By the power of Greystoke were the words that came to mind for many at Ye Olde Wetherby on Saturday as Baywing defied his 33-1 price by putting in a demolition job in the feature Grade 2 Towton Novices’ Chase over 3m.
A winner of four staying hurdles last season he did appear to disappoint on his first run here over fences last month but clearly learnt plenty from that and showed his authority from three out when challenging the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Calett Maid and put twenty two lengths between the two horses, Baywing probably won’t be heading to the RSA but could be aimed at the four miler should be run at Cheltenham but winning trainer Nicky Richards thinks of him more as a Welsh National type, it would be no shock if Baywing got aimed at the Scottish National as the ground usually comes up very soft at Ayr.
Calett Mad back in second is only a 5yo and has better days ahead ahead of him over fences,maybe a return to handicaps will suit this useful type even more.
Dan Skelton got off to a flying start in the afternoon by winning the first two races with brother Harry in the saddle, Golden Vision easily won the opening 2m novice hurdle for mares as she made all but had to be kept up to her work,a winner in France before being bought for £68,000 she should make up into a more than useful yardstick and could get an entry in the Dawn Run at Cheltenham but with this style of running she could be more of an Aintree type.
The other winner for the Skelton’s was Oldgrangewood in the 2m3f handicap chase as he repeated his course and distance win here over the Christmas period, a winner that day off 130 he was upped only 4lbs here and was always travelling with plenty left in him towards the end, this horse has lots going for him so is still worth being kept onside at the moment all depending what the handicapper does to him, Oldgrangewood will no doubt stay three miles but that could come next season unless temptation gets the better of the trainer.
Skipthecuddles benefited from a step up in trip by a couple of extra furlongs when taking the 2m5f novice hurdle race, only having his second start over timber he looks a useful sort for his trainer Graeme McPherson who like Dan Skelton got a double up on the Wetherby card when Ami Debois made every yard of the running to land the 3m staying handicap hurdle, both hold entries in the staying novice events at Cheltenham.
The hunter chase on this card can inevitably throw up a nice winner and this year proved to be no exception as Galway Jack won his first race since 2014 on his hunter chase debut here comfortably holding favourite Ardea at bay by just over four lengths, Galway Jack did bring some good form to the race most notably on his last completed start just shy of a year ago when fourth behind Taquin Du Seuil at Warwick, it looked like his class just got him home and he probably would struggle if having a crack at the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ next month but possibly Aintree is what trainer Caroline Bailey could have in mind for him.
Lastly Kim Bailey unveiled a nice one when scoring in the concluding bumper with Mon Palois,an ex pointer from Ireland he stayed on in a good manner and easily beat professional seconditus horse Eskendash who was second for the fourth consecutive time, Mon Palois should be a good sort when he goes over further and obstacles too.
Shanty Town,8yo trained by David Dennis was third in the 2m5f novice hurdle on his first state for 839 days,has some useful looking form and will be much better for the run and one to note for handicaps.
Some decent racing this afternoon, probably not the highest quality that we’ve seen this season but certainly not the worst either.
Next racing will be in two weeks time at Haydock for the Grand National Trial meeting but hopefully before that we could try and pop in a football match for review.
Till we meet again etc…..