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With racing taking a four day break over Christmas, here is a look down memory lane at some of our wonderful warriors of the past.

YORKIST 12 March 2008. Urban Ocean-Kilbarry Demon. Owner-Mike and Eileen Newbould.

We recently received the sad news of the passing of the very smart hurdler, and chaser Yorkist, from natural causes.He raced a total of 48 times, winning on eight occasions,four times over hurdles, and four times over fences.He was trained by three of the best in the business, in his eight year career, by Brian Ellison, Dan Skelton, and on two separate occasions by Micky.

Yorkist was out of an unraced Bob's Return mare, and had two Gordon Elliott trained half brothers, who were both also well above average.He was also the highest rated runner for his sire Urban Ocean, the half brother of Galileo.

Yorkist made his racecourse debut for Micky on February 21st, 2012, finishing second in a bumper, the winner of the race was the future Grand National winner Many Clouds. Yorkist made his hurdles debut in November 2012, but though he failed to win in seven attempts, he was second twice, and he also fell when disputing the lead two out at Carlisle.

Yorkist joined Brian Ellison for the 2013 season to race in handicap hurdles off the very attractive mark of 108. He won on his third start for his new yard at Catterick in December in a maiden hurdle, under Nathan Moscrop, this would prove to be a very productive period, as over the course of the next two months he won three of his next four, Nathan won on each occasion, and the only defeat came when A.P.McCoy was in the saddle. Yorkist finished his season rated 138. an improvement of 30lb in just eight weeks.

Yorkist made his chase debut in November 2014, he raced seven times over fences that season winning twice,and never being out of the first three, he finished that season with his all time highest rating of 139 over fences.

For the 2015-2016 season Yorkist returned to Micky for a second spell, where he would contest some quality handicaps, from a mark that never dropped below 131, although he was in the handicappers grip,he placed on five of his seven runs, with his best effort being second in the Scottish Champion Chase Handicap, when just failing to give 16lb to Chestnut Ben.

Yorkist was on the move again for the 2016-2017 season, this time joining the team at Dan Skelton's. On his second run for the yard he won the prestigious Castleford Chase, over Christmas at Wetherby, beating his former stablemate Just Cameron into third place.He raced another four times, once again placing on each occasion, but finding marks in the mid 130's just beyond him.

Yorkist was off the track for the next 18 months, not returning until November 2018 at Aintree, from a mark of 130.He would prove that he could win fresh by coming home comfortably by six lengths, under Harry Skelton. His next two runs were at Cheltenham, and Sandown, where he never got competitive, and it was decided he needed wind surgery.When he returned at Wetherby in February 2019, he ran very close to his best when third off 134, under Bridget Andrews.He would race a further four times without ever getting competitive,his last racecourse appearance was at Ascot in November 2019, in the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase.

Yorkist was best at the minimum trip, and could act on Good, Soft, or Heavy ground, he was very consistent, only falling once over hurdles, and never falling over fences.His form was very similar for all of his three yards, and he gave Mike and Eileen Newbould some wonderful memories,Gemma Hogg assistant trainer to Micky summed up what Yorkist meant to everyone when she said,'Wherever he was trained,it was like one of our own.'

KNOW-NO-NO. 17 March 1989. Balboa-Simply Marvellous Owner-Mrs A. Kane.

Know-No-No raced between 1995-2001, winning on seven occasions, recording a hat-trick of wins twice.He won six times over hurdles, and once over fences, in a 39 race career. He ran 32 times for Micky, before finishing his career in Scotland with the trainer A.R,Dicken. Know-No-No started his career in the famous green and white colours of Trevor Hemmings, when contesting three bumpers, his best effort coming at Catterick on debut, in February 1993, when going down by six lengths, to finish a very promising third.

He was forth on his hurdles debut at Ayr, in February 1994, before a trip tp Musselburgh two weeks later, to finish second.He had his Summer break, before returning at Ayr in October 1994, to finish forth over two and a half miles. a trip which stretched his stamina, and he would return to the minimum trip for the rest of his career.Know-No-No raced in a further five novice hurdles through until February 1995, before finally at the 12th attempt getting off the mark at Perth in April, winning by seven lengths, with Peter Niven in the saddle.His final start that season was his handicap debut from a mark of 95 back at Perth, where he was still travelling strongly when making a bad blunder two out, and fading to finish sixth of the nine runners.

