We send three runners to Hexham on Friday where the going is heavy, so having plenty of stamina, and the will to go through the pain barrier, on this stiff track, will be an advantage.
In the first race at 1.10.pm Wishful Thinking makes his stable debut, having been a recent purchase at the Doncaster sales, bought out of the Henry De Bromhead yard in Ireland. To date he has run in four hurdles, and a bumper, all in the famous Gigginstown colours, and although he hasn't got competitive yet, he was allotted a rating of 92 (Ireland.)He starts out for us from a BHA rating of 98, over two miles, with Joe Colliver in the saddle.
The Very Thing returns from a seven months break, after finishing second at Wetherby, when last seen just before lock down.He ran his best race for us that day, having had some useful form from a higher rating with his previous yard.This stiff two miles and seven furlongs should suit, and although he has never run on heavy ground, it will be a surprise if he can't act in it. He is a very well handicapped horse on previous efforts, and only a lack of a recent run tempers enthusiasm, Billy Garritty stands in for the injured Alain Cawley at 2.55.pm.
Our final runner is Commanding Spirit in the conditional jockeys handicap chase over three miles at 3.30.pm.He has plenty of form in point to points having won or being placed in seven of his nine races, and it looks as if the forecast heavy ground will be in his favour.Billy Garritty retains the ride, so will be well aware that Commanding Spirit needs loads of encouragement, Billy's persistence paid off last time when the horse was doing his best work at the business end of the race, and from a 2lb lower mark, should make his presence felt on this surface.
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Good luck to the connections, D H Lees & Sons Limited, Derek Walpole, and Mrs Jennifer Hill & Mrs Samantha Toomes.