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  • Ian Ender

WILL THINGS FINALLY FALL INTO PLACE FOR IRV?

We send three runners to Pontefract on Thursday, where the going at the time of writing is good to firm.

We are represented with two runners in round 5 of the stayers championship at 4.0.pm, over the marathon two miles and one furlong, the 0-70 'Madame Lilibet' handicap. We normally have many horses to run in Pontefract's staying events, but as happens sometimes it hasn't panned out like that this season, so it will be great to see The Rutland Rebel, and Brickadank representing the yard.

The Rutland Rebel was a dual winner back in January and February on the all weather at Wolverhampton, but he also has excellent form at Pontefract as well. He is now back on the mark of 70 which is the same as when he finished second at this track back in April. He was having his first start back in three months when finishing well down the field at Carlisle in August, but he will strip fitter now, P.J. McDonald rides him for the first time.

We also run Brickadank who finished third on two occasions over the jumps last season, whether he has enough flat speed even over this extreme trip in order to get involved is yet to be seen. Brickadank is a late developer who is still strengthening up, and whatever the outcome here, a return to hurdles will shortly be on the cards, our stable apprentice Aiden Brookes retains the ride.

One of the quickest ways to get skint is to follow horses who continually look like they are going to win but then get beat, but Irv has been unlucky on more than one occasion this season. He goes to post at 5.10.pm, in a 0-80 handicap over one mile. On at least two occasions he has been badly drawn, and also on a couple of occasions he has been left short of room at a crucial time. His jockey Graham Lee reported at Beverley last time that the horse didn't enjoy the application of cheek pieces, that have now been discarded with. Irv who can boast being a dual winner at York in 2019 is now 13lb below his last winning mark.

To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, and Sharp Hill, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.


Good luck to the connections, Ryder Sugden, A & S Associates, and Irvine Lynch.

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