Haydock Park,Wednesday 22nd March 2017,Howdens Joinery Raceday

Very testing conditions and small fields were the order of the day in the traditional gap that falls in the National Hunt season from post Cheltenham to pre Aintree. 

Six races made up the card with three races over traditional hurdles,two steeplechases and one over the fixed brush hurdles. 

Wednesday’s feature contest was the 2m4 1/2f Novices’ Handicap Chase which saw 6yo mare Buttercup get ther third win on the bounce as she fought to get the better of Wolf Sword by 5 lengths, Venetia Williams’ mare seems to have worked out what chasing is all about, she looks to have a bit more improvement in her and connections will fancy those Listed Chases for mares next season. 

Venetia Williams will certainly be pleased with the way stable have been building up Buttercup. 

Buttercup


The supporting card included a real ding dong battle in the staying hurdle over 2m7f as Lucinda Russell who will be back down here in a few weeks with One For Arthur in the Grand National got the judges’ verdict with Sammy B like Buttercup did in getting the hat trick up in a real hard slog in the last furlong fighting the attentions of Samingarry, the handicapper might just have Sammy B now but he was very game under Blair Campbell and got the win by a neck, that win would have made the journey back to Scotland much quicker.

Sammy B

Just two completed the course in the 2m7f old timers steeplechase as the first two home Purcell’s Bridge and runner up Saroque both wisely were held up from the ridiculous early pace set as the winner took up the running from the final ditch as Sunny Legend departed the scene, this left Purcell’s Bridge nicely ahead of Saroque who couldn’t quite bridge the gap, hard to evaluate this form given the testing conditions, it looked a case of the survival of the fittest. 

Elsewhere Donald McCain landed the opening 2m Novice Hurdle as Chti Balko followed up his recent Catterick win in decent style, he looks happy being up with the pace and it will be of some interest to see what his opening handicap mark will be, he will jumps a fence in time, runner up and favourite Potters Story never travelled well but gave the impression a step up in trip will suit. 

Chti Balko


Just two contested the 2m3f mares’ novice hurdle, 1-14f favourite The Nipper had little more than a glorified schooling session here as she brushed aside Your Turn by fourteen lengths or so, she loves heavy ground and this former winner of a Listed Sandown bumper has a touch of class about her. 

The Nipper (Left) & Your Turn (Right)


Finally Johanos carried his recent winning form as he easily took the concluding 2m3f Fixed Brush Hurdle without breaking sweat, Now handicapping this 6yo could build up a sequence and should get further in time.  

Next racing on here will be the first two days of The Grand National meeting at Aintree, one of the highlights of the sporting year, Till we meet up at Aintree thank you for reading

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