A VERY BUSY NIGHT AT HEXHAM.
We have a team of 10 declared for Hexham on Tuesday evening where the going at the time of writing is good, good to soft in places.
First up at 5.33.pm, in the 0-100 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle over two miles and seven furlongs is Shaws Bridge, who will be partnered by Jack Hogan for the first time. Shaws Bridge has had five goes over fences, and has unfortunately shown very little aptitude for the discipline, so this return to hurdles could be the answer from a mark 4lb lower than when he finished second at Perth almost a year ago.
Roxyfet was a winner last time out over this course and distance, with Emma Smith-Chaston who has now won on him four times retaining the ride. Roxyfet has been raised 2lb for that success which appears fair, but he could do with a bit of rain to aid his chance. The race is a 0-105 handicap chase over the extended one mile and seven furlongs, at 6.03.pm.
Next up at 6.33.pm, is Grand Du Nord who goes to post for the 6.33.pm, a novices hurdle over two miles and four furlongs with Billy Garritty retaining the ride. Since we last saw Grand Du Nord in January he has had wind surgery following three below par runs over hurdles, compared to his very decent bumper form. If having his wind done makes a difference, then he will be one to follow.
We have three of the six runners at 7.03.pm, a 0-105 novices handicap chase over three miles. Kildrum has a couple of pieces of course form over hurdles from last season which suggests he is on an attractive mark currently, and appears to slowly be getting his act together over fences. If he can brush up his jumping he will be involved at the business end judging on his latest start at Sedgefield, Emma Smith-Chaston retains the ride.
Larry Looby signified that there is a race in him when finishing third over this course and distance back in March, but disappointed at the same track 17 days ago, where he very likely found the drop back in trip to two and a half miles very much on the short side. He will once again have the services of Alain Cawley in the saddle.
Our third representative in the race is the ex French Hideo who continues to struggle for any kind of form, including a first start over hurdles for us at Sedgefield 39 days ago. Hideo arrived at the yard in November of last year with a mark of 116 which has now dropped to 95, he will be ridden by Jack Hogan for the first time.
Applaus is a horse who goes best fresh, and has had a 31 day break since finishing a slightly below par fifth over two miles and four furlongs at Carlisle. Prior to that he was third over this course and distance back in March. This race is a 0-125 handicap hurdle over two miles with Billy Garritty who has won on him previously back in the saddle.
We will be doubly represented at 8.03.pm, in the 0-100 novices handicap chase over two and a half miles. Disc Donc got off the mark for us in selling company at Wetherby in March over hurdles, and very likely improved on that with a solid third at Sedgefield exactly a month ago. If he can carry that form over to this return to fences then he will be involved. He is wearing a first time visor, and will be partnered by Jack Hogan for the first time.
Amber Run is our other representative in the race where he will once again be partnered by Alain Cawley, who was on board at Sedgefield last time. Amber Run showed next to nothing in seven starts when trained in Ireland, and has yet to get competitive in five runs for us, although his fourth at Sedgefield last time can probably be marked up as he may not have fully seen out the three miles and three furlongs.
Our final runner of the evening is the exuberant mare Ilaya, who if ever learning to settle properly in a race would make life a lot easier for herself. At her best in March 2020 when rated 120 she was second under a double penalty in a novice hurdle at Catterick, but 10 starts since then has seen her mark fall to 94. She once again pulled far too hard last time, but that was over two and a half miles and this trip is what is needed. The race is a 0-100 handicap hurdle over two miles with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride.
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Good luck to the connections, Newroc & Co, Samuel Sutton & Partners, Middleham Park Racing XX111, T M Clarke, Mr & D Lees & D Pollitt, Two Nicks And A Mick. Mrs Gemma Hogg, Ursa Major And Partners, Lady S Toomes, Mrs J Hill & Partners, and The Golden Cuckoo.