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We send three up to Hexham, where the ground is currently good, good to soft in places.

Ballylinch was a six and a half lengths winner, when making virtually all at Fakenham 57 days ago, and arrives here in top form on a highest mark yet of 95. That was one of two wins for Ballylinch last term, and he is still on the upgrade. He runs in the first at, in the 0-110 handicap chase, over three miles, with Brian Hughes retaining the ride.

We will be doubly represented at, in the 0-120 handicap hurdle, over two miles and four furlongs. Applaus who is now 12 years old starts the new jumps season from an all time low mark of 92, but to be honest the weight is not an issue. Applaus who owes no one anything has his own ideas about the game, and he will decide whether it is a going day or not. He will be ridden by Josh Thompson, who can claim 10lb off his back.

Our other representative in the race is Halpha Soleil who came right back to his best at Hexham 19 days ago when going down by a neck. This followed three below par runs since winning at Sedgefield on Boxing Day, for which he now races from a 4lb higher mark. Halpha Soleil will be ridden by Emma Smith-Chaston, who was also on board that day, when the duo were successful at Sedgefield.

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, John Burnett, Mrs Gemma Hogg, and T I S Partnership.


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