Hammond works out path for Dew

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MICKY Hammond has mapped out stamina tests at Sandown and Newcastle for resurgent veteran Tullamore Dew who is in rude health following his move to North Yorkshire.

The 13-year-old has won two of his three starts since his switch to Middleham from Nick Gifford’s yard in West Sussex.

He will head first to Sandown for the 32RedSport.com Veterans’ Handicap Chase on January 2, followed by a crack at the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle on February 27.

“He’s doing well and we’re very pleased with him,” said Middleham-based Hammond whose yard remains in a rich vein of form thanks to the wellbeing of the horses and the emergence of jockeys Joe Colliver and Finian O’Toole.

“We’re looking to run in the veterans’ chase final on the second of January and then the Eider Chase at Newcastle in late February. He’s in good form and is running well. He’s a lovely character. He’s obviously enjoying the Yorkshire air.”

Hammond reports stablemate Just Cameron ready to make his reappearance in the Castleford Chase at Wetherby on December 27.

The eight-year-old looked good as a novice chaser last term, with three victories and a three-length second to Un De Sceaux in a Grade One at Punchestown on his latest start in April.

“It looks like he’s going to line up and take his chance in the Castleford Chase,” he said. We’re very happy with him.”

DAVID O’Meara’s Amazing Maria has been named as the Yorkshire racehorse of the year.

Owned by Sir Robert Ogden, the five-year-old enjoyed a rich run of success since leaving Ed Dunlop’s yard in April.

Victorious in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, the filly then enjoyed two Group One successes – Newmarket’s Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Top Flat trainer was Richard Fahey, with David Allan taking the riding honours, while Sue Smith and AP McCoy won the respective National Hunt categories.

Moment of the year was the raw emotion of Mecca’s Angel winning the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor festival after reeling in American superstar Acapulco thanks to a fine tactical ride by Boroughbridge jockey Paul Mulrennan.

TOM Scudamore has been cleared to ride Thistlecrack in tomorrow’s Group One Long Walk Hurdle.

It comes after he successfully appealed against a five-day careless riding ban handed out by the Aintree stewards for alleged interference at the Elbow in the recent Becher Chase in which the mount of conditional rider Tom Garner was hampered.

Scudamore successfully argued that he did not deviate from the racing line, and the decision means he can ride Colin Tizzard’s rising star at Ascot and, potentially, Dell ‘Arca for his boss David Pipe in Boxing Day’s Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton.

COLE Harden, the winner of the West Yorkshire and Ladbrokes World Hurdles last season, is on track to reappear in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

The six-year-old made his seasonal reappearance at Newbury on Hennessy day last month, finishing a staying-on third to the aforementioned Thistlecrack in the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle.

However the horse’s form pleased both jockey Gavin Sheehan and trainer Warren Greatrex who said: “He came out of his run at Newbury very well and looks great. I am very happy with him. He was third in the Relkeel last year and, fingers crossed, he can go a bit better this year.

“The plan at the moment will be to run on New Year’s Day and then go straight for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. We want the tank full for March.”