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  • Ian Ender

WE SEND SIX TO WETHERBY ON WEDNESDAY.

The going at Wetherby at the time of writing is good, so considering the lack of rain in the area, things could have been a lot worse.

First up in the juvenile hurdle at 1.15.pm, is Uccello who makes his hurdles and stable debut over two miles, with Becky Smith in the saddle. Uccello ran twice as a two year old, and twice as a three year on the flat when trained by Karl Burke, hanging to his right on two occasions and being too keen over 12 furlongs at Ripon when last seen in August. Uccello is a son of Frankel, and since he has the pick of the very best mares, it goes without saying that his dam who has produced a Group 2 winner is also of high quality.

Grange Ranger has his second start of the season at 1.45.pm, in the 0-120 handicap chase over three miles with Alain Cawley taking the ride. Grange Ranger will have needed that first run 25 days ago to put him straight, and he is now only 3lb above his last winning mark of 115 achieved when winning at Wetherby over the extended two miles and five furlongs in February. He should see out the trip, but the faster surface remains something of an unknown.

We are doubly represented at 2.20.pm, in the two miles novice hurdle. The four year old filly Walkonby continues to struggle for form on the flat, which has seen her mark slip from 77 to 51. Since arriving last season from the Mick Channon yard she has also ran twice over hurdles without getting competitive. After this race she should get a hurdles handicap mark, Emma Smith-Chaston who won cheekily on Foster'sisland on Monday rides her for the first time.

We also run Rory And Me who will be partnered by Alain Cawley. Rory And Me was withdrawn at the start with a nose bleed at Wetherby 10 days ago which could now prove a blessing in disguise as this is a far weaker event. He has been away from the track for 364 days, since finishing second in this corresponding race last season, but if anywhere near peak fitness will take the beating on his bumper, flat, and one hurdle run, to date.

Our final two runners go head to head in the bumper at 3.20.pm, it is over two miles for filly's and mares only. Countess Olivia is a flat bred filly who has only seen a racecourse on one previous occasion when finishing down the field at Wetherby last December. Her dam has produced three other runners to date, including the BHA 101 rated flat performer Nuits St Georges who was the winner of seven of his 28 races. Becky Smith will ride her for the first time.

We also run Shighness who will be having her fourth and final start in bumper company, she will be partnered by Billy Garritty. Shighness made her debut on the all weather at Newcastle in January, and although only finishing ninth, was only nine and three quarters off the winner. She was well beaten at Wetherby in February when going off at only 4/1, and on her latest start at Southwell in March, she weakened from three out to finish sixth beaten by 16 lengths.

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, Red & Whites, Oakwood Rainbow, Richar Howard & Ben Howard, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, John Sidebottom & Mrs Kate Sidebottom, and Keep The Faith Partnership.

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