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  ©  Pointing in Yorkshire 2017
Bedale at Hornby Castle– Saturday 8th April

By Will Milburn & Caroline Smith

Shantou Prince, ridden by Christy Furness. Credit Tom Milburn Photography

The Bedale point-to-point takes place at Hornby Castle on Saturday 8th April 2017, this will mark seventy years at the course. The first race takes place at 1.30pm - The Confined Conditions Race which is for horses who have not won under rules, so is therefore confined to horses that have won solely in point to points. The one with clearly the strongest form is Shantou Prince, he continues to progress and only last week was a good second to Ardea in a Wetherby Hunter Chase, the third was a multiple point winner and he should take the beating. According To Dan and Blackthirteen are closely matched on their previous run, the track should suit the former and Blackthirteen will be suited by any fast conditions and can go well despite a 3lb penalty. As for the rest Wizadora receives a handy mares allowance and was a fast finishing third behind Dance Of Time who has since gone on to win again, Stagecoach Jasper was a winner here last year but it's hard to know what he'll produce, whilst Newspage appreciates fast ground and was leading when falling three out in the Men's Open at the Hurworth. Selection - Shantou Prince

Next is the Hunt Members race and it could be a quick double for Christy Furness on his home turf as if Shantou Prince does not contest the first race he could take part here, but it's more likely he will partner Ivan Boru, he has not disgraced himself this year but is yet to get his favoured better ground and with conditions drying out should go well. Bishop Wulstan looms capable he refused most recently and cannot be taken with confidence, whilst See Mores Finale was placed here last year and was a winner at Hutton Rudby. According To Dan would be the main danger but he is a difficult ride and will need plenty of encouragement to get his head in front. Selection - Ivan Boru

The Restricted holds eleven entries and trainer Andrew Nicholls looks to hold all the aces here, Martha's Benefit will appreciate an easier track, whilst Not Far Wrong was an easy winner at the Middleton meeting, however the consistent Bentons Lad was only narrowly beaten at the Holderness and again put up a good effort last time behind the useful Againn Dul Aghaidh and should again put up a brave display. Crazy Penguin stays extra well and he may be more suited here than at Sheriff Hutton where conditions and company were on the sharp side, however Monsun Storm has progressed well and looks the main danger "He seems well after his win at the Hurworth. It's obviously a step up but we're hoping he can run a nice race" said trainer/rider John Dawson. Station Master may be the obvious choice, he has beaten Crazy Penguin already and the form of the Restricted at Charm Park where he was a last fence faller has worked out well. Selection - Station Master

The Ladies Open is run over the shorter distance of 2m 6f with a prize fund of £1000. Improving ladies horse A Country Mile would have strong claims after winning at Askham Bryan "He is fresh and very well in himself after his win at Askham Bryan, the track will suit and the drying ground will benefit." said trainer Shane Byrne. Another with strong claims is Hand Act Or Part who has taken well to Ladies races, he appreciates quick ground and stays well, whilst Hindon Road ran his best race so far when a close third behind Harris at the Hurworth, he is one who will benefit greatly for a shorter trip and better ground. Rumble Of Thunder likes an easier test and may get it here and one who has been out of form but could spring a surprise if conditions are firm is Sposalizio, he is a dual open winner and loves fast ground. The obvious choice though is Knocklong, he was an easy hunter chase winner last time at Catterick and is unbeaten in all his completions in points. Selection - Knocklong

The Men's Open could prove to be a very competitive race, it would be no surprise if Just Landy was to have a double if Ardea took part, he won a hunter chase at Wetherby last week and looks to have the stand out form here. Some clear dangers though would come from Neville Woods who has been hugely impressive in his two victories this year, however pilot Phil Greaves took a bad fall at the Middleton so his involvement could not be guaranteed, Young Hurricane was an easy winner at Askham Bryan and should be seen to better effect on faster ground so should go well. Close House failed to build on his Charm Park effort to finish third behind Young Hurricane last time. As for the rest Fureys Bar showed something like his old form and a change in his routine at home could bring about a revival, whilst Billing loves firm ground so if the ground dries up considerably he would have claims. Selection - Young Hurricane

The final race is the Open Maiden where only fourteen are entered, Be A Dreamer has never shown the early form he did at Sheriff Hutton, Ghetto Blaster is another who flopped last time at the Middleton, he was disputing the lead when falling at the last at Hutton Rudby, whilst Perusal ran a nice race on his point to point debut. Rock N Stones showed ability in Ireland but has only shown minor promise so far but Emma Todd is hopeful he can produce more "He's well and fresh at home and we're hoping he can build on his earlier efforts." said his trainer. The Dapper Prince caught the eye last time when fourth at Overton and should be noted here, Trainer, Chris Dawson said "He improved on his debut and hopefully with improvement, he should be thereabouts." However it looks to be between Ourgetaway who led over the last to finish a close third behind solid open horse Fever Pitch, and Yoohoof who was only narrowly beaten last time by Crazy Penguin so should go close again. Selection - Ourgetaway

The Grand National will again be televised on a big screen at 5.15pm and is once again sponsored by McClarrons Insurance. Public admission is £10 per adult. Children aged 16 and under are free. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. The postcode for Satellite Navigation is DL8 1NQ.