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We have seven runners on Saturday, with five travelling up to Carlisle where the going is currently soft, heavy in places, and two making their way down to Wolverhampton for their evening meeting on the Tapeta surface.

First up at Carlisle is the 12 year old Applaus, who knows his way blindfolded around Carlisle, having raced there on 16 previous occasions, and winning three of them. Applaus is now well in to the veteran stage, and although running an excellent third at this track last November, he has since failed to fire in any of his latest four starts. He runs at, in the 0-110 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, over two miles and one furlong, with his regular rider Emma Smith-Chaston in the saddle.

Although two years younger, Cornerstone Lad is also a veteran, and he will wear first time blinkers in the 0-120 handicap chase, over two miles at, where he will once again be partnered by Conor O'Farrell. Cornerstone Lad suggested that he could be soon back in the winners enclosure on his penultimate start at Newcastle, when finishing runner up, but then he took a backward step on his latest run at Ayr three weeks ago in a first time visor. He is now down to a very competitive looking mark of 113.

Geryville ran a seasonal best at Wetherby in February, when finishing third after being outpaced from two out, he will find this stiffer track at Carlisle more to his liking. Geryville's best ever run probably came at Market Rasen on Boxing Day 2022, when finishing second, and he can now race from a 5lb lower mark. He runs at, in the 0-130 handicap chase, over two miles and four furlongs, with the champion jockey Brian Hughes retaining the ride.

At eight years old Great Ballinboris has had a stop and start career, having only seen the racecourse on five occasions to date. His bumper debut at Wetherby in January 2022 was full of promise, as was his chase debut at the same track, on his latest start 95 days ago. Hopefully his current mark of 90 will look very lenient in due course, as he gets his career back on track at, in the 0-100 novices handicap chase, over two miles and five furlongs, with Brian Hughes in the saddle for the first time.

Master Breffni was probably an unlucky loser over fences at Catterick last time, when coming down at the second last when one length in front. He now reverts back to hurdles, where his standout effort for his previous yard when trained in Ireland was a eight and a half lengths third of 23 at Naas, exactly a year ago. Master Breffni goes to post for the 0-110 handicap hurdle, over two miles and three furlongs, at, with Conor O'Farrell retaining the ride.

At Wolverhampton, Mintnthat has his third start for us since arriving at the yard back in February. He was a dual winner at Newcastle in January for his previous yard, and racing from a 3lb higher mark at Southwell last time, he finished a seven and a half lengths eighth, signalling that he is still in form. He has been eased 1lb for that run, and has a handy draw in stall five. Mintnthat runs at, in the 0-60 handicap, over the extended mile, with Aiden Brookes retaining the ride.

Elladora is also a recent acquisition, having arrived at the yard earlier on this year. She was very consistent for her previous trainer, winning four of her 40 starts, and also being placed in 12 of those races, an excellent strike rate for a Class 6 performer. She has yet to hit form for us in two starts, but she is beginning to look very well handicapped, now being 2lb below her last winning mark. Elladora has also drawn well in stall six, and will contest the 0-60 handicap, at, over six furlongs, with Aiden Brookes taking the ride.

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, Mrs Gemma Hogg, Mrs B M Lofthouse, R M Howard, John Burnett, Phil Ellerby, D Pollitt & Partners, and Anthony Bithell.

Great Ballinboris.

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