TWO TO HEXHAM, AND ONE TO YORK ON SATURDAY.
Every owner dreams of owning a Saturday horse, and we have three of them this weekend, two over the jumps at Hexham, and one on the Knavesmire.
Strike West needs a test of stamina to bring out the best in him, and he is first up when contesting the 0-125 two miles and seven furlongs handicap hurdle at 1.55.pm, the predicted soft surface will hold no terrors.Strike West finished last season with a deserved win, as he had gone close on his two previous runs, he is now 4lb higher, and having been off the track since early March he is entitled to need the run, Becky Smith won on him in March, and retains the ride.
Black Kettle is also returning from a break, and will line up at the unusual time of 3.03.pm, over the extended one mile and seven furlongs 0-100 handicap chase, he too will be happy on a soft surface.Black Kettle finds winning difficult, being one from 28, but generally gives his running, since joining us he has run 10 times over fences, finishing second on three occasions, and third twice.He is down to a career low mark of 81, but is entitled to need the run, his first since March.Our stable conditional Aiden Macdonald takes off a very useful 10lb.
Heresmax makes a quick return to the track, only seven days after making his racecourse debut at Redcar last Saturday.His race was over as soon as the stalls opened, as he swerved badly left, being left well behind by many more experienced rivals. That was a decent novice stakes, and Saturdays race at York looks even hotter, but it will give Heresmax essential experience. The race is at 3.45.pm, over the same trip of seven furlongs as last week, with Franny Norton taking the ride.
To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.
Good luck to the connections, The Multi-Taskers, Tasker-Brown & Partners, and M Andrews.
20 February 2012
Owner-The Multi Taskers
Strike West made his debut on the 6th March, 2016 in a four runner bumper at Sedgefield, finishing a well beaten second of four, running very green to say the least. He obviously needed a lot of time, and he took in two more bumpers, finishing down the field at Carlisle, and at Sedgefield again.
It was an uphill struggle when he first went hurdling in February 2017, he was eventually given a stiff looking handicap mark of 103 after his forth Novice hurdle run at Hexham, when finally showing a little more, being beaten 14 lengths in to forth place.
He made his handicap debut at Wetherby on Boxing Day, when there was some confidence behind him, he went off at 10/1, but he never got any further than the second hurdle, unseating Hugo Thompson Brown, who had just won the previous race on Only Orsenfoolies. He was back at Wetherby in January over two miles again, and he appeared to run his race, going down by 11 lengths, probably needing respite from the handicapper. There were two more runs over the minimum trip, before a step up to two miles and four furlongs at Carlisle, in the conditionals race where he finally got off the mark under Harry Reed, from a reduced mark of 94.
That was his last run until December, when finishing third, a race which put him spot on for Boxing Day at Sedgefield, where, when still in with a chance, he was badly hampered at the second last, and was eased.He returned at Carlisle in March 2019, finishing second, and looking like a step up in trip was now what was needed. A fortnight later at Sedgefield over the stamina sapping three miles and three furlongs, he once again finished runner up.
He was then off the track until October, and on returning struggled in his next three races.On December 30th he went to Haydock over the extended three miles, and looked all over the winner, until the David Pipe trained Buster Edwards, robbed him right on the line. He returned to Sedgefield over the three miles and three furlongs, going down by seven lengths, he may not have seen the trip out fully, but on his latest run at Catterick over the extended three miles and one furlong, he saw his race out well, winning by a head, in the hands of Becky Smith.
Strike West has spent the whole of his racing career at Oakwood Stables, and this late developer still has his best days in front of him.
18 February 2010.
Robin Des Pres-Whistful Suzie.
Owner-Tasker-Brown & Partners.
Black Kettle is by the French bred sire Robin Des Pres, out of a Eurobus mare, from the family of Saddler's Wells.He has had four different trainers to date, spending time in South Yorkshire, County Donegal, in Ireland, Mordon, near Sedgefield, and here in Middleham.
Black Kettle began his racing career in the care of veteran trainer Ronald Thompson, running in three bumpers between July, and September 2015, showing a hint of ability, when a 14 lengths forth of six at Worcester, and earning a Racing Post Rating of 87.He raced on three further occasions for the Thompson yard, all in October, and all in novice hurdles, without getting competitive.
Black Kettle next showed up in Ireland in February 2017, when in the care of the Christian Delcros yard.After making no show on his handicap hurdle debut at Clonmel, he showed his first real form when finishing third in March at Down Royal, being beaten under six lengths, from a mark of 87.He raced a further four times until July, all in handicap hurdles, but never got involved.
Black Kettle was on the move again,this time being transferred to Rebecca Menzies in Durham, where in September he made his chase debut,finishing a very promising second at Sedgefield, under Brian Hughes.He was sent to Uttoxeter just over two weeks later, but hung badly from two out, to finish forth.It was decided that he needed wind surgery, and he was given a break.On his return at Catterick in February 2018, he weakened from three out, after a bad blunder, but showed more three weeks later at Sedgefield, when finishing third to Frankie Ballou, with his future stablemate Roxyfet in second place.Black Kettle finally got off the mark at Newcastle in April, making all over two miles in heavy ground, off a mark of 90.
He joined Micky over the Summer, and made his debut for us in December at Wetherby, trailing in last of the seven runners. He continued to struggle during his next three runs,until finding his first form for us at Hexham in May 2019, when finishing second to his now stablemate, Roxyfet. He was back at Hexham 10 days later, and once again finished second.He raced at the track again two weeks after that, but ran flat, suggesting he needed a break.On his return at Sedgefield in October he finished a solid third,and followed that up with an even better effort at the same track 18 days later, when going down by just 3/4 length, to finish third again.In December back at Hexham, he had to settle for second once more, but if he can continue to run consistently, another win will surely come his way.