Easterbies take the Middleton honours; POINT TO POINT.
YESTERDAY'S Middleton meeting at Whitwell-on-the-Hill near Malton attracted a near-record crowd and turned out to be a clean sweep for the Easterby family.
Three winners were trained by David Easterby, four by his sister Cherry Coward and one by brother-in-law Ian Mason.
The Snurglar formed the first leg of Coward's four-timer in the Member's Race. He made virtually all the running and stayed on gamely to beat Pots Of Magic by a length under Max Johnson.
Cheltenham-based owner Arthur Vestey said: "Max is an old school friend and I decided to give him the ride when my first choice Tom Greenall failed to recover from a knee injury picked up at last month's Cheltenham Festival."
Narciso kept the ball rolling for the Coward team with his first win of the season in the Member's Conditions Race in the hands of daughter Jacqueline.
Adieu Mari, the less fancied of Coward's two runners in the Intermediate Race, came up trumps at generous odds of 6-1. Always going well, the mare joined issue with the odds-on favourite Sea Senor on the home turn and sealed a two-length victory with a better jump at the last.
Coward's red letter day was completed by O''Gara''s success in the first division of the Three Mile Open Maiden Race.
Results 47 However, his backers must have felt like tearing up their betting slips as he struggled to keep in touch with the leaders for much of the contest. He then got a second wind approaching the four roadside fences on the final circuit and swept past his tiring rivals to lead two out - before forging clear to beat the only other finisher College Land Boy by 12 lengths. Mr Gossip was the first leg of Sheriff Hutton trainer David Easterby's treble in the Restricted Race.
Given a supremely confident ride by Shrewsbury-based A-level student Jake Greenall, the five-year-old was still two lengths behind Forge Valley at the last but finished like a train to snatch a neck verdict in the shadow of the post.
My selection Pipsacre was only in fifth place jumping two out in the 2.5 Mile Open Maiden Race, but sprouted wings under Heidi Oldershaw and came through the leading quartet to hit the front at the last and score by two lengths.
Sutton completed Easterby's treble in the Three Mile Open Maiden Race, while the Ian Mason-trained mare Poppy Day enjoyed a fifth consecutive win under daughter Joanna in the four-mile onefurlong Grimthorpe Gold Cup Mixed Open Race. PETER BURGON