Haydon Preview 2012
By Peter Burgon
The Northern Area point-to-point season draws to a close on Sunday with the Haydon fixture at Hexham Racecourse. The track was reinstated after the recent Border meeting and fresh ground will be used on the inner.
It has attracted a total of 107 entries, including a healthy contingent of Yorkshire raiders, on a seven race card starting at 2pm, with the main action preceded at 1pm by two pony races.

The opening Haydon and North Tyne Members Race has 7 entries and will be a penalty kick for Cool Star (right). David Carr's exciting 6 year old prospect won his first three starts at Dalston, Corbridge and Mosshouses with plenty in hand before being pulled up on heavy going at Hexham last time. Urbane Bell is the only one of his rivals with any placed form this year.

The two and a half mile Open Maiden Race has 16 entries and may chiefly concern Some Lad (left), Moor Flora, and either one of the Victor Thompson-trained runners, Missing You or Red Myst, who all finished second on their latest outings.

Alforone and Killeaney Princess were not beaten far when placed behind Harbour Way at Witton Castle four weeks ago and both of them should be in the shake up for the Open Maiden Race. Others to consider are Clonea Power (right) and Mistic Academy. The latter has found only one too good on his last three starts in Yorkshire and this testing stayers track will be ideal for him.

Battle Range got off the mark under Jacqueline Coward at Garthorpe last Saturday and could bid for a quick follow-up in the Restricted Race. Gin Cobbler has been kept busy all season and a second win on his eleventh outing would clinch the 500 Northern Area Champion Horse Award for Victor Thompson's charge. Of the others, the lightly raced Maiden winners, High Interest and Merry Minster (left) should also be in the mix, along with Mosshouses scorer, Trianconi.

The 24 Mixed Open entries are dominated by the prolific winner, My Old Piano, who has only tasted defeat twice in eight starts between the flags this year. Former Cheltenham Foxhunters hero, Amicelli has also had a great campaign, winning five of his seven outings, including the coveted Aga Ladies Hunters' Chase Final at Cheltenham on May 2. Buckstruther is unbeaten in three Men's Opens in 2012 at Alnwick (twice) and Dalston, and is at his best on decent ground, while Miss Vivian (right), who finished third to the useful Kealshore Boy in a recent Market Rasen Hunters' Chase, also enters calculations.

Cool Star has a slightly stiffer task on his hands if bypassing the Members Race for the NPPA Club Members contest, against the likes of Marfleet (left) and Cast Iron Casey. The former, most effective on good or sound surfaces, was only beaten a head and a neck on two visits to Hexham last May and proved his current well-being when scoring on unsuitable going at Mosshouses.

The concluding Intermediate Race has 9 entries and the hat-trick seeking Barachois Silver (right), looks the one to beat following another impressive course win at the Border fixture. The pick of the four Yorkshire entries is the lightly raced Sportingfriendship, who beat Know The Rules by half a length at Easingwold in April.

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