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CHARLOTTE VALE. 23 April 2001 Pivotal-Drying Grass Moon-Chestnut Mare. Owner-Peter J. Davies.

You could say that Charlotte Vale lived life to the full, although her life was eventually cut short due to a foot injury, that eventually got the better of her. She raced a total of 53 times, including nine times over hurdles. After her racing days were done, she was sent off to stud for a second career, that produced five offspring, including the 91 RPR rated Favourtism who was trained by Kevin Ryan, and only raced four times for that yard, all as a two year old, but looked an exiting prospect in the making. Two of Charlotte Vale's progeny were also in training here at Oakwood Stables, her first foal, Margo Channing, and her second, Spats Columbo, who was just getting the hang of racing, when unfortunately breaking down, and subsequently losing his life on the racecourse at Redcar, in 2013. Charlotte Vale is also fondly remembered for giving Gemma Hogg our assistant trainer, her first, and only win as a jockey under rules at Hamilton Park on June 7th, 2007. Unfortunately I don't have enough space to go in to detail about that race now, but for a full detailed report, get yourself a copy of 'Stable Lass,' by Gemma Hogg, and go to Chapter 16.

Charlotte Vale made her debut in June 2003, over an inadequate five furlongs at Pontefract, doing her best work at the business end, and finishing forth. A step up to six furlongs at Hamilton next time, once again saw her finishing well, this time she was runner up.As a three year old, she finally got off the mark at Thirsk in a handicap off a mark of 65, over one mile four furlongs, a trip and track that would suit her well during her career. She was back in the winners enclosure at Pontefract in June, and placed on a further four occasions as a three year old.

Her next success came in June 2005, back at Thirsk, taking her BHA rating to 76, a mark that she regularly ran off, or very close to for the rest of her flat career.

She made her hurdles debut, finishing fourth at Catterick in November, before wining at Sedgefield by 11 lengths, later in the month, under Tony Dobbin. The following November she took her chance in the Grade 1 'Fighting Fifth' hurdle, finishing eighth to Straw Bear, a race of course which Cornerstone Lad would win 14 years later. She only ran nine times over hurdles, winning or placing on five occasions, earning a rating of 116. Her final season was in 2008, where she was as good as ever, winning and placing. Her final race was at Carlisle in June, before retiring to stud.

Charlotte Vale gave us all some great memories, and in the words of Gemma,'She was a real sweetheart, with a cheeky character.'

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

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