It’s probably fair to suggest that local racing fans in the area near Haydock Park looked up towards Rivington Pike on Wednesday morning just to check that Donald Sutherland and Kate Bush couldn’t be spotted lugging up any heavy machinery as it rained all day in biblical proportions with the heavens pouring so much of the wet stuff that if the management of Leicester Racecourse had seen it then they would have sent every water collector from all the cricket and tennis grounds in the country to mop it up and transport it back to the East Midlands venue where it is very much needed.
As it was racing took place with a seven race card that had some informative events that could bode well for the rest of the season with some decent entries from some of the sports top trainers of the winter game.
Best performance of the afternoon came in the 2m Introductory Hurdle as Tom George was on course to see The Big Bite make it two from two over timber this season in very impressive style ahead of the decent enough Demopolis.
At the start nobody wanted to make the running which looked a bit unusual given the jockeys were on horseback in the pouring rain but eventually they set off but The Big Bite eventually came to the fore and looked visually impressive both on course and in the paddock, The Tolworth in the New Year would be ideal for him and he will eventually make a good chaser, Demopolis will have learnt plenty and can have his say in the novice hurdle market too.
Nicky Henderson last saddled a novice chase winner at Haydock in the shape of Buveur D’Air a couple of seasons ago and whilst that career move went in a somewhat different direction Mr Whipped will certainly stick to fences as he easily landed the 2m4f Novice Chase pretty readily from Springtown Lake who made the early running and despite his best efforts found the 5lb penalty too much but lost nothing in defeat.
Mr Whipped should be a good flag bearer for Seven Barrows in the novice chase section, last season he landed the Leamington Novice Hurdle at Warwick but doesn’t seem to act well at Cheltenham so maybe Aintree will be his main end of season target with a trip to Kempton for the Pendil in February in a race that should suit his style of racing as he clearly prefers flatter courses.
The 2m7f Maiden Hurdle brought about a fair sort in the Kim Bailey trained Newtide who responded well after being headed and shuffled back around the home turn to pick up well and break his duck at the second time of asking, fourth over a shorter trip at Chepstow two weeks ago he appreciated the step up and should go forward now with even more to come when sent over the larger obstacles.
Finally the Trevor Hemmings colours were seen in the number one spot just as they were back on Betfair Day when Absolutely Dylan fought on tenaciously in the mud to bag the 2m7f Chase in pretty decent style under Danny Cook who himself will be looking forward very much so to Aintree this weekend, Making almost all which could be noticed from the stands as his colours were the only ones not mud splattered ,he had to be at his best to hold off Hills Of Dubai and Steps And Stairs in an exciting three way finish over the last.
This 5yo is definitely on the upgrade here and a typical Sue Smith staying chaser who has got a big race in him somewhere, possibly an idea might be the Tommy Whittle back here where he could be thrown in on his potential unless one of those northern satellite nationals comes to the fore.
So despite some truly awful weather the crowd which braved the elements were treated to some good midweek action although things will ramp up a whole lot more down the East Lancs Road this upcoming Saturday with Becher Chase Day slowly approaching.
Till then Goodbye.