The annual Brocklesby point-to-point races took place as planned with a good crowd enjoying the mild weather and thrilling racing action.
Extra precautions were adopted in line with British Horseracing Authority regulations, with only horses vaccinated against equine flu within the last six months allowed to race, leading to some smaller fields than usual at the popular meeting.
Nevertheless, 37 runners contested the seven races on ground officially described as good.
Somethingwonderful and Tom Strawson were able to complete a hat-trick of wins in the opening Brocklesby Members race, sponsored by Brigg Office Supplies.
Owned by Tom’s father and Brocklesby master, Paul, the 11-year-old won this race in 2016 and 2017, and finished runner-up last year, but was able to regain the number one spot once more.
“He has been carrying dad at 14st 5lb all season, so 12st 10lb was a featherweight today,” joked a delighted Tom whose ride gave his two rivals 10lb.
Alamgiyr and Samantha Klug were two-and-a-half lengths away in second place.
The Nunns Mitsubishi PPORA Club Members Conditions race resulted in a close finish, with Philip Rowley’s classy six-year-old Salvatore beating Distime by a length.
“They left me alone in front and he was looking about a bit,” said winning rider Alex Edwards.
“He loved this good ground. I imagine he will eventually go to the Intermediate Final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham.”
Runner-up Distime, ridden by novice rider George Chatterton, could now run in the £1,000 PPORA Novice Riders Final at Edgcote in May.
The feature Mixed Open race, sponsored by Baillie Haylage, was won in impressive style by Christine Bank’s Arthur’s Secret.
The official winning margin of 18 lengths could easily have been extended.
This race was a qualifier for the Hunter Chase finals at Cheltenham and Stratford.
“It’s great to have him back to his best,” said winning rider Abigail Banks.
“He will go on any ground except extremes, and is more of a Stratford horse than a Cheltenham horse.”
Ballinahow Bill finished second, with Better Days in third, and the winning time of 6min 10secs was by far the quickest of the day.
The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate race was won by Pass The Glass, a lightly raced seven-year-old, trained in Warwickshire by Tom Ellis.
Royal Chant and John Dawson looked the likely winners as they went clear approaching the last, but Pass The Glass battled back.
“He hung a bit and would prefer more cut in the ground,” said winning rider Gina Andrews.
Max O and Philip Armson finished in third place.
Andrews finished second on favourite Teeton Turnip for Mark and Pat Barthorpe in the next race, the Clarke Weightman Restricted.
This was won by Robin Tate’s grey mare, Absainte, ridden by Will Easterby who went on to record a treble at the Sinnington meeting on Sunday.
Racing concluded with two maiden races, the first a Mare’s race sponsored by HMT St Hugh’s Hospital and the Jockey Club.
This went the way of the five-year-old African Belle.
The final Open Maiden, sponsored by DDM Agriculture, went to the favourite, King Of The Clothe, completing a double for Andrews.