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The winter jumping season is once again approaching, and we will have many familiar old faces returning, as well as several new ones making their debuts. Over the coming days and weeks I will be providing detailed essays on some of our horses that will hopefully be in the winners enclosure very shortly.

GRAND DU NORD. 02 May 2016. Montmartre-Vanille D'Ainay. Owner-Middleham Park Racing & S Nicols.

Grande Du Nord as the name suggests is a French bred. His dam only raced once when pulling up in a four year old's only at Auteuil in 2013. Grande Du Nord is her second produce, with the first foal Farceur D'Ainay yet to show any form in two starts in 2020. His sire is the top class middle distance horse Montmartre from the family of Montjeu, and he is a reliable source of top class jumpers.

Grande Du Nord has raced on three occasions to date, between November 2020, to April 2021, all in bumper company. He made his racecourse debut at Newcastle, where he unfortunately slipped and fell before the start, but in the actual race once the penny began to drop, he stayed on to finish an eight and three quarter lengths fourth, with the Racing Post comment saying 'Did well in the circumstances.' His second appearance was also at Newcastle in February 2021, this time on the all weather, where once again his temperament got the better of him, as he pulled two hard in the early stages, and although finishing down the field in 10th place, he was only beaten by six and three quarter lengths. He was back on the turf at Hexham in April, on good ground with Billy Garritty in the saddle for the first time, and Grand Du Nord, now with the benefit of those first two races under his belt showed himself to be an above average performer, as he kept on strongly to win by four lengths, earning a Racing Post rating of 108.

Grand Du Nord will now go over hurdles, and there is every reason to be confident that he will make up in to a very useful performer.

To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

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