• Ian Ender


We have three runners on Friday, with Kocknamona, and Lucou at Uttoxeter, and The Retriever returning to Southwell.

Knocknamona had a hard enough race at Bangor last Friday when winning his seventh race. He is due to go up 10lb from Sunday, so it is worth taking the risk that this race won't come too soon. He won over fences from a mark of 85 last time, but with his hurdles mark only being 80, he looks very well handicapped. He hasn't run over the smaller obstacles since April of last year when racing from a mark of 104, and when completing his four timer in 2017, one of those wins was over hurdles, when he won by five lengths, from a mark of 84. He has his preferred heavy ground, and this is his trip, the race is at, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride.

Our other runner at the midlands venue is Lucou who contests the, the extended one mile and seven furlongs 0-100 handicap hurdle, with Alain Cawley taking over in the saddle. Lucou was running in to form just before lock down when finishing sixth at Wetherby, beaten by four and a quarter lengths, that was from a mark of 101, where as now he can race off 90.His two runs so far this season have been disappointing, but he may have needed his return after seven months off at Hexham in October, and at the same venue last month, the two and a half miles could have stretched his stamina. Lucou has no problem with soft ground, but whether he will like heavy is an unknown.

The Retriever is giving his connections a lot of fun, and he returns to Southwell for his fourth consecutive race at the track, when coming under starters orders at have been times when his resolution could have been called into question, but he has been difficult to find fault with on his last two runs.He bumped into a better handicapped horse when finishing second last time, but ran all the way to the line, which followed up from his course and distance win previously. He is actually 1lb well in, as he is due for a rise, Jack Garritty who now knows him very well is once again riding, and stall eight is no problem. To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click o 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

Good luck to the connections, The Rat Pack Racing Club, A Walsh, J Hill, S Toomes, and RM&T Holdings Limited & Partners.

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