CHADDESLEY Corbett will host the region's first point-to-point meeting of the new season on Friday, December 29.

The Harkaway Club fixture is scheduled for a 10.30am start.

A host of local trainers and owners are preparing for the new campaign.

Point-to-point racing continues to enjoy tremendous support from all its participants, including William and Angela Rucker who also invest heavily in National Hunt Racing, with the Worcestershire based couple having horses in training with Evan Williams and Fergal O’Brien.

Some fail to make the grade but that benefits point-to-pointing as they are then able to ply their trade between the flags.

In the Hold and Wild Bill both showed good form last year; the former winning at Bitterley and Chaddesley, while the latter finished fifth in the Final Champion Hunters Chase at Stratford.

Both are ready for the early start, especially In the Hold whose best form has always been with some give in the ground – stablemate Wild Bill could be seen out at Chaddesley’s Christmas meeting.

Vinnie Red is another expected to make an early appearance. Pulled when favourite at Newbury he had won at Market Rasen prior to that for Fergal O’Brien. The quintet is made up by Mountain Chimes and Blue Rhythm.

Both are five-year-olds, the former by Winged Love who has had a couple of runs under rules for Evan Williams. Blue Rhythm was favourite on his last run at Fontwell, having previously been narrowly beaten in a Southwell Hurdle.

Barrakilla has won three races under rules but “never came right last year” according to the owners. Now with Fergal O’Brien he should soon make his mark in Hunter Chases.

Mrs Rucker’s sister Katherine Smith Maxwell has Buck Magic who will be campaigned by her son John. This horse had good form in the past but managed just one run in 2016/2017 when troubled by an abscess.

Trafalgar Rock joins the yard having made the short journey from the stable of Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland at Claines. Placed second on five occasions whilst in his care he then added two short distance chases to his account. John and his sister Felicity are currently debating the future of Le Legro who came from Alex Dunn’s yard.

Christine Banks' horses also carry the royal blue and cerise hoop colours used by her sisters Angela and Katherine.

Well Met and Round Robin are based at home with Banks and both will be aiming to improve on last season’s performances, while Vasco Du Mee and Arthurs Secret race from Martin Weston’s yard.

With Jack Barber now training under rules, Will Biddicks tenure as champion jockey looks under greater threat than normal and that could enhance Alex Edwards’ challenge for the riders title.

The leading trainers title could see the cards fall in Phil Rowley’s favour.

Rowley has Pique Rock, who races in the colours of Juliett Minton. She ran four times under rules and scored a facile win in the mares' race at Barbury and should have no difficulty following up.

The Sting looked a potential winner of the short maiden at Barbury when he tipped up just behind the leader at the last so it should not be long before the winner’s enclosure beckons, while Stoleaway missed last season and the trainer will be looking for longer tracks and some cut in the ground for him to show his best.

Barel of Laughs finished third in last year’s Cheltenham Foxhunters prior to winning the Timico mixed open Gold Cup on a return visit to the Gloucestershire venue. He also added the Lady Dudley Cup to his impressive CV.