Haydock Parks 2013-14 National Hunt season began in earnest today but with a difference,this meeting was relocated up the M6 to Carlisle due to drainage issues at Haydock and in order to make sure the course was fit and ready for the two day meeting next month.
A fair crowd was in attendance including a fair few annual members who happily made the trip up on what was a cold (it’s always cold in Carlisle) and eventually wet afternoons jumping action.
Today was the second day of a busy period for me following on from Aintree last Saturday and with Wetherby coming up this weekend and some Rugby League World Cup next week I am being kept on my toes very fairly indeed,still always nice to get out from work for the day!
1.10 The Compare Bookmakers with bookmakers.co.uk Juvenile Hurdle,Class 4,2m1f,9 flights,3yo.
This race like all the hurdlers and the bumper were run on the flat track to preserve the Wooten course for other hurdles races during this busy period for the course.
Only seven but it was an easy win for the David Pipe trained filly Azza,always in command she stood off at a few but took the prize like a professional should do on her British debut having won at Auteuil 54 days ago,she looks classy and the next step could be a Listed 3yo fillies hurdle at Aintree in December that L’Unique won last year, Runner up was Most Honourable who should win soon and seems to be learning the game while the rest were very average.
1.40 The Bookmakers On Your Mobile At bookmakers.co.uk Novices Handicap Chase,Class 4,2m4f,16 Fences,(0-110).
Plenty in this with a lot to prove in what was an average contest at best and it was a 621 comeback for the Nigel Twiston Davies trained Hollow Blue Sky who jumped well on his Chase debut to beat The Nephew who was gaining ground on the run to just hold on by half a length.
A quality training performance here but he will be vulnerable next time out while The Nephew will be better over three miles in time.
2.10 The Get Free Bets With bookmakers.co.uk Novices Hurdle Class 4,2m1f,9 flights,4yo+
An easy win for top bumper horse The Liquidator to give Messrs Pipe and Scudamore a double on the card here as he scored with a bloodless eleven length victory over Knightly Escapade with an improved run by Quick Brew back filling the bronze prize.
Spookydooky and Vinstar back in fourth and fifth will both be better when sent handicapping and upped in distance.
The Liquidator was a winner at the Punchestown Festival in their big bumper so was a real class act here on his hurdling debut,he can build up a sequence and be a top novice hurdler as the season goes on.
2.40 The Live Football Scores With scores.co.uk Handicap Chase,Class 3,3m110yds,19 fences,4yo+,(0-125).
A real incident packed event here as nine set off and only four completed as one pulled up and the other four fell or unseated out in the country.
It was a dour performance by Papamoa the bottom weight under Lucy Alexander to give the Nick Alexander yard another win following their success with Rossini’s Dancer at Aintree last Saturday,he was driven out and held off My Boy Paddy by half a length and he in turn will strip fitter for this.
Papamoa certainly stays well enough and could easily find improvement to have a crack at one of the many various satellite nationals during the winter.
3.15 The bookmakers.co.uk Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m4f,11 flights,4yo+ (0-120).
A decent race on paper with some improving types on show that was win effortlessly by handicapping debutant Big Casino who came in under odd number one spot to win by 3.5 lengths from Talkin Sence in second and Ballyben third,always travelling well he was not hard presses here.
They were well strung out across Cumbria here but Big Casino will certainly get a hike in the weights off this but could follow up if turned out again quickly before he gets reassessed by the handicapper.
3.50 The Donate To Eden Valley Hospice Novices Limited Handicap Chase,Class 3,2m,11 fences,4yo+(0-125)
It’s a long way from Llancarfan to Carlisle and Evan Williams will be delighted that Definite Dream won on his chasing debut here and he had to battle as runner up Firth Of The Clyde gave him a real fight on the run in to just hang on with a length to spare,He jumped well and only six will be better in time over further,Kykate was third and 2m4f is more his trip.
This could prove to be a useful race for its level,a few ran below par but can be excused for their next races.
4.20 The bookmakers.co.uk Junior Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race,Class 5,1m6f,3yo.
A race that was run in almost near darkness thanks to Dermo’s Dream dumping Diarmuid O’Regan at the start and going for a wander,thankfully he went a furlong before the ground staff managed to turn him and he began taking the mickey out his jockey by moving from one place to the next before finally order was restores and O’Regan was able to reunite.
Non of these 3yo had ran a race in public of any kind,not even on the flat so paddock watching was essential for a race like this.
Fortunately it was easy peasy for Hurricane Hollow,trained in Carluke by Keith Dalgleish and ridden by Wilson Renwick,held up on what was a very slow pace in the gloom he made significant headway after halfway and when asked moved away from the rest of the field in simple fashion by 9 lengths from Lebanna one of a couple of Tim Easterby runners who acquitted herself well to suggest a run in a mares bumper would be better and long time leader Gone Forever will be another one to have learned a great deal.
Hurricane Hollow stayed the trip well but what will happen with him will be notable to see,Another bumper is sure to be on the cards but wether or not he gets sent hurdling or goes in middle distance maidens on the flat is another question to be answered.
Some good racing then,Carlisle is a real test for National Hunt horses,you have to jump and stay really well here.
Saturday coming up is the Norths big curtain raise Charlie Hall Chase Day at Wetherby with the West Yorkshire Hurdle as a lovely warm up to it.
Below,Nice view down the straight.