The Northern Area Point-to-Point season continues on Sunday 2nd February with the Percy fixture at the Ratcheugh Farm course near Alnwick.
All the fences have been moved to fresh ground for a six race card, which starts at 1.00pm.
Worcester Pearmain can provide Ben Smoult with his first winner in the Newton Hall Hunt Members Race. Rose Dobbin's mare was not beaten far when 3rd here to Sharney Sike on her reappearance in December and again ran well when eleven lengths 4th to
Son Of Suzie
in the West Percy Conditions Race. This represents an easier assignment for the home-bred 10 year old, who already has three previous course wins in her locker.
The other 5 entries are Fond Of A Treat (right), an 8 year old half brother to
Franks Fancy, Nine O Three, plus stable companions, Matthew Man and Still A Spark.
Franks Fancy (also entered in Open Maiden) has shaped well on both starts at Alnwick this season and finished three and a half lengths 4th to Rio Des Echanault last time. After finishing two lengths 3rd in that same Maiden contest, Matthew Man deservedly
got the mark under a positive ride from Kit Alexander at Friars Haugh last Sunday.
Nine O Three earned an Irish Pointing rating of 81 after landing a Belclare Maiden in
March 2018 but didn't show any worthwhile form in seven subsequent outings under
Rules for Micky Hammond.
There are 13 entries for the Stephen Kirkup Livestock Conditions Race. Jack Teal can choose between stable companions, Dynamite Kentucky and Matts Commission. The former struck gold here on his first start for the yard in December and the runner-up that
day, Rio Des Echanault franked the form by going one better next time out. Matts Commission (6lb penalty) scored a shade cosily here on his seasonal debut in December 2018 from Pieceoftheaction and next time out at Alnwick was only beaten two lengths by Kalabaloo.
Crazy Jack was ending a three year losing run when landing a 2m5f Stratford Hunters' Chase in June 2018 and should appreciate the drop in class here. Monte Alban (left,navy) won all three starts last term up to Intermediate level and only weakened down the home straight
when finishing nine lengths 5th in the Ratcheugh Racing Club equivalent in December.
Dual Grimthorpe Gold Cup winner, One Conemara (5lb pen) was just touched off by Cup Final at Sheriff Hutton last time.
This proven stayer also hold entries in the Ladies Open and Men's Open.
Denbigh raider, Thyne For Gold (7lb pen) is also entered in the Men's Open as well as hunter chases at Musselburgh and Wetherby on Saturday.
He won 5 and was placed 7 times from 28 starts under Rules for
Donald McCain and only went down by a neck to
Big Georgie at Revesby Park a fortnight ago on his first outing for Ray Owen.
The 9 entries for the Skinner's Ladies Open Race are headed by dual course winner, Kalabaloo. Shona Westrope's 8 year old mare looked as good as ever when beating Winged Crusader by twelve lengths on her reappearance here three weeks ago and a 3lb penalty
is unlikely to prevent her from following up.Last season's National Champion horse,
Winged Crusader (right) re-opposes on 3lb better terms but prefers a sounder surface
and may have to play second fiddle again. Dual soft ground course winner,
Roderick Random has been placed in both Conditions Races at Alnwick
this season and will need to produce a career-best effort to trouble the two market leaders,
Path To Freedom (also entered in Men's Open) has a near 50% strike rate between the flags and lost nothing in defeat when 3rd behind
Hazel Hill and Rocklander on his recent reappearance at Sheriff Hutton.
There are also a couple of 120-rated chasers entered, Fortunes Hiding and William Of Orange.
All 3 of the former's wins under Rules for Peter Bowen came on good ground,
while the latter won 8 and was placed 12 times from 46 starts under Rules for DonaldMcCain.
The 8 entries for the Ryecroft Glenton Men's Open Race include the aforementioned quintet of Crazy Jack, Matts Commission, One Conemara, Path To Freedom and Thyne For Gold.
The pick of the others is Killer Crow (3lb pen)(left), who didn't have a hard time when
beating Roo Roo in the Jedforest equivalent last Sunday and likes plenty of cut.
Victoria McKie's Wooler yard has a 100% strike rate at the last two Northern Area meetings and Rio Des Echanault (right,green) can keep the bandwagon rolling in the
MKM Building Supplies Restricted Race. Nick Orpwood's mount battled back well on the run-in to secure ahead verdict over Liar's Dice in the recent
West Percy Maiden and the 6 year old is open to further improvement.
Last Sunday's Jedforest Maiden winner, Matthew Man and Dressedforsuccess
(4th behind My Liege at Friars Haugh) were both placed at the
West Percy fixture on their previous starts.Of the other 4 entries,
Emory deserves to get his head in front at some stage this season after finishing runner-up in six of his last eight starts.
There are 15 entries for the concluding Imperial Racing Open Maiden and the one that takes my eye is Onestepatatime (left), owned and trained by Tony Ross.
She was staying on strongly at the finish when seven lengths 3rd to Give Us A Swig on Pointing debut at the
last Alnwick meeting and receives a minimum of 7lb from virtually all her rivals.
Black Jasper represents the in-form team of Tom Ellis and Gina Andrews. He finished 4th of 10 on his sole start to date in a
Rathcannon Maiden in November 2018. The form of that contest has worked out well with the 3rd, Silver In Disguise scoring two starts
later and the 2nd, Happygolucky is now a 137-rated hurdler for Kim Bailey.
Of the others, Master Thyne finished nine lengths 5th to Chanting Hill at Sheriff Hutton on his last outing ten months ago;
Sleepy Hollow was travelling well in five lengths 6th at Alnwick's December meeting when stumbling on the flat and unseating as the
field bypassed Fence 11, while Oakham raider, Top Honcho might be better than recent form figures of 6P3-P suggest.
There will be a bouncy castle for the kids and rugby fans are also catered for with the Six Nations match between
France and England (3.00pm kick off) being shown on a big screen in the bar.
The post code for SatNav users is NE66 3AE and the course is well signposted from the A1.