Always a popular meeting, the crowds flocked to Dalton Park for the Holderness point-to-point which was blessed with beautiful Spring weather. This week it was the turn of trainer and jockey Jacqueline Coward to take the double.
Her first win came in the Spillers PPORA Club Members Race which was the first non-maiden race in Yorkshire to be run over the shorter distance of 2m6f. This race had received the most entries and a field of eight went to the start – which was the usual winning line. The progressive Greensalt took the early lead under William Milburn but Jacqueline and Frontier Spirit took it up along the wood side, before being headed four out by Somethingwonderful, ridden by Tom Strawson. These three were nearly in a line jumping the last fence but Jacqueline got the most out of Frontier Spirit to win by half a length from Greensalt and Somethingwonderful was two lengths further back in third. Frontier Spirit runs in the same colours as former Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander. "Ian Robinson is a new owner in the yard this season. Frontier Spirit's form had tailed off under rules so Drew (Holmes, Jacqueline's boyfriend) contacted Mr Robinson who suggested we could have him for pointing," explained Jacqueline.
She followed up in the Ice Co Ladies Open on Trop Fort, who took it up from the ditch on the final circuit to win by two lengths from Callhimwhatyouwant ridden by Samantha Klug and Galant Nuit and Yasmin Eagle were a further two lengths back in third. Formerly with David Coates, Jacqueline has always loved Trop Fort and was delighted to recruit him to her yard. "As he appreciates a trip he could go for the Grimthorpe but he's owned by the Nellis' who also own One Conemara who will definitely be running in it and I'm not sure if it's fair to run two horses for the same owner in one race," remarked Jacqueline.
Jacqueline was a last minute substitute on Topaze Collognes in the opening Beal Homes hunt race for Jack Teal, who had broken his ankle riding out earlier that morning. There were only two runners in the race and Jacqueline set a good gallop but Max My Boy was pushed into the lead four out by Robert Hogg and the pair won easily by eight lengths.
Five went to post for the Smailes Goldie Turner Men's Open race and after a circuit the field were still tightly bunched but the eventual winner, Panama Canal was at the back of the pack. He was given a very patient ride by Tom Strawson and went to the lead at the last to win by one and a half lengths from One Conemara and Richard Smith, with the Oli Pimlott ridden Nodform Richard eight lengths back in third. "He always needs his first run," said trainer Milson Robinson, "he settled nicely and Tom (Strawson) produced him to perfection," he added.
The Trophy Pet Foods Restricted race had the biggest field of the day but was an incident packed affair, Harmonic Lady took a keen hold and pulled her way to the front after the first fence, crashing out at the second and damaging the fence to the extent that it had to be omitted for the remainder of the race. Smart Act fell after a circuit and The Dark Duchess did the same with three fences to go. The Sweetner, partnered by Max Johnson had made all of the running but looked to be tiring when making a mistake and unshipping his jockey at the last. This left the way clear for Colorado Kid to be driven to the line under Chris Dawson, just pegging back Barton Jubilee who had been prominent throughout for Oli Pimlott and According to Dan finished third, ridden by John Dawson. "His only win was at Mordon so I thought he would want a short track and I rode him to stay the trip, but as we rounded the final bend he was full of running and stayed on," said Chris.
The first maiden race of the day was the Frontier Four, Five and Six Year Old Maiden race, run over the shorter distance of 2m6f, which went the way of the Henry Morsehead ridden Moscanisi. The mare had been placed third and second on her two previous races. "She'll probably have a little break now, as she's had three quick runs but she eats well and will tell us when she is ready to go again," reported her trainer, Anthea Morsehead. Dibble Bridge finished second for Robert Hogg and Quest of Valour came home in third under Christy Furness.
There were only two finishers in the 4 Friends Open Maiden Race where Jerusalem Bells partnered by William Easterby beat Harmonical by two lengths, which was ridden by John Dawson, deputising for Robert Hogg who had been stood down in the previous race.
The next Yorkshire meeting is the Hurworth point-to-point which takes place at Hutton Rudby on Saturday 19th March.