Two of tomorrow's five meetings, the Albrighton at Weston Park and West Percy at Alnwick, have been called off, but today's sole fixture, the Yorkshire Area Club on the land of trainer Mick Easterby, at Sherrif Hutton, passed an inspection yesterday.
This new course is reported to be similar to Whitwell-on-the-Hill, near York, and is left-handed with a slight rise to the finish. Not surprisingly the going is soft, heavy in places, and veteran Sikander A Azam (12.00), trained by Easterby's son, David, can go into the record books as the first winner.
Tomorrow, Bon Accord (1.45) will attempt to extend his unbeaten sequence between the flags to six in the men's open at Ampton under champion James Tudor. "We'll think about qualifying him for the Cheltenham Foxhunter," said his trainer, Alan Hill, yesterday, "but it is by no means a definite target." Hill and Tudor could also win the restricted with Topol (2.20).