Raid Stane (right) came from well off the pace to collar Hubble Bubble approaching the last in the Dickinson Dees Restricted Race, before going clear on the run-in to win by six lengths. Winning rider, Tom Hamilton said of the Katie Scott-trained winner: ''He passed three of four horses with ease up the hill from four out and stayed on strongly to score with plenty left in the tank.''
The highlight of Sunday's College Valley & North Northumberland fixture at Alnwick was a double for Cumbrian amateur, Tristan Davidson on Tommysteel and Tommys Lad to give him a century of winners under all codes.
Racing was put back thirty minutes as a precaution following heavy snow showers an hour before the scheduled start time, although the meeting was never in serious doubt. However, near freezing temperatures accompanied by icy winds blowing in from the North Sea meant that it was an afternoon for only the hardy point-to-point enthusiasts.
Eight days after being pulled up in a Kelso Hunters' Chase, Tommysteel (right) set the ball rolling with his second course win of the season in the Bonhams Sporting Men's Open Race. Davidson's mount tracked Native Coll from the off before before being produced with a perfectly timed challenge to hit the front two out. He flew the last and had a couple of lengths in hand at the line. As with all of Victor Thompson's runners, the eight year old wasn't fitted with hind shoes.
Tommys Lad (right) completed Davidson's red letter day when getting off the mark in the R K Harrison Insurance Brokers Ltd Open Maiden Race. Taking a keen hold from the outset, the seven year old made virtually every yard of the running and drew clear from two out to beat Willofhisown by six lengths. After finishing in the first four on his last four starts in Ireland last year, the winner was bought for £7000 by Victor Thompson at the Doncaster May Sales.
Few amateurs can match the dedication of Davidson, who celebrates his 34th birthday on March 12. He is up at 3.15am six days a week to deliver milk and newspapers to around 100 customers near Irthington, and the onset of lambing on his sheep farm will increase the workload. For the record, Davidson's tally comprises 87 between the flags and 13 under Rules, with his initial success coming on Floruceva at Dalston on 13 March 1999.
Hennessy (right) ended a near four year losing run in the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders. Always lying handy, he led throughout the final circuit and outstayed Via Archimede in the home straight to score by two lengths. Winning rider, Rees Morgan Murphy, 21, said of the twelve year old: ''He has been freshened up by a five week break and is still a class act on his day. He was idling a bit in front coming up the hill from four out but picked up again as soon as Via Archimede got on terms.''
Fife trainer, Nick Alexander is enjoying a record-breaking season, having already saddled 25 winners under Rules, and ex-chaser, Ocarina took his pointing tally to four in the Rosalie Chartres Memorial NPPA Club Members Race sponsored by Bedmax. Front-running tactics worked a treat for Kit Alexander's mount, who kept stable companion, Noir Et Vert at bay throughout the final mile to win by a length. Kit said of the eleven year old: ''He was not too fluent at his fences but kept finding extra when asked for an effort. He needs plenty of cut and wouldn't have run here had there not been rain during the week.''
After picking up a seven day ban from the Carlisle stewards three days earlier, Callum Bewley ended the week on a high by steering Leney Cottage (right) to victory on his debut in the Elisabeth Joicey Memorial Open Maiden Race sponsored by the Collingwood Arms. Given a patient ride, the six year old cruised into the lead three out and was left out on his own when the tiring Mr Shahady unseated at the next. This was a welcome first winner of the season for Denholm-based handler, Gavin Hamilton.
The diminutive Sea Scout (right) continues to go from strength to strength and sailed in for his fourth consecutive win at the track in the UBS Ladies Open Race, to provide West Auckland amateur, Claire Metcalfe with her 30th career success between the flags. Always in the leading pair, the ten year old was never headed from six out and left Newyearsresolution trailing in his wake down the home straight as he forged clear to score by ten lengths.