SIX RUNNERS AT WETHERBY ON SATURDAY,AND TWO AT AINTREE.
MICKY HAMMOND RACING.
The going at Wetherby on Saturday at the time of writing is soft, good to soft in places, with more rain expected.
Blue Hussar has been a grand servant since joining us from the Aiden O'Brien yard in 2014, winning three hurdle races, and twice on the flat, including a memorable day at York.As he has got older, a stamina test has become essential, so the three miles on Saturday will suit. He was a winner from a mark of 109 back in January at Market Rasen, but unfortunately struck into himself when attempting to follow up in February. In two runs, one on the flat, and one on the jumps since his return, he has failed to get competitive, the race is at 1.02.pm, and Billy Garritty takes the ride.
The ex French Eragone makes his debut for us in the handicap chase at 1.37.pm, with Billy Garrity taking the ride.He has won three hurdles, and one chase to date, and arrives here on the back of a comfortable hurdles win in a claimer at the start of October at Auteuil. The handicapper has taken no chances giving him a mark of 136, on what will be his first attempt at three miles, but he will be at home on the ground.
The likeable Ilaya has her third start of the season, and her third run at Wetherby. She improved from a mark of 102 last season, to a mark of 125, and is paying the price of that success, but she is now back down to 120.Her seasonal debut was very encouraging, but she put in a rare under par run last time. The race is at 2.12.pm, with her regular jockey Becky Smith in the saddle.
Grange Ranger has finished runner up on both starts since joining us. At Catterick in February he was 33 lengths in front of the third horse, when finishing second, and was raised 6lb. On his return at the end of October at Wetherby, he once again signified that his turn is not far away, and from the same mark under Alain Cawley who is riding him for the first time, it could be third time lucky, the race is at 2.47.pm.
We have two runners in the fillies junior bumper at 3.22.pm when Countess Olivia, and Howzat Hiris both make their racecourse debuts, in a race that has been good to us over the years. Countess Olvia has two flat winning half brothers, one rated 92, and the other rated 80, she is a daughter of the 2013 Derby winner Ruler Of The World, Alain Cawley will do the steering.
Howzat Hiris has more of a jumping pedigree than Countess Olivia, her dam only ever ran once, finishing second in a bumper at Hereford, back in 2012, and she has produced two runners to date, including the 119 winning hurdler Easter Gold.Her sire Al Namix is a proven sire of National Hunt horses, Becky Smith will take the ride.
Good luck to the connections, Richard Howard & Ben Howard, Samuel Sutton, The Golden Cuckoo, Oakwood Rainbow, John Sidebottom & Mrs Kate Sidebottom, and Sticky Wicket Racing.