Sunday 27th February 2000
by Richard Watts

A double by jockey David Easterby was the highlight of the inaugural West of Yore point to point held at Hornby Castle on Sunday.

The first leg came when the Ian Mason trained Jackson’s Hole (Middleton) completed a hat-trick in a competitive Confined Hunts race. Jackson’s Hole was hard pressed from the third last by the Lynne Ward ridden and trained Insideout (A Jackson/Cleveland) and the David Coates ridden and trained Blank Cheque (Pendle Forest); who had come with his usual late run. After jumping the second last the seven-year-old exherted and pulled away to win by and impressive eight lengths. Insideout and Blank Cheque fought out a good battle for second, Insideout winning it by a head.

Easterby completed his double when successful on Michael Brown’s rapidly improving Prominent (Sinnington). This race turned into a great battle between the two market leaders Prominent and the Chris Denny owned and ridden Sunrise Sensation. The pair were upsides each other from the fourth last; going into two out they were locked together. Prominent took off half a length in front but at the fence Sunrise Sensation blundered and fell. The pair had pulled well clear of the rest so Prominent was left the simple task of coming home a distance clear. The Chris Dennis trained Greenhill Tear Away (S Furness/Zetland) was made to look very one paced back in second, Stephen Swiers in the plate. Five lengths back in third was John Wade’s fourteen-year-old Cross Cannon (South Durham) who weakened after making much of the early running. The race had a sad postscript as Sunrise Sensation’s fall proved to be fatal.

There was drama in the Members race when the Fiona Needham trained Calleva Star threw away what looked to be a certain victory. Making all the running and galloping on in fine style (M Abrahams) under Rupert Abrahams, Calleva Star jumped the second last twenty lengths clear; however approaching the final fence he started to hang badly right and almost jumped off the course. His rider did well to get him over the final fence but the odds on favourite had lost all momentum and Ferdy Murphy's Jordi Le Forige came through on the run in to win by half a length.

Ronnie Barr’s Gemolly (Cleveland) was given a fine ride by Clive Mulhall to win the First Division of the Maiden. Mulhall was hard at work on the favourite for most of the race and three from home it looked as if his effort would be in vain; the mare started to rally approaching the second last and she drew level with leader Tom’s Man (F White/Percy) at the final fence before pulling clear on the flat to win by three lengths. Tom’s Man, ridden by Peter Johnson finished second twenty-five lengths clear of John Wade’s Hey Sam (South Durham) who weakened from the third last after racing prominently under Trevor Glass.

There were surprise winners in both Division’s of the Restricted. Prime Style (N Manners/Zetland) took Division One at 20-1 and Mr Hook (Sinnington) won Division Two at 33-1. Prime Style, ridden by Chris Gibbon made most of the running until headed by Mount Faber (Bramham Moor), ridden by Stephen Charlton, after jumping the second last. The Ronnie Watston owned and trained Mount Faber looked to be pulling away for a comfortable win but he started to pull himself up going to the last and Prime Style swept past and pulled away for a twenty length win. Mount Faber just held on to second place by a head. David Smith’s Chaps (Hurworth) making late headway under Clive Mulhall to take the minor placing.

Robin Tate’s Young Ardross (Bilsdale) looked to have this race won when taking up the running three from home under Fiona Needham; but he started to weaken coming to the last as Ian Brown’s Mr Hook (Sinnington), ridden by Richard Clark started to stay on well and long time leader Lewis (H Thompson/Cleveland) started to rally. In an exciting finish Mr Hook stayed on best to win by a head from Young Ardross with the Tina Jackson ridden and trained Lewis a further length and a half away in third.

Sandra Barker’s Sun Of Sam (Hurworth) made a winning debut over fences in the Third Division of the Maiden in the hands of Larry McGrath. Son of Sam had pulled ten lengths clear four from home and galloping on in fine style he had increased that gap to twenty five lengths at the last from the only other finisher, Trish Russell’s The Butcher Boy (Middleton). Ridden by David Easterby The Butcher Boy was held up and given plenty to do but after appearing to make progress three from home he could make no further impression on the winner.

The Second Division of the Maiden Grania Furness’ Mefein Boy (Hurworth), ridden by Wayne Burnell. The impressive looking Tricky Trevor looked to have this race in the bag as he approached the final fence twenty lengths clear but after jumping the fence he slipped and unseated Holly Delahooke leaving Mefein Boy to come home a fortunate winner. Twenty lengths back in second was David Atkinson’s Go Nomadic (Bedale) who found little in the closing stages under Peter Atkinson. Eight lengths further back in third was Roger Makin’s Cape Crusader (York & Ainsty) who never got into the race under Clive Mulhall.