Competitive races on the cards at Downhills meeting
Published at 07:38, Wednesday, 06 March 2013
ALL roads lead to the Downhills course, near Corbridge ,on Sunday for the Tynedale point-to-point fixture, which has attracted 95 entries on an eight race card starting at 12.30pm.
As an added bonus, the main action is preceded at 11.45am by a couple of pony races.
There are seven entries for the opening South Northumberland Hunts Club Members Race. Cast Iron Casey had a hard race on his reappearance last week, when narrowly beaten by Kildonnan at Friars Haugh. Coquet Head chased home Tommysteel in a slowly run Percy Members Race a fortnight ago, while Viking Rebel has found only Native Coll too good on both outings at Alnwick in February.
The dark horse is Charming Knight, who gained the last of his four pointing wins in February 2009 but will have been sharpened up by a spin over hurdles at Newcastle three weeks ago.
The first division of the Open Maiden Race for four, five, six and seven year olds has 15 entries. Chosen Keys looks the one to beat on the evidence of her recent comeback outing at Crossford, where she finished runner-up to Accordingtotheboss in the Dumfriesshire Restricted. Of the others, Shanaura is better than her form figures might suggest, while Job For Eric’s in-form trainer, Jimmy Walton had another winner last Sunday.
Buywise just failed by a head to peg back Who’slaughingnow on his hunt racing debut at Alnwick and a reproduction of that effort can see him go one better in the second division of the younger horses Open Maiden.
The pick of his rivals are Volo Mio, Filbert Fox and Tommys Lad.
Senor Alco has been a shade disappointing so far this year on ground much softer than he would prefer. However, with underfoot conditions improving in his favour, a return to winning ways looks on the cards in the NPPA Club Members Race from Cool Star and ex-hurdler, Long Distance.
Last year’s winner, Sea Scout heads the seven entries for the Ladies’ Open Race over three miles and five furlongs and comes here on the back of a recent Alnwick success. Of the others, Marfleet and Desert Tommy are proven stayers, but yet to win in this grade, while the former Sue Smith-trained chaser, Teenando, has recorded all six career victories over fences at Carlisle.
My shortlist for the William Bell Memorial Gold Cup Men’s Open Race over three miles and five furlongs comprises Gunner Jack, See You There and Fiftyfive Degrees. Ed Wrigley's mount, Gunner Jack reserves some of his best form for Corbridge and must have a great chance of landing the prize for the third season in a row.
Alnwick specialist See You There is an out and out stayer, but prefers softer going, while winning chaser Fiftyfive Degrees returned from a long lay-off to score at Witton Castle on his first start for Jackie Williamson’s yard.
Course winner Nickwillis probably needed the run when sixth behind Know The Rules on his seasonal debut at the recent Percy meeting. That outing will have blown away the cobwebs and he is preferred to Cherry’s Bay and Raid Stane in the Restricted Race.
The concluding Open Maiden Race for eight year olds and over can go to Polobury, who has improved with every run this season. Most recently, Emma Dunkley’s mount was only beaten half a length by Retrace Your Steps at Friars Haugh and a repeat of that form would make her hard to beat. Former Irish pointer, Tom’s Pride and A New Rising make most appeal of the other 10 entries.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk