TWO of the smaller local yards made expeditions to the north of England in the last week, but neither ended very happily.

On Friday, Maroc was Nikki Evans’ second ever runner at Doncaster. Sent off the 9/4 favourite, he was bowling along happily in front, as he usually does, when inexplicably running out at the fourth hurdle.

Ten days ago Deborah Faulkner sent Beallandendall to Sedgefield in County Durham, where he finished third. The stable sent Aclassagold to have his first start in a handicap at the same track on Sunday, and despite this season’s unpromising form figures of 08885, he was made second favourite at 7/2. His backers’ confidence was unrewarded, as he trailed in fifth.

He may yet come good. He showed enough ability last March to win a maiden race at an Irish point-to-point. The runner-up, the unprepossessingly-named Ratfacemcdougall, won a similar event next time out and has since come to England and won a novice hurdle. The horse Ratface beat then went on to take the Grade 2 River Don at Doncaster on Saturday, so the form is solid.

Grace Harris has kept Field Exhibition busy since she was bought out of Christian Williams’ stable in mid-December. Her form since then reads 1632, the latest being a second place at Ludlow on Monday. She’s been entered in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, a four mile race for amateur riders, and is generally priced at 150/1. There are 68 entries and only 20 can run, but if Field Exhibition makes the cut it will be a great day out for everyone connected with her.

Brockey Rise, who won for David Evans on the 16th, was in the Lingfield winner’s enclosure again on Friday, scoring over six furlongs as opposed to seven the time before. He was due to run again on Tuesday evening at Wolverhampton, where he was up against Grace Harris’ recent winner Mooroverthebridge. Brockey Rise also has an entry there tonight.

The yard’s Joegogo returned to winning ways at Chelmsford on Saturday night with an all-the-way success. He also was running again at Wolverhampton yesterday evening in the hope of a quick follow-up.

David Probert’s good start to the year could take another step forward on Saturday, when he has been booked to ride in the Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield. His mount is Main Street, who is 2-2 on the all-weather and will be having his first run for David Elsworth.

Chepstow are racing this Friday, with the first of seven races due off at 1.20. The guaranteed soft going has attracted 237 entries, including representatives from all of the top stables. Beallandendall could bid for a third course victory there.

The racecourse has recently announced a “Community Fund” scheme to support community groups and charitable organisations within a 10-mile radius of the racecourse. Grants of up to £250 are available. Over £6,000 worth of prizes for raffles and auctions to schools, charities, events and organisations have already been given to show support for the community. For more information call the Chepstow office on 01291 622 260 or email