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Preview 2020
College Valley and North Northumberland preview By Peter Burgon
Pictures - www.p2pnorthernphotos.co.uk
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The Northern Area Point-to-Point season resumes after a five week break with the College Valley & North Northumberland fixture
at the Ratcheugh Farm course near Alnwick on Sunday 8th March, where a six race card with 79 entries starts at 1.00pm.



The Rose Dobbin-trained mare, Worcester Pearmain heads the 8 entries for the Womble Bond Dickinson PPORA Club Members Novice Riders Conditions Race. Ben Smoult's mount, a three-time course winner, has run well on both outings at Alnwick this season - finishing
two lengths 3rd to Sharney Sike in December and eleven lengths 4th to Son Of Suzie in January. Although the ten-year-old is returning from an eight week break, her yard is coming back into form after a quiet spell.
The veteran Sorcier (5lb penalty) scored twice at Friars Haugh last season but finished a remote 7th on his reappearance there in January behind Son Of Suzie. The former Donald McCain-trained chaser, Mahler Lad also warrants consideration. He made all the
running in two of his three career wins over fences on ground no worse than Good to Soft.
Lucinda Russell's Milnathort yard holds a strong hand with ex-chaser, Arizona Bound (right) and Miss Batten. The former was noted staying on well at the finish when two lengths 2nd to Afterclass in last month's Percy Conditions Race. Miss Batten, a half sister to
smart staying chaser, Shotgun Paddy is better than recent form figures under Rules might suggest and changed hands for 115,000 after winning a Necarne Maiden on debut in May 2018.
There are 16 entries for the Oriental Club Owner-Trainer Conditions Race. Roderick Random (3lb penalty) has been placed on all three outings at Alnwick this season and posted a career-best effort last time when three lengths 2nd to the highly regarded Kalabaloo.
Liz Nixon's charge, who also holds a Ladies Open entry, looks the one to beat if this is his preferred option.
Alone No More landed the Ratcheugh Racing Club Restricted in December before finishing four lengths 3rd to My Liege in the Jedforest Intermediate Race, while Doldrum Bay, a full brother to Weapon's Amnesty, hasn't been seen since winning a 2-finisher Restricted
at Balcormo Mains last April.
Mr Pepperpot (left) stayed on well to land the West Percy Restricted on January 11 and, a fortnight later, was only headed close home when beaten a short head by My Liege at Friars Haugh. Victoria McKie has sent out 6 winners from 6 runners in 2020 and her progressive
six-year-old gelding, Rio Des Echanault is chasing a hat-trick following narrow victories over Liar's Dice (West Percy Maiden) and Dynamite Kentucky (Percy Restricted).
Of the others, the lightly raced Wayupinthebox scored here in December 2017 and West Torr had a hard race last Sunday when two lengths 3rd to Burrenbridge Hotel at Charm Park.
There are 17 entries for the Saffrey Champneys Fred Scott Memorial Open Maiden Race. Onestepatatime caught the eye on her two previous visits this year when seven lengths 3rd to Give Us A Swig and one length 2nd to Black Jasper. She was putting in her best
work in the closing stages on both occasions and this could be her day.
The unraced Desjay is a full brother to Bramble Vodka and a half brother to Hafajay. On his first outing for four weeks at Charm Park, Emory (left) never got into serious contention in a strongly run Derwent Restricted but should be in the mix here if reproducing
the form shown on his last visit to Alnwick when two lengths 3rd to Rio Des Echanault.
Into Overdrive is an unraced five-year-old half brother to Diamond Brig and Over To Sam, who both won first time out for Wendy Hamilton. Just Don't Know and Luca Brasi's Boy are better than this season's form figures might indicate, while Teds Charley Roe
finished runner-up over a shorter trip at Friars Haugh.
Nine Altars (right,near) deserves to get his head in front again in the Charles Stanley Ladies Open Race (11 entries). He finished strongly when two and a half lengths 2nd to former 159-rated chaser, Virak in a Musselburgh Hunters' Chase on February 26, has come out
of the race well and faces nothing of that class here. In his absence, Charlotte Dun will switch to the aforementioned Roderick Random.
Son Of Suzie (3lb penalty) was beaten twenty lengths by Virak at Musselburgh but had previously landed the West Percy Conditions and Jedforest Ladies Open. In the latter contest, he led after the last when accounting for Nine Altars by three quarters of a length.
William Of Orange, an eight-time winner under Rules (Flat, Chase & Hurdles) shaped well on his first start for
Christine Drury's yard when 3rd to Duhallow Tornado at Brocklesby Park last month.


Only 4 of the 17 entries for the concluding Bedmax-sponsored Flat Race have previous experience in this grade. Star Of Markinch (right) finished two lengths 3rd to Firth Of Vic in the
West Percy equivalent and was only headed close home when beaten a neck by Twist
About at Duncombe Park. Charlotte Dun's mount can go one better here.
Aston Rowant trainer, Alan Hill has entered Beautiful Prospect and Vain Girl. The latter finished two lengths 3rd to Raffle Ticket in a Barbury contest in December. Another Southern raider, Indigo Breeze is a half brother to Brindisi Breeze.
Intangible Star is an interesting newcomer from Cherry Coward's yard. His sire, Sea The Stars was a six-time Group 1 winner as a three-year-old. Victoria McKie's newcomer, No Filter is a half brother to Specialarrangement.
Soviet Surprise's dam, Minouchka won 10 of her 16 Pointing starts and also won four times under Rules. The well related Walk With Kings finished ten lengths 3rd to Twist About on debut at Duncombe Park. His sire, Ruler Of The World won the 2013 Epsom Derby.



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.
The 10 entries for the UBS Men's Open Race are headed by Will Ramsay's stable star, Mr Mercurial. A dual Perth Hunters' Chase winner last season, the twelve-year-old looked as good as ever when beating Southfield Vic by two lengths in a 3m2f Musselburgh
contest on February 1. He is likely to bypass Alnwick and take his chance in the Cheltenham Foxhunters Chase on Friday 13th March.
His absence would leave the way clear for Matts Commission (left),
ridden and trained by the in-form Jack Teal, to follow up last month's impressive Percy Men's Open victory over Path To Freedom.
Bill Aitchison's lightly raced six-year-old gelding, Roo Roo finished three lengths 2nd to Killer Crow on his reappearance in the Jedforest equivalent.
Teeton Kato scored in this grade at last April's Cotswold Vale Farmers fixture and had no luck in running
at Charm Park last week when unseating at the 8th after being hampered.
Things Change was only beaten three lengths when placed at Alnwick and Duncombe Park earlier this year,
while Denbigh raider, Thyne For Gold finished a neck 2nd to Big Georgie in the 2-runner South Wold Men's Open in January.