WE ARE WELL REPRESENTED ON SKY BET SUNDAY.
The wonderful initiative that is the Sky Bet Sunday Series rolls on to Pontefract. The reason that it is so good for racing is that it gives horses from the lower rating band a chance to win big prize money.
We send three to Pontefract where the going at the time of writing is good to firm, good in places, and we also have two runners over the jumps at Hexham, where the ground is currently good.
At Hexham Grand Du Nord goes to post for the 3.55.pm, a maiden hurdle over two miles and four furlongs, where he will be partnered by Jack Hogan for the first time. Grand Du Nord won a bumper at Hexham last year, and on his fourth start over hurdles over this course and distance last time he put up his best effort yet when finishing a half length runner up, a repeat of that should see him in the winners enclosure this time.
I'm Dougal Rocks carries the same Middleham Park Racing colours at 5.0.pm, in the two miles bumper where he will have the assistance of Emma Smith-Chaston in the saddle. I'm Dougal Rocks has raced once to date at Sedgefield back in May, when finishing fifth of the six runners and looking very green in the process, the bit also unfortunately slipped through the horses mouth that day, and he is sure to have benefited from that race, and this one as well will further his education.
At Pontefract the ex French Piecederesistance makes his flat debut for us, having been a winner in France on his debut as a two year old, and then finishing third on all his next three starts. He has raced twice over hurdles for us in November, and February, where he failed to settle and also made jumping errors. This return to the flat could be just what is needed from his opening mark of 83. The race is a 0-85 over 10 furlongs, with Billy Garritty taking the mount.
The Rutland Rebel is next up at 5.15.pm, in a 0-80 handicap over the stamina sapping two miles and two furlongs, with Billy Garritty retaining the ride. The Rutland Rebel returned from a seven months break at Pontefract 13 days ago, and looked all over the winner when going to the front two out, but the lack of a recent race probably took it's toll as he faded into a creditable third. If this race doesn't come too soon then he will be in the mix, in what is a more competitive event than last time.
Fiftyshadesaresdev also finished third at Pontefract 13 days ago, and will once again race over the mile which is probably a bit on the short side, but because of the big prize money he will take in the race before stepping up in trip later. Fiftyshadesaresdev tends to race lazily coming out of the stalls, and this was very evident last time, as he took time to warm to the task before finishing with a rattle. The race is a 0-85 handicap at 6.15.pm, for three year old's only, with Joanna Mason retaining the ride.
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Good luck to the connections, Middleham Park Racing XX111, Ryder Sugden, and Resdev.