The annual Brocklesby Point-to-Point races was held on Sunday at Brocklesby Park, where seven races took place and black armlets were worn by the riders in honour of prolific winning Lady rider Jill Dawson who died recently.
A brisk wind continued to dry the ground throughout the afternoon and a reasonable sized crowd enjoyed some good racing.
Following on from a win and a second place at the South Wold meeting at the Brocklesby course, it was Harry Banister who picked up the Lilian Pickering leading rider award at the meeting.
Bannister had the ride on Carlton Ryan in the Men’s open race, sponsored by Singleton Birch Ltd who this year celebrate 200 years of business at their Melton Ross Quarries.
Carlton Ryan ran away the eight-length winner from Empire Builder who took second place with Camden in third.
“Despite the tacky ground, he still has gears and he has won easily in the end,” said Bannister of Steve Hollings gelding who is trained by Steph Easterby.
Carlton Ryan qualified for the £7,500 3-miles 2 1/2 furlongs Bonham’s Men’s Open Point-to-Point Championship Final at Cheltenham on Wednesday, April 29.
Bannister went on to complete his double on the card with Fortunata Fashions, who took the Jockey Club Open Maiden for Mares, sponsored by The Jockey Club and St Hugh’s Hospital, from Two Smokin Barrels.
Fortunata Fashions took it up at the final ditch and the five year old went on to win fairly easily for Francesca Nimmo.
The first three horses past the post scored points for the Jockey Club PPORA Club Members Mares Maiden Series.
After the last race, the Lilian Pickering Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the leading rider at Brocklesby Park for 2015 was presented by Wendy Forman to Harry Bannister and the Lilian Pickering Achievement Award was presented to Harry Thorpe in recognition of the work he had done to get the course ready for the event.
The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Cottesmore Point-to-Point at Garthorpe on Sunday, March 8, with the first race starting at 12 noon.