The Northern Area point-to-point season resumes after a three week break with the Percy fixture at the Ratcheugh Farm course
near Alnwick on Sunday 14th February. It has attracted 91 entries on a seven race card, which starts at 1pm.
The concluding Open Maiden Race has 16 entries. The lightly raced Here's To Harry (right) pleased connections with his comeback run behind Danehills Well last month; Kildare Blowin is better than recent form figures might suggest, while Hands On Scarlet and For Yes had some promising placed efforts last season. Agent For Chaos should have a fitness advantage over his rivals after four runs between the flags in Ireland since the end of October. He finished runner-up in 3 Maidens for Novice Riders before unseating at the first when sent off joint favourite in a Templenacarriga Maiden four weeks ago.
Dun Faw Good (right,red cap) provided Catherine Walton with her 100th career winner in last month's West Percy Members and the same partnership can strike again in the opening Percy Members Race. The other 6 entries comprise the George White-owned duo, Bella Grappa and Summoned, Victor Thompson's dual course winner, Sharivarry and the Drew Holmes-trained trio, Ballyvesey, Beggar's Velvet and ex-chaser, Klepht.
The two and a half mile Open Maiden Race for 4, 5 and 6 year olds has 8 entries, including the unraced trio, Over To Sam, Palm Valley and Smooth Talk. Of the others, the well-related Orton Grange was unplaced in 2 Bumpers last March and has yet to run over fences but his dam, Dun Rose won 6 Points as well as the 2005 Buccleuch Cup. Bottom weight, Strategic Island ran 5 times over hurdles last season with her best effort coming in a Catterick Juvenile Hurdle fourteen months ago when 15 lengths 10th of 14. Isit You and Oaklands Cheeky were both pulled up on their last two starts, while Court Painter showed some promise in Irish Points last year.
The 15 Men's Open entries include course winners, The Falklander, Knocklong, Mister Splodge, Sea Scout and Wicklow Lad (right), although the latter quartet are also entered in other races on the card. The Falklander always goes well fresh, loves soft going and has won on all three previous visits to Alnwick. Kilmacallogue Bay and Wayupinthesky filled the minor placings behind Robin Will in last month's West Percy equivalent; the progressive Knocklong is chasing an Alnwick hat-trick for in-form Middleham handler Justin Landy, while the ultra consistent Sea Scout is sure to be thereabouts once again.
The Ladies Open Race has 11 entries and would probably be an easier option for Knocklong (left), who landed the West Percy equivalent under Catherine Walton.
The useful Whiteabbey didn't jump as fluently as usual when 4th on his reappearance at Alnwick in December, while Beggar's Velvet
and Durban Gold have yet to make their seasonal debuts. Winning hurdler,
Wind Of Hope changed hands in the autumn and should go well in the hands of Rachael McDonald.
The NPPA Club Members Race has 18 entries and, on paper, promises to be another competitive affair. The experienced Wicklow Lad had victory handed to him in last month's West Percy equivalent when stable companion, Royal Chatelier unseated two out and only has a 3lb penalty to carry. He was not far in front of a rejuvenated Barachois Silver, Sea Scout and Whisperdale (right) that day and the same quartet might cross swords again. Of the others, prolific winner, Badger Foot has been off the track since 7th May 2014, while this season's dual course winner Catchamat is still on the upgrade and might take some stopping in her hat-trick bid.
For the first time in the Northern Area, the Restricted Race (16 entries) will be run over two and a half miles. After several near misses, Anddante deservedly got off the mark at Sheriff Hutton last April before finding only one too good in three of his next four starts. Last month's Sheriff Hutton reappearance will have sharpened him up. Danehills Well (left) broke his duck in a 3 runner Maiden here last time, Hardy Oscar and Templeton have both been placed a few times in this grade, while this looks a much easier assignment for Summoned rather than facing Dun Faw Good in the Members Race.
The course is located 3 miles NE of Alnwick, easily accessible from the A1 and signposted from there.