The Hurworth will be holding its meeting at Skutterskelfe Park, Hutton Rudby, this Saturday, with a seven-race card having attracted a total of 91 entries. The first race gets underway with the Hunt Members’ Race at 12.30pm, whilst there is also a 100m kids’ dash at 12pm in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Admission is £12.50 (under-16s free) and the postcode for Satnavs is TS15 OJL.
In the opening Hunt Members' Race, it looks highly likely that Neville Woods and Phil Greaves can get back into the winner's enclosure after a better effort at Charm Park last time behind Panthers Creek. He has a 10lb penalty to carry but should be a class above these. Sartorial Elegance showed some form on his debut run but has not backed that up since, whilst Luca Brasi's Boy has done his best running at Alnwick. Although he is a maiden, he can still go well receiving weight from the more-fancied runners. Champagne To Go could be given a second chance after a below-par start to her pointing career.
The Restricted could see a renewal of several runners from the corresponding race at Charm Park, where Classical Lady came out on top and no doubt can go well again. However, Alright Marlene and Teescomponents Boy were having their first starts of the season and could strip fitter for that run. But Caviar d'Allen was massively impressive when winning her Maiden at Charm Park, and although it's hard to say how strong the race was, he could not have done it any easier.
The Ladies' Open has attracted several decent rivals from out of the area, one of which is Irish Anthem, who has run several very creditable efforts in good open company this year but was well held last time in a Leicester Hunter Chase. Buck Dancing has failed to make an impact in Hunter Chases this season but is a very talented pointer and would have major claims if not contesting the Cheltenham Foxhunters on Friday. Shimla Dawn was a respectable fourth on his return at Charm Park and it looks as if a longer trip might suit him these days. Seefood looks the smartest performer, ending last season with a third in the Ladies' Final at Stratford and his sole point start saw an easy victory at Easingwold.
The Men's Open looks another three-way tussle between Black River, Cup Final and One Conemara, who finished in that order at Duncombe Park. One Conemara has fired as he has in previous seasons, whilst Cup Final may be suited more by this flatter track. However, there looks no reason why Black River can't make it three for the season. Big Sound scored on his stable debut at Duncombe Park, and although this looks tougher, he beat likely favourite Black River last season at Dalton Park so would have to be a big danger. Wizadora was a prolific Open winner last year and can be forgiven a below-par effort at the Sinnington.
The Veterans' Race also looks very competitive. However, several of the better performers must carry penalties, including Big Sound, Cup Final, Shimla Dawn and One Conemara, whilst the 13-year-old Seefood is penalised with 10lb burden. Oliver's Gold could make his first appearance in points and was very consistent for Mark Walford but looked most effective over between two and two-and-a-half miles.
The Conditions Race is for horses that have not won under Rules and have not won a Men's, Ladies or Mixed Open. Duke Arcadio won several weak races last season and was well behind when pulled up this season, whilst both Mr Pepperpot and McMurphy are in good form but need to take another step forward. Mr Snuffles looks very progressive and Joe O'Shea has a good strike rate when bringing runners to this meeting. Snow Castle beat Greensalt in his Members' Race last time which sets a high level of form and this looks his to win.
The concluding Open Maiden has received 18 entries, and Sarah Dent has three of them. Soft ground would give Fire Rock every chance on his Sheriff Hutton form; Miss Charlton was well held last time but should be better than that; whilst Witch Of Wellfleet is making her racecourse debut at the age of 8 and is likely best watched for now. Toni's Oscar has placed form in Ireland, Peep O'Day Dell looks best at a shorter trip and better ground; and Kimberley Boy has the pick of form from last season but was very lacklustre at Duncombe Park and needs to bounce back. Master Thyne looks the one to beat on form after a good second to Franks Fancy at Charm Park. Twist About won on debut in a Point-to-Point bumper, but the form of that race hasn't worked out well and he needs to prove he can jump.