Haydon Preview 2015
By Peter Burgon
The Northern Area point-to-point season resumes after a two week break with the Haydon fixture at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday 17th May. It has attracted a bumper total of 101 entries on a seven race card starting at 2pm, with the main action preceded at 1pm by two pony races.

The hat-trick seeking De Bee Keeper, Temple Green, Coquet Head and Fozy Moss (right,grey cap) are the highest rated entries in the opening South Northumberland Hunts Club Members Race. However, De Bee Keeper will only run if Ross Chapman's application to change from amateur to conditional jockey status doesn't go through by the weekend. The consistent Temple Green was only beaten a neck by Oscar Stanley in the recent Lauderdale Ladies Open; Coquet Head was beaten half a length by Whiteabbey at Tranwell on his first start since Boxing Day, while ex-chaser, Fozy Moss also ran well when one length 3rd to Indian Print at Tranwell.

Mafate Fortin is the only one of the 8 entries for the two and a half mile
Open Maiden Race to have been placed this season.
A repeat of the effort which saw him finish three lengths 3rd to Glens Return over the same trip at Sheriff Hutton on Easter Saturday would make him the one to beat. Of the others, Lucydoli (left) and Don't Point finished 4th and 5th respectively behind Chandos at Mosshouses; Kape Rose Jipe was disputing 2nd when falling two out on her debut in a Garthorpe Maiden last Sunday, while Flying Central would have landed a slowly run Lauderdale Maiden on her debut had she not been carried out by a loose horse at the second last fence.

Lucky Sun and Stagecoach Jasper were not beaten far when placed behind Game As A Pheasant at Witton Castle earlier in the month and should be in the mix for the Open Maiden Race which has 12 entries. Kinder Scout (right,red cap) and Master Bud showed much improved form when placed behind Nelly La Rue at Tranwell and should go well again along with Anzinger.

The 14 entries for the Restricted Race include According To Dan, Farm Pixie, Paddy's Wish, Smart Act, The Toft (left) and Whatsthestoryman, who have all lost their maiden tags in 2015. Friars Haugh scorers, Farm Pixie, Paddy's Wish and The Toft should all be suited by this stayers track. Smart Act clearly has no stamina issues after winning at Heslaker while last month's Corbridge scorer, Whatsthestoryman has only finished out of the first two on one occasion in his last six outings.

The 23 entries for the Maling Trophy Mixed Open Race have already recorded 29 wins between them this term. A quality list includes Ballyvesey, Cave Hunter (right), Damiens Dilemma, Gunner Jack, Ockey De Neulliac, Rossini's Dancer, Sea Scout, Oscar Stanley, Rolecarr and One Conemara. The veteran Gunner Jack, a prolific winner in recent seasons, needs soft or heavy ground these days and has made only one appearance since landing the 2014 renewal by two and a half lengths from Cave Hunter. The latter has won 7 of his 11 starts since joining Wendy Hamilton's yard and posted a career-high mark when landing the Heart Of All England Maiden Hunters' Chase on the adjoining National Hunt track a couple of weeks ago. The race conditions do not favour Ockey De Neulliac as he will have to carry 21lb more than he usually does in Ladies Opens.

The NPPA Club Members Race has 21 entries and promises to be a tricky puzzle for punters to solve with many of this season's consistent performers such as Back On The Road, Damiens Dilemma, Durban Gold, Great Gusto (left), Milano Magic and Nelly La Rue set to cross swords. The progressive Damiens Dilemma scored with plenty in hand in a good time at Mosshouses and can make it four wins from his last six starts.

The 14 entries for the Intermediate Race are headed by Dun Faw Good (right), who ran a blinder last time when beaten just over a length in third place behind Cave Hunter in the 'Heart'. Master Butcher has run well all season, winning twice and finishing runner-up twice between the flags before finishing 3rd to Wayupinthesky in a Perth Hunters' Chase. Lowanbehold landed the 2014 Haydon Restricted and shaped well last time when chasing home the useful Six A Side at Sheriff Hutton. Dannanceys Hill is on an upward curve following pillar to post victories at Tranwell and Mosshouses, while The Gotfor Man, Probably George and the aforementioned duo, Milano Magic and Nelly La Rue add further spice to the contest.

Hexham Racecourse is well signposted from the A69 and the post code for SatNav users is NE46 4PF.

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