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The new turf season in the North of England is back with a bang this week with racing at Redcar on Monday, Pontefract on Tuesday, Catterick on Wednesday, and Thirsk on Saturday.

Our first runner of the new turf season is Cornerstone Lad at Pontefract on Tuesday at, in Round 1 of the Pontefract Stayers Championship, The Jamaican Flight Handicap, for horses rated 66-85. The going at the time of writing is soft, good to soft in places, so with Cornerstone Lad being very ground dependant he will not run if it were to dry out two much.

To put it in the nicest possible way Cornerstone Lad is a freak of nature, he is bred to be a flat horse, and with a rating in the mid 70's on the flat he has more than lived up to his breeding, but he is a 'freak' because he is a exceptional jumper, something his breeding screams is not possible. In November 2019 he won the prestigious Fighting Fifth hurdle, earning a rating of 159, and although not reaching the same heights over fences he still was capable of winning a Class 3 handicap at Wetherby off a mark of 140 back in January.

Cornerstone Lad will be ridden by Billy Garritty, who has won on him four times previously, will face a maximum of six rivals over this marathon two miles and two furlongs, a trip he should see out, from his current mark of 73, which looks about right based on his last few flat runs, but the one big advantage Cornerstone Lad has his undying enthusiasm for enjoying his racing, and giving his all in every race he contests.

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 B M Lofthouse.

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