We send seven runners up to Hexham on Tuesday, where the going is soft at the time of writing.
Brickadank runs in the opener at 5.05.pm, a 0-100 handicap hurdle over two miles, with Becky Smith on board for the first time. Brickadank gave us his first real indication at Market Rasen last time out that he can win a race when finishing third, beaten by six and a half lengths. If he is to win this then he will have to pull out a little bit more, but he is lightly raced, with only six starts over hurdles to date.
We have two representatives at 5.35.pm, a 0-105 handicap chase over the extended one mile and seven furlongs. Burdigala will have his regular pilot Alain Cawley on board for what will be his British chase debut. Since joining us from France in 2018 he has only raced over hurdles, but he is a very experienced chaser, having ran over fences on 11 occasions, and winning at Nancy in 2018 on a soft surface. He finished third at Market Rasen two runs back, which was his best run for us so far, but disappointingly failed to get involved at Ayr two weeks ago.
Our other runner in the race is Iconic Hero who will be partnered by Conor O'Farrell for the first time.When Iconic Hero was trained by Dan Skelton he was placed over hurdles and fences on three occasions, from a mark approximately 14lb higher than he can race off now. In two starts for us at Sedgefield, and Catterick last November, he fell on the first occasion, and never got involved at Catterick.The 179 day break was much needed, and he will come back a fresh horse.
We are also doubly represented at 6.05.pm, a two and a half miles novice hurdle. Daddyjacks Special has ran twice to date when finishing ninth of the 10 runners at Newcastle on his debut in a bumper, and then last time at Hexham, he was well beaten on his hurdles debut. He is obviously a horse who is going to need time, but we hope to see a little more from him this time, Billy Garritty takes the ride.
It is very interesting to see our 119 rated chaser Grange Ranger also entered for the race, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride. If he can transfer his chase form to hurdles then he will go very close to winning.Before joining us he had raced four times in novice hurdles in 2019, and although never finishing closer than fourth, he was given a mark of 113 by the handicapper.
Applaus takes on five opponents at 7.05.pm, a 0-125 handicap hurdle over two miles, where he will once again, as on all of his five previous starts this season, be ridden by Billy Garritty. Applaus won on his seasonal debut at Carlisle last November from a 5lb lower mark than now, and finished second a month later at the same track from this current mark. In three runs since, all at Wetherby, he has failed to show the same sparkle, anymore softening of the ground would be advantageous.
Kildrum is our final runner of the evening in the 8.05.pm, a 0-100 handicap hurdle over two miles and seven furlongs, with Billy Garritty taking the mount. Kildrum hadn't shown a great deal under rules before joining us, although he had finished runner up in five point to points in Ireland. He has run on three occasions for us to date, and perhaps was a shade unlucky not to win over this course and distance two runs back, when he finished second, in spite of blundering badly at the last. He also made a mistake at the first at Sedgefield on his latest start, with the jockey reporting that he never travelled after that, and was pulled up before the seventh.
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Good luck to the connections, A & S Associates, Rosemary Hetherington And Partner, The Rat Pack Racing Club, Oakwood Rainbow, S Nicols, The Deckchair Syndicate, and T M Clarke.