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Witton Castle
Monday 4th 2nd May 2015
by Charlotte Russell

There was a good turnout for the Zetland point-to-point at Witton Castle on bank holiday Monday, with the biggest surprise of the day coming in the Collins Seafoods Ladies Open race. It was the smallest field of the day with only four runners, however the strong favourite Ockey De Neulliac lead in his usual manner. The quartet raced as a pack with Fernhurst Lad to the first to drop away on the final circuit. The main challenge came from Oaklands Bobby who was two lengths down approaching the last but managed to sprint to the line under Alice Petch beating Ockey De Neulliac and Catherine Walton by three quarters of a length. It was a very exciting race between the two thirteen year olds. For A Finish came home in third under Emma Todd.

The Sherwoods Mens equivalent was run at a furious pace which was largely set by Gansey and Oli Pimlott, however it was Executive's Hall who had been impressive at the Bedale meeting that landed the spoils in another tight finish, getting up by a neck under Elliot Brookbanks from Dica and Paul Collins, Almond Court was 20 lengths further back I third for Tommie Dowson.

Racing started with the Zetland Hunt Members, Subscribers & Farmers Race, sponsored by Todds Highway Maintenance. Ballyboker Boy and Andrew Bartlett managed to fend off the challenge of Drill Sergeant and Alice Petch and won by three lengths. Roman Cruise was 15 lengths further back for Chris Dawson with Blue Lodge and Naomi Spalding completing in fourth.

The Intermediate race was sponsored by Greensleeves and was a procession from the start but produced a very fitting winner in Kilmacallogue Bay ridden by Chris Dawson. His late owner Simon Robinson was a keen Zetland Hunt supporter and his brother Matthew was on hand to receive the prize. Five Point Plan finished in second for Chris' brother John and Pebbleglen who had been held up was third for William Easterby.

Eight horses went to post for the Barrier Energy Restricted race and the field remained tightly grouped throughout, however on the final bend with three fences to jump Probably George was urged into the lead under Kelly Bryson and stayed in front to win by 10 lengths from Prince of Ivagh and Chris Dawson. Bonnet Rough was five lengths further back for Tommie Dowson.

Racing concluded with the Open Maiden race, kindly sponsored by Ripon Farm Services. A field of 14 went to post, four of which were trained by Cherry Coward. Game As A Pheasant and Road To Ruin were always at the head of affairs for Cherry but it was the former on his sixth attempt that took this under Catherine Walton. He had been very green at the beginning of the season but looks like things have cliced. Lucky Sun had also been prominent and finished two lengths further back for Michael Schuller and Stagecoach Jasper was a neck further back in third.

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