After being deluged by two inches of rain the previous day, the going was Soft for Sunday's well supported Haydon Point-to-Point meeting at Hexham Racecourse on what turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year.
Hexham farmer, David Carr produced one of the training performances of the season to bring his 11 year old gelding, Coastley (right, red colours) back from a 931 day lay-off to land the Knarsdale Estates Haydon and North Tyne Members Race.
Always in the leading trio, he took it up from the unfancied Awman two out and stayed on strongly from the last to score by six lengths. This was also the perfect comeback for jockey, Andrew Richardson, 46, who had been sidelined for six weeks with broken ribs sustained in a heavy fall at Tranwell. Richardson said: ''He pulled tendons on his last run at Wetherby in October 2010 and couldn't walk for two weeks when we got him home. It has been a long haul getting him sound again. A mistake at the first fence seemed to wake him up and he settled much better than usual. I couldn't believe he was as far in front at the last and he should come on a lot for the run.''
Newton-by-the-Sea owner/trainer, Victor Thompson followed up last week's four-timer at Aspatria with a double, courtesy of Chanceofa Lifetime (left) and Senor Alco. The former was always going well under Jamie Hamilton in the two and a half mile Golden Lion Allendale Open Maiden Race. After heading stable companion, Have One For Me between the last two fences, he forged clear on the flat to win by a dozen lengths. This 6 year old Beneficial gelding, a rare first-time out winner for the yard, was bought privately at Doncaster Sales last May, and Thompson said of him: ''He was ready to go at Mosshouses a fortnight ago but had a hole in his foot when we got there after kicking a partition in the horsebox and couldn't run.''
Tristan Davidson's mount, Senor Alco (left) brushed aside a 9lb penalty in the W.M.H. Meat NPPA Club Members Race. In the leading pair from the outset, he went on after four out and was ten lengths up when The Paddy Premium unseated at the next. Noir Et Vert tried hard to bridge the gap but was always fighting a losing battle and still had ten lengths to find at the line. Davidson said: ''He got a bit lonely in front and was idling on the run-in.''
Call Mrs Jones (right, red and yellow) came up trumps under the in-form Emma Todd in the fifteen runner Michael Pickworth 'Dotland Hit Man' Restricted Race. After taking closer order with a circuit to go, the 6 year old mare was sent on a mile from home and made the contest a true test of stamina. Todd's mount was joined at the last by Raifteiri before gaining the upper hand in the last fifty yards to secure a one and a half lengths verdict.
Todd, who has worked full-time for Sheriff Hutton trainer, Tim Walford since 2009, said of the mare: ''She was placed twice in Irish Points between October and mid-January and only cost £2000 after I saw her advertised for sale on the internet. I kicked on a long way out as I know she stays but was a bit worried when Raifteiri came upsides at the last. That's it for the season now and she'll be out in the field tomorrow.''
Baileys Benchmark (left) made the long trip from trainer, Mary Sowersby's Market Weighton yard worthwhile by getting off the mark on her 30th career start, including 17 under Rules, in the fifteen runner Northumbria Stone Open Maiden Race. The 8 year old had been proving costly to follow having finished runner-up on six occasions in Maiden company, including at Easingwold the previous week. Delivered with a perfectly timed challenge by Chris Dawson, the mare swept past the tiring leader, Tom's Pride and Flaming Thistle after the last to win, going away, by five lengths.
After sending out Back On The Road to land a Perth Hunters' Chase four days earlier, Kinneston trainer, Nick Alexander rounded off a good week when his 11 year old gelding, Ocarina(right) secured a fifth win of the season in the Graham Reader Motor Engineer Mixed Open Race in the hands of son, Kit. Sent to the front six fences from home, he prevented Sotovik from getting in a blow and kept on well to score by six lengths. Kit, 21, who is mid-way through his Maths final exams at Durham University, said: ''He had his ears pricked all the way and won as he liked.''
The concluding John Warren ABP Intermediate Race brought some welcome relief to the bookmakers when the unfancied Instant Shot (right) provided Fraser Campbell, 19, with his first winner. Always prominent, the 10 year old relished the soft ground and, after forging clear five out, maintained a relentless gallop to beat Alforone by eight lengths. Campbell, a former trainee gamekeeper, had his first ride at Overton in March 2011 and has worked full-time in Jim Goldie's yard for three years. The winner, owned and trained by Cumnock farrier, John Hodge, was bought privately out of Goldie's yard in late 2010.
The Shaw & Co Solicitors 138cm pony race over five furlongs was won by Hepplewood Berkley Square (Harry Charleton) (right) who finished half a length in front of P J (Elizabeth Gale) with Helsington Vanetta (Lorcan Murtagh) a further two lengths away in third place.
The Shaw & Co Solicitors 148cm pony race over six and a half furlongs went to Lynne (George Crawford) who finished twelve lengths ahead of Hazelcroft Goodtime (Lucy Pittendrigh).