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Border at Hexham Racecourse
Sunday 20th May 2018
by Peter Burgon

Morpeth amateur jockey, Amie Waugh, 28 on Wednesday, landed the YoungsRPS Northern Area Ladies Championship for the first time with a winner and four placed rides on last Sunday's Border card at Hexham Racecourse, which brought the curtain down on the 2017/18 Northern Area Point-to-Point season.

Her father, Simon's lightly raced home-bred gelding, Royal Flush had finished like a train when only beaten half a length by Treliver Manor at Balcormo Mains last month and proved that was no fluke when reversing the placings in emphatic fashion in the Bed Experts Restricted Race.

Always going well, Amie's mount was sent on again a mile from home and steadily increased his advantage after three out to score by twelve lengths.

Coincidentally, his dam, Mystical Feelings opened her account under Andrew Richardson in a 2m4f Open Maiden contest on the Haydon card at Hexham Racecourse in May 2005. Amie said of the 7 year old: "He did a lot of hunting with me and the original plan was just to get him ready for the Morpeth Members Race but that meeting was abandoned. He's a good mover but did surprise us a bit when he ran so well at Balcormo and that day proved he had plenty of stamina."

The North's senior jockey, Jamie Alexander, 53, has put any plans for retirement on hold after belatedly partnering his first winner of the season on ex-chaser, Allthekingshorses in the Par Petroleum NPPA Conditions Race. Always prominent, the 12 year old Fife raider rallied gamely to regain the initiative from Royal Avatar and Lough Derg Island on the run-in to win, going away, by two lengths, with the gallant Whiteabbey a further one and a half lengths away in third.

"He jumps better in front," said Jamie of his charge, who is trained at Kinneston by his brother, Nick. The gelding has now won 4 of his 12 Pointing starts since being bought in early 2016 out of the Philip Hobbs' yard. Jamie opened his account on Fordstown at Lanark in February 1996 and this latest success takes his career tally to 35, comprising 33 between the flags and 2 hunters' chases.

Alison Christmas made the three hour journey from Silkstone Common near Barnsley pay dividends when her evergreen 13 year old gelding, Carlos Gardel landed the Rose, Andrew and Friends of the Border Hunt Men's Open Race in the hands of John Dawson. He stole a three lengths advantage after three out and that proved to be decisive as Clonea Power was pegging him back in the closing stages but still had half a length to find at the line.

Alison said: "He loves this quicker ground on a long track and tries his heart out every time," while Dawson added: "Age is no barrier as he's as enthusiastic as ever. He jumped well all the way and took off when we met the rising ground turning for home. He did nothing wrong when runner-up at Heslaker last time when it turned into a sprint finish over a much shorter trip."

Formerly trained in the West Country by Sue Popham, this was a 45th career start for the winner.

Laura Fenwick's mount, Abbeyview still held every chance when unseating three out at Mosshouses a fortnight ago but made no mistakes here when powering home five lengths ahead of Nicki's Nipper in the Ryecroft Glenton 2m4f Conditions Race. She said: "He's a different horse on better ground and his next target is a Cartmel Hunters' Chase on May 30."

The 11 year old winner, co-owned by Laura, her father, John and her mother, Sarah's cousin, Derek Milburn, is trained at home by Sarah, who was a Northern Area Novice Champion Rider in the 1980's, an achievement matched by Laura in 2017.

Marauder came into the 12 runner Ward Hadaway Open Maiden Race with form figures of P6PPP but, transformed by a wind operation since his previous outing at Easingwold three weeks ago, the 6 year old recorded a surprise success under Jack Andrews. He had a prolonged duel throughout the final circuit with Caherelly before edging in front near the line to snatch a neck verdict.

Dalby owner/trainer, Cherry Coward said: "This has always been a lucky track for us. We bought him out of Henry Candy's yard at Ascot Sales last June and he'd only had four runs on the all weather at Lingfield before then." The win completed a great week for Andrews, who works full-time in Coward's yard, following his victory on Pass The Hat in a Southwell Hunters' Chase five days earlier.

21 year old Jessica Bedi, a 2nd year Textile Design student at Teesside University, made in three winners from only nine rides in her debut season on Iron Chancellor in the Le Petit Chateau Ladies Open Race. Always in the leading trio, her mount kept the favourite, Winged Crusader at bay from six out and still had four lengths in hand at the line. The victory ensured that Jessica remains in pole position for the coveted Princess Royal Trophy, which is awarded each year to the leading U21 lady novice rider in the country.

This 13 year old Alderbrook gelding, also formerly trained by Sue Popham, is owned by Jessica's grandmother, Sandra Barker and was making a 55th career start. All three victories this term have come on the stayers tracks at Hornby Castle and Hexham (twice).

Tom Hamilton (37pts) carried off the Albert Bartlett (Airdrie) Ltd Men's Jockeys Championship for a second time, with his nearest challengers, Connor Wood and Alex Chadwick both finishing on 19pts. His points tally included eight winners, including a four-timer at the Jedforest meeting in January. After heading the Ladies standings for the last two months, Gilston-based Charlotte Dun drew a blank on her only ride at Hexham to finish 5pts behind Amie.

Glittering Love, owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, won both the £500 George F White Champion Horse Award and the Novice Horse Championship, while the Duncan Davidson-owned Worcester Pearmain was the leading mare.

In the Hexham Racecourse-sponsored South Northumberland Point-to-Point Series covering this year's Tynedale, Haydon and Border fixtures, John Dawson (4 winners) was the leading jockey, while Iron Chancellor's two Ladies Opens victories at Hexham ensured that Sandra Barker was the leading owner.
For the record, the 11 surviving Northern Area fixtures (the West Percy, Duke of Buccleuch's, Cumberland Farmers and Morpeth were abandoned) had a total of 478 runners with an average of 6.73 per race and 43.45 runners per meeting. 51.18% of the 934 entries faced the starter and there was an average of 84.91 entries per meeting, a figure surpassed only once in the last four seasons.

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