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Balkotic who was very disappointing at Sedgefield five days ago when finishing tailed off, struck form with a vengeance at Hexham on Tuesday evening when making all under Emma Smith-Chaston, in a first time visor, which obviously did the trick, as he won by three parts of a length.

Balkotic appears to have two ways of running, and looked well handicapped on his win at Sedgefield in May, and also on his recent third at Worcester, but in between he has thrown in a couple of shockers at Southwell and Musselburgh.

A quick word on the much underused and underrated Emma Smith-Chaston who was riding her ninth winner of the current campaign, which has equalled her tally from the whole of last season already. I think it is about time more owners and trainers from other yards gave her an opportunity to show what she can do.

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

Congratulations to the connections, Raypasha.

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