Hammond planning second Flat spin for Cornerstone Lad
Cornerstone Lad is set to have a second warm-up run on the Flat before connections decide whether to bid for back-to-back victories in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle or go straight over fences.
Trainer Micky Hammond was happy with the six-year-old’s effort at Redcar when he was fourth in a mile-and-three-quarters handicap on his first start since he was pulled up in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
A wind operation during the summer appears to have helped Cornerstone Lad and the Hammond team can now look forward to the winter.
“He’s doing fine. I was pleased with his run. He had a wind op in the mid to late summer,” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“I think he’ll have one more run before he goes back jumping.
“He’s sure to have an entry in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and there’s a good chance he will go novice chasing this season.
“I’ve yet to properly discuss it with Mrs Lofthouse, his owner, but I think there’s every chance he’ll be doing that this time around. We’re keeping our options open.
“He hasn’t done any schooling over fences this time around. He did school over fences last year. He’s been up the Middleham all-weather track jumping six French-style Southwell hurdles on a couple of occasions.
“That’s the only jumping he’s done since he’s been back in.
“I think he’ll run on the Flat towards the end of this month, providing there is sufficient cut in the ground, then we’ll decide if we go for the Fighting Fifth or go straight over fences, or win the Fighting Fifth again and stay over hurdles.
“It’s a nice problem to have.”