Saturday’s HTA Premier Trails are being staged at Birkett Field, Threlkeld and last night hounds were able to test the course.
Not surprisingly for the look round, hound numbers were up with 109 contesting four trails.
Biggest field of 32 were slipped in the opening senior trail, and there was a surprise winner.
Willie and Daphne Marks’ Summer Spirit came home ahead of Eleanor Irving’s Overwater Louie. Both dogs haven’t ticketed much over recent weeks but clearly liked the conditions and the course on the night.
Winterfell, who has been ticketing recently, finished third ahead of Lady Grace and both will be to watch on Saturday.
There was no surprise in the puppy race where Championship leader Huntsman’s Rebel came in first for her 19th win of the season, nine points clear of Ned’s Gain with just under three months of the season remaining. She will take the beating on Saturday.
Christine Bownlee’s Malia seems to be coming to and finished second.
She might prove her dad, former champion trainer Victor Brownlee wrong, as he didn’t think the hound was much good. Could she provide an upset at the Premier Trails?
The open maiden race was won by Eleanor Irving’s other hound Overwater Flash, so the kennel looks to be coming into form at the right time for a big meeting.
Geoff Higgins took second and third with Kinniside Dan and Lucky Lottie.
The All In proved to be the fastest race of the night with the veteran General James still showing he has the gas to take on the younger dogs. He came home in front of Stuart Smith’s Prospect Spring.
It’s a busy week with trails tonight at Cold Fell followed by Ings on Thursday at the sheepdog trials.
There’s plenty of prize money on offer at Ings with a pot of £500 split between the three races.
August 2 – Birkett Field
Hounds – 1. Summer Spirit; 2. Overwater Louie; 3. Winterfell; 4. Lady Grace; 5. Kirkhead Rebel; 6. Foxparke Mo Farren. 32 ran, time 27.17.
Pups – 1. Huntsman’s Rebel; 2. Malia; 3. Sweet Dreams; 4. Annie May; 5. Eden Redarna; 6. Huntsman’s Rally. 27 ran, time 19.59.
Open Maiden – 1. Overwater Flash; 2. Kinniside Dan; 3. Lucky Lottie; 4. Foxparke Whoosh; 5. Samcro; 6. Black Eyed Mist. 23 ran, time 20.27.
All In – 1. General James; 2. Prospect Spring; 3. Eagle Rock; 4. Miterdale Shadow; 5. Denton Balboa; 6. Bretton. 27 ran, time 19.20.