We are all set for a busy Sunday with runners at three meetings. We send a team of seven to Wetherby, four to Sedgefield, and one down to Market Rasen. On Christmas Day (Saturday) morning I will go into detail about the runners at Sedgefield and Market Rasen, but for now I shall just concentrate on Wetherby, where the going at the time of writing is soft, good to soft in places.
Amber Run is first up at 11.52.pm, in a 0-105 novices handicap chase over three miles, where he tries to emulate his stable mate Trimmers Lane who won the corresponding race last year. Amber Run ran seven times for his previous trainer when trained in Ireland, running in a bumper and six hurdles races where he failed to get competitive. He made his stable, and chase debut at Wetherby 22 days ago, where he was let down by his jumping, and was pulled up before the last, Jack Hogan takes over in the saddle.
Shighness got off the mark on her fourth attempt in bumper company at Wetherby 32 days ago when keeping on to the line for a half length victory. Shighness has a big frame to fill, and that race showed the benefit of a summer out at grass. That bumper form is probably only average, but she does remain with any amount of progress to come. She will make her hurdles debut at 12.27.pm, in a mares only novices hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs with Billy Garritty retaining the ride. The standard of the opposition is set by Sashenka who has already run in a handicap, and in finishing second received a BHA mark of 120.
Whether Schiehallion Munro would have won or not at Wetherby just over six weeks ago we will never know, but he was just about to jump in to the lead when falling two out, the only good thing about that is that he runs from the same mark of 138. He will contest the 0-140 handicap chase over two miles and three furlongs with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride. That fall appears to not have affected Schiehallion Munro, as he has impressed with his home work in the last couple of weeks.
A field of 16 go to post at 1.35.pm, for the 0-110 novices handicap hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs. We are represented by Not What It Seems who ran well on his seasonal debut at Wetherby in October when finishing a promising runner up in a novice hurdle. He was disappointing back a that track in handicap company 16 days later, but got his season back on course when finishing a six lengths fourth at Kelso earlier this month. The form of that latest run suggests he is handicapped about right on what he has currently achieved, Conor O'Farrell will once again be in the saddle.
We are doubly represented at 2.45.pm, a handicap hurdle over two miles and five furlongs. Perfect Man has his fifth start for us since arriving at the yard back in May. He is the winner of seven races to date, and has run with promise on two occasions for us, at Cartmel back in May, and at Wetherby on his penultimate start. He stepped up to Class 2 company at Carlisle two weeks ago when finishing seventh of the 10 runners, finding the company too hot on that occasion. Our stable conditional Jack Hogan will ride him for the first time.
Desaray Girl is our other representative in the race, and she will be partnered by Billy Garritty for the first time. It was only two years ago that Desaray Girl was winning in Listed company at Haydock, but following wind surgery last year she has struggled from an ever decreasing mark to regain her form. Her seasonal debut at Wetherby in November was not without promise, as she only weakened from the last to finish a 13 lengths fifth, but it was a step back in the wrong direction at Sedgefield 23 days ago where after leading she weakened from two out for a 21 lengths defeat. Her mark continues in free fall, as she can now race from a rating of 108.
Our final runner at Wetherby is the previous dual course winner Applaus who goes to post at 3.20.pm, in the 0-115 handicap hurdle over two miles, with Jack Hogan retaining the ride. Applaus ran his best races on his first three runs back off a break last season, and matched those efforts at Southwell two weeks ago when staying on well over an extended two miles and four furlongs to finish second on his first start in seven months, for which the handicapper has disappointingly raised him 2lb. If he gets the fast pace he will probably need over this two miles he should once again be involved.
A preview of our runners on Sunday at Sedgefield and Market Rasen will be available from Saturday morning.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, Lady S Toomes, Mrs J Hill & Partners, Keep The Faith Partnership, Tennant, Lynch, Sharpe And Boston, Ryder Sugden, The Rat Pack Racing Club, Resdev, and Mrs Gemma Hogg.