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We send four up to Hexham on Tuesday evening, where the going is described as good.

Buto goes first at, in Division 1 of the 0-100 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, over two miles and seven furlongs, where he will be partnered by Alice Stevens, who was on board when Buto finished third from a 4lb higher mark than now, over course and distance last June. Buto was at the top of his game this time last year, when winning at this corresponding meeting.

Balkotic returns from a 108 day break, when he contests Division 2 of the conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, at, with Emma Smith-Chaston taking the ride. Balkotic is now down to a mark of 3lb below his last winning rating, and is at home on soft or good ground. He put up a couple of solid efforts back in November and December last year, and should once again give his running, from the prominent position he likes to race in.

Royle Steel appears to be totally ground dependant, so he should find underfoot conditions in his favour. He hasn't raced on a sound surface since winning from a 2lb higher mark than now last October at Sedgefield, and he can go well fresh, having not raced since February. Royle Steel runs at, in the 0-105 handicap chase, over three miles, where he will once again have the services of Brian Hughes. This will be his first run at three miles, and there is no reason to think it wont suit.

When finishing a staying on third at Wetherby in December 2022 over fences, from a mark of 123, Not What It Seems looked like he was going to make up in to a well above average chaser, but he then sustained a serious injury at Lingfield next time, which kept him off the track for the next 10 months, and in three runs since he has struggled to get competitive. He has now had a further 108 day break, and if he can get his career back on track, then a mark of 112 looks very appealing. Not What It Seems runs at, in the 0-125 handicap hurdle, over two miles and four furlongs, with his regular rider Emma Smith-Chaston retaining the ride.

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

Good luck to the connections, North Star Racing, Raypasha, A E Tasker, and Ryder And Alex Sugden.

Royle Steel.

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