UNPLACED 5:20 – Hamilton Park – RACING UK FREE TRIAL ON SKY HANDICAP (CLASS 5) (3yo+ 0–70) 1m 1f 36y Good to Firm

Call Of Duty put his last three lacklustre runs behind him when he ran really well at Carlisle on Monday to finish third over today’s trip just 1 length behind the winner.

With conditions to suit and no worries over the trip he has a very decent chance this afternoon.

Call Of Duty has run 55 times in his career to date. The eight-year-old brown gelding has run on the flat turf a total of 50 times and he has won on four occasions and been placed 14 times. There is obviously not much that the handicapper does not know about him and he will always be vulnerable to a younger more progressive horse. Happily, today’s race is not overflowing with such young talent.

He runs over 1 mile 1 furlong this afternoon and although he has not won over this trip, he does have winning form over 1 mile and 1 mile 2 furlongs. He saw the trip out well at Carlisle on Monday and was running on well at the finish. The going at Hamilton is Good to Firm. Call Of Duty has run 19 times in the going, winning three times and finishing in the places on another six occasions.

A winner off an Official Rating of 66 at Haydock last year he runs off 59 today and his run at Carlisle on Monday was the first time he has run off a mark in the 50s since May 2012 when he won off a handicap mark of 58 over 1 mile 4 furlongs at Haydock. His ability to win over extended trips should be an asset today. Hamilton has a very testing uphill finish that will draw on Call Of Duty’s stamina, not unlike his run at Carlisle on Monday.

He is ridden today by the excellent Lucy Alexander who is more known for her exploits over jumps and is an very good horse-woman. Lucy takes 3lbs off Call Of Duty which means that in effect he is running off 56. Lucy has only had 14 runs on the flat turf this season and is a very interesting booking. Lucy has ridden Call Of Duty once before when the pair finished second at Muselburgh last August.

Back down to a mark in the 50s, Call Of Duty looks to have a favourites chance today. Most of the opposition are struggling for form at the moment and with going and distance of no concern he could well be powering up the hill under a drive from his jockey to record his first win in seven starts.

Yesterday’s Tip: non runner.

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TONY WARD

"I live in the North of Cumbria near the Solway Coast. My wife and I own a smallholding where we keep our horses. I have been involved in racing for over 20 years – the highlight being when a 2yo I owned won first time out at Hamilton Park. I work full-time in the racing game spending my time writing, researching and on course as a paddock judge – you can learn more about a horse’s chances watching them in the pre-parade and parade rings than you might imagine."

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