Haydock passed the early morning inspection and managed to withstand the overnight battering that Storm Frank Spencer had given it over the past couple of days, I’m sure many out their have wondered if it’s no coincidence that we have had more storms since the Met office decided to take responsibility to name them !
Seven races graced the Merseyside venue for the final meeting of 2015 and while it wasn’t a top class card here it was still competitive none the less.
Crowd wise it wasn’t as big as it normally has been here for this meeting but with a planned morning inspection and tricky weather probably made some people decided to ga and have an indoor picnic on the M60 while Quentin for the Trafford Centre!
12.20 Free Bet At 188Bet Conditional Jockeys’ Handciap Hurdle,Class 4,2m7f,12 flights,4yo+ (0-120)
Not a competitive staying test but American Life bounced back to form here under Killian Moore (3),taking over from long time leader Ballywilliam who was had to be chased into a lot of his hurdles after three out he bounded clear to win thirteen lengths from Rock Relief in second, Ballywilliam came third some nine lengths back.
American Life won three on the bounce in November last year and was off his hat trick mark of 105 here,connections will be hopeful he can do the same.
12.50 188bet.co.uk Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase,Class 3,2m3f,15 fences,4yo+ (0-125)
Throthethatch bounced back from his Musselburgh flop to record his third win over the big obstacles for the Lucinda Russell team although he had to work for it to fight off the attentions of Morning Royalty by five lengths not to mention the loose Another Journey who did his best Racing Demon impression up the straight
The winner was back to his best here,he knows a battle and found extra when needed,he likes to bowl along and will be better when the ground is easier,Morning Royalty came with every chance but will be much better back over three miles.
1.25 EBF Stallions 188Bet ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier),Class 4,2m,9 flights,4-6yo
Ten went to post but only the three with previous winning form mattered as Nico De Boinville capped off a fine 2015 with an all the way win on the 4yo Bigmartre who made all but had to shake off the attentions of last months impressive course winner Vintage Clouds which he did by 1.25 lengths with recent Leicester scorer Flashjack 10 length back in third.
Bigmartre has improved a lot since joining Harry Whittington and looks to have a lot more left in him,he prefers to be up with the pace and bowl along,Vintage Clouds ran a fine race in defeat but is much better over further and will be an even better chaser.
2.00 Last Fling Chase,Class 2,3m3f,22 fences,4yo+ (0-145) (Handicap sponsored by Classic Lodges Ltd)
This was a real slog in the Merseyside mud which saw the 10yo Rigadin De Beauchene regain the winning thread with a masterclass in staying chasing as he was reunited with old sparring partner Robbie Dunne to make all the running and despite making an error at the final ditch easily held off Harry The Viking by three lengths, twelve lengths back in third was Listen Boy and the 4yo Cyclop back in fourth.
Rigadin De Beauchenne hasn’t won since landing the 2014 National trial here,he reportedly may head to Chepstow for the Welsh National but the Classic Chase at Warwick may be a better and slightly easier race, Harry The Viking ran his usual honest race,Listen Boy didn’t quite stay the extra as didn’t Cyclop.
2.30 Live Casino At 188bet.co.uk Handicap Chase,Class 3,2m4f135yds,17 fences,4yo+ (0-130)
A useful enough contest and trainer Charlie Mann and jockey Denis O’Regan got bottom weight Morney Wing to win his first chase on his third start since leaving Sandra Hughes’ stable, making all his win was helped by the nice travelling Minella Reception who was going well and has a nice race in him until he fell at the final ditch, Morney Wing had to shrug off the favourite Friendly Royal who gave him a fight but he could not get past.
Morney Wing looks to be going the right way,he should stay three miles in time and he could be a Topham type but possibly a better choice would be to get him qualified for a Challenger race, Friendly Royal is still improving and looks like he has more winning races in him still.
3.05 Premier League Betting At 188bet.co.uk “Fixed Brush” Novices’ Hurdle,Class 4,2m3f,10 flights,4-7yo
Bridget Andrews (5) got her first win since coming back from injury as she had an easy win on the 5yo Its’afreebee as horse and rider made all,jumped well and breezed home by 24 lengths from Robinshill back in second who in turn was 4.5 lengths ahead of I Just Know back in third spot, Favourite Nansaroy was in second and held when he stumbled on landing at the last and unseated Adam Wedge
Its’afreebee cost £55,000 to buy from Mark Fahey’s yard after his recent Bangor win and looks a useful type,the extra trip helped and wether Dan Skelton chooses another novice race or a step in grade for something like the Leamington is another thing but he is a progressive type.
3.35 Asian Handicaps At 188bet.co.uk “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m3f,10 flights,3yo+ (0-120)
Just the six here with the unusual oddity that all were trained by women,I can’t remember any race in the UK in which the whole field were female trained,If this isn’t the case then please let me know
After the recent bad weather it was good to see a trainer from York get a winner as Tomkevi won on his third start for Rebecca Menzies and jockey Tony Kelly (3), three lengths in front after the last he just clung on from the staying on Hainan by a neck, the pair were five lengths ahead of favourite Octagon who couldn’t find any extra on the run in.
A winner over hurdles and fences in France,Tomkevi looked to appreciate these hurdles and now he has found his winning thread again could build on this,Hainan was tough in defeat and a step up in trip may help.
A fair days racing then
The next planned race meeting will be Warwick in three Saturday’s time,hopefully next Saturday we will be at some local football,all weather dependant of course
I would like to wish all of you a Happy 2016 and thank you for reading.
Until the next review,Goodbye and keep enjoying the magic that is live sport.
Sean Ban,5yo,D McCain,4th in the 2m Novice Hurdle,will be better upped in trip and in a handicap