FOUR TO SEDGEFIELD AND THREE TO MARKET RASEN ON THURSDAY.
Things are getting busier, and busier at Oakwood Stables,with lots of runners, which is also coincidentally happening at the same time as many of the horses are showing their best form in a while, but many are also needing their first run to put them spot on.Both Sedgefield, and Market Rasen stage eight race cards, and we are represented in seven of them.
Farsideofthemoon is first up in the 12.10.pm at Sedgefield, this will be his third start over hurdles, so he should receive a handicap mark after this.Previous to joining us he had raced three times for the Gordon Elliott yard in Ireland, with a forth in a bumper being his best effort. Thursdays race looks to have at least a couple of above average performers in it, with one or two others who should improve as well, Billy Garritty who rode him last time, keeps the ride.
Thirty minutes later at 12.40.pm Late Date runs in the three miles and two furlongs handicap chase,the race he won last year from exactly the same mark. Late date likes it around Sedgefield having won at the track three times, from only six attempts, the forecast soft ground will hold no fears, and Billy Garritty who rode him on his pleasing seasonal debut at Perth in September, once again deputises for the injured Alain Cawley.
Also at Sedgefield at 1.45.pm, Iconic Hero makes his stable debut, having recently been purchased out of the Dan Skelton yard to race for our 'Rat Pack Racing Club' syndicate.He failed to win in nine point to points in Ireland, but was placed over hurdles. Since going chasing he has been placed twice, and starts out for us off his lowest handicap mark yet of 97. We should learn plenty about him from this run, and our very talented 7lb conditional Emma Smith-Chaston takes the ride.
The going at Market Rasen is Good to soft, good in places, and Swinton Diamond runs in the 2.07.pm, the two miles and five furlongs handicap chase 0-100, with stable jockey Joe Colliver taking the ride. Swinton Diamond is now a very well handicapped horse, as he is 10lb lower than when he won at Carlisle over fences just over two years ago, and 8lb lower than when he won over hurdles at Market Rasen in May 2017.He has had more than his fair share of injuries, and has shown very little since his return in August, from four attempts.
Ballycrystal was lucky to get away with only 1lb rise in the weights for finishing second at Sedgefield last time out in September.He is a very well handicapped horse on his form of three years ago when trained by Brian Ellison, and although he doesn't retain the ability he once did, his last run proves that he can win again.Becky Smith has ridden him on his last four starts, and she will be well aware of which of his buttons need pressing to get the best out of him, the race is at 2.40.pm.
The Rutland Rebel makes his handicap debut over hurdles off a mark of 94 in the 3.15.pm, over the extended two miles and four furlongs, with Joe Colliver riding.He has run in three juvenile hurdles last season to get his mark, which looks stiff on what he achieved, but he is a flat winner at Pontefract from a mark of 62, last August, a race where the form worked out well.
Russian Royale has been a grand servant to the yard, and at 10 years old she is the veteran of 70 races, of which 38 have been over hurdles.She runs in the 3.25.pm at Sedgefield, and is partnered by our stable conditional Aiden Macdonald. She has run twice so far this season, at Sedgefield in September when she was only beaten eight and a half lengths into sixth, but she wasn't quite so good last time at Hexham. Over the years she has shown a preference for a sound surface, but she was second on the soft back in January,off a 3lb higher mark than now.
Good luck to the connections, Raypasha, Stephen Sugden And Ryder Sugden, A & S Associates, Mr & Mrs I P Earnshaw, The Rat Pack Racing Club, County Set Six & Partner, and G R Orchard.