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The going at Carlisle at the time of writing is soft, heavy in places, which will suit both of our runners, who go head to head, and also against nine other opponents, in the, with the bonus of it being a Northern Lights two miles qualifier.

Applaus found his form again on his seasonal debut over this course and distance at the beginning of the month, winning by five lengths, off a mark of 105. The handicapper has raised him 5lb for that success, and his jockey Billy Garritty who claimed 5lb then, can only claim 3lb now.Applaus is still a step ahead of the handicapper on the best of his 2017, and 2018 form, and once again he runs on ground that suits.

Some horses take a long while to acclimatise after having raced in another country, so it was no surprise that Excalibur took his time to come good, which was finally achieved at Sedgefield last November, after having arriving from Poland in 2018.He won that day off a mark of 77, but on Sunday will have to race off 94, in this his first start in 11 months. The ground will suit, but he would prefer a trip in excess of this two miles, Aiden Macdonald who won on Sincerely Resdev at Sedgefield on Tuesday, reduces Excalibur's weight by 10lb. To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

APPLAUS. 23 February 2012. Tiger Hill-All About Love. Owner-The Deckchair Syndicate.

Applaus is a German bred gelding, out of an unraced Winged Love mare, that also produced the listed placed All For You, who recorded a best Racing Post Rating of 93. Applaus has raced on 24 occasions to date, in two points, two bumpers, six chases, and 14 hurdle races, winning on four occasions. Applaus made his racecourse debut in November 2015 in a juvenile bumper, staying on after being outpaced over one mile, and six furlongs at Carlisle, to finish a 13 length third under Joe Colliver. He put the experience to good use at Wetherby next time by coming home unchallenged for a 13 lengths win.In better company at Newcastle two weeks later, under a penalty, he finished a respectable third, before a return visit to Gosforth Park in February 2016, to finish third again, and round off his first season. On his return in November he made his hurdles debut, finishing a very respectable 12 lengths forth to the brilliant Sam Spinner, before returning to Newcastle 15 days later, and finishing third, this time to the very classy Elgin. He disappointed on his next start at Kelso, but it may have been that the two miles, and six furlongs was too far, as he had never raced beyond two miles before.Back over two miles in February 2017, he broke his duck over hurdles, in heavy ground, receiving a BHA mark of 120.His final race that season gave him his second hurdles win, when wining another novice hurdle, this time under a penalty. He made his chase debut at Carlisle in October, but did not enjoy the experience, pulling up before two out.He stepped into handicap company next time,showing he could run just as well over fences, by finishing second off a mark of 118.He was then third in good company in a novice chase at Catterick, before a disappointing run, albeit in a hot novice at Newcastle. Applaus enjoyed his finest moment to date on March 18th, 2018 at Wetherby, when getting off the mark over fences for the first time. It was also a very proud day for the yard as well, as we didn't only have the winner, but also the second, and third placed horses, Caraline who was second gave Applaus 5lb, and Roxyfet who was third, received 15lb, from Applaus. At the end of the 2018 season he was sent to go point to pointing for the yard of Edward Turner.He ran twice at Penshurst, and Fakenham P-T-P Course, but pulled up on both occasions. He returned to us for the 2019-2020 season, and has competed in six hurdle races since returning, with his best effort coming at Southwell in October, when going under by a short head in a race he would have won, but for hanging badly on the run in. Applaus is a horse who just needs to get his confidence back, he has a touch of class, acts on any ground, but probably doesn't want any further than two and a half miles.He is still only eight years old, and from a much reduced mark of 105,there could still be plenty more to come.

EXCALIBUR 05 April 2013. Youmzain-Electra Deelites. Owner-M H O G.

The majority of horses that join us from other yards either come from Britain, Ireland, or France,but Excalibur did his racing in Poland.As a three, and four year old he raced 15 times for the Polish trainer W Olkowski,between six furlongs, to 13 furlongs, winning twice, and being placed a further eight times, with every race taking place at Sluzewiec racecourse in Warsaw. Excalibur joined us at the start of 2018 and was sent novice hurdling, racing four times between March, to May, without any real promise. In July he made his first flat start for us at Beverley on a very rainy day in soft ground, in a Ladies Amateur riders with Becky Smith riding, where he stayed on well up the hill to finish third, at Thirsk on his next star three weks later he failed to back that up when finishing in the rear.He made his handicap hurdle debut at Sedgefield in November from a good looking mark of 85 based on his Beverley run, but finished well down the field, and again at Kelso in December it was a similar story. After a gelding operation Excalibur returned at Sedgefield in March 2019, where he pulled up after injuring himself on his left hind.His next four runs were back on the flat between April to August, including his all weather debut at Newcastle, but once again he failed to shine.It was a return to hurdles in October at Sedgefield with Emma Smith-Chaston riding for the first time, taking off a very generous 10lb that he finally came back to form, finishing third beaten by three lengths, off a mark of 75.At Sedgefield just over four weeks later with Emma in the saddle, over two and a half miles, he made no mistake when winning by six lenghs on soft ground.He next raced 13 days later at Hexham from a 10lb higher mark, but finished tailed off.He has raced twice since, at Sedgefield on Boxing Day when finishing sixth, beaten by 11 lengths, and at Wetherby in January when making no show. Excalibur is capable of winning again, and definitely shows his best form on a soft surface.

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