We sent a team of six to Wetherby racecourse on Saturday, for what was another roller coaster ride at the races.
The giant Grand Du Nord who is owned by Middleham Park Racing & Steve Nicols made his hurdles debut in the Class 3 novices' hurdle. He came to make his challenge three out before lack of race fitness took it's toll, and he weakened to finish a 15 lengths sixth. There are many good days ahead for this future chaser, when he grows into that large frame.
Our Grade 1 'Fighting Fifth' winner Cornerstone Lad had his third start over fences when failing by three and three quarter lengths to give 16lb to the winner. Cornerstone Lad has appeared to run to mark in the mid 140's in all of those previous races, and although not reaching the heights of 2019 and 2020 over hurdles, his will to win and his enthusiasm for racing was clear for all to see.
We ran two in the handicap hurdle at 1.25.pm. The 'Listed' winning mare Desaray Girl who was having her first start in seven months was positively ridden by Conor O'Farrell who said it was only the lack of a recent run that stopped her from being involved in the finish, as she weakened approaching the last to finish in fifth, she is now a very well handicapped horse. We also ran Perfect Man in the same race, as suspected he found the ground not soft enough for his liking, and he will also come on for this first start in six months.
The 138 rated Schiehallion Munro was just about to jump into the lead when falling for the first time in his career in the Class 3 handicap chase at 2.0.pm. Whether he would have won or not we will never know, but Conor O'Farrell reported that he was still to ask him for everything
Our final 'runner' on the day should have been Rory And Me. He was fresh and on his toes in the parade ring, but down at the start was found to be bleeding from the nose. The rules of racing say that in that situation you can not run, so he was withdrawn by the starter. His jockey Alain Cawley had no idea why he was bleeding, but it is nothing serious, so he must have just banged himself somewhere between the parade ring and at the start.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.