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College Valley and North Northumberland preview By Peter Burgon, Sunday 11th March 2012
Pictures - www.p2pnorthernphotos.co.uk
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It's a case of quality rather than quantity in the College Valley & North Northumberland fixture at the Ratcheugh Farm course near Alnwick on Sunday. It has attracted a modest total of 73 entries on a seven race card, which starts at 12.30pm.






The former Howard Johnson-trained gelding, Cast Iron Casey (left) was placed on his first two starts for Val Jackson at Duncombe Park and Alnwick last month. He was only beaten 3 lengths by the former 146-rated chaser, New Alco at the latter venue and a repeat of that form will make him hard to beat in the NPPA Club Members Race. The other 7 entries include course winners, Silent Cliche and Senor Alco, as well as Almost Blue, who finished a close 3rd behind Wave Power last time.
The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders has 14 entries. Devil Water landed a Kelso Selling Handicap Chase over two and three quarter miles last May and this former winning pointer can make his mark again at this level. Master Sebastian (right) has been placed behind Sacred Mountain and New Alco at Alnwick this season and meets nothing of that class here. Course winners, See You There and Farriers Flight have shown their best form on softer going, while last week's Tynedale Members Race scorer, Sam Gawn also merits consideration.
Six of the ten Restricted Race entries have lost their maiden tags this term. The list comprises stable companions, Coquet Head and Highland Cathedral (left), last week's pillar to post Charm Park winner, Beau D'Argent; West Percy scorer, Know The Rules; former two mile chaser, Reland and the locally trained ex-Irish pointer, Sharivarry, who came from well off the pace to score impressively at the Percy meeting. Further interest is added by Mission Beach, an unraced 7 year old half brother to the 2011 Grand National winner, Ballabriggs.
The Ladies Open Race has 7 entries and should be a penalty kick for ex-chaser, New Alco (right), who made all when landing the Percy equivalent a fortnight ago. The contest for minor honours may chiefly concern Tiger Billy, Wave Power and Catch The Perk.
Buckstruther (left) can repeat last month's course win in the Men's Open Race for in-form Hawick trainer, Alastair Bell. Jamie Hamilton's mount left his rivals toiling on the final circuit that day and could be followed home this time by Risk Assesment.
Gin Cobbler has finished runner-up on three of his four starts this term and Victor Thompson's charge deserves to go one better in the first division of the Open Maiden Race. The main threat comes from Goodbuy Or Goodbye (right), who is entitled to come on a lot for his recent seasonal debut at Alnwick.
The second division of the Open Maiden Race may chiefly concern Accordingtotheboss (left) and Tommysteel, who were both placed on their last two outings at Alnwick and Crossford. Slight preference is given to the former who was just touched off by Senor Alco at Alnwick and may have found the going too soft at Crossford.