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Saturday 7th May 2005
by Ian Marshall
photos by Arthur Thompson

A low number of entries may have kept many racegoers away, but declarations held up surprisingly well. Intermittent heavy showers during the afternoon saw most heading for shelter on a regular basis. The going was officially Good, although it did seem to be on the fast side of this assessment. However, it was considerably better than that produced at the first meeting here a fortnight ago.

The Younger Horse Maiden went to No Info and Clive Mulhall. No Info disposed of her eight opponents quite cosily with the minimum of fuss. She had put together a couple of decent efforts previously at Hornby Castle and here, so was a worthy favourite. Kappillan gave valiant chase in the hands of Philip Kinsella, but to no avail. He did well to stay on for second having been off the bit for a while. Rare Presence was enjoying himself at the head of affairs until making a terrible mistake at the 13th, which Guy Brewer somehow managed to survive, stopping him in his tracks. To be beaten just five lengths at the line in third shows that Rare Presence has some fighting qualities. Tango Bojangles (Freya Hartley) stuck on for fourth, but was always playing catch up. King Shaadi slipped up on the bend before the ninth.

Knight Crossing (Nigel Tutty) and Whorl Hill (Wayne Burnell)

Eisenhower (Ollie Greenall) and Wellfield (Lee Bates)

Rare Presence (Guy Brewer) leads from King Shaadi (Niall Saville)

L to R - Eisenhower (Ollie Greenall) and Kappillan (Philip Kinsella)

No Info (Clive Mulhall)

Nine runners for the Confined and an impressive winner in Kings Boy under Oliver Greenall in the fastest time of the day. Content to race in a clear third, Kings Boy put the matter beyond doubt as soon as he was given the office. The 11-year-old has taken time to warm up after two years off and indicated today that he retains at least some of his former ability. The fitting of blinkers certainly seemed to sharpen him up, coming home 15 lengths to the good over Shirostran and Ben Woodhouse. Shirostran had taken the restricted at the fixture at this venue a fortnight ago and has been highly effective this year. He can be relied upon to run his race. Noggler was putting in his best work at the finish to be third for Charlotte Brown and must be well thought of as he was declared (non-runner) for a hunter chase at Wetherby on Thursday. He’d only lost his maiden tag here two weeks ago. Call Me Jack and Miorbhail set a breakneck pace and Call Me Jack (Jacqueline Coward) deserves credit for getting fourth. Physical Force could never get in a blow, while Silogue was well behind when losing his 100% completion record at the final fence.

Kings Boy (Ollie Greenall)

L to R Well-known Yorkshire bookie Henry Bell, Nigel Atkinson and Lord Daresbury

Five horses came under orders for the Mens Open and Civil Gent and Guy Brewer came out on top from Journey and Nigel Smith. Civil Gent was held up well off the gallop, was then pushed along with half a mile to go and collared Journey in the shadow of the post. Civil Gent is swiftly becoming a standing dish at Easingwold as he has now won three times here, a restricted in 2004 and two opens in 2005 from his three visits. He might have one more chance in the Midlands on his favoured sound surface this campaign. Journey had built up an almost unassailable lead and it was the final hill that deprived him of the spoils. Astral Prince (Ben Woodhouse) appeared to get the trip in third and it was a reasonable display. Diamond Monroe (Oliver Greenall) in fourth didn’t look all that keen and didn’t appear to be totally in love with the game here in April either. Whitley Grange Boy slipped up on the bend before the 9th.

Civil Gent (Guy Brewer)

The Ladies Open attracted six runners and they went a good clip. Heather Lad was always handy and Annabelle Armitage galvanised the chestnut to hold off Hadeqa and Charlotte Brown. Heather Lad was turning the tables on their ladies open form here last month, when Hadeqa won and Heather Lad was fourth. It was three years since Heather Lad’s previous victory. He has looked a seemingly different horse in two ladies races. Hadeqa again showed his liking for the track. Silver Groom in third couldn’t get competitive and found things happening too quickly. Serious thought is going to be given to retiring the popular 15-year-old grey. He was been a fantastic servant over the years. Silk Vestments and Heather Dunning were fourth. Marton Mere slipped up on the bend before the 9th.

Heather Lad (Annabelle Armitage)

Eight participants for the Restricted and after several solid performances Queenies Girl got her head in front under Paul Frank. Since landing a Hutton Rudby maiden in March it has only been a matter of time before Queenies Girl won again. Colonel Ludlow (Chris Cundall) kept boxing on for second. Not the most consistent, Colonel Ludlow certainly gave his all today. Hattie was steadied a little by Philip Cornforth and had something left at the death to be third. On this sharp course, she is able to last home. Supreme Vintage (Ben Woodhouse) in fourth couldn’t get into it. Landford Lad, who had secured a maiden at the previous meeting, was never sighted.

Landford Lad (Guy Armitage)

The Maiden attracted nine hopefuls and went the way of the young mare Chanteuse with Philip Kinsella in the saddle. She has had time to get her act together and, although not foot perfect, jumped much better in the main than when third here a fortnight ago. Getting all the allowances was obviously of some assistance. Runner-up Iron Trooper assisted by Chris Dawson tried hard, but the winner had flown. He was pretty resolute and this was a step up on efforts to date. Third-placed Coverdale (Tina Jackson) could only run on at the one pace. Primitive Rhythm (Guy Brewer) was fourth. Shamore had made every yard, but was being pressed, when she fell six out. Odds-on shot Malton decanted Tom Greenall at the 3rd, a similar scenario to two weeks ago.

Damp turf on the tight bend between the third last and penultimate fences made the surface there rather slippy, resulting in three horses losing their footing at that point. Last year, two horses came down in this area. The organisers need to take action to change the camber for 2006 as this bend could prove lethal and it is only luck that a horse hasn’t been killed in the last couple of years.

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