The going at the time of writing for Carlisle on Sunday is good to soft, good in places on the chase course, but that is unlikely to be the situation come Sunday afternoon. With rain, and possibly snow expected on Saturday, the racecourse has called a precautionary inspection for 8.00.am, on the morning of racing.
If things get the go ahead then we will run three, with Applaus first up at 12.10.pm, in the 0-120 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle over two miles and one furlong, with our stable conditional Jack Hogan riding him for the first time. Applaus can go well fresh as he showed when winning first time out last season over this course and distance on heavy ground, he followed up by finishing second on soft ground in this corresponding race last year from a 2lb higher mark than now. His form tailed off after that, and he never got competitive in four subsequent starts between December to May.
Any rain of course will benefit Cornerstone Lad who has his fourth start over fences at 12.45.pm, in the Class 3 novices chase over two miles with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride. The heavier the surface, the better Cornerstone Lad will run, and in three previous attempts over fences, the first two on heavy, and the latest on good to soft have seen him finishing second, probably running to a mark in the mid 140's on each occasion. At Wetherby 16 days ago he once again showed the heart of a lion, sticking his head out all the way to the line when failing by three and three quarter lengths to give 16lb to the winner.
Our final runner is Perfect Man at 2.20.pm, in the 0-140 handicap hurdle over the stamina sapping three miles and one furlong with Becky Smith in the saddle, in place of his regular jockey Alain Cawley who is on duty at Fairyhouse in Ireland, riding in the prestigious Grade A handicap for Emmet Mullins. Perfect Man is the winner of seven races for his two previous yards on a variety of surfaces, and should add to that tally for us at some stage of the season. He looked in need of the run at Wetherby 16 days ago, and this race will help to further bring him back to full fitness.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, Mrs Gemma Hogg, Mrs B M Lofthouse, and The Rat Pack Racing Club.