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  • Ian Ender

A TRIBUTE TO JUSTFORJAMES WHO HAS JUST RETIRED.

JUSTFORJAMES

08 June 2009.

Dr Massini-Over The Road

Owner-J4J Partnership.


For the first three seasons of his racing career Justforjames was trained in Conna, County Cork by Sean Aherne. His first three runs were all in point to points on the Irish circuit, where he achieved the unenviable form figures of 'FPU, ' so things could only get better, and indeed at the forth attempt he finally completed, keeping on for a respectable second place. In March 2015, he got his head in front at the fifth attempt at Ballynoe, and progress was confirmed at Cork three weeks later in a bumper, when making a winning rules debut. After his Summer break he returned in December for his hurdles campaign, placing in all five races, but never really threatening a win, although earning a Racing Post Rating of 116.


He arrived at Oakwood Stables in the Autumn of 2016, and made his debut for the yard in December at Sedgefield in a novice hurdle, and he couldn't have made a more impressive start, by beating his only serious rival, the Donald McCain trained Derintoher Yank by 34 lengths, in receipt of 14lb. This exciting performance was matched on Boxing Day at the same venue, when again under jockey Joe Wright, he trounced the opposition, this time by 11 lengths. His next race, again at Sedgefield turned out to be disappointing, as he could only finish a distant third, and on his return in March, once again at the County Durham track, he finished second of four, to the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Ace, the handicappers assessment of 128 seemed about right.


After his Summer break, he returned to his second home, Sedgefield, to make his chasing debut, but he could only manage fifth of the six runners.He was taking time to come to hand, and also making too many mistakes at this new discipline, and it wasn't until his fifth attempt over the larger obstacles that he got his head back in front again. A combination of a drop back in trip, a much reduced mark of 111, and a return to Sedgefield, with Becky Smith in the saddle, did the trick. He followed up with a sound third placing at Carlisle, before winning his forth race at Sedgefield in April, he was now back to a mark of 120.


He returned in November 2018, and like the previous season, was slow to come to hand.but on his forth start he was back in the winners enclosure at Catterick, in February 2019, over the extended three miles. He followed up at Cartmel in May, and June, with a second, and a forth placing. After his summer break on his return in November at Wetherby he unseated his rider, but was back to somewhere near his best at Sedgefield in December when finishing second, and he was also the runner up again at Sedgefield in March 2020.


Justforjames wasn't able to run again quickly with racing going into lock down, so the decision was taken to give him an early holiday. He returned in November at Catterick, and although in need of the run he still finished an excellent third, but that was followed by four under par runs which saw his mark drop to an all time low of 102. Justforjames still had one last great performance in him, and that came in May 2021 at Cartmel when he rolled back the years to win by one length under Becky Smith, who was winning on him for the fourth time. A month later he was back at Cartmel but this time he failed to get competitive, and so he was sent on his summer holidays.


Justforjames returned at Sedgefield in December, but he failed to complete, this was followed by two runs at Catterick later in December, and then in January 2022, where he finished a respectable third on both occasions, but back again at Catterick in March he didn't show the same sparkle, and was pulled up. What proved to be his final start was at Sedgefield in April, when finishing seventh of the 10 runners.


Justforjames has been a tremendous servant for the yard, and at one stage looked as if he might have the ability to have gone right to the top, but nevertheless he still turned out to be an above average performer having won seven races under rules, and one point to point. He will now return to his breeder back in Ireland for his well deserved retirement.


To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

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