Team Hammond in treble form at Sedgefield again!
Beer Goggles (4/1), Auldthunder (3/1) and Roxyfet (3/1jf) all relished the testing conditions at a wintry Sedgefield today as we enjoyed our second successive treble at the Durham track.
Our first two winners were ridden by a stylish Joe Colliver (above), who chalked up the 60th success of his career aboard Beer Goggles in the staying handicap hurdle and followed up half an hour later with an assured ride aboard the Rat Pack’s thriving chaser Auldthunder, who took the step up in class in his stride as he ran away with the Challenger series qualifier over an extended three and a quarter miles.
Richard and Katherine Gilbert’s lightly raced five year old Beer Goggles still has his best days ahead of him, but he’d lost his way a little since his promising bumper form and it took a step up to the marathon 3m3f trip for him to get his head in front at the tenth attempt.
With a circuit to go it looked as if our Oscar gelding (above) would be playing for place money at best, but as the race began to take shape his stamina started to kick in and from the second last he only had Moscow Presents to beat, he was always doing enough and he found a bit extra on the run to the line to win by a length and a half.
Another son of Oscar, Auldthunder might be nine years old but he’s in the form of his life and he made light of the rise in grade to land the feature £6,000 staying handicap chase, his third win in his last four races.
Last time, at Catterick, Auldthunder (above) was badly outpaced in the early stages before staying on strongly, but today he was always travelling really well and the writing was on the wall for his opponents half way up the back straight as he moved effortlessly into the lead with four to jump. He never looked in any danger from that point and produced a massive leap at the last to settle matters, coming home four lengths ahead of favourite Jac The Legend. In this sort of form there’s no telling how far Auldthunder could go, he’s scorching up the Low Moor gallops every morning and he’s giving his owners a fantastic season!
We decided against running Libby Mae on the testing ground but conditions held no fears for Richard Ball’s Sedgefield specialist Roxyfet, who was having his first run over hurdles since his three year old days in France.
Roxyfet (above) had already won three times at the track over fences this season and he took full advantage of his 7lbs lower hurdles mark as he reeled in Copt Hill approaching the second last and ran on nicely to win by five lengths. Fin O’Toole has ridden Roxyfet to all of his four wins this winter and our young 7lb conditional excelled on the French bred six year old once again, Roxyfet isn’t going to have much in hand of the handicapper after this win but given the right conditions there’s no reason why he can’t pull out a little bit more!
Pay The King went with plenty more zest in his race but couldn’t quicken at the finish, while we were over the moon with the debut effort of the Multi Taskers’ Westerner gelding Strike West, who finished second to Donald McCain’s Lastbutnotleast in the bumper despite jumping a couple of paths and taking the scenic route up the back straight, he can only improve for his first racecourse experience!
Well done to everyone on another fantastic day for the team, rumours that we are only going to be running our horses at Sedgefield in future are greatly exaggerated, however.
Massive thanks to Alex Royal and Meg Dent for the Sedgefield photos.