We have declared six at Newcastle for their jumpers bumpers meeting, and three on the all weather at Wolverhampton in the evening, where both meetings should take place. If there are any problems it will be at Carlisle where we have three entries, with an inspection being planned for 8.0.am on Monday morning, with the ground being described as heavy.
We start at 12.25.pm at Newcastle when Grand Du Nord makes his second racecourse appearance.He didn't have the happiest of introductions to racing at that track 87 days ago when unfortunately slipping and falling just before the start, but after being checked over by the vet was deemed fine to run. After being very green in the early stages the penny finally dropped, and he was doing all of his best work inside the final furlong, to finish a very promising fourth, Alain Cawley takes the ride.
As far as I am aware new ground will be broken in the 12.55.pm when a first ever bumper will be run over two and a half miles in Britain, where we will be doubly represented. Kisumu will be attempting to make it 49th time lucky, in what will be his 14th flat race. As a two, and three year old when trained by Sir Michael Stoute he had some excellent flat form in the context of this race, and since joining us, his standout run on the flat was when going down by a neck at Ripon in August 2016. Of course his legs are not as young as they used to be, but he should see out the trip,Aiden Macdonald fresh from his win on Ex'Slance takes the ride.
We also run The Resdev Way with Joe Colliver in the saddle, he too should have no problem seeing out the trip, as his best form in recent times has been over 14 furlongs on the sand at Southwell. He also has form on the tapeta at Newcastle, on the flat, and in jumpers bumpers, particularly when fourth to Snookered beaten by four lengths, just under a year ago, and also on the flat in October 2019, when finishing forth, beaten by a length off a mark of 73.
Ballycrystal goes in division 2 at 1.30.pm. The last time he contested a jumpers bumper was in March 2018 when finishing second, he was also a very promising winner of a bumper in February 2016 at Doncaster. He appears to not retain that level of ability anymore, but ran his best race since joining us when second at Sedgefield last September, Alain Cawley takes over in the saddle from his regular rider Becky Smith who can not ride at the moment due to amateur riders not being eligible, due to covid rules.
Desaray Girl keeps on missing her engagements through no fault of her own, the latest being the abandonment of Wetherby on Saturday. She ran a cracker over hurdles down at Sandown in Listed company in January when finishing fourth on her first run back since wind surgery. She started out life in bumpers, but improved significantly once switched to hurdles, Joe Colliver who is her regular rider over jumps, is once again on board at 4.10.pm.
Our final runner at Newcastle in the 4.40.pm is Kayf Adventure who has been running over hurdles recently. As a four year old back in 2015 when trained by Philip Hobbs he was a 19 lengths winner of a bumper. He would go on to become a very decent chaser rated 135 at his peak.He has had wind surgery, and has run twice since respectably, on both occasions at Wetherby over hurdles, Alain Cawley rides him for the first time.
Over at Carlisle weather permitting we have three runners, with Marvellous Joe first up at 1.0.pm.In a bumper and four hurdles to date he has failed to get competitive, and we have wasted no time in sending him chasing in the hope that this will make the difference.He starts out in a novices handicap from a mark of 80, over his longest attempted trip yet of three miles, with Craig Nicol riding him for the first time.
The ex French Penpal makes his British handicap debut at 1.35.pm, from a mark of 118. having been allotted 125 when first arriving in the country. He tried to make all at Catterick in December, weakening from two out, he now steps down two furlongs in trip. He was beaten 11 lengths that day, and if he is to defy his current mark, he will have to step up a little on that Catterick run, Connor O'Farrell takes the ride.
Our new bumper horse Mister McArthur has also missed engagements because of abandonment's,and is our final runner at Carlisle in the 3.40.pm.Mister McArthur makes his racecourse debut in the famous silks previously worn by the Cheltenham Festival winner Mister McGoldrick, and our very own, and much missed Becky The Thatcher. Mister McArthur is the eighth racecourse representative of his dam Arctic Queen, who only raced on three occasions, starting out life being trained by Andrew Balding back in 2003. His sire is the top class middle distance performer Phoenix Reach, the winner of three Group One races, he also has three full brothers, and a full sister who have won nine races between them, Connor O'Farrell has been booked to ride.
We also have two runners on the all weather at Wolverhampton in the evening.Burnage Boy runs in the 6.0.pm a 0-50 classified stakes over 12 furlongs. His best form on the flat was when finishing a close up fourth to his stablemate The Rutland Rebel at Pontefract in August 2019, he has also got form over hurdles which would be good enough to win in this grade. He last ran at Wolverhampton in December when finishing sixth over the extended nine furlongs, a trip which will have been on the short side, Billy Garritty will be riding him for the first time.
Our final runner of the day is the Wolverhampton regular Quoteline Direct who goes to post at 7.30.pm., he will also be ridden by Billy Garritty. Quoteline Direct has ran at Wolverhampton on six previous occasions, and although he is still looking for his first win at the track, he has been second three times, and also third three times as well.This race is just short of 10 furlongs, and this would be his minimum trip these days.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, Midleham Park Racing & S Nicols, Tasker-Brown & Partners, Resdev, Joe Buzzeo & Partner, A & S Associates, The Golden Cuckoo, Mcgoldrick Racing, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, and JFW Properties Ltd.