Tommy's Oscar: Takes the Tier 1 hurdle rather than a 2m Novice Pursuit in Carlisle on Sunday

‘We thought why not’ – Tommy’s Oscars relationship takes aim at Fighting Fifth | Horse racing news

John Grossick (

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Tommy’s Oscar: Takes the Tier 1 hurdle rather than a 2m Novice Pursuit in Carlisle on Sunday

John Grossick (

Ian Hamilton is ready to roll with the punches as Tommy’s Oscar prepares to take on Constitution Hill in Saturday’s Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2.10) in Newcastle.

The seven-year-old, who is owned by Hamilton and coached by his wife Ann, is one of five freshman riders, with Supreme Novices winner Constitution Hill and Epatante being the obvious contenders.

Jockey Danny McMenamin will partner Tommy’s Oscar, which is a 25-1 hit with the race sponsor. He notched a two-man race on his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle, a first start over fences, before finishing second behind Banbridge at the November meeting of Cheltenham on his last start.

Hamilton said of the return to hurdles: “We’re going to run him because it’s just down the road. He’s doing really well after coming out of Cheltenham so we thought why not.

“We don’t think we’re as good as Constitution Hill, but we’re as highly rated as the mare [Epatante], except she has the allowance of 7 lbs. If all went well [Tommy’s Oscar] favor that he might have a chance to be by her side.”

Tommy’s Oscar was also scored in a novice 2m pursuit at Carlisle on Sunday, but Hamilton believes the opportunity at Newcastle was not to be missed.

He said: “We don’t want to run him through a swamp in Carlisle with a penalty, and if he finishes third or fourth, that’s better than winning a good handicap chase.

“Some people have said we shouldn’t give up the fences, but why not? Alan King does it with his good hurdlers.”

Not So Sleepy, who were involved in a dead heat with Épatante in this race last year, will also be involved, as will Voix Du Reve, trained by Ian Jardine.

Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2.10 Newcastle, Saturday)

Betting Fair: 1-4 Constitution Hill, 7-2 Amazing, 14-1 Not So Sleepy, 25-1 Tommy’s Oscar, 100-1 Voix Du Reve

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