The Northern Area point-to-point season reaches the half-way mark with the College Valley & North Northumberland fixture
at Alnwick on Sunday 27th February. It has attracted 82 entries on a six race card which starts at 1.00pm.
Dual course winner, Senor Lombardy (Right) heads the 15 entries for the opening Womble Bond Dickinson NPPA Conditions Race. He had plenty in hand when scoring here from Frankies Fire on his reappearance in December and, after a small setback, returned from a nine-week break to finish three lengths 2nd to Alone No More at Friars Haugh a fortnight ago.
Alone No More was revitalised by front-running tactics that day on soft ground after being pulled up twice earlier in the season, while Frankies Fire tends to show her best form on a sounder surface. Cooking Fat and Cuneo didn't jump or travel as well as usual when 5th in their respective contests at the Berwickshire meeting
and will appreciate less testing underfoot conditions here.
Exit Ten stayed on well in the closing stages when ten lengths 5th to Kalabaloo in the Percy Conditions Race four weeks ago and should be in the mix if reproducing that form,
while last season's Witton Castle and Hexham scorer,
Gold Time is much better than recent form figures might suggest.
Warwickshire raider, Loughan is the highest rated of the 8 entries for the Lycetts Restricted Race. He made all the running when beating subsequent Berwickshire winner, Tom Cody in a 2m4f Hexham Maiden on November 28 and, next time out over a longer trip, led until pulled up four out at Higham after bursting a blood vessel. The progressive Ballydonagh Boy (Left) was not beaten far when 3rd to Arctic Oscar in a strongly run Percy Maiden and stepped up on that effort when landing a Berwickshire Maiden by twenty lengths from Gentleman Sam.
Bravantina has plenty of experience under Rules although she is still unraced over fences. Her solitary win came in a 2m Newcastle All Weather Handicap in December 2019 at odds of 100-1. Okey Dokey is still a maiden but did finish runner-up on his two previous visits to the Ratcheugh Farm course, while Sir Charles Lytton showed much improved form when heading Frenchpeps near the finish in a 2m4f Jedforest Maiden last month.The dark horse is Courtney Tinkler's recent ex-Irish recruit, Socialiser.
He showed promise when 4th of 13 on debut at Lingstown on December 5 and was then 5th of 13 at Turtulla on January 16.
There are 21 entries for the Saffery Champness Maiden Race, including the aforementioned Socialiser. Gina Andrews can choose between Every Minute and debutant, Thunder N Lightnin. The former was only beaten three quarters of a length when 4th in a 2m2f Tipperary Bumper last May behind recent Sandown Chase winner, Douglas Talking, while the latter receives a minimum of 14lb from his rivals.
Jack Teal's five-year-old Westerner gelding, Choosethenews is sure to be fully tuned up for his debut. Liz Nixon's recent acquisition, Calling Arc finished one length 2nd at Boulta in December but didn't match that level of form next time when thirty three lengths 4th of 13 at Turtulla on January 16. Highland Island has been off the track since finishing eight lengths 3rd to For Fitz Sake on soft ground here in December 2020, while the promising No Filter (Right) only weakened approaching two out when 4th to Arctic Oscar last time.
It is hard to escape the claims of Courting Flow. Placed three times over hurdles
in Ireland last season when trained by Peter Fahey,
the six-year-old ran a blinder on his first start for Jack Teal's Malton yard when
one and a half lengths 2nd to Arctic Oscar in a fast time at Alnwick on January 30.
The form of that contest was franked when Ballydonagh Boy, who finished third, scored by twenty lengths at Friars Haugh next time out.
119-rated chaser, Dundrum Wood (Right) is the class act in the Charles Stanley Stockbrokers Ladies Open Race. He led three out when beating Thyne For Gold a shade cosily by two and a half lengths in the West Percy equivalent on January 9. The consistent Thyne For Gold went one better next time when making most of the running to beat the veteran Son Of Suzie at Friars Haugh. Former 139-rated chaser, Looking Well is a proven stayer and also makes the short list after finishing four lengths 2nd to Red Indian last time.
Oscar Wilde gave Amy Coltherd a dream winning debut ride in the recent Berwickshire Ladies Open but, on paper, this looks a much tougher assignment. Natasha Cookson's mount, Supremely Lucky should appreciate a big drop in class. This 133-rated hurdler, formerly trained by Charlie Longsdon and Dan Skelton, has been contesting Class 2 and Class 3 races since September 2020 and comes here on the back of a 113-day break.
The concluding 2m Flat Race has 12 entries and is sponsored by Bedmax. Horses carrying the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings filled the first two places in last month's Percy equivalent when Bray Dale edged in front close home to beat Top Cloud by a head.
Bray Dale's stable companion, Cedar row and Top Cloud carry the famous colours this time and are sure to dominate the betting.
The list also includes Tokyo Calling (Left), Dressedtoimpress, Easter With Yeats and River Delta who finished 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th respectively
behind Bray Dale four weeks ago and should again be in the mix. The other one to note is Yorkshire raider, Wandering West.
This unraced four-year-old half brother to Gowran Park Handicap Hurdle winner,
Luis Van Zandt was a five figure purchase at the Goffs UK Store Sales last May.
Admission is £10 per person with under 16's free.
The post code for SatNav users is NE66 3AE.
Cuneo, Frankies Fire and Senor Lombardy also figure among the 13 entries for the UBS Wealth Management (Newcastle Office) Men's Open Race. The one they all have to beat is Monbeg Chit Chat (Left), who has won his last 4 Pointing starts including narrow victories at Sheriff Hutton and Alnwick earlier this year. The ultra-consistent Rio Des Echanault stayed on well to score with plenty in hand from Sartorial Elegance in the recent Berwickshire Men's Open, My Liege has won twice at Friars Haugh in Intermediate company, while Warwickshire raider, Al Shahir finished six lengths 3rd to the useful Highway Jewel in a Chipley Park Mixed Open last month.