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IT WILL BE TOUGHER FOR BUTO THIS TIME.

We have five declared runners for Saturday, with one going to Doncaster for their flat meeting, and four making their way up to Hexham for the jumps card.


Buto came good on his sixth start for us over this course and distance 11 days ago, when winning comfortably. Although he is entitled to have a favourites chance here, when you take all the weights and measures into consideration, it can be argued that he is actually 10lb higher in the weights this time. He runs at 1.05.pm, in the two miles and seven furlongs 0-105 amateur riders handicap hurdle, with Alice Stevens taking the ride.


Applaus continues to defy his years, and once again at Hexham 11 days ago he ran another cracker when finishing second, for which the handicapper has reacted by raising him 1lb. This drop back in trip to two miles will not be a problem, with Josh Thompson who now knows him very well, once again taking off a massive 10lb. Applaus goes to post for the 2.20.pm, in the 0-115 handicap hurdle.


Grange Ranger returned from 11 months off the track to win at Wetherby in November from a 4lb higher mark than now, but in his five starts since he has failed to come anywhere near that form again. Grange Ranger has always shown his best form on a softer surface, so he wouldn't want the ground to dry out anymore, from the forecast good. He runs at 3.10.pm, in the 0-110 three miles handicap chase, with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride.


Mac Suibhne won on his stable debut at Market Rasen last July, and also won a match at Wetherby on his chase debut in October. Since that win his form has tailed off, but there are reasonable excuses for all those defeats. Now back on a sounder surface, there is no reason to think that he wont get his season back on track. He runs at 4.05.pm, in the 0-100 handicap chase, over two and a half miles, with his regular jockey Conor O'Farrell in the saddle.


Myboymax has been one of our most consistent performers over the last couple of seasons, but after winning on the all weather at Wolverhampton in December, he has struggled in his five subsequent starts, which has seen his mark slip to 69, which is 4lb lower than that last winning mark. He has the trip and the going in his favour, and is now a well handicapped horse. He goes to post for the 2.15.pm, which is a 0-70 handicap over the extended one mile and six furlongs, with Aiden Brookes retaining the ride.


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, Oakwood Racing, Mrs Gemma Hogg, Oakwood Rainbow, Phil Ellerby, and Anthony Bithell.


Mac Suibhne.(left)


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