IT'S GREAT TO BE RACING AT PONTEFRACT AGAIN.
Pontefract stage their first meeting of the new turf flat season on Tuesday, which includes 'Round 1 of The Stayers Championship,' The Jamaican Flight Handicap, over the mammoth trip of two miles and two furlongs, for horses rated 0-80. The race is named after the wonderful stayer Jamaican Flight, who won around Pontefract on four occasions, and raced an amazing 183 times between 1995, until his retirement in 2007.
The Pontefract stayers championship has been very kind to us over the years, with Mr Crystal, Tuscan Gold, and Becky The Thatcher all being outright previous winners of the six race series, and we kick off the 2021 version with The Rutland Rebel trying to emulate his illustrious stablemates.
The Rutland Rebel has been in fine form over the winter on the All Weather winning twice, and being placed twice at Wolverhampton.This return to turf shouldn't be a concern as his only previous win on grass came here at Pontefract. Although he has never ran as far as this 18 furlongs before, his previous form suggests he will get the trip. At Wolverhampton last time he raced from the same mark of 70, but maybe having to make the running was not an advantage in hindsight. The race is at 1.30.pm, and Robert Havlin rides him for the first time.
Our other runner Dragons Will Rise has also had a very successful All Weather campaign, having won four of his last six starts, he will also be partnered by Robert Havlin, who has already won on him three times.The race which is at 4.35.pm, over one mile and is a 0-70 event, which represents a step up in grade. Dragons Will Rise has also been raised a further 5lb for his last win, which on the face of it looks a shade harsh, but he once again appeared to win with a bit in hand. All of his best form is on the All Weather, but that is probably just coincidence, as he was still maturing when last seen on turf, he has dawn well in stall four.
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, Ryder Sugden, and The Golden Cuckoo.