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Tynedale Preview 2016
By Peter Burgon





After a five week break, the Northern Area Point-to-Point season resumes on Sunday 28th February with the popular
Tynedale fixture at the Downhills course near Corbridge.
It has attracted a total of 104 entries on a seven race card, which starts at 12.30pm.
The main action is preceded by three pony races from 11.30am.
The inaugural running of the Tynedale Hunt Club Members Riders Conditions Race promises to be a competitive affair with the 19 entries including Battle Range, Dica, Dun Faw Good, Klepht, Probably George, Beggar's Velvet and Sea Scout, although the latter pair are also entered elsewhere on the card. Former Irish chaser, Klepht was never headed when landing a Musselburgh Hunters' Chase over a shorter trip last week; Probably George (right) finished sixth on his recent reappearance at Duncombe Park and should come on a lot for that run; Dica ran consistently well without winning in Open company last term, while Dun Faw Good has won three of his last four starts between the flags.

Nothing stands out in the Open Maiden Race for 4,5&6 year olds which has 8 entries. Court Painter showed modest form in his 3 Pointing starts in Ireland; Moscanisi was beaten eight lengths when 3rd to Fairy Mix on her debut in the first division of the Sinnington Maiden; Catherine Walton's mount Strategic Island showed some promise in five runs over hurdles, while Worcester Pearmain gained valuable experience on her two Rules outings in August and November last year.
There are 8 entries for the Ladies Open Race over the extended trip of three miles and five furlongs. Last year's winner, Durban Gold got the new campaign off to a great start by landing a Kelso Hunters' Chase on her reappearance last week. The consistent Beggar's Velvet won two of his last three starts in this grade in 2015,
while the useful Rolecarr (right red cap) had still to be headed when unseating three out in last year's contest.
The Men's Open Race for the coveted William Bell Gold Cup is also run over three miles and five furlongs. Corbridge specialist, Sea Scout is the only course and distance winner among the 15 entries, and was only beaten a neck by Wayupinthesky in the 2015 renewal. Forge Valley and Senor Alco were placed in the 2014 renewal, One Conemara won over this trip at Heslaker last May, while Badger Foot, Great Gusto (left) and the aforementioned Beggar's Velvet also enter calculations if they don't turn out in other races on the card.
The 15 entries for the NPPA Club Members Race are headed by the progressive Flash Garden (right), who scored impressively at Overton and Tranwell before finishing two lengths 2nd to Dabinett Moon in the Subaru Restricted Final at Stratford last May. Badger Foot only tasted defeat twice in eight Pointing starts a few years ago but has been absent since 7th May 2014. The improving Catchamat has won both starts at Alnwick this term, Oscar Stanley scored here last April, while Viacometti rounded off his 2015 campaign by landing the Haydon Club Members under Chris Dawson in May.
The Subaru Restricted Race has 13 entries and, on paper, looks a wide-open affair. Afterclass got off the mark at Overton last March and has been freshened up since making no impression in three Chases in November and December. Danehills Well (left) has no fitness worries after winning on his second start of the season at Alnwick, Flying Central landed a two and a half mile Haydon Maiden on only her second career outing in May, while Daring Exit has been unplaced in nine starts under Rules since landing a Sedgefield Bumper in May 2014.
The concluding Open Maiden Race for 7 year olds and over has 24 entries. The Highlander would have landed a Sinnington Maiden last time had he not fallen at the last. The lightly raced Here's To Harry (right) shaped well when runner-up to Danehills Well at Alnwick,
For Yes was not beaten far when placed in an Irish Maiden last April, while Hands On Scarlet and Sees More Finale finished in the first four on all their starts last season.


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.