JUST THE EIGHT RUNNERS AT WETHERBY.
We take a team of eight to Wetherby on Saturday where the going at the time of writing is good to soft.
The promising Grand Du Nord is first up in the two miles and five furlongs novices hurdle. Grand Du Nord was a bumper winner back in April at Hexham, and returned at Wetherby three weeks ago when making his hurdles debut over the extended two miles and three furlongs where he finished a respectable sixth beaten by 15 lengths. That race will have done him good and he should be seen to even better effect here, although this a better race, and probably above average for the track. Billy Garritty who won on him previously is back in the saddle.
We are doubly represented at 12.27.pm, in the 0-105 novices handicap chase, over two miles and three furlongs. Amber Run is a new recruit, having arrived from Ireland in the autumn. He is a six year old, and this will be his first start over fences. To be fair in seven previous attempts in 2019-2020 he has never finished closer than 37 lengths behind the winner, but he starts out for us from a mark of only 90. Emma Smith-Chaston takes the ride, and she can claim 7lb.
We are also represented in the race by The Very Thing who will be ridden by his regular jockey Alain Cawley. The Very Thing's handicap mark has now become eye catching following a series of below par efforts, including his recent chase debut at Newcastle 16 days ago. His best form since joining us is over longer trips than this, but when he was trained elsewhere back in 2018 he was placed three times over two miles.
Trac has his third start for us since arriving from France in the summer. He goes to post at 1.02.pm, a 0-115 handicap hurdle over three miles with Alain Cawley retaining the ride. He is yet to fire in two starts for us, and now takes a big step up in trip from the two miles he ran over last time. His current mark of 95 is probably good enough to see him get competitive, if he can get back to the best of his French form.
Grange Ranger was a winner at Wetherby back in February from a mark of 3lb lower than now, but he probably put up a better performance at Carlisle in March when finishing second in Class 3 company. He runs in the 0-135 handicap chase over three miles at 1.37.pm, with Alain Cawley taking the ride. Grange Ranger made his seasonal debut at Wetherby five weeks ago, and with that run under his belt we should see him more competitive this time.
Perfect Man is the winner of seven of his 33 starts to date, and although his best form is on a softer surface, he is also a winner on good ground. He has his third start for us since arriving at the yard back in May, at 2.12.pm, in the two miles 0-140 handicap hurdle where Becky Smith rides him for the first time. Perfect Man looked as if the race would do him good on his seasonal debut at Wetherby three weeks ago, and this step down in trip should help to further bring him to peak fitness.
Geryville made a mockery of his opening mark of 109 on his British debut at Wetherby five weeks ago when going clear from two out to win by 12 lengths, the handicapper has reacted by raising him 10lb. That race was over the extended two miles and three furlongs, and he now steps up to three miles for the first time in his career, and there is no reason to think he won't stay the trip. The race is a 0-120 handicap chase, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride.
Our final runner is the three year filly Mygirlmel who makes her racecourse debut in the junior bumper at 3.22.pm, over 12 furlongs with Becky Smith taking the ride. Mygirlmel is the third racecourse representative of her dam, who was a winner herself back in 2010 at Yarmouth, from just six starts. Mygirlmel also has a winning half sister, who won on the all weather at Dundalk in 2020.
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, Middleham Park Racing & S Nicols, Derek Walpole, Lady S Toomes, Mrs J Hill & Partners, Randall Orchard & Partners, Oakwood Rainbow, The Rat Pack Racing Club, R M Howard, and Anthony Bithell.