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The winter jumping season is once again approaching, and we will have many familiar old faces returning, as well as several new ones making their debuts. Over the coming days and weeks I will be providing detailed essays on some of our horses that will hopefully be in the winners enclosure very shortly.

BANDIT D'AINAY 25 March 2011 Crossharbour-Ne M'Oubliez Pas. Owner-The Golden Cuckoo.

Bandit D'Ainay is another ex French recruit, who arrives with a wealth of experience, with 47 races already behind him. He has raced in one bumper, and five hurdle races, where he was placed third on one occasion, but it is over fences where he has spent the majority of his career, running 41 times in chases, where he has won four times, and been placed second or third on a further 12 occasions. Bandit D'Ainay with a best Racing Post rating of 128 is the best of the seven offspring of his unraced dam. His sire Crossharbour is a half brother to Rail Link, and in his racing days was the winner of a Group 2, and two Group 3 races in France.

Bandit D'Ainay started his racing career with T. Civel in France, and after making his debut in a bumper in August 2014, he them made his hurdles debut a month later when only beating one home at Auteuil. It was six months until his next appearance at Argentan where he made his chase debut, when finishing runner up. He next saw the racecourse five months later in August 2015 when winning for the first time at Dieppe. His good form continued back at Auteuil three weeks later when finishing third, and then back at the same track 22 days later he was a winner for the second time. He would race on a further six occasions for his trainer T. Civil through until September 2016 all at Auteuil, with a best placing of third on three of those occasions.

Bandit D'Ainay was on the move to the yard of F-M Cottin shortly after, and in his first six starts for his new connections he failed to get competitive. In September 2017 he signified a return to form when finishing forth over hurdles, beaten by only half a length at Auteuil. This was followed by a return to fences when winning for the third time at Auteuil in October. Bandit D'Ainay was stepped up in class for his next five starts, including a go in Grade 3 company, and although that proved beyond him, he was competitive in April, and May 2018 with two highly respectable thirds at Auteuil.

Bandit D'Ainay was off the track for the next 11 months until September 2019, and won his fourth chase on his second start back at Auteuil. In a further nine runs through until October 2020 he managed to place on four further occasions. He returned after his break in April 2021 and finished down the field twice, but on his latest start at Compiegne in June he was a very respectable third, beaten by just two and a quarter lengths.

With the exception of his bumper debut Bandit D'Ainey has never raced on a surface that wasn't either soft or heavy, so the British winter ground will hold no fears. As far as his best trip is concerned, he appears to be best between two miles and two furlongs to two miles and four furlongs. TO BE CONTINUED.

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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