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Post Info TOPIC: Haydon at Hexham on Saturday 14th May 2022 by Peter Burgon


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Date: May 12th
Haydon at Hexham on Saturday 14th May 2022 by Peter Burgon

All roads lead to Hexham Racecourse on Saturday for the Haydon fixture, the grand finale of the Northern Area season. It has attracted 79 entries on a seven race card and starts at 2.00pm.

The former Tom George-trained gelding Black Op is the class act in the J S Hubbuck Ltd Men's Open Race for the Maling Trophy. He finished sixth in the 2020 renewal of the King George VI Chase and seventh in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup behind Minella Indo before joining Selby handler, Emma Clark earlier this year. The 11-year-old beat Monbeg Chit Chat by twenty five lengths at Corbridge last month on his first outing for her yard and cannot be opposed here off level weights. The pick of the other 7 entries are Cooking Fat and Frankies Fire, who have both shown their best form on a sound surface.

Oscar Wilde stayed on well in the closing stages at Corbridge to overhaul Vent D'Automne near the line and a repeat performance is on the cards when the pair meet again off level weights in the DJ & SJ Recycling Ladies Open Race which has 13 entries. Others to note are Game As A Pheasant and Ryans Fancy, who were both successful at the Border meeting in November, along with the veteran Purple Harry who rolled back the years when only beaten a head by Merrion Avenue in a Hexham Hunters' Chase on April 11.

Ballydonagh Boy has won four of his last six starts on ground varying from good to heavy. He had plenty in hand when beating Fairy Mix by three lengths at Corbridge on Easter Monday and can strike gold again in the Robson Contracting 8-years-old and over Conditions Race. Of the other 13 entries, Little Light is top-rated after winning a 2m4f Mixed Open at Eyton-on-Severn on May 2 but is also entered in three races at Tabley on Sunday. 2021 Haydon winner, Fivecardstud beat Roycano over a shorter trip at Charm Park last Sunday, while the ultra consistent Path To Freedom has won 11 and been placed 9 times from 22 careers starts between the flags for Cherry Coward's yard but is yet to run at Hexham.

The opening Lycetts Insurance Brokers Conditions Race promises to be a competitive affair with the majority of the 16 entries rated between 89 and 97. Although there is plenty of placed form on show, Istimraar (10lb penalty), Okey Dokey (3lb penalty), Roycano (3lb penalty) and Slievegar are the only ones to have visited the winners' enclosure this season.

Easter With Yeats heads the 13 entries for the 2m4f Graham Reader Motor Engineer Maiden Race. He caught the eye when staying on well from two out to finish one length 2nd to ex-hurdler Santon at Tranwell last month and, on paper, this looks a weaker affair. The pick of his rivals are Dressedtoimpress, Fly Awhile Johnny and Sweet Talking. The former showed promise in both Alnwick Flat Races and is sure to have been well schooled ahead of his debut over fences. The well regarded Fly Awhile Johnny is open to plenty of improvement after finishing fifth on debut at Mollington, while Sweet Talking receives plenty of weight from her rivals and will appreciate the drop in trip.

Last season's champion trainer, Tom Ellis has already sent out 58 winners this season and Young Rich can add to that impressive tally in the Insync Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Restricted Race. He won first time out in a 14-runner 3m Charing Maiden Race in March 2021 and only weakened on the flat when runner-up to Special Buddy over a shorter trip at Mollington last time. The other 8 entries include Astute Boy, Sergeant Brody and recent Witton Castle Maiden winner, Inviction.

The 6 entries for the Carr's Billington Maiden Conditions Race are headed by the aforementioned Easter With Yeats, who is unlikely to have any stamina issues over the regulation trip. Fellow Scottish raiders, Calibrator, Frenchpeps and Notnowbob have all finished in the first four on more than one occasion this term, while Susan Mason's home-bred mare Red Opium has finished runner-up in three of her eight starts.

The main action is preceded at 1.00pm by three pony races which have attracted a total of 14 entries, including prolific winners Judge Fox and The Gentle Touch.

-- Edited by DomBradshaw on Thursday 12th of May 2022 08:37:14 AM

Dom Bradshaw: Chief pot and bottle washer - Jumping For Fun
Twitter @jumping4fun Facebook: Jumping For Fun Facebook: Dom Bradshaw
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