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We send five on the short trip up to Sedgefield, where the going is soft, and we also have a runner on the all weather at Wolverhampton in the evening.

We will be doubly represented in the novices handicap chase at, over two miles and five furlongs. Great Raffles has now run on three occasions over fences without getting competitive, since returning from eight months off the track. He was in top form in the spring of 2022, when winning twice in succession over hurdles, and is now just 1lb higher than his last success. If he can get his act together over fences he is well handicapped, with Emma Smith-Chaston taking the ride.

Our other runner in the race is Royle Steel, who is already a dual winner around Sedgefield, and he will have the assistance of the champion jockey Brian Hughes in the saddle. Royle Steel made a winning reappearance at Sedgefield in October, but has disappointed twice since on a softer surface. In fact he is yet to perform to his best, when there has been the word soft in the description.

Halpha Soleil was a ready winner over this course and distance on Boxing Day, before not quite performing to the same level, when fourth at Catterick 30 days ago. This return to Sedgefield from a 4lb higher mark, should once again see him in the mix. Halpha Soleil runs at, in the 0-110 handicap hurdle, over the extended two miles and three furlongs, with Conor O'Farrell taking the mount.

Monaghan Boy has now finished second on each of his last three starts, with the feeling being that he is getting better with each run. He now steps up in trip, and the first time cheek pieces applied here, could do the trick. Monaghan Boy goes to post for the, in the 0-100 handicap chase, over three miles and three furlongs, with Emma Smith-Chaston retaining the ride.

Coup De Coeur was third at Sedgefield in November, and then went two places better at the track 19 days later. He was an excellent second on his handicap debut on Boxing Day at Wetherby, before finishing fourth back at Sedgefield last time. Coup De Coeur has now put four solid efforts together, and should once again be competitive here, in the 0-115 handicap hurdle, over the extended two miles, at, where he will be ridden by Brian Hughes for the first time.

At Wolverhampton Sparkle In His Eye will take his chance at, in the 0-63 handicap, over seven furlongs, where he will have his regular partner Aiden Brookes in the saddle. Sparkle In His Eye has got a decent draw in stall five, and was a winner from 3lb lower than now over this course and distance, on his last visit to the track, very nearly two years ago.

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, The Golden Cuckoo, A E Tasker, T I S Partnership, John Burnett, and Samuel Sutton.

Monaghan Boy.

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