The Northern Area Point-to-Point season resumes on Sunday after a two week break with the
College Valley & North Northumberland fixture at the Ratcheugh Farm course near Alnwick, where a six race card starts at 1pm.
All the fences have been moved to fresh ground since the West Percy meeting in January.
This is one of three meetings that the PPORA are supporting with a financial contribution this season.
There will be double points in all races (not just the PPORA Novice Riders contest) for the
PPORA Members' Awards, with points awarded to the first four past the post.
There are 16 entries for the opening Womble Bond Dickinson PPORA Club Members Conditions Race for Novice Riders. Thurlow raider, Local Show has won 3 of his 5 starts this season under William Humphrey, all on a sound surface, including the corresponding contests at Barbury and Horseheath. George Chatterton can choose between Distime and Minella Friend, both trained by Chris Bealby. The former was only beaten one length by the useful Salvatore at Brocklesby Park last time out, while Minella Friend recently completed an early season Conditions Race hat-trick at Garthorpe.
Of the others, 127-rated chaser, Gingili, successful eight times under Rules, is trained in Somerset by Johnny Farrelly and is also entered nearer home at the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale fixture. Sorcier has been placed in 3 of his 5 previous visits to Alnwick, while the evergreen Abbeyview (right)set a new course record when beating Iron Chancellor by four lengths in last month's Tynedale Ladies Open.
Costly Dream heads the 4 entries in the JSR Farming Group Restricted Race. At his best on a left handed track, Ross Wilson's mount finished a close 3rd here to Donnie Brasco on January 6 before making all the running to land a Jedforest Maiden. Travelling right handed last time at Corbridge, he weakened from three out when twenty lengths 3rd to Buck Dancing. In an incident-packed Tynedale Maiden, Frankies Fire (left) stayed on strongly from two out to beat One For Dunstan by eight lengths and has scope for further improvement. Laura Fenwick's ex-Irish recruit, Rushour Ryan was 4th in Buck Dancing's race at Corbridge and should come on for the run.
There are 17 entries for the Saffery Champness Open Maiden Race. Although Enry Iggins hasn't been seen since finishing one length 2nd on debut to Uptown Harry on soft ground at Hexham three months ago, the winner has franked that form by finishing 2nd over hurdles at Kelso, Ayr and Newcastle. The locally trained Cudgel has enjoyed six outings over hurdles since April 2018 and was not disgraced when fifteen lengths 7th to Petite Ganache at Newcastle on January 5. Emory (left) came with a late rattle to finish two lengths 2nd to Beyond Gold at Corbridge; Flamingo Lane would have been 2nd here in December had he not unseated two out; ex-hurdler, Hooligan Jack shaped well when 4th here in December and will appreciate any cut in the ground; Just Don't Know has shown plenty of promise when placed on his first two starts at Friars Haugh and Corbridge; Steel's Cotton finished ten lengths 3rd to Costly Dream on her reappearance at Friars Haugh in January, while Specialarrangement has scope for improvement following a 6th place finish on debut behind Hardrock Davis over a shorter trip at Friars Haugh.
Winged Crusader can defy an 8lb penalty in the Lloyds Bank Ladies Open Race to clinch this season's Imperial Racing-sponsored Alnwick Races Champion Horse standings and a £500 cash prize. Amie Waugh's mount scored here in this grade at the December and January meetings before setting a new course record in the 12st Tynedale Riders Conditions Race. The 8 entries also include the aforementioned Abbeyview. Roderick Random posted a career-best effort when beating Formidableopponent by two and a half lengths in the recent NPPA Conditions Race at Corbridge and has 14lb less to carry here. The former Arthur Moore-trained gelding, Back Off Mate (right) was three lengths 2nd to Financial Climate over course and distance in December before finishing 5th to the highly rated Haymount at Sheriff Hutton. Ladyvie provided Lucy Provan with her
first winner when landing the Exmoor Ladies open at Bratton Down in June 2017.
The concluding 2 mile JRL Group Flat Race has 14 entries, with 12 of these unraced. Southern raiders, Bleue Away and Rumble B (also entered in the Bangor-on-Dee Flat Race along with Franchel and The Jolly Pot) both cost significant sums at the Sales and if any of the quartet head to Alnwick it won't just be for a change of scenery. Rumble B is a half brother to 152-rated hurdler, Ballymoy. The well related Off To Bond Street, a bargain buy at Doncaster Sales in November, has the talented Becky Smith booked to ride. Last season's Alnwick Flat Race was won by the Gary Rutherford-trained Lochinver in the hands of Emma Todd, and the same team is represented this time by King Erik, a half brother to Friars Haugh Maiden winner, The Toft.
The course is located 3 miles NE of Alnwick, easily accessible from the A1 and signposted from there.
For those using SatNav, the post code is NE66 3AE.
Back Off Mate, Local Show and Minella Friend also figure among the 7 entries for the
UBS Men's Open Race. Of the others, Scarlet Fire (left) and former 125-rated hurdler,
Wicked Spice are much better than this season's form figures might suggest.