Border Preview 2013
By Peter Burgon

The Northern Area point-to-point season draws to a close on Saturday with the Border fixture at Hexham Racecourse.
It has attracted 109 entries, including 38 from Yorkshire, on a seven race card starting at 2pm.

After being sidelined through injury for more than two and a half years,
Coastley (Left) made the perfect comeback when scoring over course and distance last Sunday.
David Carr's charge heads the 15 entries for the NPPA Club Members Race
and escapes a penalty as all three wins under Rules were gained prior to June 2011. He can strike gold again from Marfleet and Playboy Luke.

The Restricted Race has 20 entries and my short list comprises Raifteiri (Right), Baileys Benchmark and Mistic Academy. The former has been a model of consistency all season, with one win and five runner-up spots from seven starts, while Baileys Benchmark outstayed her rivals to belatedly get off the mark here last week. Mistic Academy just failed to peg back Killeaney Princess in last June's Haydon Maiden and deservedly lost her maiden tag at Heslaker three weeks ago.

Narciso bypassed last week's Mixed Open in favour of the Ladies' Open Race, which has 22 entries. Cherry Coward's course specialist can extend his unbeaten sequence at the track to five by accounting for Radharc Na Mara and Sotovik (Left).

Seven of the ten Men's Open entries are trained in Yorkshire, most notably Ganbei, Desert Tommy and Scrum V. The latter pair are proven stayers and act in soft ground. Desert Tommy has been rejuvenated since teaming up with Will Milburn two starts ago and the partnership won at Easingwold last time, while Scrum V only failed by a neck to overhaul French Seventyfive on the same Easingwold card. Pick of the Northern Area challengers is this year's dual winner, See You There (Right), who loves testing ground and is at his best when stamina is at a premium.

The Open Maiden Race has 21 entries and, by process of elimination, the trio which make most appeal are Odds On Dan, Paddy The Plumber and Tom's Pride. The former was not beaten far when placed twice in Irish Maidens in 2012 and ran much better at Cottenham and Duncombe Park earlier this term than form figures of FP might suggest. Paddy The Plumber (Left) has found only one too good on two of his last three outings, while the ultra-consistent Tom's Pride was only collared on the run-in when 3rd at Hexham last Sunday.

The aforementioned Odds On Dan and Paddy The Plumber are also among the 16 entries for the two and a half mile Open Maiden Race. Of the others, Anddante has been improving with every run but may need better ground as will Apassionforfashion (Right). Sposalizio was noted going well when falling four at Witton Castle, while Raynell, who changed hands at Doncaster Sales last week, also merits consideration if reproducing the form shown at Cottenham earlier in the season.

There are 5 entries for the concluding South Northumberland Hunts Club Members Race. Only Border Flora and Retrace Your Steps have scored in 2013, but they arrive here out of form having both pulled up on their last two starts. Maura My Love (Left) finished runner-up on both visits to Hexham in May 2011 and must go close if reproducing the effort which saw her finish ten lengths 4th to Lucky Lane at Aspatria a fortnight ago.

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The track was reinstated and rolled after last Sunday's Haydon card and a fresh strip of ground will be used on the inner.