On good to firm, watered ground 19 declared from 72 entries on an Easter weekend were a vast number of meetings took place up and down the country.

Six races on offer, together with tasty food and drink and some splendid trade stands bought many out for a fair afternoon of tailgate picnicking.

The pointing kicked off with The Ken Rhatigan Countryside Alliance Club members race. A two horse dual, Lara Horsfall saddling Master Tim for Lutie Akinci to ride. And Simon Gilmore sending to post Take the Crown for jockey Carl Brennan.

Not a great start, Master Tim the 1/6 favourite for the match didn’t really relish a trip around Hackwood Park and gave Brennan’s eight-year-old grey a massive advantage on the first circuit. You would not be mistaken for game over.

The favourite somewhat encouraged to give chase soon got into a rhythm and with the leader thinking maybe his race companion had the right idea and made several mistakes at his obstacles. The two horses were soon reunited.

‘I have to admit that was a bit of a hairy start,’ mentioned the jockey Lutie Akinci. ‘He shied away from the starters flag and he can get a little heated, but we managed to get him started and in a rhythm.’ The nine-year-old unseating Lutie at Mollington a few weeks back gave the 24-year-old a good winner from having a bad fall a few years ago at Oakley.

Deciding to travel to recuperate the jockey now back looking to pick up from a good four seasons of race riding before her fall.   Though before a new season starts she is aiming to run the New York Marathon, let’s hope the start a little easier for that one.

The horse owned jointly by the trainer and Steven Astaire who mentioned, ‘we bought this horse jointly from Robbie Llewellyn and I liked him as he won a restricted at Black Forest lodge beating a horse called Very Intense that I own an eighth of with Laura Thomas, who she thinks a lot of, so I got this one in as a novice riders horse and he is nice type. I wasn’t too sure on running on the ground today, but we were given the whisper that ground was better down the middle so we took our chances and kept to the better ground.’

Steven’s first winner with Laura Horsfall may not be out again until next season, the type of going dependant, but is the type that in these novice rider’s events could do well in the new season.

The ladies open sponsored by Whard Stewart over  three and a half miles, again a dual match, Alan Hill already on the winners list with a win at Fakenham sending Start Royal on 23 wins in the thirteen year olds career up against Francessca Nimmo’s Green bank with only one win under the eleven-year-olds belt.

The race soon apparent who the stronger entry was, young Izzie Marshall already a winner on the Hill stable star at Higham easing the horse to a 15 length twenty fourth win from thirty-eight starts.

Lawney Hill at Hackwood with Alan in charge at Fakenham mentioned, ‘we are so delighted with that, he struck into himself at Higham and we thought it had gone into the tendon, which would of meant his racing days were over, but our team at home and one girl in particular painstakingly walking him, caring for him got him back, it’s really been a labour of love.’

Owned jointly by Stuart Nash a stalwart of the pointing game and Michael Avery who Lawney mentioned was one of the first owners with the Hill team, this horse as Lawney mentioned is a horse of a lifetime

Izzie Marshall the jockey in an extensive list of talents from Biddick to Andrews that have won on the 13-year-old mentioned,’ It is such an honour to ride his horse, he is so natural and kind, he shows me what to do really and I’m happy to let him get on with it, but he is teaching me so much and I’m grateful to the Hill’s and the owners for putting me up.’

Now joint leading Novice lady rider with Lilly Pinchin, the young jockey still studying looks the part, and with point to point racing running through her veins will be a name we will see for many years to come.

Tim sage’s Presentandcorrect took the 2m 4 f men’s open supported by At the Races. Four went to post the 1/2on favourite 16-year-old bought home jockey Harry Phipps for his first winner in fine style, only having to be pushed out to beat Theatre Evening by two lengths.

The trainer whose last visit to the Surrey track was 40 years ago to the day mentioned,’ he likes these sharp tracks and Hackwood suits him well and the ground was to his liking today, he was entered in the novice riders race but we chose this one and he got the two miles well.’

