It is not often that a horse rated 150 at his best turns up to a point to point, however on Sunday there was two, both of which struck in fine style, writes Will Milburn.
in the Conditions race Steely Addition was having his first run for Chris Dawson since 2016, when he won a Maiden at the first time of asking, Dawson then sold the son of Craigsteel to Phil Hobbs where he had a successful career and reached a mark of 150.
However his form has tailed off over the last couple of seasons and his connections returned him to Nunstainton Stud in a hope Dawson could rekindle his form.
The late jockey booking of Christy Furness proved a successful partnership as the pair slipped up the inside round the final two bends and score impressively.
Chris was unsure what to expect from the potentially classy pointer, "I didn't know what to expect, he was the class horse in the race, but he hasn't won for three years," said Dawson who hopes his charge can transfer his form to Open company with Hunter Chases the aim later in the season.
River Frost was making his point debut for the Brewer stable under Joe Wright, whilst Monsun Storm was third under Chris's brother John Dawson.
The opening Hunt Members race saw another useful recruit to the pointing sphere in Point The Way, formerly a talented recruit when with Brian Ellison he has slowly recaptured the form of his younger days including notching a brace of hunter chases last season.
With the runner-ups snapping at his heels up the run in, four horses passed the post together but this 11-year-old stuck his neck to win, "I was worried this track would catch him out, it's a lot sharper now than it used to be" said his trainer Guy Brewer, who felt ability won the race.
Show And Go dead heated for second under Lottie Crane with Clondaw Anchor and Christy Furness, whilst the fourth wasn't disgraced either in Gatacre Street only half a length further back.
The Restricted was the easiest winner of the day as Sine Nomine justified her odds on price and backed up her Alnwick win last time with an impressive win over Barrack Hill and Paddy Barlow.
Ridden by John Dawson and trained by Fiona Needham, the daughter of Sain des Saints drew clear easily on the run in to win eased down, "She's been a late maturer and has just taken a while for the penny to drop." said her trainer and looks one who could quickly improve through the ranks.
Barrack Hill was second whilst Hilnamix was third.
The biggest celebrations of the day came from the Coward family as the Cherry Coward trained Purse Price galloped on strongly to win the closing Flat Race for 4 and 5yo's.
Ridden by Rosie Howarth the pair led three out and ran on well to win.
Bought by Jacqueline Coward in the summer of 2020 it was hard to hide their enthusiasm for this 5-year-old daughter of Passing Glance, "we just love her, everyone rides her at home and I think she's quite nice!" said Coward who may opt to send this debutant winner back to the sales, "we might send her to the sales, but we wouldn't be giving her away".
Second place went to the Will Easterby-trained Is So Cute Dimaria under Lottie Crane, whilst Fascinating Rock was the gamble of the race under Easterby but could never quite land a blow back in third.
Wounded Warrior was another formerly class act on show in the Veteran Horse Conditions race, trained by Tom Ellis and ridden by Ellie Callwood this 13-year-old got his head back in front for the first time since 2018, this former classy recruit was third in the Royal and Sun Alliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival way back in 2015.
Roycano looked to travel strongly under John Dawson in second but was unable to quicken passed the winner in the final stages, whilst Peacocks Street and Dale Peters put up some good efforts in hunter chases last year but could only manage third here.
The Mixed Open saw Jack Teals Matts Commission get back on the score board and take his career tally to nine wins between the flags.
Matts Commission survived a bad mistake three from home but led in the final 75 yards and showed a gutsy display to hold off a renewed challenge from Kilkishen who was returning to form after a lacklustre run at Sheriff Hutton, whilst the ever consistent Game As A Pheasant was having his sixth run of the season and was narrowly back in third under John Dawson.
The Open Maiden was split on entries resulting in two divisions, both would go the way of the southern raiders. Division one went to Go Go Geronimo and Tom Chatfield Roberts, the pair were always to the fore and had only the strong effort of En Couleur to fend off, whilst Lockdown Ludo was 20 lengths back in third.
It was a much deserved victory for the winner after eight consecutive placed efforts in Maiden company "he really deserved that" said connections.
Division two was an impressive display from The New Kid and Dale Peters who scampered away in the straight to win by 30 lengths at the 13th time of asking, a leg weary Wireless Operator was second under Gina Andrews, with another 12 lengths back to a tired The Whistle Blower and Paddy Barlow.
With showers through the day the ground turned to soft and became quite testing towards the end of the card.