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KNOCKNAMONA 29 May 2011 Trans Island-Faraday Lady Owner-The Rat Pack Racing Club.

The current flag bearer of The Rat Pack Racing Club, Knocknamona has now won eight times for his enthusiastic owners.

Knocknamaona started his racing career in the Irish Point to Point field as a four year old, in the hands of trainer Eugene O'Sullivan, where he ran six times, coming closest to winning on his final start, when going down by a neck.

He made his debut for us in November, 2016 in a novice hurdle at Carlisle, but struggled to find any worthwhile form, even with a generous looking handicap mark of 84 on his seventh attempt, he still couldn't get competitive. Things finally did come right at Newcastle in March, 2017, from a new low mark of 80 he came home two lengths in front under Joe Colliver, this was his first run for us in very heavy ground, and it definitely suited. From the same mark of 80, on soft ground at Hexham nine days later, when going off at 5/4, he ran a respectable second, with the race possibly coming a shade too soon. He ran twice more that season, but a long campaign without a break had taken it's toll, and he was given a break until September.

He was slow to come to hand on his return, in a hurdle, and then on his first two chases under rules, but in November he struck form with a vengeance on his favoured heavy ground, winning four times in a row, in just over eight weeks. Some clever placing saw him win two hurdles, and two chases, taking his mark from 83 to 103. On the better ground in March 2018 he failed to get competitive, and he was given his Summer holiday.

After a race that put him straight on his return in October 2018, he was placed twice, running right up to his best, but being anchored by his handicap mark. In February, 2019 over fences at Carlisle, he was looking held three out, but they had gone hard up front, and to jockey Alain Cawley's never say die ride, Knocknamona responded to his urging, picking them off one by one, and coming home eight lengths clear. After that the ground went against him again, and the handicapper was then slow to drop him, but there had been signs he was running in to form again, and hopes were high at Catterick when next seen in January 2020 , but unfortunately he was badly hampered at the first and brought down. With the onset of Covid, and the shutdown, it was decided to send Knocknamona on his holidays, and it would be nine months until we saw him again. Knocknamona has always been slow to come to hand, and his return run at Hexham in October saw him pull up, this was followed by a distant seventh place finish at Carlisle two weeks later. At Bangor in December his mark had now dropped down to 85, and over his optimum trip of two and a half miles, and of course with the essential deep ground he needs, he struck form again, comfortably winning by eight lengths. He was out again just a week later, this time over hurdles from a 5lb lower mark, in what looked a competitive race for the grade,

Knocknamona finished a very respectable second, with maybe the race coming too soon after Bangor. He would race on three more occasions during the 20/21 season, between January to March, but he couldn't reproduce that winning form.

Knocknamona returned from his summer break at Sedgefield in November, and once again ran as if the race would do him good, when finishing seventh. This was followed a month later at Hexham where he failed to complete, pulling up before the last fence. In a near mirror image to the previous campaign, Knocknamona came good again on his third start, this time at Newcastle in January 2022, when racing from his previous winning mark of 85, he once again won with the greatest of ease, showing that at the age of 11 he is as good as ever under the right conditions. TO BE CONTINUED.

To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

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