On one of the warmest days in early May for many years at Mosshouses, the Lauderdale fixture produced some exciting, incident-packed racing on near perfect jumping ground and saw Charlotte Dun edge closer to a first Northern Area Champion Lady Rider title with a double on Molten Brown and Nine Altars.
Although he's been ready to run since December, Tony Hogarth's evergreen 13 year old gelding, Molten Brown was having only his third start of the season in the World Horse Welfare Conditions Race. In a slowly run affair, Charlotte was quite happy for him to track the leaders before gradually reeling in the favourite, Shantou Magic (Will Ramsay) from three out and getting his measure at the last. There was a length between them at the line, with long time leader Royal Avatar (Anna Galbraith) a further three lengths away in third place.
Whiteabbey had been knocking on the door in recent weeks and his consistency was rewarded with a popular victory in the hands of Amie Waugh in the D & J Waldie NPPA Conditions Race. The 13 year old was always going well and pegged back Lough Derg Island (Alex Chadwick) from three out before sealing a three quarters of a length success with a great jump at the last.
The gelding's Reston-based trainer, Rebecca Hewit said: "He's been well hunted all season and goes on any ground. I'm away in Belgium next weekend with some of the British Vaulting team and so he'll probably run next at the Border fixture on May 20."
The Whiterigg Ladies Open Race saw Nine Altars record the best time of the day when getting the better of Scarlet Fire (Joey Richards) for the second time this season. Charlotte's mount led from six out and dug deep on the run-in to hold off his rival's renewed challenge by a head, with Habbie Simpson (Tabitha Threadgall) a further four lengths back in third.
Although Joanna Walton was out of luck on Oscar Stanley when hampered and unseated three out in the Ladies Open, she enjoyed a second Irish winner between the flags on Madam Cloud in a Mares Maiden at Muskerry the following day. The 5 year old led three out to score by a distance in the familiar Trevor Hemmings colours.
Ex-chaser, Bang On Time (Gary Beaumont) secured his first win since 2015 when finishing alone in the 3 runner Colin Wood Memorial Men's Open Race. The complexion of the contest was turned on its head three out when Pyjama Game (Will Ramsay), who was disputing the lead at the time, ran out and carried out The Ice Factor (Cameron Wadge). Gary's mount was at least fifteen lengths down at the time and booked for third spot until the mayhem happened in front of him. He works full-time for Geoff Adam and rides out two days a week for local trainer, Harriet Graham. The fortuitous win also ended a lean spell for Cumbrian handler, Lynsey Kendall.
Sound Barrier, owned, trained and bred by Doreen Calder, secured a second career success at Mosshouses in the Dalgleish Subaru Restricted Race. Left in front when Great Anticipation fell four out, the 10 year old prevented Ripstick (Charlotte Tailford) from getting on terms in the closing stages and still had half a length in hand at the line. Doreen commented: "I can't afford all these expensive young horses at the Sales, so have to breed them. Sound Barrier is usually a sound jumper and loves top of the ground." For the record, 30 years ago on 30th April 1988, Doreen won the Lauderdale Adjacent Hunts Race on Eye Valley. She has been closely involved with Point-to-Point racing in the Northern Area for more than 40 years and remains as enthusiastic as ever.
Ailsa and Ben Speke's home-bred 7 year old mare, Coomacarrea jumped and travelled well for son, Toby from the outset in the 10 runner Musselburgh Racecourse and Royal Dick Vet Open Maiden Race and, after being sent on six out, quickened away from the last to beat Celtic Symphony (Jack Teal) by two lengths with the very promising debutante, Maybe Mostley (Rory Bevin) a similar margin away in third. The winner, trained at Ingleton near Piercebridge by Caroline Dennis, will now be put away for next season.
Mosshouses has been a lucky track over the years for Toby, providing him with five of his fifteen career winners, including his only double in 2014 on Two Stroke and Have One For Me. Now based in London, few jockeys can claim to commute further at weekends to compete between the flags.
The main action was preceded by two pony races over seven furlongs. The 6 runner Treehouse Sporting Colours Novice Riders contest for ponies 138cm and under went to the previous week's Fife scorer, Ravara Super Ted (Shay Farmer) with Oakville Thomas (Frances Cromarty) in second place and Pendela Pixie Prince (Jayden Thompson) in third spot.
The 5 runner Ferguson Planning & Development contest for ponies 148cm and under saw Judge Fox (Archie Frank) complete a 2018 hat-trick from Carrowmeer Nick (Sarah Longthorn) and Hawkesfield Flyer (Joshua Thompson).
The 2017/18 Northern Area Point-to-Point season draws to a close with the Border fixture at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday 20th May.