12 RUNNERS ON BOXING DAY, THE SEDGEFIELD AND MARKET RASEN PREVIEW
I have already dealt with our seven runners at Wetherby on Boxing Day, which is available to read on the website. I now turn my attention to Sedgefield, where we have four representatives, and to Market Rasen where we have one. The going at the time of writing for Sedgefield is soft, good to soft in places, while down at Market Rasen on the hurdles course, which concerns us, it is currently good to soft, soft in places.
Our first runner at Sedgefield is the ex French Trac who goes to post for the 12.15.pm, a 0-100 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs, with his regular jockey Alain Cawley in the saddle. Trac has now dropped 15lb for his three starts for us, and looking at the best of his French form a mark of 88 should be within his compass. His stable debut for us at Wetherby in October when finishing fifth was not without hope, but in two starts since he has failed to beat a single rival.
Roxyfet is one of the toughest horses ever to have been trained by Micky, and he will run for the 107th time at 12.50.pm, in the 0-100 handicap chase over two miles and one furlong, with Emma Smith-Chaston who is a winner on him three times previously retaining the ride. This will be Roxyfet's 39th race at Sedgefield, and he is a previous course winner nine times, the outstanding thing about Roxyfet isn't only that he has raced so many times, it is that he has run 95 times over fences to date. His mark has now slipped to a more appealing 89, and he has the softer surface he needs.
Although Enfin Phil only faces five rivals at 2.0.pm, in the extended two miles and three furlongs handicap hurdle, at least three of them look dangerous opponents. Enfin Phil rounded off last season by making all at Uttoxeter, and he is now just 2lb higher for that success. After not enjoying a first start over fences in November, a return to hurdles last time at Musselburgh saw him run close to his best when finishing a six lengths fourth of the 10 runners. That run will have put him spot on for this, with his regular jockey Alain Cawley back in the saddle.
The ex French Bandit D'Ainay has his second start for us at 2.35.pm, in a 0-115 handicap chase over two miles and three furlongs, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride. Bandit D'Ainay was having his first start in six months last time out at Sedgefield, when not weakening until two out, this step down in trip of nearly two furlongs will probably be a plus, and the handicapper has also dropped him 4lb, the forecast soft ground will be very familiar to him.
Over at Market Rasen Burdigala will round off our day in the 3.25.pm, a 0-100 handicap hurdle over the extended two and a half miles, where Becky Smith will ride him for the first time. Burdigala has form from his French days that would make a mockery of his current handicap mark of 75, but that was over three years ago, he has also missed over a year through injury since joining the yard. His best piece of form in 12 starts for us was at Market Rasen back in May where he finished third beaten by eight and a half lengths, over a two furlong shorter trip than now. His seasonal debut run at Newcastle 17 days ago will have helped bring him back to full fitness.
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, Randall Orchard & Partners, Samuel Sutton & Partners, The Golden Cuckoo, and Rosemary Hetherington And Partner.