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Braes of  Derwent Preview 2014
By Peter Burgon

All roads lead to the Downhills course near Corbridge on Easter Monday (April 21st) for the Braes of Derwent fixture, which has attracted 86 entries on a seven race card starting at 1.30pm.

This will be only the second time since 1986 that the track has staged Easter Monday action. As usual, it offers the Northern Area's best prize money with a total of 2600 up for grabs, including a first prize of 350 in both Open Races and 200 in each of the other five contests.
Iveston farrier, Russell Ross has trained the winner of the Members Race for the last five seasons and, once again, he holds all the aces in Monday's renewal. His selected runner from either Queen Of The West (right) or course winner, Rock On Rodger should be good enough to account for Hardy Oscar

The 11 entries for the Intermediate Race are headed by The Brig At Ayr (left). After finding only Blue Bertie too good on his reappearance at last month's Tynedale meeting, Nick Orpwood's mount landed Maiden and Restricted contests at Friars Haugh and can complete his hat-trick from Sharivarry and Beverley Beck.
After dead-heating for first place at Tranwell a fortnight ago, ex-chaser, Ballyvesey and Indian Print are set to clash again in the Men's Open Race, which has 13 entries. Of the others, Sea Wall has disappointed since landing the 2013 renewal, Ocarina could only finish fifth in a Hexham Hunters' Chase earlier in the week, Senor Alco has been running better than recent form figures of 354 might suggest, while the progressive Splendid Blue (right) was successful on all three visits to Friars Haugh this term.
The former John Wade-trained chaser, Call Me Mulligan (left) caused an upset on his first start for George Moscrop when turning over the odds-on favourite, Ockey De Neulliac at Hornby Castle last Saturday, and the pair head the 15 entries for the Ladies Open Race. Course specialist, Sea Scout is also entered in the Vale of Lune equivalent two days earlier, but is unlikely to run at either venue unless the going is on the soft side.
Queen Of The West produced her best effort of the campaign when finishing ten lengths 4th to Banoge at Tranwell and a reproduction of that form should see her go close in the Restricted Race against the likes of True Thomas (right) and Flying Native.

Toreador (left) only weakened from three out when 4th to the useful Superior Command at Friars Haugh three weeks ago and makes the shortlist for the Open Maiden Race along with My Humbel Bee and Themanfrommurroe.
The concluding Open Maiden Race for 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds  looks an ideal opportunity for The Gotfor Man (right) to get off the mark. He finished a long way clear of the remainder when runner-up to The Brig At Ayr at Friars Haugh on March 15 and is open to further improvement. Five of the other eleven entries, Darsi Dancer, Dun Faw Good, Mister Kit, Have One For Me and Whisperdale have also been placed in Maiden company this term.