Border Preview 2017
By Peter Burgon
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The 2017 Northern Area Point-to-Point season concludes with the Border fixture at Hexham Racecourse on Tuesday 30th May. This will be the Area's first evening card for more than 20 years, starting at 6pm, and has attracted 84 entries.
The opening NPPA Club Members Race has 13 entries and may well feature a repeat of last Sunday's Haydon equivalent in which Great Gusto made all to beat Kitty Fisher by half a length with The Ice Factor a further length away in third. Will Ramsay also has the option of riding Pyjama Game, while the other leading contenders are Eco Warrior (right), Fight Away Boys and the hat-trick seeking For A Finish.

Paddy's Wish, (left) Hewhodareswins and Anny's Land finished in that order behind Orissan Jim at Aspatria last time and might renew rivalries in the Restricted Race. Danny Mags is the pick of the other 5 entries having returned to form when beaten one and a half lengths by Sam's Treasure in the Haydon equivalent.

Joanna Walton's mount Oscar Stanley (right) had plenty in hand when landing the Haydon Ladies Open by five lengths from Beau D'Argent and a 4lb penalty is unlikely to stop his follow up bid in the Border equivalent. Whisperdale, Billing and Clonea Power finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in that Haydon contest and feature again among the other 11 entries along with Rossini's Dancer and Six A Side.

The aforementioned quartet of For A Finish, Great Gusto, Rossini's Dancer and Six A Side should be in the thick of the action if turning out in the Men's Open (15 entries) along with the likes of Haydon scorer, Rosie Du Berlais (left) and proven stayer, Wayupinthesky.

Lough Inch has been virtually invincible in Club Members/Novice Riders/PPORA contests across the country in the last few years and is the one they all have to beat if venturing north for the two and a half mile Border Hunt Club Members Race. The other 13 entries include Rossini's Dancer (7lb penalty), Six A Side (7lb pen), Strongpoint, The Ice Factor (right), Viacometti and Whats Left.

The aforementioned Kitty Fisher made Great Gusto pull out all the stops over course and distance on Sunday and a repeat of that effort could see Michael Walton's mare go one better in the Intermediate Race (13 entries) against the likes of Fernando's Song (left), Fight Away Boys, Game As A Pheasant and Towerburn.

The concluding Open Maiden Race (8 entries) may chiefly concern Heilan Rebel, Northern Executive and Preacher's Belle. The latter has finished in the first four on all five starts his term and posted a career-best effort last time when 4th to Mr Raj in a Sedgefield Hunters' Chase. Northern Executive (right,green cap) is heading in the right direction and did little wrong when finding only Uncle Jonty too good at Aspatria, while Heilan Rebel was prominent for a long way in winners company when 3rd at Balcormo Mains.