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We have a runner at Thirsk, where the going at the time of writing is good to soft, another at Hexham, where it is also riding good to soft, and one down at Uttoxeter, where the going on the hurdles course is also good to soft.

At Thirsk, Rioja Alta runs at, in the 0-75 handicap, over one mile and six furlongs, with Aiden Brookes taking the ride. Rioja Alta has raced twice over hurdles since arriving from Ireland, and has pleased on both occasions by finishing third. He has raced five times on the flat for his previous yard, and the form suggests that he will see out this trip, which he tries for the first time.

At Hexham, Bunker Bay has his second start over hurdles since arriving at the yard. He was too keen on his debut at Catterick back in February, and will have learned from that initial introduction. He ran on the flat on 15 occasions for his previous yard, winning at Yarmouth last July, and earning a best BHA mark of 72. Bunker Bay who has proved himself in good to soft ground, runs at, in the two miles novice hurdle, with Emma Smith-Chaston retaining the ride.

At Uttoxeter, Ambassador returns from a 169 day break to contest the 0-100 handicap hurdle, over the extended one mile and seven furlongs, at, with Josh Thompson having his first ride back since his bad injury several months ago. We wish Josh all the best, as he gets his career back on track. Ambassador won twice over this course and distance last season, and starts out back here from the same mark as his latest win. His overall form suggests that he needs a sound surface, so anymore drying out of the ground would be a plus.

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, Mrs B M Lofthouse, The Golden Cuckoo, and David Parry.

Rioja Alta.

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