CORNERSTONE LAD HEADS OUT TEAM OF SIX AT NEWCASTLE.
The going at Newcastle on Thursday at the time of writing is good to soft, soft in places, with the prospect of it getting even softer as we approach race time.
Once again we are well represented, with our promising novice Rory And Me first up at 11.40.am, in the two miles maiden hurdle, with Alain Cawley in the saddle. It is just over a year since we last saw Rory And Me when he finished second in a novice hurdle at Wetherby. Previous to that he was the winner of two bumpers, and has been placed three times on the flat, earning a best BHA meeting of 74.
In division 2 of the maiden hurdle at 12.10.pm, Daddyjacks Special returns from his summer break, with Henry Brooke who rode him on debut back in March, back in the saddle. That race was a bumper, and his other two starts have been in hurdles, so he could get his first official mark after this, although he will have to show more than in those previous two starts.
Another returning from a seven months break is Burdigala who goes to post at 12.40.pm, in a 0-100 handicap hurdle over two miles, with our stable conditional jockey Jack Hogan on board for the first time. Before joining us Burdigala had form in France that earned him a mark of 115 for his British debut three years ago. He has had his fare share of injuries, and has only raced on 11 occasions since, which has seen his mark slip to 79. The one bright light during those 11 runs was an eight and a half lengths third of seven at Market Rasen back in March, giving hope that there is a race in him shortly.
When stepped up in trip at Carlisle seven weeks ago Brickadank probably ran his best race yet when finishing second, for which the handicapper has pushed him up 1lb. A repeat of that run will see him very much in the mix, with Emma Smith-Chaston able to claim 7lb. The race is a 0-100 two and half miles handicap hurdle at 1.10.pm.
At 1.45.pm, we run the exciting prospect Trevelyn's Corn, who makes his stable debut. He is a recent purchase out of the Paul Nicholls yard, and before injury he was expected to go right to the top. After winning his point to point in Ireland in 2017, he won on his second start for the Nicholls yard at Wincanton in March 2019, before finishing down the field in a Grade 1 at Aintree, after which he had wind surgery. His only other start to date was at Chepstow in October 2019 when pulling up in the Grade 2 Persian War Novice Hurdle. Obviously Trevelyn's Corn has a big engine, and if he can stay sound then he could be anything. He starts out for us by making his chase debut in a 0-120 handicap over two miles and seven furlongs, with Emma Smith-Chaston in the saddle.
Last but not least is our stable star Cornerstone Lad who runs at 2.20.pm, in the novices Limited Handicap chase over two miles with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride, Cornerstone Lad has finished runner up in each of his three previous runs over fences, probably running to a similar level on each occasion, which is reflected in his current handicap mark of 145. Although he faces four opponents, three of them are 6lb or more out of the weights. Pay the Piper who appears to be his main danger sets a good standard, but does look weighted up to it's best. It goes without saying that any more rain would be a plus.
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Good luck to the connections, Richard Howard & Ben Howard, S Nicols, Rosemary Hetherington And Partner, A & S Associates, D Lees, and Mrs B M Lofthouse.