WILLIAM Easterby became the latest member of the Ryedale racing dynasty to enter the winner’s enclosure when Soleil D’Avril landed yesterday’s hunter chase at Catterick.
The grandson of five-time Champion Hurdle-trainer Peter, and son of St Leger-winning trainer Tim, this was Easterby junior’s first win under National Hunt rules.
The 20-year-old went to lectures yesterday morning at Newcastle University, where he is studying agriculture, before driving down the A1 to North Yorkshire to partner the 25-1 outsider who is trained by his mother Sarah.
He told The Yorkshire Post that he hopes the horse will now line up in the FoxHunters’ Chase over the legendary Grand National fences at Aintree next month.
“Mum is a bit nervous, but I am really keen after he ran so well,” said the victorious rider, who was buoyed by the horse’s wellbeing in a recent point-to-point race before coming to grief.
“I dropped him in. We took it up going out of the back straight and was never headed.
“It’s a huge thrill, and it was great my first win came for my Mum.”
Though he has no rides in the amateur races at next week’s Cheltenham Festival, Easterby hopes that his father’s Run Ructions Run will put up a good showing in the Pertemps Network Final on Thursday.
It was a good day for the family – Easterby’s uncle Mick enjoyed a double courtesy of Classinaglass and Narcissist.