Border Preview 2012
By Peter Burgon

The Border Hunt stages the penultimate fixture of the Northern Area season at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday, with a bumper total on 156 entries on a seven race card starting at 2pm.

The 25 entries for the NPPA Club Members Race are headed by the locally trained Cool Star (left), who has won all three starts this term without being asked a question. He acts on all types of going and it will take something special to prevent him from completing a four-timer. The main dangers are Barachois Silver and Best Profile. The former got off the mark over course and distance last May, and posted a career-best effort when making all in the Lauderdale Restricted earlier in the month. Ex-chaser, Best Profile scored at Dalston on Easter Monday before finishing runner-up at Whitcliffe Grange and Mosshouses.

A competitive-looking Restricted contest has 29 entries and it may pay to follow former novice hurdler, Skybull (right). Simon Hunter's mount caught the eye when third to Cool Star at Dalston and showed he still on the upgrade with a smooth four lengths success over Harbour Way at Corbridge next time. That Corbridge form was franked when the runner-up made all to score on his next two outings at Witton Castle and Easingwold. Of the others, Gin Cobbler, Lucky Lane and Trianconi merit consideration along with Sam Drake's selected mount of Morello Mist or last week's Easingwold Maiden winner, Blackthirteen.

The Ladies Open Race has 22 entries with the pick of the bunch being Sea Scout, who relishes a test of stamina with plenty of cut and has tasted defeat only once in five outings this season. That reverse came against the 2008 Cheltenham Foxhunters winner, Amicelli at Sheriff Hutton four months ago. The latter is also entered here but his regular partner, Jacqueline Coward is suspended until Monday. Sam Drake's proven stayer, Optimistic Harry is another for the short list together with Temple Green (left), who has previously won three times at the track.

The Men's Open Race is full of quality with Borero and Royal Deal, who have both won five times in Yorkshire this year, the pick of the 20 entries. The Northern Area challenge is headed by Buckstruther (right), successful on all three starts in 2012 on a sounder surface, while soft ground specialists, See You There and Gunner Jack should also be in the mix.

The Open Maiden Race has 26 entries with Port Golan and Raasay making most appeal of the Yorkshire raiders. The improving Cherry's Bay and Clonea Power (left), should not be far away, while the Victor Thompson-trained duo, Missing You and Killeaney Princess are both hitting form at the right time.

The two and a half mile Open Maiden Race also has 26 entries and can go to the ultra-consistent Red Myst (right), who has finished in the first four on each of his last six outings. Tristan Davidson's mount found only Lucky Lane one length too good at Mosshouses last time and is preferred here to Sugar Sensation and Terracos Do Pinhal.

The concluding Members Race has 8 entries including Cast Iron Casey and Wave Power in Val Jackson's colours, the Jimmy Walton-trained duo, Merry Minster (left) and Rock Port, as well as Captain John and Dontpassgo from the wark stable of Joanne Martin-Mayland.

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