The NPPA Club Members Race has 17 entries including the Jimmy Walton-trained duo, Central Flame and Saddle Pack (left). The former, successful on all three completed starts between the flags this year, didn't jump as fluently as usual when 3rd to A New Rising in the 'Heart' at Hexham last time, while Saddle Pack caught the eye when 3rd to Scarlet Fire in the recent Lauderdale Ladies Open. The Victor Thompson-trained geldings, Red Myst and Two Stroke landed Restricted contests at Aspatria and Mosshouses respectively on their latest starts. In addition, Kalastar and Another Dark Rum also merit consideration.
Recent maiden winners, Brooklyn Heights, Have One For Me, Kilmacallogue Bay, Skimbleshanks, Urbane Bell and Whisperdale right) are listed among the 23 entries in a competitive-looking Restricted Race. Skimbleshanks has shown steady improvement this term and, after scoring at Sheriff Hutton on Easter Monday, was close up when falling two out at Witton Castle. Brooklyn Heights has changed hands since winning at Ystradowen, while Whisperdale was transformed by front-running tactics at Aspatria last week.
Feature event on the card is the AGA Ladies Open Race which has 16 entries and is the final qualifier for the AGA Ladies Hunters' Chase Championship Final at Stratford on Friday 30th May. Catherine Walton will be looking to extend her lead in the AGA Lady Riders Championship with another win on Maxwil. Micky Hammond's charge had been off the track for more than eighteen months prior to beating Elusive Swallow at Whitcliffe Grange and has the scope to follow up. The progressive Scarlet Fire has won five in a row under
Joey Richards and rates the main danger to Maxwil although he might take up an alternative engagement at Mordon the previous day. Tipsy Dara and Keeverfield (left) are both in great form for Gemma Cochrane, ex-chaser Call Me Mulligan landed last month's AGA qualifier at Hornby Castle, while 2010 Grimthorpe Gold Cup winner, Poppy Day was not beaten far by Monsieur Jourdain in this year's renewal.
Following heavy rain earlier in the week the going is almost certain to be testing and that will be ideal for proven stayer, Gunner Jack (right) in the Men's Open Race. Ed Wrigley's mount looked as good as ever when taking his career tally to 20 at Aspatria and can strike gold again. The pick of the other 16 entries are Ocarina, Monogram, Cave Hunter and Splendid Blue. The latter duo have both won four times this term, Ocarina scored here last May and hinted of a return to form when third at Balcormo Mains, while Monogram coped well with the heavy going when ending a long losing run at Aspatria.
The 16 entries for the Open Maiden Race are headed by 110-rated hurdler, Barton Jubilee (left, centre) who was only beaten a head at Witton Castle last time. However, Chris Pimlott's charge is also entered at Garthorpe on Sunday. Of the others, Coole Murphy and Dun Faw Good have both proved costly to follow, Heckley Herbert's winning turn is not far away on the evidence of last week's effort at Aspatria, Smart Act has been placed in three of his last four starts, while the improving Senate Law finished a close third at Mosshouses a fortnight ago.
The two and a half mile Open Maiden Race looks a much weaker affair with the form figures of the 14 entries containing more letters than numbers. The aforementioned Senate Law looks the one to beat against the likes of Running Brook and Awman (right). The dark horse is Duke Nelson, an unraced 5 year old son of prolific winning pointer, Duchess Account.
The concluding Members Race has 6 entries, comprising Central Flame, Job For Eric and Saddle Pack from Jimmy Walton's Flotterton yard, along with Clonea Power (right), Dontpassgo and Wave Power. This should be a penalty kick for either Central Flame or Saddle Pack, however Catherine Walton might have a tougher task if Job For Eric is declared as he has been pulled up on his last three starts.

Border Preview

Sunday 18th May 2014

By Peter Burgon
photos by www.p2pnorthernphotos.co.uk
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The Border Hunt stages the penultimate fixture of the Northern Area point-to-point season at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday 18th May. It has attracted 109 entries on a seven race card, which starts at 2pm.
Admission is 10 per person, including a free racecard, with under 16's free. In addition, students and young farmers are free with valid ID.