Evan Williams continued his recent domination of the first big race of the 2018-19 National Hunt season as Silver Streak bounced back from his last run when unsuited by the Sandown swamp in the Imperial Cup to land the Grade 3 Swinton Hurdle on a far more greener and fresh surface at Haydock at the only mixed meeting in the British calendar.
In an eventful race which had a sad postscript to it Silver Streak began last season taking the Free Hurdle at Chepstow and had ran consistently in better events, this was only his eleventh career race and has more to offer from this, connections could possibly eye up the other big two summer hurdles at Market Rasen and Galway added to this he has a flat rating of 69 which is very exploitable too.
Sadly there was a sad end to the race as the four year old Act Of Valour under Bryony Frost took a crashing fall at the second last when coming through to lead and have a say in the race, he was supposed to run in the Chester Cup but missed the cut so the Paul Nicholls team decided to come up the road instead, he was travelling very well until this happened, Bryony looked very distraught and upset coming back in, Condolences to the McNeill Family on their loss.
The rest of the other jumps races included Monbeg Theatre landing the Long Distance opener over 2m7f, making all under Miss Page Fuller (5) he followed up a last time out win at Cheltenham beating some very useful yardsticks including last months Grade 3 winner at Aintree in Jester Jet.
Sean Bowen landed the last two races on the day which were both chases, first up Beggar’s Wish duly obliged from a last time out win at Market Rasen to breeze home in the 2m4 1/2f Intermediate Handicap Chase, taking over from the third last he was eased in the last half furlong and jumped nicely and in the last race a 2m3f Handicap Chase which had some real rogues in it saw Ruth Jefferson continue her good start to the season with Robbing The Prey picking up a nice prize and going in off 130 has more to offer with connections no doubt eyeing up a potential run at Aintree this Friday over 2m4f.
On the flat the feature contest was the Listed 7f Spring Trophy which found its way going down to Marlborough and last weekends 1000 Guineas winning trainer Richard Hannon as Tabarrak got the better in a pulsating battle in the last furlong with favourite Mubtasim, the drop back to 7f after a poor show in the Doncaster Mile last time showed that 7f is his trip so races like the John O’Gaunt here next month and the big 7f races at Newbury and Goodwood in the summer will be potential options at a higher level.
David O’Meara has his horses going nicely and his much well travelled Intisaab who has more air miles than the late Alan Whicker took the 6f Conditions Stakes with the assistance of the judges magnifying glass and a well timed ride by Martin Harley, only half a length covered the first three home and in what looked a tight race on paper,Intisaab who won a 6f Handicap in Doha,Qatar, back in February and was last sighted when fourth in the big AW Sprint race might be aimed at the Wokingham after this confidence boosting win
Mont Kinabalu got the verdict in a four way tie in the 1m Handicap for 3yo under Tom Eaves for Kevin Ryan while the 1m6f Handicap looked like a match between three Newmarket flat trainers and two jumps trainers with the flat brigade showing them how it’s done with the first three home, Uber Cool being the one who came home first.
A rather truncated review but on Wednesday the flat moves up a gear as we head to York.
All being well we will bring a live Watty & Mully Show from around 11.40 as we walk from York Station to the Knavesmire, Please do tune in on Periscope through the Twitter page