THE RETURN OF ROXYFET.
Our stable star Cornerstone Lad made a pleasing return at Redcar on Tuesday afternoon when finishing a two and a half lengths fourth. His jockey Billy Garritty reported that the horse felt every bit as good as he did when winning the corresponding race last year, and this will put him spot on for his return to fences a week on Saturday at Wetherby.
We have six runners at Sedgefield on Thursday where the going at the time of writing is good to soft. The ex French Piecederesistance makes his stable debut at 12.37.pm, in the juvenile hurdle over the extended two miles, with Conor O'Farrell taking the ride.To date he has raced on the flat on four occasions in France for the powerful yard of Andre Fabre, twice as a two year old where he won on debut, and then he finished third, and then twice at three, when filling the third spot on both occasions. Although the form looks difficult to weigh up, he does appear to be above average.
Soloheadbeg faces six rivals at 1.45.pm, in a 0-120 handicap over the extended two miles and three furlongs for conditional jockeys, with Jack Hogan taking off 7lb. He has raced respectively on three occasions for us since arriving from Ireland, and now steps up in trip by two furlongs. His latest run was at Carlisle three weeks ago where he was returning from a three months break to finish sixth, he would have needed the race that day, so in the circumstances he ran above expectations.
At 2.15.pm, in the 0-105 handicap chase over two miles and three furlongs we will be doubly represented by the returning Roxyfet, and Knocknamona. If there are any tougher horses in training than Roxyfet then I would like to know who it is, as this amazing 11 year old has run on 104 occasions, which includes 93 times over fences. He has also enjoyed a love affair with Sedgefield having run there 38 times already, and winning on nine occasions. Roxyfet will start the new campaign on his favoured softer surface, and although he is capable of winning off his current mark of 99, when everything is in his favour, the trip will stretch his stamina, and he is also entitled to need this first run back. Emma Smith-Chaston who has won him three times previously from six rides, is back in the saddle.
We are also represented in the 2.15.pm, by Knocknamona who is the winner of seven races, and will be partnered by his regular jockey Alain Cawley. Knocknamona last got his head in front at Bangor last December, and starts his new season from a 4lb higher mark. For Knocknamona it's the softer the ground the better, so any extra rain would help, but history tells us that he has always needed his first run back after a break.
Raddle And Hum goes to post at 2.45.pm, in the mares only 0-100 handicap hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, with her regular jockey Becky Smith in the plate. Raddle And Hum won from a mark of 94 back in June at Market Rasen, and then returned from a break at Carlisle two weeks ago where she finished eighth. That race should have brought her back to peak fitness, and her current rating of 98 still looks attractive when compared with her mark of 105 after finishing second at Wetherby on Boxing Day 2019.
Our final runner is Enfin Phil in the 0-120 novices handicap chase at 3.20.pm, over two miles and three furlongs,with his regular rider Alain Cawley retaining the ride. This will be Enfin Phil's debut over fences from a mark of 114, which is well within his compass having been a winner from 116 at Catterick in January 2020. He was slow to get going last term, but he did get his head in front on his last start at Uttoxeter, when last seen back in May. This trip and going will hold no fears, but of course it will be all down to how he takes to fences.
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, Ryder Sugden, Lady S Toomes, Mrs J H ill & Partners, Samuel Sutton & Partners, The Rat Pack Racing Club, Miss Rebecca Dennis, and Randall Orchard & Partners.