The Haydon Hunt stages the penultimate fixture of the Northern Area point-to-point season at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday 15th May with 122 entries on a seven race card starting at 2pm. Admission is only £8 per person, with Under 16's free, and early arrivals can also enjoy two pony races at 1pm.
None of the 9 entries for the Haydon and North Tyne Members Race boast any winning form this term and so something has to give. Dr Hellier secured the last of his four career wins at Friars Haugh in March 2009 but has failed to fire this year and was pulled up after the 6th at Aspatria. Up The Boreen (right) scored twice in Wales in 2009 for his previous yard, while Desperate Bob landed a South Durham Maiden contest in May 2009.
Coquet Head (left) caught the eye when runner-up to Miss Vivian in a fast time at Tranwell and Jimmy Walton's charge can go one better in the two and a half mile Open Maiden Race. The main danger comes from the lighty raced Hathamore, while Spadestep is open to improvement following last week's belated seasonal debut at Aspatria.
Murphys Beau showed his liking for a stamina test when finding only Bright Cloud too good at Heslaker a fortnight ago, and a repeat of that effort could see him take the three and a quarter mile Open Maiden Race from Trianconi (right) and Watch The Wind.
Salmon Rising comes here in good heart following victories on his last two starts at Corbridge and Aspatria, and should go well again in the Restricted Race. Merry Eric opened his account last week and is still on the upgrade, while One Black Cat, Paint Me Silver and Pear Charles (left) also merit serious consideration.
The 16 Mixed Open entries are headed by the in-form duo, Badger Foot and Gunner Jack. The former completed a five-timer at Aspatria and might have one more run between the flags this season, while Gunner Jack secured his third win of the campaign at Mosshouses. Narciso (right) won the corresponding race in 2007 and showed his liking for Hexham when taking the Border Ladies Open last May. Ask Bobby is another proven stayer and lost nothing in defeat when only beaten 3 lengths by the useful My Old Piano at Heslaker.
Sea Scout tops the list of entries for the NPPA Club Members Race but is unlikely to turn out unless there is plenty of cut. Ed Wrigley thought that Anotherbuck needed the run when 4th at Whittington last month and, with more to come, is expected to figure prominently here. Definite Appeal finished a close 3rd behind Pistolet Time in a Kelso Hunter Chase last week and a reproduction of that form must see him go close, while course winner, Leading Pearl (left) and the ultra-consistent Windy Hills add further spice to the contest.
The concluding Intermediate Race has 16 entries including a trio of in-form Yorkshire raiders. Gunner Snow finished 3rd behind Double Past over course and distance last May, and has gone on to score at Flagg Moor and Whitcliffe Grange this year. Once Before finished 3rd at Hornby Castle and Charm Park before landing the Zetland Restricted on May 2nd, while Forge Valley won the Staintondale Restricted three weeks ago. Of the others, Skipping Chapel returned to winning form at Balcormo Mains last month and Maura My Love (right) was not beaten far when 4th in a very competitive sixteen runner Restricted contest at Aspatria.