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Braes of Derwent Preview 2016
By Peter Burgon

The Braes of Derwent's decision to avoid a clash with the Cleveland fixture by racing on Saturday 16th April has been vindicated
with 92 entries received (up from 57 in 2015) for a seven race card which starts at 1.30pm.

The main action at the Downhills course near Corbridge is preceded at 12.30pm by 2 pony races with 18 entries.
Some of the leading contenders in the Intermediate Race (14 entries) are likely to be Barrick's Hill, Catchamat, Push Ahead, Solid Strike and Viacometti (left). The latter chased home Flash Garden at Corbridge seven weeks ago and went one better at Dalston on Easter Monday. Solid Strike and Fairy Mix have both won twice this season, while Catchamat (3 from 4 this term) is still on an upward curve. Cheshire raider, Push Ahead ended last season with form figures of 1212, which included finishing 2nd of 20 in the Aintree Point-to-Point Bumper.
There is plenty of quality among the 16 Men's Open entries, with the likes of Allthekingshorses (right), Ballyvesey, Crazy Diamond, Lucky Cody, ex-chaser Outlaw Tom and Wayupinthesky. The former was an impressive winner at Friars Haugh a fortnight ago on his first start for Jamie Alexander; Ballyvesey was never headed in the recent Dalston equivalent; former eventer, Crazy Diamond has only tasted defeat once in seven outings between the flags since mid-December 2014, while Wayupinthesky will be looking to recapture the level of form shown last term which saw him score three times, including Kelso and Perth Hunters' Chases.
Pena Dorada and Beggar's Velvet are the top-rated entries for the Ladies Open Race, although the latter is more likely to run at Hexham on Monday. Oscar Stanley (left) finished a close 4th behind Sharivarry in the Dalston equivalent before getting his revenge on 4lb better terms at Friars Haugh six days later. Clonea Power and Probably George also merit consideration especially if the going is not too soft.
Winning Irish pointer, Five Piers could make his long-awaited first start for Drew Holmes in the Restricted Race. Court Painter, Cousin Guillaume and For Yes have all opened their accounts in recent weeks. Paddy's Wish (right) found only one too good at Overton and Friars Haugh, while Moyacomb has shown steady improvement this term without getting her head in front.
Yorkshire raiders, Danny Mags and Four Oceans are the pick of the 14 entries for the Open Maiden Race. The former finished two lengths 2nd to Zandino at Askham Bryan on Easter Saturday, while Four Oceans was only beaten a short head by Refusal on his comeback outing at Sheriff Hutton the following week. Of the others, Lockiesedge (left) finished three lengths 2nd to For Yes in the Berwickshire Maiden and Trust Me I'm A Dr stayed on gamely to finish 4th at Tranwell on his first start for 11 months.
Bollin Buster (right) is the only one of the 8 entries for the concluding 4,5&6 year olds Open Maiden Race with any worthwhile form. Close up until weakening two out, he finished 3rd behind Double Dan and Mister Marker at Dalston and faces nothing of that class here. 4 year old Kalaglen (William Easterby) receives plenty of weight from his rivals, while Desimadonna was prominent until falling at the 13th in the Staintondale Maiden having also fallen first time out.

The course is situated 3 miles north of Corbridge,
with access off the B6318 and a separate exit road to the A68.
For SatNav users, the post code is NE45 5QD.
In the opening NPPA Club Members Race (11 entries), Will Ramsay has a choice of rides on his ultra-consistent stable companions, Great Gusto and Pyjama Game (right). Two Stroke landed a Maiden and Restricted in 2014 and should come on a lot for last week's 4th at Tranwell-his first start for 21 months. The Gotfor Man got off the mark on last year's Tynedale card and should go well on his return from a 10-month break.