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Racing returns to Stratford Racecourse after short break

AFTER a short break, racing returns to Stratford today, Monday, the first of three meetings in October, with the Stratford Racecourse Supporting Racing Charities Juvenile Hurdle topping the bill, writes David Hucker.

Stratford Racecourse. Photo: Mark Williamson S82/8/20/1948
Stratford Racecourse. Photo: Mark Williamson S82/8/20/1948

Too Friendly, winner of a mile-and-a-quarter maiden race at Doncaster in March, is owned by the Gredley Family and trained by Dan Skelton, the combination so successful with Allmankind who has progressed from juvenile hurdles into a top class chaser.

The race looks to lie between him and Oceanline, twice a winner on the flat, who makes his jumping debut for the Million In Mind Partnership and trainer Alan King, whose Trueshan netted more than £150,000 at Longchamp on Saturday when beating Stradivarius in the Prix du Cadran.

The seven-race card kicks off at 1.15pm with the Retraining Of Racehorses Novices' Hurdle in which Jay Jay Reilly, having his first run since a wind operation, could get the day off to a good start for the Skeltons.

Howdyalikemenow makes his British debut for trainer Evan Williams, having finished runner-up at Wexford in May on his last start in Ireland.

Macho Mover got off the mark in a seller at Newton Abbot last time on his second start for Olly Murphy and should run well again in the following Even Keel Foundation Handicap Hurdle in which Wicked Willy, last seen in the winner's enclosure in March 2019, could defy top weight for owner/trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Dan Skelton's Accordingtogino could be another to carry top weight to victory in the Pertemps Network Group Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase over two-and-three-quarter miles in which he will be ridden by Lorcan Williams, who is attached to champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

Three times a winner on the flat in 2020 for Sir Michael Stoute, Galata Bridge got off the mark at the second time of asking over hurdles at Plumpton two weeks ago and could get the better of Uttoxeter winner Samba Dancer in the Racing Welfare Supporting Racing's Workforce Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

With 11 declared runners, the largest field of the day will line up for the Support The Injured Jockeys Fund Novices' Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles.

Course winner Air Hair Lair won at Fontwell Park on Saturday and would carry a 7lb penalty if turning out again.

Mawlood is 1lb lower than when winning in May, but this could go to Pirate Sam, who beat Hold Me Tight by nine lengths at Plumpton and is only 1lb worse off at the weights today.

Six of the seven entries have stood their ground in the closing Racing To School Inspiring Young Minds Open National Hunt Flat Race including Larusso, who stepped up on his debut run to finish second to Strensham Court over the course last month.

Call Me Tara hasn't run since making her debut at Newbury last December, but the winner, Steel An Icon, has won six times on the flat this summer and the runner-up, Legendary Grace, was successful over hurdles in June, so she could be up to winning this.

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