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  • Ian Ender

NINE RUNNERS ON TUESDAY.

We send one runner up to Ayr on Tuesday, where the going at the time of writing is good, good to soft in places, while a little nearer to home we send eight to Sedgefield for the courses penultimate meeting of the season, where the going is currently good, good to firm in places.


Getaway Jewel kicks things off at 5.15.pm, in a 0-100 novices handicap chase over two miles and one furlong, where once again he will be partnered by Alain Cawley. Alain has pulled Getaway Jewel up on both of his last two starts as he felt he wasn't striding out properly, but on both occasions nothing has come to light. He has subsequently come down the weights and is now on a very attractive mark. He is a course and distance winner, and has proved he can jump fences.


Not What It Seems appeared to put up an improved performance over this course and distance when last seen 25 days ago, when despite being too keen, and also being left short of room two out, he still came home strongly, under a great ride from Emma Smith-Chaston, who once again will be in the saddle. This race appears weaker than that last race, but he will have to defy a 7lb penalty, the race is a novice hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs.


We are doubly represented at 6.20.pm, in the 0-100 handicap hurdle over the stamina sapping three miles and three furlongs. Howzat Hiris finally showed that there is a race somewhere with her name on it when getting placed for the first time at the ninth attempt at Wetherby 33 days ago. That was on soft ground over three miles where she was staying on at the finish. This extra distance will help, but she is untried on a surface with firm in the description, Jack Hogan will once again take the ride.


Our other runner in the race is the ex French Balkotic, who was owned by the recently passed Ray Parry who was a great supporter of the yard. Balkotic was last seen on the flat at Pontefract 22 days ago when running in snatches, but keeping on up the hill over a trip of two miles and five furlongs.His one standout run over the jumps since arriving from France was at Sedgefield in March when finishing six lengths behind his stablemate Desaray Girl, and this extra distance now is a plus, but the good to firm surface is the worry, he will be partnered by Becky Smith for the first time.


Shaws Bridge who has struggled with the fences makes his fifth chase start at 6.50.pm, a novices limited handicap over two miles and three furlongs, where Alain Cawley will ride him for the first time. At first look you wonder why we are running a horse from 23lb out of the weights, but he faces only three rivals, so he will have more time to judge each fence, and of course he is 14lb below his standout run from last season, in a race that offers tremendous prize money.


Desaray Girl was in fine form in February and March notching up a 28 day hat-trick. She hasn't performed anywhere near to that standard in her last two starts, with maybe the ground riding too fast on her penultimate start, and the reapplication of cheek pieces not being to her liking most recently. The race is at 7.20.pm, a 0-110 mares only handicap hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs, with Emma Smith-Chaston retaining the ride. The big worry again would be if there is no rain between now and Tuesday.


Amber Run goes to post for the 7.50.pm, a 0-100 handicap chase over just short of three miles and three furlongs, where he will be partnered by Alain Cawley for the first time. Amber Run arrived from Ireland last autumn with no worthwhile form to show in seven starts, and then he pulled up on both his first two runs for us. At Wetherby in January he finished a 16 and a half lengths sixth, and can now race from an 8lb lower mark. His latest start at Wetherby 57 days ago is best overlooked as it was run on heavy ground which he hated, but he will have to improve some if he is to take this.


Countess Olivia will face just three rivals at 8.20.pm, in a bumper over the extended two miles, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride. Countess Olivia has shown next to nothing in three starts so far, but this flat bred performer will get to run for the first time on a surface with no soft in the description, and that could make a big difference. This will be her first start since Christmas, as she was withdrawn last Sunday at Wetherby on the flat because of the firm ground.


We also send one runner up to Ayr, where Picks Lad will make his racecourse debut at 6.06.pm, in a two miles bumper, where there is very little form on offer, but there are some big Irish and English trainers represented. Picks Lad is by the sire Westlake who is a half brother to the Dam of Frankel, while his dam was a maiden point to pointer who has produced one other racecourse representative to date, the 99 jump rated Carry On Buddy.


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, Phil Ellerby, Ryder Sugden, Sticky Wicket Racing, Raypasha, Newroc & Co, Resdev, Lady S Toomes, Mrs J Hill & Partners, John Sidebottom & Mrs Kate Sidebottom, and Howard Pickersgill.

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