The Yorkshire Area season continued on Saturday with the Bedale fixture at Hornby Castle. A total of 42 horses faced the starter in seven races on ground which had been watered and was generally considered to be Good to Firm, Good in places.
Jack Andrews, 21, recorded the second treble of his career (the first being at Witton Castle in April 2018) to take his tally to 5 since the season resumed at Hutton Rudby on March 29.
Royal Chant set the ball rolling in the McClarrons 2m6f Bedale & Adjacent Hunts Conditions Race. Produced with a perfectly timed challenge to head odds-on favourite, Absainte (Will Easterby) at the last, the 9-year-old stayed on strongly to score by one- and three-quarter lengths. Andrews said: "Even he found the ground quick enough. I was still holding on to him coming to the last as he doesn't want to hit the front too soon."
Jacqueline Coward, daughter of winning trainer, Cherry, added: "He loves top of the ground and probably runs next at Witton Castle on May 9." The gelding has now scored five times for the yard, including thrice at Witton Castle, since being bought for £5,800 at the Tattersalls Ascot Derby Sale in June 2017.
Andrews doubled up on Manicman in the 4-runner Brymor Ice Cream Restricted Race. In command from four out, the 7-year-old was a distance clear and still full of running when his only remaining rival, Secret Pattern unseated at the last. His owner/trainer, Annabelle Sowray, who is based near Helmsley, said: "That's 2 wins from 3 starts since I bought him privately out of Sam England's yard. I got him in last July with the intention of running at the early meetings at Cottenham and Chaddesley Corbett but they didn't happen. He seemed a bit flat earlier in the week and I wasn't sure if he was fit enough but he still had plenty left and goes next at Witton Castle on May 9."
Almost four years to the day since being pulled up in the Grand National, former 146-rated chaser, Stellar Notion lowered his sights when completing a treble for Andrews in the Akebar Park Leisure Ltd Men's Open Race. Charles Clark's evergreen 13-year-old gelding made virtually all the running and still had three lengths to spare over Supreme Steel (Joe Wright) at the finish. Clark said: "Sam Coward persuaded us to let him take his chance instead of waiting for our home meeting next Sunday. We bought him privately two years ago from Roger Brookhouse and he's had lots of issues including very bad ulcers but perseverance has paid off." He added: "This has been a lucky course as I rode my first winner here on Sukey Tawdry in April 2008 and Rumble Of Thunder carried my colours to victory in the Ladies Open in April 2017."
For the record, Stellar Notion was originally bought by Roger Brookhouse for £140,000 at Brightwells Cheltenham Sale on 29th May 2013, 10 days after finishing one and a half lengths 2nd of 15 in a Bartlemy Maiden Race.
Immy Robinson made it 4 winners from 11 rides at Yorkshire Area meetings in the last four years on Ryans Fancy in the Barkers Home Intermediate Race. After being sent on two out, the 7-year-old quickened away from the last to beat Monsun Storm (John Dawson) by three lengths. He was bought for £7,000 at the Goffs UK Summer Sale last July. His Shropshire-based trainer, Immy's mother, Caroline, who made history on Eliogarty in 1983 when becoming the first lady rider to win the Cheltenham Foxhunters' Chase, said: "He was unsuited by the Revesby Park course last time and was never travelling so Immy pulled him up but he was a totally different horse here and was hardly blowing at the finish."
It's always good to see a small-scale family operation get rewarded for their efforts and that was the case with Cheshire raider, Slievegar, owned and trained by Joanne McCain and ridden by her 19-year-old son, Toby McCain-Mitchell. Keeping things simple, he sent the 5-year-old straight into the lead in the Strutt & Parker Maiden Race and his jumping was faultless. Marton Abbey tried hard to get on terms from three out under Jack Andrews but could never quite bridge the gap and was still one length down at the line.
Toby, who came into racing after working in show jumping, is the nephew of leading NH trainer, Donald McCain and is based at his Cholmondeley yard as a work rider and amateur jockey. This was a first winner on only his second ride between the flags for Toby, who said: "He changed hands for 50,000 euros at the Store Sales in 2019 but we managed to buy him privately for a lot less from Colin Bowe's yard last year. The plan was always to jump him out handy and he just kept on galloping."
The other Maiden Race sponsored by Biker Bespoke resulted in a winning debut for the Nicky Tinkler-trained gelding, Poet's Corner (Joe Wright) in a time 10 seconds slower than that recorded by Slievegar. The youngster warmed to his task as the contest unfolded and took it up two out before repelling a late challenge from Villa Moura (Philip Lawrence) by half a length. Wright said: "I was very impressed with the way he quickened between the last two fences and he galloped all the way to the line." The winner, bought for 9,000gns at Tattersalls in July 2019, had been all set to run at the 2020 Middleton fixture but that plan was thwarted by the Covid-19 lockdown. He is owned by a syndicate comprising racing journalist, Carl Evans, Louise Free, Harry & Amy Abbott, Nicky Tinkler and his mother, Carol. His next outing is likely to be a return visit to the Sales.
Seefood (Charlotte Crane) gained compensation for an unlucky run at Hutton Rudby last time when he was badly hampered on the run-in by a loose horse with a smooth three lengths success over Thyne For Gold (Immy Robinson) in the 2m6f Skinner's Ladies Open Race. More than nine years after making his debut in a Thurles Maiden Hurdle and having raced at all the big festivals on both sides of the Irish Sea in his younger days, the evergreen veteran is still a class act on his day, Charlotte said: "He's a good mover and was very quick over his fences. He picked off his rivals with ease down the back straight on the final circuit and was hardly blowing at the finish."