The going at the time of writing at York on Saturday is good, good to soft in places at the time of writing, while at Musselburgh it is currently good, good to firm in places.
First up at 2.30.pm, at York is the three year old Fiftyshadesaresdev who will be partnered by Joanna Mason for the first time, over a trip of seven furlongs. Fiftyshadesaresdev ran with promise on more than one occasion last season, most notably when finishing second over six furlongs at Pontefract in September. He runs as if he needs a mile at least to bring out the best in him, although a fast run seven on Saturday could see him staying on at the end, but this is his stiffest task to date.
The ex Roger Varian five year old gelding Musicality makes his stable debut for us at 5.15.pm, in a 0-80 handicap over seven furlongs with Joanna Mason taking the ride. He didn't race as a two year old, but achieved his best mark of 94 after winning at Newmarket as a three year old. Although he hasn't won since he has performed well from marks in the high 80's, although he was last of 12 on his most recent start at Doncaster last October. His overall form suggests his best trip is six furlongs, but we will know a lot more after he has raced.
Up at Musselburgh Uccello goes to post for the 2.28.pm, a 0-60 handicap over the extended 12 furlongs, with Andrew Elliott retaining the ride. Uccello remains a quirky customer, but has now put up two back to back good efforts. He was fourth over this course and distance in April, and would have been closer than fourth at Catterick last time if he had settled better. If he can settle better this time he won't be too far away.
The Retriever is our final runner at 4.48.pm, in a 0-60 handicap over his favoured trip of seven furlongs, with his regular rider Aiden Brookes on board again. Aiden almost pinched the race by kicking clear two out at Wolverhampton last time, only to be caught on the line for a short herd defeat. That was from an 10lb higher mark than now, but his turf mark of 46 reflects the fact that in 11 starts on turf he is yet to reach the first three.He is admirably consistent on an artificial surface, and would be very well handicapped if able to transfer that form to turf.
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, Resdev, Champagne & Giggles, Red & Whites, and RM&T Holdings Limited & Partners.