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Percy preview By Peter Burgon, Sunday 17th February 2013

The Northern Area season continues on Sunday with the Percy fixture at the Ratcheugh Farm course near Alnwick. It has attracted 88 entries, including 20 Yorkshire raiders, on a seven race card starting at 12 noon.

Admission is 10 per person including a racecard, with U16's free.
There are 4 entries for the opening Members Race, with Catherine Walton having a choice of rides on stable companions, Coquet Head and Highland Cathedral (right). Her selected mount is preferred to Tommysteel and Rennington Blue.
Three of the leading entries for the two and a half mile Open Maiden Race, namely Call Mrs Jones, Cobblers Hill and Volo Mio, are also entered in the Open Maiden contest. The former has run five times in this grade in Ireland since September, most recently finishing three lengths 2nd of 10 at Ballinaboola Racecourse on January 20. Tom David's mount, Cobblers Hill shaped well on his debut at Sheriff Hutton last month and was lying a close second when falling at the last in Bollin Line's race, while another debutant, Volo Mio finished two lengths 2nd to Treacle Moon at Witton Castle on February 3. Of the others, Retrace Your Steps and Missing You (right) were not beaten far when 3rd and 4th respectively behind Who'slaughingnow at the recent West Percy meeting.

The Men's Open is this season's Northern Area Feature Race and carries a first prize of 350. John Adam's evergreen 14 year old gelding, See You There (right) beat Hennessy with a bit in hand over course and distance last time out and must go close in his bid for a third win at the track. Although Naiad Du Misselot's last success came over hurdles at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival, he retains plenty of ability and was still in contention when falling four out at Duncombe Park last week. The other nine entries include recent South Wold scorer, Croan Rock and Old Raby Ladies winner, Laertes.
Sea Scout (right) struck gold on both visits to Alnwick last season, and is fancied to get back on the winning trail in the Ladies Open Race after a below par effort at Sheriff Hutton five weeks ago. He was beaten the best part of thirty lengths that day when 4th to the highly regarded Palypso De Creek and the winner franked that form when following up in a Wetherby Hunters' Chase. Newyearsresolution finished six lengths 2nd to Galant Nuit in the West Percy equivalent, while Cheshire raider and ex-chaser, Cottage Oak has already won two Men's Opens in the South plus a Kelso Hunters' Chase this term.
My short list for the NPPA Club Members Race comprises dual Alnwick winner, Native Coll, along with Quws Law (right) and Cool Vic.

The fifteen Restricted Race entries include course winners, Know The Rules and Raid Stane, as well as recent Witton Castle scorer, Digg Whitaker and the promising Mission Beach (right), a lightly raced 8 year old half brother to 2011 Grand National hero, Ballabriggs.

The aforementioned Call Mrs Jones and Cobblers Hill will not be far away in the Open Maiden if bypassing the shorter version. In their absence, Job For Eric (right) and Filbert Fox merit consideration after claiming the minor honours behind Raid Stane here last time.