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Tynedale Preview 2022
By Peter Burgon





After a three year break, point-to-point racing makes a welcome return to the Downhills course near Corbridge for the Tynedale fixture on Easter Monday,
April 18, almost 75 years to the day since the inaugural meeting at the track on 19th April 1947.


A six race card starts at 1.00pm with the Lycetts Veteran and Novice Riders Conditions Race which has 13 entries. Ballydonagh Boy has been in good form all season and looks the one to beat. After getting off the mark in the Berwickshire Maiden, he followed up in a Restricted at Alnwick and was very impressive last time when landing a Novice Riders Conditions contest at Tranwell by twenty lengths. Both of Alone No More's (Right) wins in the last three seasons came on soft or heavy ground. In contrast, Royal Chant has always produced his best form on a sound surface. Nortonthorpelegend was travelling quite well in second place in the Askham Bryan equivalent on March 27 when he fell two out and a repeat of that effort with a clear round would put him in the mix, while the consistent Worcester Pearmain also has place prospects.


The Womble Bond Dickinson Ladies Open Race also has 13 entries. The former Willie Mullins-trained gelding, Vent D'Automne has won all 3 completed starts this year in a lower grade under Lily Frank and might take some pegging back here if allowed to dictate from the outset. Few horses can match the consistency of the evergreen Game As A Pheasant who has won twice and been placed eight times from 10 starts this term and this will be his 50th career outing under all codes. Merrion Avenue left a few disappointing runs behind him when landing a Hexham Hunters' Chase on Monday and should be suited by the stiff uphill finish at Corbridge. Ex-chaser, Oscar Wilde (Left) landed the Berwickshire equivalent in far more testing underfoot conditions than he will encounter here, while Nine Altars, who has been placed on his last 5 starts, will appreciate better ground.
It is a case of quality over quantity in the featured Brewin Dolphin Men's Open Race (6 entries). The list is headed by the former Tom George-trained gelding, Black Op who has a current BHA rating of 152 (Hurdles) and 132 (Chase). He should be fully tuned up for this big drop in grade after finishing 4th in a Doncaster Veterans' Chase less than eight weeks ago, having previously finished 6th behind Frodon in the 2020 renewal of the King George VI Chase and 7th behind Minella Indo in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The talented Monbeg Chit Chat (Right) was pulled up in the Cheltenham Foxhunters' Chase last month but is back in calmer waters here in search of a fifth win in a row between the flags. Cooking Fat has won 3 of his last 4 starts in Conditions Races and should go well under Jack Holliday on his favoured sound surface.


Six of the 10 horses listed for the Galbraiths Conditions Race are double-entered. They are Alone No More, Merrion Avenue, Path To Freedom, Rushour Ryan, Sartorial Elegance and Wind Of Hope. Rushour Ryan (Left) likes to get his own way in front and did just that when making all in the recent Morpeth Members Race. Rosie Howarth still leads the National Ladies Novice Riders' Championship on eight winners and can choose between stable companions, Merrion Avenue and Rossderrin. Sartorial Elegance beat Clondaw Anchor by six lengths in the College Valley Open and should go close in this company under John Dawson, while So Satisfied has 19lb more to carry here than when placed twice
recently behind Thyne For Gold in Ladies Open Races.
Yorkshire raider, Cullin Hills heads the 8 entries for the Tilney Finance Restricted Race. She got her act together when scoring by a wide margin in a Charm Park Maiden on March 6 and was then very unlucky when runner-up at Sheriff Hutton after losing ground by running wide at two bends on the final circuit and made a bad mistake at the last. On the same Sheriff Hutton card, Macavity got off the mark over a shorter trip on only his second start and is open to further improvement. Feel the Breeze (Right) and Classical Sound won their respective Maiden contests at Friars Haugh last month and near perfect going at Corbridge will boost their chances of a follow-up.


The concluding Duck House Pantry Maiden Race has 13 entries. Kate Leckenby's recent ex-Irish recruit, Mourne Supreme is top rated after finishing twelve lengths 3rd in a Tyrella Maiden on March 5. Lepashe held every chance at Sheriff Hutton when making a bad blunder at the last and his winning turn is not far away. Malton handler, Jack Teal has hit a purple patch with 7 winners from his last 11 runners and Choosethenews is sure to have been well schooled ahead of his hunt racing debut. Better ground and stepping up in trip will suit Calling Arc in the hands of Lyall Hodgins who leads the Northern Area Jockeys Championship, while Can We Keep Him (Left) might well have been an unlucky loser on debut at Tranwell after running out at the second last when disputing the lead.


The main action is preceded by 3 pony races (20 entries) sponsored by Mowden Hall School
and the popular Halton Challenge Ride sponsored by Wallhouse Surveyors will round off proceedings after the Maiden Race.