• Ian Ender


We have four runners at two meetings on Saturday, with two participating over the jumps at Newcastle, and another two going down to Wolverhampton for their evening meeting.

At Newcastle where the going at the time of writing is good, Royle Steel will carry a penalty in the opening event at, a novices hurdle over two miles, where he will be partnered by Alain Cawley who was on board when the two were successful at Sedgefield 38 days ago. Royle Steel who was having his third racecourse start that day still looked very green, so did very well in the circumstances to come out on top. This race only looks a little better than that race, so any further progress from him will see him go very close.

Shaws Bridge is next up at, in a 0-110 handicap chase over two miles and four furlongs, with Emma Smith-Chaston retaining the ride. Shaws Bridge has run three times over fences since returning to action this season, with the pick coming on his second start at Catterick, when he was still in contention when unseating at the fourth last. He is now just 1lb above his last winning mark achieved over hurdles at Perth in April of last year, this better ground could well be the key.

At Wolverhampton the revitalised Quoteline Direct will have his 11th start at that track when going to post for the, a 0-55 handicap over the extended one mile and one furlong. Quoteline Direct was a winner of a 0-50 classified stakes at the track back in January, but on his most recent run which was also at Wolverhampton he will have found the 12 furlongs beyond him when only managing to finish fifth. This trip and track is what suits best, and he will be partnered by Aiden Brookes for the first time.

The twice raced five year old mare Western Melody has her third career start when facing four rivals over six furlongs at, in a novices stakes with Aiden Brookes retaining the ride. Western Melody made an eye catching racecourse debut at Southwell over seven furlongs in February when keeping on into fourth, and ran well again when dropped down to six furlongs at Newcastle nine days ago, when only being beaten by five and a half lengths. This race looks weaker on paper than those other two events, and whatever happens she will have her handicap mark after this.

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, A E Tasker, Newroc & Co, JFW Properties Ltd, and The Rat Pack Racing Club.

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