THE ever-popular Haydon Hunt fixture at Hexham Racecourse will bring the curtain down on the 2018/19 Northern Area point-to-point season.

The event, on Saturday, has yielded 84 entries, including 24 from Yorkshire, for a seven race card. The course has been watered this week to ensure good ground.

There are 16 entries for the opening conditions race, with seven of them rated 100 or above. Two of the main contenders are likely to be Matts Commission and Rolling Thunder. The former won first time out at Alnwick in December and is fully tuned up again following a mid-season break, while the latter looked as good as ever when scoring on his reappearance at Balcormo Mains last month.

The 12 entries for the open maiden race include six from Yorkshire. Either one of the Peter Fahey-trained geldings, Euro Fou and Lubeat Foras, are expected be in the mix. The former caught the eye when third on debut at Witton Castle a fortnight ago, while the unraced Lubeat Foras cost 35,000 euros last year.

The locally-trained Fashionistalady has the best recent form of the four entries for the restricted race, and will be ideally suited by this stayers’ track. A reproduction of the effort she produced when getting off the mark at Balcormo Mains should see her follow up from Miss Carney.

The riders conditions race has 18 entries and promises to be another competitive affair. Winged Crusader has won seven of his eight starts this year and, off level weights, Amie Waugh’s mount appears to be the one they all have to beat.

However, others to note are Oxfordshire Raider, Velvet Cognac, the ultra-consistent Snow Castle, who finished runner-up to Hafajay in the recent Heart Of All England Maiden Hunters’ Chase on the adjoining National Hunt track, as well as the useful Nine Altars, and 2018 course winners, Abbeyview and Iron Chancellor.

The aforementioned Snow Castle and Winged Crusader also figure among the entries for the men’s open race. The other 10 entries include prolific winners, Cave Hunter and One Conemara, as well as last month’s Buccleuch Cup Maiden Hunters’ Chase scorer, Longtymegone.

There is plenty of quality among the 15 entries for the ladies’ open race. In descending order, the highest rated horses are Winged Crusader, Nine Altars, Ravethebrave, Iron Chancellor, Damiens Dilemma and Abbeyview.

The concluding conditions race is for horses which haven’t won since November 2017. Doeslessthanme has finished runner-up on all four starts this season and deserves to go one better. Racing starts at 2pm, and will be preceded at 1pm by two pony races, with 16 entries.