Hammond to strike gold in Eider with Silver Tassie?

Middleham trainer Micky Hammond, who is enjoying a fine National Hunt season so far plundering plenty of races on the northern circuit, has his eyes firmly set on another big pot - the Betfred Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle.

Silver Tassie will team up again with Alain Cawley after their second last time out at the track, when the jockey recommended this race.

One of their rivals could be Chase The Spud, a horse he has got to know well working for the staying chaser’s Gloucestershire trainer Fergal O’Brien.

“Alain said Silver Tassie is the ideal type for the Eider,” Hammond told www.cdhorseracingtours.com.

He added: “The horse will have a cracking racing weight as he has always been carrying plenty of it. I hope that could make all the difference if the ground is testing.”

Hammond has held his training licence since 1990, when he a quickly established a yard of useful types and attracted one of the leading owners in the business, Trevor Hemmings.

Seven years later he moved into his current home Oakwood Stables and can be proud of nurturing the likes of Sir Peter Lely, who was claimed off the Flat and finished fourth in the Grand National in 1996 and Turgeonev, a subsequent winner of the Victor Chandler Chase for Tim Easterby.

Deep Water, who picked up more than £100,000 in prize money, is another horse to be proud of.
In the past couple of seasons, Hammond’s operation has almost returned to its peak.

His 2017/8 tally of 29 winners and more than £200,000 earnings is positive and several of those contributing to the total are multiple winners.

Cornerstone Lad went very close to giving Hammond his fourth success in Saturday’s Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock, as a trainer and a jockey, when the dual-purpose performer was inched out by a nose.

And Just Cameron is one with his big prize in the bag already- the Castleford Handicap Chase at Wetherby in December.

“The Haydock race was the plan for a while for Cornerstone Lad. We were hoping for a good run,” said the Middleham trainer.

“He’ll have a break and have a back-end campaign on the Flat.

“In the past we have gone to the Cheltenham Festival with Just Cameron - and last year he went to Ireland. He ran on very testing ground and was never quite the same again after that.

“We set out to win the Castleford Chase and achieved that. His next target is the two mile chase at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting. Before that he goes to Doncaster on March 3.

“He has been a pleasure to be involved in, he’s like another of our older horses Alderbook Lad who races enthusiastically and jumps well.”

That particular inmate, a Cartmel specialist, is being prepped for a few more spins around his favourite track.

While another old-timer Dedigout, who took a Grade One novice hurdle at Punchestown in 2012, continues in fine fettle.

The 12-year-old has not won in six starts for Hammond since he bought him for £16,000 last September. Owners the Masters of The Hall syndicate include the chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority Nick Rust.

Alderbrook Lad is always in the shake-up at Cartmel,” said Hammond.

“The first time he went there he took to it like a duck to water. It’s fairly sharp and takes some jumping, you need a horse that stays on the bridle taking you from fence to fence.

“He’s just come back in to training. Dedigout is on a very workable mark.

“He’s an old boy in great shape. We just need to place him to good effect. His owners are fantastic supporters of mine.”

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