 lengths and becoming My Old Piano's 28th point-to-point victory. Mr Chippy was second for Emma Chaston and In The Haven who had made must of the running under Steph Lawton was three lengths further back In third.
Craig quickly doubled up in the Veteran & Novice riders race, sponsored by Branded Solutions, to win on Ganbei. Opera Og and Sean Murray led from the start in different tactics to normal and tried to make all but was overhauled by Ganbei who won by three lengths. Chip N Pin was a distance further back for Becky Mason.
The feature race of the day was the Airedale Chemicals, Tom Bannister Ladies Open race and the £1,000 prize fund attracted both entries and runners. It was run over the extended distance of 3m5f and One Conemara who was going well in the Grimthorpe until unseating three from home, took this for the Cowards, ridden this time by Hannah Watson, his fourth jockey this season. "I'm delighted for the horse and the owners," said trainer Cherry Coward. "Hannah reported that he jumped a bit green but he'll improve from that," she added. Railway Dillon put up a good fight under Emma Todd but the pair were beaten by six lengths and King Fontaine was a further 12 lengths back in third for Jane Williams.
Racing started with the Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club Members race sponsored by Gibson's Garden Machinery and Scrum V surprised connections, winning this on his seasonal debut. "He's been a nightmare to train this season and I nearly didn't run him this morning," said the winning trainer Nicola Naughton and continued, "his main aim is a Perth hunterchase later this month." Scrum V finished second twice and third in hunter chases last season and the 11 year old clearly remains in good heart. Tweedys Choice looked to have the race and led from the start with Scrum V held up throughout, however he came with a flying run down the hill and beat the Tom Greenwood ridden Tweedys Choice by a length and Banny's Lad was five lengths further back under William Easterby.
Beau D'Argent followed up on his Hurworth members win to take the Coniston Racing Club restricted race for owner, trainer, rider Lucy Bell. Beau Traveller finished in second with Russell Lyndsay and Kahn Do It completed in third for Will Milburn.
Smart Act finally got his head in front in the Trust 4 Business Open Maiden race. Always placed on his completions it was no surprise to see him win and partnered by Richard Tierney, the pair won by three lengths from Weaverthorpe and Craig Hoggart and Brillo completed a long way back in third for Emma Chaston.