Know-No-No returned at Catterick in December 1995 to make his chase debut, where he was already being driven along, when falling three from home.He raced just twice more that year,finishing second at Musselburgh in January 1996, and third at Doncaster in March. On his return at Catterick in January 1997, he made his handicap chase debut from a mark of 90, but fell when out of contention.He made mistakes on his next two starts, but still managed to finish third at Musselburgh, before being given a three month break.Know-No-No came back a fresh horse, winning his next race at Perth in May by 17 lengths,without a semblance of a mistake.Nine days later he made light of a penalty at Hexham, this time coming home by nine lengths, once again, in the hands of Russ Garritty. He completed the hat-trick just 12 days later back at Perth, this time in a handicap, winning by 10 lengths.He was then third at Southwell, and second at Catterick, before setting about his second hat-trick.He went on to win three consecutive handicaps, at Perth (twice,) and Kelso, taking his mark to a career high of 120.Know-No-No had won six races between May, and November 1997, from eight starts.

He raced just four more times for Micky,with his final race being at Aintree on May 15th, 1998, when finishing a respectable fifth, beaten 13 lengths, from his mark of 120. Know-No-No didn't appear again until December 1998, when now in the care of Scottish trainer A.R,Dicken, he raced six times for that yard, but never got competitive. His final racecourse appearance was at Musselburgh on December 18th, 2001.

PERTUIS. 15 February 2006. Verglas-Lady Killeen.-Grey Gelding. Owner-M.H.O.G.

In recent weeks I have written about some of the brave warriors here at Oakwood Stables that raced in excess of 100 times, the likes of Amir Pasha, Danceintothelight, and Roxyfet, and today it is time to sing the praises of Pertuis, who raced 95 times, and would probably have reached 100, if not succumbing to injury.

Pertuis was an Irish bred horse, who began his racing career in France, with the Mile H. Van Zuylen yard, where he raced 17 times on the flat between September 2008, until October 2010.He was placed on seven occasions, at varying distances between eight, and 12 furlongs, but never got his head in front.

Remaining in the same ownership of Mr Rupert Hambro, Pertuis was transferred to Lambourn, to continue his career with Harry Dunlop. Just 17 days after his last race in France, he made a winning debut for the Dunlop yard, on the all weather at Lingfield, in a 10 furlongs maiden, under Luke Morris.In total Pertuis ran eight times for that yard, wining again at Lingfield in January 2011, and receiving a best BHA mark of 76.

Pertuis arrived at Oakwood Stables via the Newmarket Sales in the Autumn of 2011, to continue his career as a dual purpose horse.He raced in three novice hurdles, with his best effort being a 22 length forth of 16 at Catterick, but the handicapper still thought he was worth an opening mark of 99. His jumping career was put on hold, as he ran his next five races on the flat in the Spring of 2012, but he failed to fire, which saw his mark reduce from 76 to 56.Things did click in to place in the Ladies race at Pontefract in July, where after being held up,Pertuis came with a late run under Becky Smith to win at 40/1. Pertuis was a horse who had to be held up off a fast pace, and that was how he was ridden,from then onward. He was a well handicapped horse,and Becky won on him again at Catterick in August, and then he was second on his next two starts.Back over hurdles at Wetherby on Boxing Day 2012, he finished second after being hampered in the back straight, and 17 days later, back at the same track, he stayed on in to third.

Pertuis gave his owners one of their most memorable day at Ripon, in June 2013, by winning the Lady Amateur Riders Ladies Derby, when having the considerable advantage of Lady Champion Amateur, Serena Brotherton in the saddle.He would place a further three times, before returning to the jumps in November, where back at Wetherby,he was just touched off by the Ryan Winks ridden Hartside, after hitting the last hard.

He was back in the winners enclosure at Pontefract in April 2014, under Graham Lee, and then after finishing second at Ripon in early June, he won his sixth race, 15 days later at the same track. In September, and October he would twice again finish runner up over the jumps at Wetherby, with his next win coming the following April at Catterick. He won again at Catterick in July,but it would be a further eight attempts, and 11 more months until his next win, which came when winning the Ladies Derby at Ripon, for a second time, with Catherine Walton doing the steering on that occasion. Pertuis raced a further nine times, but he was now suffering with joint problems. Unfortunately these problems got worse and on the vets advice, he was put to sleep, so he wouldn't suffer anymore.

Pertuis was a tricky ride, in that he had to pass horses off a fast pace, in order to produce his best, he handled any surface, and won a total of 10 races.Along with Amir Pasha, Dancintothelight, and Roxyfet, he was as tough as they come.

To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

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We send one to York, where the going at the time of writing is described as good, good to soft in places, and then in the evening we have two at Market Rasen, where the ground is also good, good to so


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