An action-packed day of racing thrilled the crowds at the latest point-to-point meeting at Ratcheugh.
Sunday’s event was the second of the season in Alnwick Races’ calendar and attracted 51 runners and more than 400 spectators.
The fixture this time round was the West Percy Hunt meeting and the card kicked off with a great local rivalry in the members’ race.
With local owners Victor Thompson, George White and Jimmy and Frankie Walton’s horses battling it out, it was Mr White’s Bafana Choice that stormed home with a 20-length win, putting last time’s fall to bed.
Ridden by Ferryhill-based Richard Smith and trained by Susan Grant, it was the horse’s fourth victory at the track.
Justin Landy sent his horses back to defend their course crown, with two of the three succeeding. Ardea and Weston Flame, both ridden by Joe Wright, were both impressive in their wins. His third horse was Knocklong who caused the biggest upset of the day for the punters, when the unbeaten horse unseated his jockey three fences from home after cruising most of the way round.
This left Quel Elite to win under Morpeth jockey Amy Waugh. The pair could only manage to finish fifth behind Knocklong at the December meeting, but staying in touch for the whole race this time, it was a battle for the win once the favourite was beaten.
Always Tipsy had a big task on his hands in the club members’ race. With regular pilot Nick Orpwood on board, the pair kept handy the whole way, but left it until the top of the hill to put the pressure on.
It was a hard-fought battle between Always Tipsy and Summoned, who has previous track form and had been in contention at the last meeting before unseating his jockey. Always Tipsy put it to bed with a two-length win.
Rory Bevin secured another win for his Leicestershire-based parents on-board Dynamic Island in the maiden race. The pair were second to Joe Wright and Weston Flame at the last meeting, but with Weston Flame going up a grade, it made it a 15-length victory for the family team.
The battle for the Champion horse is very much a three-way tie. Ardea, Always Tipsy and Weston Flame are all in with a chance and might go down to the wire at the next meeting where all three could possibly go head-to-head in the same race.
As well as the race action, Sunday’s meeting also featured a tombola, bouncy castle, equine products and Gin and Fizz Event Bar.
Alnwick Races would like to take the opportunity to thank the sponsors, including Carrs Billington, Longhorn Asset Management, The Essential Food Company, Hazelrigg Racing, The Gin and Fizz Event Bar, Upsides Racing, Cussins, Play the Field, Windle Cook, JH Greenwood, Mercedes Benz of Coldstream, Sintons, Michael Wares Cater Hire, Le Petite Chateau and Imperial Racing.
The next meeting is Sunday, February 5. Alnwick Races is offering a 20 per cent discount for tickets purchased online. Follow Alnwick Races on www.facebook.com/alnwickraces or check www.alnwickraces.co.uk for more details.