Haydock Park, Monday 30th December 2019, The Last Fling Raceday

Lord Reigns Over Haydock

Nine days after his emphatic Tommy Whittle win here at Haydock, Lord Du Mensil once again became everyone’s Christmas cracker as he followed up with a very easy win in the Last Fling Chase over the marathon trip of 3m4f .

In conditions which werent as testing as in previous meetings here but still tough none the less, Lord Du Mesnil jumped out with the same intention as last time to make all which he duly did getting a few of them off the snaffle mid race and in a race which saw six start only three of them completed this long distance test.

Things are certainly clicking with Lord Du Mesnil at the moment and still looks a horse ahead of the handicapper, he looks likely to get a National entry but as he will be only a 7yo come 2020 that may be too soon so while a return visit here in February might be ideal he would probably be aimed at the Midlands or Scottish Nationals as his big end of season targets.

Last months course winner Perfect Candidate came second and debspite approaching 13, he still retains his love for the game.

Jewel Hits Bookies For Six

Nick Alexander is always a trainer to watch at Haydock and with his daughter Lucy in the saddle they set back off back up the M6 to Kinneston with some New Year dreams in both their heads after Ebony Jewel ran out a nice winner of the 2m novice hurdle, although he had a bit of a battle with First Lord Du Cuet up the straight he rallied under Lucy Alexander to land the spoils by three parts of a length.

This race was a qualifier for the EBF and while thats a decent prize in its own right it’s possible that his trainer may want to target a local prize so something like the Festival trials at Musselburgh or the Premier Hurdle at Kelso might be under consideration but Ebony Jewel certainly looks like sparkling plenty more times.

Photo courtesy of Steve Mullington

Buster Robs Again

It’s fair to say that Mattie Batchelor has already improved the security on the cupboard which as his ‘Jump Ride Of The Year Award’ it because there is every chance that Jack Tudor is currently planning a Todd Unctious style attempt to nick it after his amazing ride on the David Pipe trained Buster Edwards who came from another parrish in a ride which has to be seen to be believed when landing the opening 3mile Handicap Hurdle for Conditional Jockeys.

On what looked a competitive race on paper, Buster Edwards was already under the kosh from halfway but thanks for Jack Tudor’s persuasion and never say die atitiude he came thundering home on the long run it to finish like Hello Youmzain did in September’s Sprint Cup.

Without doubt one of the standout rides of the season so far, Jack Tudor is one jockey clearly going places.

Bee Gets The Honey

Finally Fergal O’Brien looks to have a very nice prospect on his hands in the name of Ask A Honey Bee who left all his owners and backers buzzing as he won his second bumper on the bounce in the finale.

On what looked a nice race on paper with some good sorts on show, last months Southwell scorer ran away in emphatic style here finishing 11 lenghts of the runner up Kiriglote, this was as strong a bumper performance as youre likely to seel all season and looks set to take his chances at either the Cheltenham or Aintree in the spring, he should make into a very nice novice hurdler next season for the Cheltenham based master of cakes and jumpers.

Final round up

Another racing year comes to an end, in what’s been a very enjoyable one going from as far north as Carlisle to as south as Epsom we have been treated to some of the finest that this sport can offer.

Personal highlights for me include seeing Pinatubo and Defoe wining at Epsom, Battaash at Haydock and York, Stradivarius at York and last but no means least Tiger Roll with his second Grand National victory and who knows maybe come April we may see history in the making.

Until next time, may i wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2020

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