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We have just the one runner at Sedgefield on Thursday, when the eight year old mare Ciarabella contests the 0-105 handicap hurdle, over the mammoth trip of three miles and three furlongs, which is about as far as you can go over timber. Ciarabella finished runner up over course and distance on her latest run 28 days ago, needing every yard of the trip to bring out the best in her. That race was on heavy ground, and although the predicted going this time is good, she showed she could handle a faster surface when finishing third at Cartmel last August.The handicapper has done her no favours in raising her a harsh looking 5lb, but she does come into the race in form, unlike several of her opponents, the champion jockey Brian Hughes rides her for the first time. To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

Good luck to the connections, M H O G.

CIARABELLA. 12 April 2013. Gold Well-Fancy Fashion. Owner-M H O G.

Ciarabella is a lightly raced eight year old mare by the unraced brother to Montjeu, Gold Well, who is doing well as a sire of National Hunt horses. Her Dam was the winner of an Irish point to point in 2009, and in seven attempts under rules, registered a best official rating of 90.

Ciarabella started her racing career in Ayrshire, Scotland, in the care of R Mike Smith.She made her debut as a four year old in November 2017 at Ayr, in a bumper, beating one home in heavy ground.She was back at Ayr again in January, and February 2018, racing in two further bumpers, without getting competitive, both races were once again on heavy ground.Her final start for the Smith yard was once again at Ayr in November, following her summer break, this time it was a debut over hurdles, but she finished last of the seven, on good ground.

Ciarabella would next appear in February 2019, having changed yards, moving to Ian Duncan, who also trains in Ayrshire.Stepping up to two and a half miles, in novice hurdle company, back at Ayr, she failed once again to make any show.She returned to Ayr for the sixth time in as many races, when finishing down the field again, but receiving her first handicap mark of 86.She made her handicap debut at Newcastle in April, under Billy Garritty, over three miles, but came home 34 lengths behind the winner in eighth place.Her final start for another yard was her debut over fences at Ayr, in May 2019, when after not always jumping fluently, she trailed home last of the four runners.

Ciarabella made her debut for us at Cartmel in August 2020, on only her second start over fences, and provided us with a nice surprise. Despite looking as if the race would bring her on, she still managed a gutsy third, and showed her very first signs of any real ability.Hopes were high when she next appeared at Hexham in December, but after a couple of mistakes, she didn't produce her previous run, coming home in fifth, beaten by 22 lengths. Ciarabella was off the track for the next 78 days, until reappearing at Sedgefield in February 2021, this time over hurdles, on heavy ground, and from a reduced mark of 74. Racing over three miles and three furlongs, which is about as far as you can go over hurdles, Ciarabella was doing all her best work at the finish, going down by three quarters of a length, signalling that a win may not be too far away. TO BE CONTINUED.

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