by Dave Scott

Last Sunday the Percy Hunt staged a 6 race card at Ratcheugh. The weather was great for the time of year, as it has been for the last two weeks, and a consequence of the fine weather was firm ground and a dearth of runners.

Only two went to post for the Members and Incroyable Mais Vrai and Tom Oates made race fitness count over Little Santa and Kirstie Hargreave. The winner was sent on early on the second circuit and the issue was soon settled.

The restricted attracted 4 runners and saw Thomas Scott and How Burn make all and comfortably hold the hard ridden Raging Torrent. The Other Half was a distant third after The Broken Man departed at the last when held by the first two.

Five runners contested the short maiden and three were virtually upsides on the run to two out. Thatís Progress and Tom Oates looked to be traveling best but fell leaving Offspringer and Luke Morgan to fight it out with Inglemotte Miss and Richard Nichol. Luke Morgan conjured a splendid leap from Offspringer at the last to jump past his rival and the pair just held sway all the way to the line. A stewards enquiry was quickly called as the pair had come close on the run in but any interference was considered accidental and the result stood.

Three went to post for the Alnwick Grand National and most expected hot favourite, Knight Templar, to make short work of his two rivals. Young Steven pulled up on the final circuit after never being comfortable on the ground leaving Harden Glen as the only danger and what a danger he proved to be. He looked to be traveling much better than the favourite but Lee Batesí experience eventually told up the straight and he drove the favourite home for a hard earned length victory. With more experience the runner ups novice rider may well have landed the spoils.

The confined was a match but provided a decent race with eventual winner Dream Of My Life and Gaultier Gale duelling for most of the race. It was only in the straight that Gaultier Gale cracked leaving Luke Morgan to steer Dream Of My Life home and land a double on the day.

Fourteen contested the Maiden but from a long way out it really only concerned Over The Urrin and the fences. Sent on by Roger Green on the second circuit the winner jumped for fun and soon built up an unassailable lead. Over The Urrin got a little weary on the run to the last but the rest of the field headed by Starbuck and Rye Rum were so far adrift it made no difference. The winner showed he handles this ground and on this evidence could well score again.