HUNDREDS of racegoers from far and wide will descend on the Tyne Valley this weekend.

The annual Tynedale Point-to-Point Races will return to the historic Downhills course, near Corbridge, on Sunday.

A bumper total of 102 entries have been received for a seven race card starting at 12.30pm, with the main action preceded by three pony races, with 23 entries, from 11.30am.

My Liege overcame a 391-day absence from the track when beating Mr Pepperpot and Alone No More by a short head and four lengths respectively at last month’s Jedforest meeting, and the trio are set to meet again in the opening riders conditions race.

The 22 entries for the open maiden include the unraced Fran Nimmo-trained geldings, Foxinthebox and San Fermin, who were bought for a combined total of 53,000 euros at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland Sales and are unlikely to be making a 500-mile round trip just for a change of scenery. Franks Fancy, Luca Brasi’s Boy, and Onestepatatime, all found only one too good on their last outings at Alnwick, while Just Don’t Know, Teds Charley Roe and the unraced Jayhaaf also merit consideration.

The ladies’ open race has 15 entries and should chiefly concern Buck Dancing (Jess Bedi), Nine Altars (Charlotte Dun) and Son Of Suzie (Amie Waugh).

The latter had a good battle with Nine Altars in last month’s Jedforest equivalent before edging in front on the run-in to score by half a length and carries a 3lb penalty for that success.

Buck Dancing looked as good as ever when making a winning reappearance at Alnwick in December, but could only finish fifth in subsequent hunter chase outings at Taunton and Musselburgh. Jess Bedi’s mount will appreciate a return to this grade.

There is plenty of quality among the 12 entries for the William Bell Memorial Gold Cup Men’s Open Race, which reverts back to a three mile contest for the first time since 1982.

Matts Commission had plenty in hand when accounting for Path To Freedom and Killer Crow on his seasonal debut at Alnwick three weeks ago, and Jack Teal’s mount looks the one to beat here.

One Conemara has a great record at Corbridge but his best form is over even longer trips.

Killer Crow beat the locally trained Roo Roo by three lengths in last month’s Jedforest equivalent and they should both be in the mix again, while Black River, Greensalt and Neville Woods hold alternative engagements at Helmsley on Saturday.

Roderick Random is fancied to repeat last year’s NPPA Conditions Race victory in the hands of Dun. Liz Nixon’s gelding posted a career-best effort when not beaten far by the highly rated Kalabaloo at Alnwick last time and faces nothing of that class here. The battle for the minor placings rests between Doldrum Bay, Alone No More and ex-chaser, Arizona Bound.

Jimmy Walton’s home-bred gelding, Matthew Man, has shown improved form since employing front-running tactics and a hat-trick is on the cards in the Restricted Race. Of the other seven entries, Beyond Gold scored on debut here last February and Dynamite Kentucky was only beaten a short head by the useful Rio Des Echanault at Alnwick last time out.

There are 15 entries for the concluding Open Maiden Race. The list is headed by Emory, who deserves to get his head in front after finishing runner-up in four of his last five starts.

The main danger comes from Bite The Biscuit, who shaped well at Sheriff Hutton on his first outing for 20 one months.

Peter Burgon