SIX RUNNERS ON MONDAY.
We send five to Pontefract for their penultimate meeting of the season, where the going at the time of writing is soft, and we also send one down to Wolverhampton for their evening meeting on the Tapeta, under the floodlights.
First up at 1.39.pm, is Merlin's Gold in the 10 furlongs novice stakes with Billy Garritty who rode him on debut, back in the saddle. We won't see the best of Merlin's Gold until he strengthens up over the winter, but he will gain further experience on this his third run as a two year old.
Another of our juveniles is Fiftyshadesaresdev who finished second over this course and distance 31 days ago in novice company. He is declared at 2.14.pm, in the six furlongs nursery, in what his his first venture in to handicap company. His opening mark of 71 seems fair on what he has shown so far. This will be the first time he has encountered a softer surface, and the six furlongs trip does look a bare minimum. His draw in seven should not cause a problem, and P.J. McDonald rides him for the first time.
P. J. McDonald also takes the ride on The Resdev Way who runs in the 'Bluff Cove' handicap over the stamina sapping two miles and two furlongs at 3.14.pm. The Resdev Way is now a veteran of 74 races, and the winner of nine. He took his time to find his form last season, which was his first year with us, but he got off the mark on his last start in April at Wolverhampton. On the few occasions The Resdev Way has run on a softer surface he has failed to get competitive. His turf mark is 1lb below his last winning all weather mark, and this race should put him straight for another season on the flat, and over the jumps.
Irv has gone close to getting his head in front on a number of occasions this season, without finding that extra gear required at the business end. Over this course and distance of a mile on his latest start he finished fourth under Graham Lee who retains the ride. Irv's mark continues to drop, and he is now 15lb below his last winning rating, the race is at 4.45.pm.
Frankelio runs in division 2 of the 0-75 handicap at 5.15.pm, with Graham Lee who won on him over course and distance last season taking the ride. The pick of Frankelio's form this season was his second at York on a soft surface back in May. This distance of a mile is probably his best trip, and he can handle a soft surface, he is also 1lb lower than he was at York.
We also have one runner at Wolverhampton where Red Skye Delight will take up her engagement at 6.30.pm, in a 0-52 handicap over the extended mile. She has been favoured by the draw, and can help force the pace if she wishes from stall 2. She ran her best race for us over this course and distance back in January when finishing second under Hollie Doyle, when leading until inside the final furlong, she will now be re-united with Joanna Mason, who was on board last time.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, S Nicols, Resdev, Irvine Lynch, Forty Forty Twenty, and Miss Rebecca Dennis.