We send two to Catterick where the ground at the time of writing is soft, and two to Bangor where it will be even more testing, and is predicted to be soft, heavy in places.
Trimmers Lane is first up in the 1.10.pm at Catterick. He finally came good at Wetherby 19 days ago when winning with something in hand. The performance didn't go unnoticed by the handicapper who raised him an eye watering 15lb. As he raced that day from 5lb out of the weights, he will actually run from a 10lb higher mark this time.The sharp nature of Catterick will not suit him as well as the more galloping track at Wetherby, but the extra furlong will help. This race is also weaker looking than the one he won, and he will once again be partnered by Connor O'Farrell.
The soft ground will also hold no fears for Penpal who races in handicap company for the first time in the 2.10.pm.He joined us after winning a claiming hurdle at Pau, in May 2020, and has run in two novice hurdles for us at Catterick in November, and December.He needed that first run, but showed a whole lot more last time when finishing fifth, beaten just over 11 lengths. In order to win this, he must improve for us again, as his mark of 118 still looks high. His regular pilot Alain Cawley is at Bangor, so Joe Colliver will take the ride.
Over at Bangor at 2.20.pm Knocknamona returns to his favourite track in search of a third course win. He won there last month over fences, and has since finished second when returned to hurdles at Uttoxeter. He was raised 6lb for that effort, but he remains well handicapped on his best form. This race is also over the smaller obstacles, but over an extra three furlongs, which might stretch his stamina, his regular jockey Alain Cawley takes the ride.
Our final runner is Burdigala in the 3.50.pm. He was a winner over fences at Nancy back in June 2018, but has since suffered two long breaks through injury. He has failed to recapture his best form since joining us, but his mark has slipped to a very attractive mark of 89.His best form is on a softer surface, and he continues over hurdles, this time over the extended two miles, with Alain Cawley once again in the saddle.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, Ian Ender, The Golden Cuckoo, The Rat Pack Racing Club, and Rosemary Hetherington And Partner.