The veteran in his sixth season with the trainer and fourteen wins under the belt owes very little to the yard but will be long remembered by young 21-year-old university student who mentioned, ‘the horse is a saint really, he has given me a superb feel around here and my first winner form six rides I’m grateful for the leg up.’

The horse not the first time the carriage for a young jockey to gain his first taste of the winner’s enclosure, James King winning jockey in this year’s Aintree Foxhunters on Dineur also got off the mark on the Presenting gelding who may make hay while the sun shines with entries over the next few weekends. ‘This maybe his last season we will have to see, he’ll tell us but possibly this will be it for him after the season.’

Simon Gilmore took the JM Finn& Co Open maiden Nick Meek riding out the 8-year-old fourth season runner in good form for The Colin Partnership.

The 5/2 shot on his eleventh outing led well from three out to take the race by five lengths from Lucky to be alive.

Keith Walker from the winning partnership mentioned,’ before we got him he had been placed, he is a horse with a very long stride who loves this sort of ground, we have had everything going for us today a sharp course with good to firm ground so we were hopeful.’

The horse ridden differently to his previous front running trips was held more tucked in at Hackwood, a plan from the trainer showing dividends by taking his first win and would be one to watch in a few more runs before the season wraps up, the jockey Nick Meek saying, ‘ I can’t see why this one wouldn’t go on to win again, if the ground and conditions are right he is bound for another win.’

The Warwishire based Francessca Nimmo took the final two races of the afternoon delighting the young trainer who is modest in her wins and shows why her owners and staff enjoy working with her.

Cobajay Away took the first winner in the BJF Consultants and Jockey club open maiden for mares and fillies. Ridden by Alice Stevens who works for the trainer and for arduous work given was put up on the 2/6 favourite to take the race by a head from Nick Meek and Simon Gilmore also looking for a quick double for the day.

‘We bought this 6-year-old from Ireland, she has been jumping well and Alice has been riding out for us all winter so we gave he a chance, she rode her well at Mollington a few weeks ago when second to Knockaderry Flyer so we gave her a chance today and I’m delighted.’

The horse bough in for syndication will more likely go to the sales and would make a nice novice horse, Francessca mentioning the six-year-old Stowaway Mare would also make nice horse under rules for someone to have fun with, but certainly in the winner’s enclosure looked a nice chasing type.

The jockey on her third ride for the trainer mentioned,’ I love working in the yard, it’s not like going to work really, the atmosphere is so good, everyone gets on and Francessca and Charlie (Poste) help and give advice so readily without being too critical I’m loving it at the moment.

The 18-year-old jockey on five wins from twelve rides who also has learnt her trade from the yard of Dan Skelton mentioned that she put a lot of trust in the mare and is delighted to get the win for her.

The Nimmo yard didn’t have to wait long for another winner to come along this time in the J. Passey &Sons PPORA club member’s conditions race as Theodore Lamb took the race under Harry Wallace by 12 lengths from Nick Meek on Midnight Monkey.

‘This horse is one of those miracle stories,’ mentioned the trainer. ‘He got a really bad hock infection that we though he wouldn’t survive from let alone race again, the Mobley’s that have bred him, he was very special. But he came through the injury, Kerry who looks after him painstakingly makes sure he is not standing around in his box all the time it’s a big team effort.’

The 12-year-old now on two wins from twelve starts jumped well for the Jockey, in the fastest time of the day over the three miles. Major Harry Wallace who soon is to takes command of the Kings troop in London mentioned, ‘Fran told me to hunt him around and look after him as he has had issues in the past, but he was jumping well and seemed to be in his twilight so we managed to go on, I’m delighted with the win, he always had plenty in the tank.’

The jockey riding for Phillip Hobbs the first running of a Military Hurdle race at Wincanton next weekend now confident with a win under his belt and looking forward to the challenge of riding for the master of Sandhills.

The last meeting of the season at Hackwood park, and the last meeting for the Sandhurst are, reconvening  again in the new season at Barbury in December.

Copyright Hackwood Park Racecourse 2017.