• Ian Ender


ROCKLIFFE 08 March 2013 Notnowcato-Hope Island RM&T, S Toomes, J Hill & Partners.

Rockliffe arrived at Oakwood Stables in the Autumn of 2016, having already had a very busy career with the Mick Channon yard, racing 5 times as a 2 year old, and then a further 14 races at 3, in the space of 8 months. His sole success came over 1 mile and 2 furlongs at Bath off a mark of fifty five, in the May of his 3 year old season.

He made his debut for us over hurdles at Ludlow, finishing 4th, showing aptitude for the discipline. This was followed by 2 quick runs on the flat, where it looked like the exertions of a long season had caught up with him, and he went off for his winter break.

He returned at Pontefract the following April, finishing 6th of the fourteen runners, and perhaps looking in the grip of the handicapper, over the course of his next 5 races the handicapper did relent, but Rockliffe still couldn't get competitive.

We decided to drop him in to a seller at Ripon, and that saw him finish 2nd to his stablemate Calypso Delegator. He then returned to hurdles, but the soft ground he encountered didn't suit, so he had a short break until the following February. On his return, and from a handy looking mark of 82, he won up at Musselburgh, he then followed up at Sedgefield after another 2 month break. He was now at the top of his game, being placed in his next three races, under both codes.

It was December 18th, 2018 at Catterick which will always stick in my memory, stepping up to 2 miles and 4 furlongs for the first time, everything just fell into place for Rockliffe. As usual the brave and admirable Danceintothelight set a very strong pace, setting the race up for a finisher, and under Amie Waugh, Rockliffe, who had been travelling well throughout, breezed to the front, it was just one of those races, nothing else appeared to run it's race, and Rockcliffe looked like a horse who should have been running in two grades higher. In subsequent races under both codes he has failed to reproduce that run, but is now well handicapped again. Watch out for him on good ground, because he does know how to win.

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Micky Hammond Racing, Oakwood Stables, Middleham, DL8 4PT.