Last Saturday's rearranged Tynedale point-to-point meeting at the Downhills course near Corbridge drew a total of 70 runners from stables as far afield as Beverley, West Yorkshire and Kilmarnock to contest an eight race card, with prize money of £2150 on offer.
There was a popular local success for the Robert Coupland-trained gelding, Sam Gawn (below) in the Barrasford Arms Racing Club Tynedale Hunt Members Race. Well ridden by Fiona Blackett, the nine year old stayed on strongly from three out to collar Astyanax after the last before drawing clear to score by a couple of lengths. Blackett, 22, a final year student at Nottingham University said of her first winner: "He jumped and travelled well, and found plenty when I asked him to quicken up the home straight."
Kelly Bryson returned from three weeks on the sidelines to record her 50th career winner between the flags on Sorcier (right) in the first division of the TSG Open Maiden Race for 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds. This previously unraced French-bred five year old half brother to former top chaser, Natal gradually reeled in the leaders on the final circuit, before taking it up two out and settling the issue in a matter of strides. He cruised home ten lengths in front of Ravens Secret and Bryson said of the youngster: "He might be small in stature but has the right attitude. His jumping got better and better as the race unfolded and he never gave me an anxious moment."
For the record, Bryson's first winner between the flags came on Junior Des Ormeaux in the Vale of Lune Maiden Race at Whittington on 26 March 2005. In addition to her pointing victories, she has also notched up 4 winners under Rules.
Alnwick handler, Sue Taylor produced her own ex-Irish pointer, Rakerin Lad (right) spot on to land the Matfen Hall NPPA Club Members Race on his first start for nine months. Sent on approaching the last by Gillon Crow, he stayed on well up the run-in and still had two lengths to spare at the line over Windy Hills.
Guiseley-based owner/trainer/rider, Sam Drake made her first visit to Corbridge one to remember with an impressive pillar to post win on Keeverfield (right) in the three mile five furlong Strutt & Parker Ladies Open Race. The ten year old didn't see another rival from flagfall and, hard as Sea Scout and Narciso tried to get on terms up the home straight they were always fighting a losing battle. This was a 6th winner of the season for Drake, who said of her charge: "He stays all day and loves to bowl along in front. He needs a right handed track and might go for the hat-trick at Dalton Park on Sunday."
Chris Dawson set out to make all the running on Cleni Boy in the three mile five furlong Brewin Dolphin Men's Open Race but his mount was made to look rather one-paced after being headed two out by Ed Wrigley's mount, Gunner Jack (right). The latter left his rivals for dead as he sprinted clear up the finishing stretch to win, going away, by fifteen lengths from Rathowen. This was a 10th career success for Clive Storey's charge and he looks an ideal sort for next month's Grimthorpe Gold Cup at the Middleton meeting. Dawson made a swift exit from the course immediately after finishing 3rd on Cleni Boy, and made it to Kelso in time to steer Quotica de Poyans to victory in the hunter chase.
Little Vantage forced a strong pace from the outset in the Mr & Mrs T Elvis Wedding Celebration Restricted Race and only surrendered the initiative after the last to Lewesdon Tom (left). The latter answered every call from Jacqueline Coward and stayed on strongly in the closing stages to beat Beau Dandy by two lengths in the best time of the day. Home-bred by Terry Beadle, the eight year old is the 4th member of the line to strike gold and might go for a seasonal hat-trick in the Bedale Members Race.
Former stockbroker, Adam Waugh ended a near fifteen month spell on the cold jockeys list when teaming up with Grande Monsieur in the Maggot & Waggit Open Maiden Race for 8 year olds and over. Produced with a perfectly timed challenge, he took it up at the last and kept on well to beat the favourite, Olmetta by a length.
Mitford trainer, Amie Waugh, niece of the winner's owner/rider, reported that her charge didn't run last year due to a minor tendon injury.
Triggers Sun (right) justified favouritism in the second division of the TSG Open Maiden Race for 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds but had to dig deep up the run-in to repel a sustained challenge from Its Bobkat by three parts of a length. Less than two hours later, his Mordon near Sedgefield-based owner/trainer, John Wade was celebrating the biggest winner of his career when former pointer, Always Right captured the £45000 added Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster.
The main action was preceded by 2 pony races sponsored by P R Racing and Robson & Cowan. The contest for ponies 138 cm and under saw Finbarr (Connor Murtagh) (below left, green colours) beat his only rival, Dene Rose Stormy Seas (Cameron Hardie) by a neck.
The 2nd race for ponies 148 cm and under was won by Waco (Georgia Dukes) (below right) who finished half a length in front of Chiumbo (Ross Chapman) with Under Wraps (Alex French) a further two lengths away in third.