Our Middleham Open Day programme article in full!
It’s been another exciting and successful twelve months here at Micky Hammond Racing, with almost 50 winners coming out of our dual purpose Flat and jumps yard since last year’s Middleham Open Day.
The highlight of our year was Wetherby’s Christmas Festival, when we came away with three winners including Paul and Jean Chapman’s evergreen Just Cameron, who landed day two’s feature Castleford Chase at the age of ten.
But there have been loads of other good times, as our policy of having a yard full of highly motivated, conscientious and friendly staff and happy horses continues to pay dividends!
Seven year old Knocknamona won four races in a row, taking his owners the Rat Pack into the winner’s enclosure at Uttoxeter, Bangor-on-Dee, Leicester and Ayr in the process, while Mary Lofthouse’s juvenile hurdler Cornerstone Lad has taken brilliantly to jumping and was only beaten a nose in Haydock’s Victor Ludorum Hurdle after winning novice races at Hexham and Catterick.
Having started out in a Grade 1 at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, Finch Porter Partnership’s Bulkov has made a very promising start to his career with a pair of novice hurdle wins and he’s a really exciting two mile chasing prospect, while Onlyfoolsownhorses carried Richard and Katherine Gilbert’s colours to victory in his first three handicap hurdles last summer and remains with lots of potential over staying trips.
The wonderful Alderbrook Lad won at his favourite track, Cartmel, at the age of eleven last summer, while Give Every Man His Due’s tough mare Caraline got back to winning ways at Wetherby on Boxing Day and Richard Ball’s amazingly durable eight year old Roxyfet, who’s already run in nearly 70 races over fences, has added to his tally at Sedgefield and Market Rasen this winter.
And we must mention Frank The Slink, another eleven year old who rolled back the years to win at Hexham in November.
On the Flat, Littlethorpe Park Racing’s Tuscan Gold won his second Pontefract Stayers’ Championship title, while the Howard family’s Blue Hussar won a competitive handicap at York’s September meeting.
We love nothing more than seeing our horses fulfil their potential, but we encourage our staff to do just that too.
Teamwork has been the key to our success over the last few seasons. Every member of our experienced team has a fantastic attitude to their job, they all pull together, help each other and they ensure that we keep the show on the road seven days a week, 365 days a year, no matter what the weather throws at us!
They take enormous pride in the horses, their welfare and make sure that they’re always beautifully turned out when they go to the races.
Our head girl Becky Smith, who’s an ambassador for Racing Welfare, has made giant strides with her race riding, doubling her career tally of winners from ten to 20 over the past twelve months. Seven of those winners have come over jumps, including three over fences, making Becks one of the country’s leading lady amateur riders.
As well as Becky you might spot some other jockeys around the yard when you visit us today, so please feel free to have a chat with them and ask them about their riding careers, their favourite horses and anything else you can think of!
Becky Smith & Joe Colliver
Our senior jockey Joe Colliver has ridden almost 100 jumps winners and has become a familiar face to racing fans all over the country this season thanks to his big race exploits with the brilliant Sam Spinner, trained just up the road by Jedd O’Keeffe, while our talented conditional Fin O’Toole continues to be a regular visitor to the winner’s enclosure and our amateur, Joe Wright, is one of the north’s leading point to point riders.
Throw in Hugo Thompson Brown, a fantastic horseman who’s ridden three hurdle winners as a conditional, and our young Flat apprentice Lauren Steade, and you can see what a brilliant team of up and coming jockeys we have here – we hope you’ll enjoy following their careers as much as we will!
While you’re visiting us today, please ask for details about our racing clubs, the Rat Pack, Maybe The Last Time and Oakwood Minions – they have runners all year round and give you the chance to enjoy all the benefits of racehorse ownership, such as owners’ badges and stable visits, for a fraction of the usual cost.
On a slightly different note, you might like to look out for our assistant trainer Gemma Hogg’s debut novel, Stable Lass, which is published on 5th April. Gemma was named Employee of the Year at the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards in 2016 and since then she’s been busy writing about her 20 year career in racing, the result is a unique insight into the life of a stable employee and it’s sure to be a fascinating and popular read.
You can always keep in touch with what’s happening at Micky Hammond Racing on Facebook and Twitter, but make sure you visit our fantastic website, www.mickyhammondracing.co.uk, which is updated daily with race previews, reports, news from the yard and loads of other interesting stuff. We’re very proud of it and we think it’s the best in the business.
Thanks for supporting Middleham Open Day and we hope you enjoy your visits to Oakwood Stables and Sharp Hill Farm today!