Haydock Park, Saturday 23rd November 2019, Betfair Chase Day

Tizzard Power Again

The new kid on the block showed he had the right stuff and managed to hang tough as Lostintranslation showed he firmly belongs on jump racing’s top tier by giving four time course and dual Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai a bruising in this years renewal of what looked a top quality renewal of the Betfair Chase for Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power.

Only four may have gone to post for what was the smallest field of this Grade One contest but it was a field of top chasers who had every right to be involved, from the tapes Bristol De Mai attempted to do his usual thing at Haydock of bouncing out and making all and coming to the second last it might had been the same again but Lostintranslation travelled powerfully throughout the race with contemptuous ease to land in front when asked at the final fence from which he simply powered away to win by over a length and a half with the pair around twenty five lengths ahead of Frodon.

Lostintranslation came here off the back of a very impressive seasonal debut in the Colin Parker at Carlisle where he jumped superbly and did exactly the same here, he heads to Kempton on Boxing Day and looks every inch the finished article where he could take on Ascot winner Cyrname and even Altior in a race even Santa will be tuning in for as part of his holiday from work.

Bristol De Mai has the Grand National as his target and is reported not to be heading to Kempton, although he could be back here in February for the National Trial over 3m4f to get him ready, Frodon will be far happier back down in trip with the Ryanair his target now at his beloved Cheltenham.

Mountain Continues To Climb

Ludlow based trainer Henry Daly clearly has a good one in his hands with Stoney Mountain who powered his way through the pack to land the Grade 3 Staying Handicap Hurdle over 3m, coming here off the back of an impressive reappearance at Aintree last month he has now won the same two races that Paisley Park did last session although he took this off 147 compared to Stoney Mountain landing this off 138 but he still looks ahead of his mark.

No doubt his trainer will be thinking about going down the staying division and take on Paisley Park at Ascot next month or maybe come back here in February for the Rendlesham Hurdle, fences will be calling for him next season and he is a serious prospect indeed.

Rebel Has A Cause

Thebannerkingrebel repaid the faith to all those who were on him at Wetherby last time when he fell and despite giving his owner and many punters a real scare when he made a real horlicks of the second last flight went on to win the Listed Newton Novices’ Hurdle very nicely.

Carrying the colours of Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick who was no doubt watching from the Emirates as he tucked into his lunch before the 2-2 with Southampton, Thebannerkingrebel looks a decent sort and could be back here for the Jamie Snowden team in January for the Rossington Main over course and distance.

Hill Graduates

Its fair to say its been a good few weeks for the McNeill family and the decission to come to Haydock as opposed to go to Ascot and pick some scraps up in the Cyrname/Altior race proved to be fruitful as in a tight looking Graduation Chase over 2m5f he dug deep to overpower Midnight Shadow in a very exciting finish.

Previously a winner in Grade 2 company over fences as a novice at Doncaster he had lost his way a bit but showed signs of a revival back at Aintree over timber and under Adrian Heskin he did make a couple of errors such as making a mistake at the eight fence and hid rider brefily lost an iron a few fences later but he stuck to the task to oblige and still has a fair future in this sphere.

A very enjoyable and exciting afternoon of jump racing with more questions than answers its fair to say off the back of it.

Will Lostintranslation win the Jockey Club Tripe Crown Million Pound Bonus?

Can Stoney Mountain be a Stayers’ Hurdle horse?

Thebannerkingrebel, potential Supreme horse?

At this moment in time we dont know but as the weeks go on the answers will slowly unfold and begin to unravel.

Haydock’s next meeting here is on Wednesday 4th December and while it won’t have the quality as this afternoon it does have some nice novice events to keep an eye on for the future.

Till next time, goodbye

Wetherby Races, Bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting, Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd November 2019

Another Bally Charlie Hall For Twiston-Davies

Nigel Twiston-Davies left Wetherby on a happy note as Ballyoptic became the Naunton based trainer’s sixth Charlie Hall Chase winner.

In a real war of attrition on very soft ground it was a race that brought the stayers to the fore and former Towton winner Ballyoptic who was second in last season’s Scottish National and came into the race off the back of a recent win at Chepstow, battled on under Sam Twiston-Davies to easily hold off last season’s Welsh National winner Elegant Escape by over three lenghts.

This was stamina sapping stuff and after this success in Yorkshire it could be a case of going a few miles across the M62 and A580 to Haydock in three weeks time for the Betfair Chase where he will join the stables star chaser Bristol De Mai who bids for his third victory, Ballyoptic’s main aim will be the Grand National in April as will Elegant Escape who loves those marathon chases too.

La Bague Au Roi was disappointing on her return eventually pulling up turning for home, she can be forgiven for this and something like the Peterborough Chase could be more up her street.

World Back At His Hooves

The Worlds End came back to hurdling and if Paisley Park had ITV 4 on in his box then he certainly would have taken note this afternoon as The Worlds End bounced out from the tapes to make all the running to win the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle over 3m putting the rest of the field to bed pretty readily.

A decent enough field he had some good yardsticks in behind most notably Unowhatimeanharry who ran a superb race in defeat at 11 years young only finishing five lenghts back in second spot

Hurdling clearly suits him more than chasing and from this a visit to Newbury in a few weeks where he could meet up against Paisley Park in the Long Distance Hurdle in what could be a race to savour.

Buttons The Lady Of Wetherby

Yorkshire’s racing crowd may have been loud when Enable came to York in August but they were positively delirious as the Phil Kirby trained mare Lady Buttons warmed the hearts of the crowd as she repeated last years win in the Listed Mares’ Hurdle over 2m.

Always going nicely and hurdling slickly she had the task made easier following Zambella unseating her rider at the second last from which it was all plain sailing for her and Adam Nicol and although she was idling on the run in she had plenty in hand.

There certainly isnt a more popular mare in training than Lady Buttons, she gives her all and has a huge fanbase in Yorkshire, Newbury and then Doncaster will be her next port of call from here.

Best Of Friday

Friday had a fair card to it with two listed contests as the main attraction amongst other races.

Pete Strikes The Right Chord

Nicky Richards has his string in good form at the moment and Guitar Pete repeated his 2017 win in the Listed 2m3f Handicap Chase.

In what looked a competitive race Guitar Pete had plenty enough in hand and readily brushed aside runner up Happy Diva, He could be Cheltenham bound in two weeks time for another crack at the BetVictor Gold Cup where he would have a fair squeak especially with the benefit of a race.

Dan Dan The Wensleydale Man

Langer Dan was all out under Harry Skelton as he made it two from two in the Listed Wensleysale Hurdle over 2m.

A good looking racing with plenty of winning horses in it, Langer Dan showed plenty of grit to overpower Maria Magdalena after the last flight, he was unraced on the flat but does have a knack for jumping and looks set for one of the big 3yo hurdles at either Cheltenham, Doncaster or Chepstow next month.

Two From Two For Sam

Sam Spinner’s chasing career continues on an upward curve as he won his second novice chase of the season, despite not being quite convincing at some of his jumps he is still learning the game and needs more experience, one possible target which would suit him might be the Grade 2 Novice Chase over three miles at Doncaster in December but you wouldn’t rule out a return to the smaller obstacles if the right races present themselves.

Two top days at this part of West Yorkshire and jumping is well and truly back.

Next up we head to Haydock for what could be an amazing renewal of the Betfair Chase and boy will that be some race!

Wetherby as usual did a fine job at this lovely course, quality horses and competitive racing with stables from all over the country sending runners and going back with some good prize money.

Till next time, Goodbye