Anyone who has ever visited Sedgefield racecourse will go away with the feeling that they have witnessed National Hunt racing the way it should be done.It is the friendliest racecourse I know, and you can get close up to the horses around the paddock, and watch them race, with a very good view of the action from the stands.Micky has been champion trainer at the racecourse on more than one occasion over the years, and we always send plenty of runners to the track.
Thursday is no exception with five horses declared to run.First up at 12.50.pm is The Rat Packs Nomountainhienough. He has made five racecourse appearances to date, showing a little ability in two bumpers for the Keith Dalgleish yard, but in three novice hurdles for us, he has failed to show anything.The handicapper should give him a mark after this,our stable conditional jockey Aidan Macdonald, rides him for the first time.
Northwest Frontier is declared to make his hurdles debut in the two and a half miles novice hurdle at 1.20.pm, he ran with promise when returning from a 14 month break to finish forth at Beverley in July, but two weeks ago at Pontefract, he weakened from three out to finish last of the four.Both of those races were a lot higher quality than what he takes on here, so if he takes to hurdling, this above average flat horse would have a bright future, stable jockey Joe Colliver takes the ride.
We have three runners in the two and a half miles handicap hurdle at 2.20.pm. Ballycrystal will be the mount of Becky Smith, he has fallen a long way down the weights since his heyday of being rated 130, back in 2018.He has been off the track since March, and been given plenty of time to freshen up, he starts his season from a mark of 102.
The six year old gelding Viking Hoard makes his stable debut for us in the same race, he was an above average flat horse rated 77 at his peak, winning twice for the Harry Dunlop yard in 2016, and 2017.He has since raced in Ireland over hurdles, winning at Killarney by 15 lengths in 2018. He hasn't raced since October of last year, when he was still in contention, but coming to grief three out, Jamie Bargary who has ridden for us in the past when he was a conditional, takes the ride.
Rockliffe completes the trio of runners in the 2.20.pm, he has had two runs on the flat last month, which will have got him match fit for a return to the track where he is a previous winner. He has the advantage of Emma Smith-Chaston taking off 7lb, but he is 5lb wrong at the weights, and he definitely wouldn't want the ground too soft.
Good luck to the connections, The Rat Pack, Craig & Laura Buckingham, A & S Associates, Mrs Gemma Hogg, and RM&T,S Toomes, J Hill & Partners.