The going at Hexham on Wednesday is heavy, with five races being run over hurdles, and the other being a bumper, as all of the chases have been abandoned.
Applaus acts well on heavy ground, and is a course and distance winner, and if he has got his happy head on, he shouldn't be too far away. Applaus has all the ability needed, but doesn't always necessarily relent to use it, and although he finished a very creditable third last time, you still get the feeling that he could give a little more. He runs at 1.20.pm, in the 0-120 handicap hurdle, over two miles, with Emma Smith-Chaston, who has won on him twice previously, and knows him inside out, in the saddle.
Dark Duomo will make his stable debut at 2.30.pm, in the 0-110 handicap hurdle, over two miles and four furlongs, with Emma Smith-Chaston taking the ride. Dark Duomo is a five year old who has only raced on six previous occasions, and showed his first meaningful form on his latest start at Warwick back in March, with a staying on in to second over three miles and two furlongs. That was his first run on soft ground, so the underfoot conditions here could be in his favour.
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, Mrs Gemma Hogg, and Mr&Mrs Lees, D Pollitt, Driving Down Ltd.
Dark Duomo & Emma.