by Dave Scott

The Border Hunt staged the penultimate meeting of the Point to Point season last week at Downhill, Corbridge.

A seven race card started off with a fascinating Confined race. The complexion of the race changed three times up the straight with firstly Golf Land looking the winner before Dream Of My Life came with a wet sail to carry a four length lead to the last before eventually being collared close home by the staying on Commander Glen. Houselope Beck was another to finish well to snatch third from the weakening Golf Land. This was a welcome winner for Ailsa Tweedie.

The Restricted race saw a comfortable win for Rainton under Nicola Stirling, who has been riding winners for fun this season, from the gallant but one paced Happy Blake and The Broken Man, which looks to retain ability although it is primarily a schoolmaster.  This was the first leg of a double on the day for Nicola who followed up in the Ladies race aboard Pharmistice who simply had too much toe for Little Santa. The runner up is genuine but could be better suited by a less demanding finish. The Alleycat, the only other runner, was well beaten and looks a shadow of its former self.

Supercharmer and Simon Brisby equalled the course record when running away with the Mens Open from Extra Stout and Steel Rigg. The winning combination set out to make all and despite the best efforts of Clive Storey aboard the runner up they could never quite peg them back . The runner up lost nothing in defeat as the ground was plenty quick enough for him.

The first division of the Maiden fell to the well backed Hoh Tel under an enterprising ride from Chris Gillon. Always up in the van they went clear from three out and stayed on stoutly to repel the staying on Springwood White. The runner up made up good ground after being outpaced going out on the second circuit and should be capable of breaking its duck at some stage. Rambling Mick was a decent third under Bryan Hall who is improving and had earlier given Houselope Beck a good ride.

The next division of the Maiden fell to Poppers under Thomas Scott although the combination were fortunate winners as Nathans Hero and Simon Brisby were over a fence clear and still travelling well when departing three out. So far ahead were they it is possible if the jockey had succeeded in catching the horse they may well still have won. This is one for the notebook either this year or next. Commanche Spirit and Rocabessa filled the minor placings.

Thomas Scott completed a double when landing the concluding Hunt race aboard Sledmere from the favourite, Sharp Thyne.