Exciting range of ability among the field at Berwickshire P2P

There's a competitive-looking seven-race card in prospect at the annual Berwickshire Point to Point, which takes place at Friars Haugh in Kelso on Saturday.

Thursday, 8th February 2018, 4:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th February 2018, 4:16 pm
Last year's Berwickshire P2P meeting at Friar's Haugh in Kelso, with the Men's Open runners jumping one of the riverside fences.

It has attracted 76 entries and starts at noon, with the Crabtree & Crabtree Berwickshire Conditions Race .

The likely favourite is Always Tipsy, trained by Cockburnspath farmer, Alan Wight.

The nine-year-old landed the equivalent contest at the recent Jedforest meeting under Kit Alexander and escapes a penalty for that success. The other nine entries include Pyjama Game, Whisperdale and Oscar Stanley, who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively behind him that day, and re-oppose on the same terms.

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The 11 entries for the Brown Shipley Open Maiden Race include the lightly-raced Jaxlight, trained by Justin Landy, but she is more likely to run at Duncombe Park the following day.

The Alan Wight-trained mare, Koala Keel is open to improvement after finishing an eye-catching fourth on her first start for his yard behind Chanceiton at Alnwick two months ago, while Ask Jd and Left Back finished second and third respectively over a shorter trip here last month.

The Meadowhead Ladies Open Race can go to Shantou Magic, owned and trained by Coldstream-based Will Ramsay. This 11-year-old ex-chaser was given a positive front-running ride by Charlotte Dun when taking the recent Jedforest equivalent by a comfortable five lengths, in which the re-opposing Viacometti, Quel Elite and Rossini’s Dancer were third, fourth and fifth respectively. Settledoutofcourt should also go well for Ailsa McClung after chasing home Always Tipsy last time and has 14lb less to carry here.

Denbigh raider, Indigo Island, was only beaten a length by Summoned here last month and could go one better in the Watsons Seeds Intermediate Race. Of the others, Jedforest Maiden scorer, Pieceoftheaction, is also entered in the Restricted Race, while course winner, Towerburn also makes the shortlist.

As usual, there is plenty of quality among the 11 entries for the Psigma Men’s Open Race. The list is headed by Cave Hunter, who has a 75 per cent strike rate between the flags since being bought by Moffat farmer, Niel Manning. The 11-year-old looked as good as ever when making all to beat ex-Irish chaser, Killer Crow on his seasonal debut in the recent Jedforest Open.

Proven stayer, Forge Valley always runs well here, while experienced ex-chasers, Relax, Rolling Thunder and Thomond add further spice.

Lough Derg Island, trained locally by Joan Hollands, was impressive when scoring at Friars Haugh last March in the hands of John Dawson and a similar effort on his reappearance would see him go close in the Bill Hardie NPPA Conditions Race.

Others to note are Allthekingshorses, Eco Warrior and Kitty Fisher.

Three of this season’s Maiden winners, Chanceiton, Glittering Love and Pieceoftheaction, feature among the 12 entries for the concluding Musselburgh Racecourse & Dick Vet Equine Hospital Restricted Race.

Glittering Love beat Worcester Pearmain by a couple of lengths over course and distance a fortnight ago and that form was franked when the runner-up opened her account at Alnwick on Sunday.

Chanceiton may prefer a sounder surface, while George White’s ex-Irish Pointer, Pieceoftheaction shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the step up in trip.