Irish Day came to Haydock and so did the sun after an early foggy morning which thankfully got burnt up and cleared away on this spring afternoon in Merseyside.
It was a case of the usual post Cheltenham blues for many people with talk of what happened last week but also for the future weeks ahead as Aintree begins to loom on the horizon.
It was a six race card for the punters to get stuck into with some competitive and tricky handicaps plus a couple of novice events for good measure.
As is the case Irish Day meant people consuming a well known popular Irish Stoute brewed in Dublin and of course the customary band playing songs by Thin Lizzy and The Pogues, Ten points to those who can guess which ones got sung!
2.10 Apollobet £50 Free Bets Handicap Hurdle,Class 3,2m,9 flights,4yo+ (0-140)
A real placepot buster within a furlong here as warm favourite Dark Dune took umbridge and unseated James Reveley at the first hurdle.
Purple ‘N Gold under Kieron Edgar (5) just got the better in the last half furlong of outsider Handiwork to claim the victory for trainer David Pipe here in a hard fought win.
From a solid early pace set by Stanic Beat who faded down the straight,the first two had a real battle over the last couple of hurdles and only a head separated the two, The winner brought some good form to the table,notably at Cheltenham in October when sixth in a hurdle race where he finished behind Vibrato Valtat, Handiwork also had good form with his most notable form being ninth in last seasons Fred Winter.
Handiwork ran much better than his price,he also won on the flat last October over 2m and has a flat mark of 75 which will be exploited a few times and hurdle wise maybe the big summer handicaps will be thought of.
One eye catcher was Cinders And Ashes in third,he was running on at the end and it could be worth stepping him up in trip as he lacks his old speed.
2.45 Apollobet Best Odds Guranteed Handicap Chase,Class 4,3m,18 fences,5yo+ (0-120)
A qualifier for next months JC Grassroots Jumps Series, this was a fair looking race which was taken by the Graeme McPherson trained Red Admirable who sailed to victory and docked in victory bay one and he finished plenty clear of the well fancied Itstimeforapint who could not bridge the gap behind the winner, he in turn was ten lengths clear of Bennys Well in third spot.
The horses finished very tired here,even the winner needed a step ladder to climb over the final fence, Red Admirable ran here in the Tommy Whittle and despite being unsighted that day he was very much the best horse here,he could come back for the final over 2m6f on Easter Saturday.
Runner up Itstimeforapint has plenty more to offer,it’s more than likely he will turn up at either Ayr or Perth next month.
3.15 Apollobet Mobile Games Handicap Hurdle,Class 3,2m4f,10 flights,4yo+ (0-135)
Nexus for trainer Keith Dalgleish and jockey Wilson Renwick scored what was a bloodless success here,always travelling well,he was hard on the steel over two out and took the prize finishing nine lengths clear of Lightentertainment who in turn was 1.5 lengths in front of odds on favourite Masterful Act.
This was much better from Nexius following a couple of fourth placed efforts which in turn followed a seasonal reappearance win at Musselburgh,Going in off 130 he is still potentially well treated over hurdles, the runner up came here after being outclassed in the Betfair at Newbury,this trip suited him and Masterful Act tried to follow up last weeks Huntingdon win,he maybe better on a faster surface.
Our Joey was pulled up after the fourth,he walked off lame.
3.50 Apollbet Free Download App Handicap Chase,Class 3,2m4f 14 fences,5yo+ (0-135)
An incident packed contest from the outset here,firstly the favorite Roberto Pegasus unseated Wayne Hutchinson who himself had to sprout wings,Hold Court fell at the last when detached,Ambion Wood fell at fence 12
The sad news was that Scotch Warrior unseated at fence four which was bypassed on the last circuit,sadly he was fatally inured,My condolences to all connected with the horse.
At the business end it was the dashing grey Carrigdhoun for trainer Maurice Barnes and jockey Michael McAllister that took the spoils after they wrestled the lead off long time leader Galway Jack who sadly didn’t become the most appropriate named winner of the day.
Galway Jack set a good tempo and was jumping well under Andrew Thornton until getting overtaken at two out which would have been the normal three out,after that he did rally but could not bridge the gap.
Carrigdhoun has much better form over further,Their is a Class 2 race here over three miles which may suit him on Easter Saturday, Galway Jack has been consistent but needs a bit of relenting from the handicapper.
4.25 Apollobet In Play Betting “Fixed Brush” Novices’ Hurdle,Class 4,2m4f,10 flights.
Three on the bounce for the Donald McCain trained Three Faces West under promising young conditional James Cowley (7), with win under his belt at Ayr and Carlisle it’s fair to say he would be vulnerable under his penalties but he travelled well and wasn’t inconvenienced with these hurdles, he will be good to watch next season when he gets sent over fences no doubt.
Wild Bill from Evan Williams’ stable ran a solid race in defeat,the return back up to 2m4f helped and he is now qualified for handicaps so is one to note down, these two were over thirty two lengths clear of the rest.
5.00 Apollobet Online Casino Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race,Class 5,2m,4-6yo
Only five went to post but this may prove to be a very informative contest.
The favourite Board Of Trade followed up his December win in a Junior Bumper at Exeter to give race debutant Wade Harper a four length defeat.
From the tape being relaxed nobody wanted to lead until Wade Harper took it up after 1f,he was leading turning for home and tried to wind it up but the experience of Board Of Trade helped as he took over the lead with a furlong to go and was kept up to his work.
Board Of Trade will make into a nice hurdler next season at around two miles,He has a lot of scope and it’s possible the Grade Two Aintree Bumper could come under consideration,Wade Harper is brother to last weeks World Hurdle winner Cole Harden so he is one for the notebook,he won over 3m in Points so the trip over hurdles will be just right.
A pleasant afternoon then,not neceserally a top clas card but competitive stuff indeed.
This Saturday coming I shall be at Stratford all being well for what is a slightly poor card but with winners to be found never the less.
Until then,thank you for reading and RT my work.