As expected, there was a bumper turn out for the Easter Monday meeting at Lydstep, and the crowd were not disappointed with a competitive card and a couple of close finishes, writes Maria Evans.

The first race on the card, the Members Race, was won by the locally trained Glenteeneasaigh who is owned by a group of locals with Phillip Mathias.

It was a relatively easy win for connections in the end, with horse and jockey making all of the running. This was the first winner of a double for second season jockey Ben Jones. Ben, who is son to former jockey Dai Jones, also came home in front on the Amber Mathias trained Chasing Casey, in the Open Maiden. 

After taking up the lead from the eighth, the pair came under pressure approaching the last, but found more than their rivals to come home an official 3/4 length in front, with stable mate Robin Des People home in second.

James Bowen, son of trainer Peter, is in his first season of riding, and he also went home with a double.

The first of which, Universal Soldier, was trained by his brother Mickey.

The pair came home easy winners of the Men's Open, with Northgeorge and Byron Moorcroft finishing in second.

Universal Soldiers main aim of the season will be the 4 mile race at the Cheltenham Hunterchase meeting in May.

Bowen’s second win came in the following race, the Intermediate race, which was the closest finishing race of the day.

Tinkers Hill Tommy and Bowen took the lead approaching the last, but couldn’t shake off Carry On Nando and Sioned Whittle who pressed the winner until the very end.

Both horses ran game races, with Tinkers Hill Tommy coming out on top, only a neck in front.

Nathan Deakin went home with a beaming smile after training his first official winner.

The Doc and Peter Bryan came home three length winners of the seven year olds and over Maiden. The Doc, who was home bred by owner John De Lisle Wells, was given a well timed ride by his jockey, with trainer and ex jockey Deakin jokingly saying “I wouldn’t have won on it!” after mistakenly been put down as the horses jockey on the number board.

The Ladies Race was won by Highly Unlikely and Charlotte Evans, who seem to save their best performances for this local course.

The pair were pressed hard for the success, and found more than their rivals, with Buck Mulligan and Isobel Williams coming home only a length behind.

The final race on the card, was another close finish between Minella Arts and Tom David, and Gone Platinum with Wayne Maskill on board.

From halfway the pair shared the lead, but after losing their length lead on the bend before the last, Gone Platinum went half a length down approaching the last, and couldn’t find enough to get passed the winner Minella Arts, who stayed on gamely under pressure.

Connections also won this race last year with Captain Camelot.

There is more racing at Lydstep next Sunday with the Tivyside Hosting. First race is at 1pm.