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Seven-race card for first of two Sunday meetings this month at Stratford Racecourse

ON a big weekend for sport, Stratford stages the first of two Sunday meetings this month with a seven-race card topped by the Class 3 Jonathan Walker Memorial Handicap Hurdle run for the Stratford Summer Salver, writes David Hucker.

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

The trip of two miles and half a furlong should suit Constancio, a winner of three hurdles, including when making all the running over the course two years ago. He returned after a winter break at Kelso, finishing down the field but, with that run behind him and his favoured good ground, he should be in the shake-up.

Get Back Get Back ran well to finish runner-up at Aintree last month, but has been raised 3lbs as a result, and Celestial Force, who beat Byzantine Empire in a three-runner race at Newton Abbot last time, should confirm the form on 4lbs worse terms.

The meeting gets under way at 2.03pm with the Ladies Day Is The 18th July Juvenile Hurdle over the same trip and Market Rasen winner Knotty Ash would set the standard for Dan and Harry Skelton.

Burristo, placed twice from five starts on the flat for trainer Richard Hannon, can build on his debut over hurdles when runner-up to Langafel at Newton Abbot last month. Cheshire trainer Oliver Greenall has two entries in Andonno and Boundsy Boy and Calvados, yet to make the frame in five races on the flat, would be an interesting contender for County Meath trainer John McConnell.

With 29 entries, the National Racehorse Week Is 12th-19th September Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles is shaping up to be a competitive affair and two that catch the eye are dual course winner Getawaytonewbay, although trainer Matt Sheppard has her entered in two other races on the card, and Romanor, a winner of a novice chase over the course a year ago and now 10lbs lower in the weights.

There are 26 entries for the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Chase over a trip of two-and-three-quarter miles, including Getawaytonewbay, but it’s Franz Klammer, a wide margin winner from Between The Waters over course and distance last month, who makes the most appeal.

Franz Klammer en route to winning at Stratford last month. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography
Franz Klammer en route to winning at Stratford last month. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography

Wexford bumper winner Henry Box Brown could make his jumping debut for his new stable of Evan Williams in the Stratford Racing Club “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle. The second horse has yet to reappear, having also been sold to a British trainer in Rose Dobbin, and the third has failed to score in four subsequent runs, so the form is difficult to evaluate.

On the other hand, Independence has been a model of consistency in his four bumpers, winning at Fontwell Park in April, and Small Bad Bob has finished runner-up in his two British starts.

Knight Destroyer has been raised 5lbs for his Southwell win last time, but still looks handily weighted in the Watch On Racing TV Handicap Chase whilst dual chase winners Shareef Star and Sir Tivo would have to concede him weight.

The closing Stratford Touring Park And Campsite Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle has attracted the largest entry of the day with 31 possible runners, but Oasis Prince, runner-up in a similar event at Southwell last time, should go well.

Tickets in the centre of the course cost £10 and are £18 for Tattersalls.

Under-18’s go free when accompanied by an adult. All tickets must be booked in advance at www.stratfordracecourse.net.

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