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In the world of horse racing who are the real hard men, or women? I suggest it is the four miles chasers, who run in heavy ground at Hexham on a Wednesday afternoon. and here at Oakwood Stables we have one of them.His name is Dontdelay, and under the right conditions he is as hard as nails.

It was in the corresponding race 12 months ago that Dontdelay made virtually all in heavy ground, holding on gamely from the last to win by two and a quarter lengths. There are very few events in the racing calendar run over this extreme distance, but any lesser trip always leaves him outpaced. Everything looks in place for another big run this year, as he will be ridden by his regular pilot Emma Smith-Chaston, and also goes well when fresh. The one down side to his chance is that he will have to race off 7lb higher than last year, the race is at, but don't expect to know the result until at least

Our other runner is Lucou who takes on 16 opponents at,with Becky Smith who has ridden him on the last three occasions taking the ride. Lucou arrived from France last summer with an inflated handicap mark of 119, and as with many French imports he has taken time to acclimatise.He ran his best race for us at Wetherby in March, just before lock down curtailed his season, and he will have needed his first run back 22 days ago at Hexham. He can now race from a mark of 95, and should have no problem with a soft surface, on what will be his first attempt at two and a half miles.

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, The Golden Cuckoo, and A Walsh, J Hill, and S Toomes.

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