Runners and riders get set for Saturday's Bedale Point-to-Point
This Saturday sees the third meeting in the Yorkshire calendar since the resumption of point-to-pointing this season, this weekend it is the turn of the Bedale to hold their meeting at Hornby Castle.
As like previous meetings it will be held behind closed doors, therefore no paying public will be allowed.
A six race card has produced 97 entries with 28 of them in the Open Maiden which could result in a division.
The first race is a Conditions race for adjoining hunts, so only locally registered horses can compete.
Despite only nine entries it still seems competitive, Absainte was running a big race until coming to grief at the last in a Musselburgh Hunter Chase, Sartorial Elegance has the beating of Neville Woods at the Hurworth meeting but there is a chance the latter may have benefited for that run, whilst Royal Chant will relish any faster ground.
The Furness pair of Shantou Prince and Monbeg Chit Chat both have claims with both of them finishing second at the Middleton meeting, the latter looks the better of the two and could be the likely winner.
Next is an Intermediate race and the one with the strongest form in the race is Snow Castle who has performed to Open company in the past and has already finished runner up in a Hunter Chase this term, however disappointed most recently.
Rattle The Cage is a strong stayer, whilst Caviar d'Allen was very progressive last season and was held on his most recent start when coming to grief in a very got Leicester Hunter Chase. McMurphy is a front runner who loves quick ground and if given an easy time on the lead could be hard to peg back.
The Restricted race looks to have three stand out entries, Fire Rock who finally got off the mark at the age of 10 at the Hurworth for trainer Sarah Dent, whilst Super Lunar is another veteran who has never been out of the first three since joining the pointing ranks and his last two efforts has seen him finish within a few lengths of Open horses so this sees him take a drop in class.
The likely winner should come from the Paul Frank trained Vent d'Automne, a bumper winner in Ireland for Willie Mullins and runner up to decent hurdler Pencilfulloflead, this nine-year-old was still going well when unseating two out in a race won by Sartorial Elegance.
Teescomponents Boy failed to build on his maiden win last year but could have more to offer.
The Ladies Open is run over 2m 6f and a couple of these will be suited by the shorter trip, including Olivers Gold who joins the Jones family after a prolific career with Mark Walford, he was campaigned over 2m to 2m 4f so this trip should be fine.
Winged Crusaders front running tactics should be seen to good effect over this shorter trip, whilst Seefood was unlucky at the Hurworth and should have stripped fitter after returning from a year off.
Merrion Avenue will need to raise his game once again, but looks a progressive type after finishing strongly at the Hurworth to beat McMurphy.
Former Ben Haslam-trained Inca Gold would be worth noting, a son of Galileo who was a hurdle winner in Ireland but has failed to shine on these shores but is representing an in form stable.
The Mens Open is another with some strong contenders, Will Easterbys Black River secured a sequence of wins last season and will no doubt be ready to strike here, whilst Hunter Chase winner Duhallow Tornado looks very inconsistent and looks hard to predict.
Six A Side is one trying this track for the first time but is a consistent performer so should give his all, along with Sartorial Elegance and Monbeg Chit Chat who could be a contender for the pace.
The final race is an Open Maiden and there are several with form including recent Hurworth fourth Miss Charlton, she was runner up twice last year and her recent return should of blown away the cobwebs, others include Coniston Spa who was fourth in a hot Hunt Members race and Desjay who finished second on his career debut only last week at the Middleton.
Master Thyne was knocking on the door plenty last season and this longer track is likely to suit him, Tiger Orchid was prominent when unseating two out at the Hurworth where he had Villa Moura behind him in an eventual fifth.
Jack Teal's, Nicky Tinkler's and Will Easterby's debutants are all ones to be noted, however the most interesting one is the Karen Lynne-trained Imerial Elixir, formerly with Fergal O'Brien this 8yo son of Doyen who earned himself a mark of 114 over hurdles was only beaten three lengths when third in a novice hurdle on his penultimate start and has an absence of two years to over come.