WALKONBY BACK FROM HER SUMMER BREAK.
Walkonby who hasn't been seen since finishing down the field at Hamilton in July returns to that venue on Monday when she contests the 3.50.pm, a 0-70 handicap over one mile with Paul Hanagan riding her for the first time. The predicted good to soft surface will not be a problem, and her current mark of 60, is now 11lb below her last winning rating from June 2020 at Haydock.
WALKONBY. 01 March 2017. Sixties Icon-Shadows Ofthenight. Owner-Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club.
There are many offspring of the 2006 St. Leger winner Sixties Icon who are named after pop songs from the 1960's, and we acquired Walkonby from the Mick Channon yard in October 2020. She is the first produce of her dam who raced 22 times over two seasons, winning once at Chepstow over two miles, and appearing to have a preference for top of the ground.
Walkonby appears to be just as tough as her dam, having raced eight times as a juvenile between July, and October 2019. She made her debut over seven furlongs at Ascot, with the Racing Post comment noting she was leggy, she came home in sixth place.Her next start 10 days later was on the All Weather at Kempton, where she weakened from over one out over a mile.Just four days later at Newmarket she opened her account winning a seller by 3/4 length, over seven furlongs, and being bought back in for £5,800.She made her handicap debut at Salisbury two weeks later, and won again, this time over a mile, from a mark of 61.She was then third at Thirsk 15 days later, again in a nursery, before going to Pontefract at the end of September, and winning for the third time off a mark of 68.She stepped up to Class 2 company at Nottingham in October, over 10 furlongs on soft ground, but was on the retreat from two out, and under similar conditions at Newmarket two weeks later, she finished fourth, of the six runners beaten 15 lengths.
Walkonby wasn't seen on a racecourse again until June of 2020, returning at Haydock over 10 furlongs, and winning her fourth race, getting up on the line to win by a nose under Silvestre De Sousa. From a new high mark of 77 she went to Newmarket later in the month, being sent off at 5/6 favourite, but finishing a very disappointing last of three beaten 26 lengths, over 12 furlongs on good to firm ground, the trainers representative said she may not have stayed, and the ground may have been too firm. She under performed again at Sandown in July, and after missing the break at Haycock in August, she never got on terms. Her final start before joining us was at Doncaster on October 23rd, when in first time cheek pieces she returned to somewhere near her best, gong down by three and a half lengths over 10 furlongs.
Since arriving at Oakwood Stables Walkonby has raced on six occasions to date. She made her stable debut, and also hurdles debut at Wetherby in November where she raced too freely, and eventually trailed in ninth of the 13 runners. She had her second and final go over the jumps to date three weeks later at Catterick, but once again failed to get competitive. Her first start for us on the flat was ar Raedcar in April 2021, where after losing her action, her jockey Billy Garritty thought it prudent to pull her up, but a post race examination by the vet showed no abnormalities. She was slowly away at Pontefract in May, coming home to finish 14 lengths in fourth place behind the winner, and this was followed by a no show at Wetherby where she probably found the ground riding too fast. Her last appearance to date was at Hamilton in July, where once again she was slow in to stride, coming home in fifth place, beaten by 11 lengths.
Walkonby is now a well handicapped horse, and as long as she can stay interested in racing she will more races.She has been bought as a dual purpose horse, and is probably best at 10 furlongs, on good, or good to soft ground. TO BE CONTINUED.
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