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The winter jumping season is once again approaching, and we will have many familiar old faces returning, as well as several new ones making their debuts. Over the coming days and weeks I will be providing detailed essays on some of our horses that will hopefully be in the winners enclosure very shortly.

THE VERY THING. 12 May 2014. Getaway-Katie Quinn. Owner-Derek Walpole.

The Very Thing is by the top National Hunt sire Getaway, out of an Irish bred mare who showed next to nothing in four racecourse appearances, back in the 2001-2002 season, he is the only progeny of his mare to see a racecourse.

The Very Thing started his racing career in the Olly Murphy yard, and he must have been showing plenty at home, as he went off at 8/13 favourite for his racecourse debut at Newcastle in April 2018, ridden by Aiden Coleman he was held up off the pace, eventually staying on to finish forth, beaten just a length and three quarters.

He didn't race again until October, when he made his hurdles debut at Fakenham, finishing a promising third under Richard Johnson. He was next sent to Wetherby a month later, and ran at least as well, when finishing runner up, with Aiden Coleman back in the saddle.He made his handicap debut back at Fakenham in December, from a mark of 109, he went off at 5/4 favourite, and he did pass the post first, but was judged to have bumped the runner up, and was disqualified and placed second.From his highest mark to date of 112, he was back at Fakenham on New Years Day 2019, where he finished a slightly disappointing fifth of the seven, beaten seven lengths.He was next a 13 lengths third at Musselburgh in February, and in March at Market Rasen, showed signs of temperament, when being reluctant at the start. His final race for the Olly Murphy yard was at Wincanton in May,in a novice hurdle, where he trailed in a well beaten last of four.

The Very Thing was purchased by Micky at the Doncaster Sales in May, and given a good long break, before making his stable debut at Catterick in December.In the hands of stable jockey Alain Cawley he raced for the first time over three miles, and on the softest ground he had encountered to date,he finished third, but was beaten 25 lengths.He pulled up on both of his next two starts at Musselburgh, and Sedgefield, running as if there was something amiss, but on his next start which was behind closed doors at Wetherby on March 20th, from a much reduced mark of 97, he ran a race full of promise, when finishing second. The Very Thing was one of those unlucky horses who was at the top of his form, but because of lock down he never got the chance to follow up that excellent second place run, and it was decided to send him on his holidays.

He returned at Hexham on his favoured soft surface in November, and ran really well to finish fourth, just nine lengths off the winner. Back at Hexham for his next start, he ran no sort of race, and after being too keen early on he eventually paid the price when pulling up before the last. On his return at Wetherby in March 2021 he once again failed to complete, but afterwards he scoped dirty. At Perth in May he was back to somewhere near his best when staying on over three miles to finish sixth, only six lengths off the winner. He raced twice more in June, but the ground had now dried up, and he failed to get competitive on the faster surface.

The Very Thing returned at Wetherby in October on good to soft ground, over their extended two miles and five furlongs, which is inadequate, but that race will help to bring him back to full fitness.

The Very Thing is currently a very well handicapped horse, and definitely one to keep an eye on over at least three miles, and very soft, or heavy ground. TO BE CONTINUED.

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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